Vaiṣṇava Siddhānta Mālā Part 1 – Chapter Six
(The Jīva is a Servant of Hari)
Question: What is the natural nitya-dharma (constitutional position) of the jīva?
Answer: The jīva’s nitya-dharma is service to Kṛṣṇa.
Question: What is the jīva’s vidharma (opposite nature)?
Answer: The vidharma of a jīva is when he seeks nirvāṇa by accepting abhedavāda, or seeks mundane pleasure or material expertise.
Question: Why do you say that all these things are vidharma?
Answer: The jīva is spiritual; the only dharma of a spiritual element is ānanda (bliss) and prīti (love). The only necessity (of abhedavāda) is total annihilation. In the philosophy of material designations (vaiśeṣika)*, the jīva’s spiritual nature is non-existent. Both nirviśeṣavāda and jaḍavāda are vidharma for the jīva.
* The doctrine of vaiśeṣika postulates that everything in the world is ultimately just atoms, thus it is also referred to here as jaḍavāda, the philosophy of matter. The concept of liberation in vaiśeṣika, like nirviśeṣavāda, is impersonal.
Question: What type of person seeks pleasure in matter?
Answer: Those persons that perform mundane activities and follow the karma-mārga (path of material piety), seek materialistic pleasure in Svārga etc.
Question: What type of person searches for material expertise?
Answer: Those aṣṭāṅga-yogīs who have achieved perfection, as well as the ṣaḍāṅga-yogīs*, seek material expertise through the results of mystic powers.
* Ṣaḍāṅga-yoga is a yoga system employed by followers of śaiva-siddhānta.
Question: If the mundane happiness of this world and nirvāṇa are both condemned, what remains for the jīva?
Answer: The jīva’s innate bliss remains. The two aforementioned types of happiness are material impositions. The realisation of the jīva’s innate bliss is not a material imposition.
Question: What is realisation of the jīva’s innate bliss?
Answer: When the jīva is devoid of any connection to matter, and he achieves pure consciousness through the pleasure of cultivating service to Kṛṣṇa, that is his innate bliss.