Śrīman Mahāprabhura Śikṣā

Chapter 7
Taṭastha-dharma-vaśataḥ jīva baddha-daśāya māyā-kavalita

(Due to His Intrinsic Marginal Position, the Jīva in His State of Conditioning is Prone to be Captured by Māyā)

The jīva’s taṭastha nature was discussed in the previous chapter. Due to his taṭastha nature, being devoid of any knowledge of Bhagavāṇ, he is captured by māyā, who is in close proximity. In the Śrī Caritāmta it is written:

nitya-baddha-kṛṣṇa haite nitya bahirmukha
nitya saṁsāra bhuñje narakādi dukha

 sei doe māyā-piśācī daṇḍa kare tā‘re
adhyātmikādi tāpa traya tā‘re jāri’ māre

 kāma krodhera dāsa hañā tā‘ra lāthi khāya
bhramite bhramite yadi sādhu-vaidya pāya

 tā‘ra upadeśa mantre piśācī palāya

 (“Those who are eternally conditioned are constantly averse to Kṛṣṇa. They continually experience the world of birth and death with its hellish torment. Due to this fault, the witch Māyā punishes them, and scorches them with the three-fold miseries beginning with adhyātmīka-kleśa – miseries caused by ones’s own body and mind. They become servants of lust and anger, and are beaten as they constantly roam, unless they attain the association of a sādhu-physician. Through his teachings and mantra, the witch will flee.” – Caitanya-caritāmṛa, Madhya-līlā 22.12-15)

In relation to the bound jīva, the Śvetāśvatara Upaniad says:

bālāgra śata-bhāgasya śatadhā kalpitasya ca
bhāgo jīva sa vijñeya sa cānantyāya kalpate
(Śvetāśvatara Upaniad 5.9)

Although he is situated within a gross body, the jīva is a subtle, transcendental tattva.  If the tip of a physical hair is divided into a hundred pieces, and one imagines that one part is again divided into a hundred parts, it still cannot compare to the subtle size of the jīva. Although the jīva is finite when compared to matter, he is still a transcendental element, possessing unlimited natural qualifications.

naiva strī pumān ea na caivāya napusaka
yad yac charīram ādatte tena tena sa yujyate
(
Śvetāśvatara Upaniad 5.10)

Only a jīva’s gross body is identified as having the characteristics of female, male or neuter. The jīva attains a body due to the results of karma and resides in that.  In fact, the jīva is a spiritual element, and is identified by his physical body as male or female but that is not his true position.

saṅkalpana-sparśana-dṛṣṭi-mohair grāsāmbu-vṛṣṭhyātmā vivddha janma
karmānugāny anukramea dehī sthāneu rūpany abhisamprapadyate
(Śvetāśvatara Upaniad 5.11)

Due to his nature, the jīva gradually accepts various kinds of physical bodies according to his actions through his desires, touch, sight, bewilderment, eating, water, and rain.

 sthūlāni sūkmāṇi bahūni caiva rūpāṇi deho svaguair vnoti
kriyā guair ātmā guais ca teṣām sayoga-hetur aparo’pi dṛṣṭa
(Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 5.22)

According to the material qualities he accepts, the jīva attains numerous gross and subtle forms. And through the quality of performing action and the qualities of the self, he becomes covered by other forms.

anādy ananta kalilasya madhye viśvasya srasṭāram aneka-rūpam
viśvasyaikam pariveṣṭhitāraātvā deva mucyate sarva-pāśaih
(Śvetāśvatara Upaniad 5.13)

The jīva that is bound by māyā, having fallen into the density of saṁsāra, may happen to associate with sādhus. and by so doing, śraddhā develops and through that an inclination for bhakti. When he comprehends the Paramātmā, who resides within the universe and is its creator, the origin of eternal, unlimited avatāras, he becomes completely free from the bondage of māyā.

In Śrī Āmnāya Sūtra, the sūtras describe the jīva’s bound condition:

pareśa-vaimukhyāt teṣām avidyābhiniveśa

(“Being averse to the Supreme Controller, they have entered ignorance.” – Āmnāya Sūtra 35)

sva-svarūpa-bhrama

(“They are bewildered about their intrinsic identity’- Āmnāya Sūtra 36)

viama-kāma karma-bandha

(“He is bound to karma due to tempestuous desires.” – Āmnāya Sūtra 37)

sthūla-liṅgābhimāna-janita-saṁśāra kleśāś ca

(“He identifies with the gross and subtle bodies, and creates his own suffering within the material world.”- Āmnāya Sūtra 38)

The jīva is a spiritual entity. He is manifest by the taṭastha-śakti at the juncture of spirit and matter, and from that position he sees both the spiritual world and the material world. Those who had some attraction towards the knowledge of realising Bhagavān, due to connection with that knowledge, they desired transcendence (cit) and attained spiritual strength from the hlādinī-śakti which made them favourable and thus they were accepted as eternal associates of Kṛṣṇa in the spiritual world.

Those who, by their own free will, were bewildered by, and greedy for māyā, became situated on the opposite side. Enticed by māyā, then became attracted to the māyika world, and were hurled into the material cosmos by the Puruṣavatāra, the Master of māyā. That was the result of their eternal aversion to Bhagavān. Immediately as they came in contact with māyā, they were overcome by the influence of māyā, namely avidyā (ignorance). Ensnared by avidyā, their immersion in that further bound them to the cycle of karma. Here, they are compared to birds experiencing the results of their karma:

 dvā suparṇā sayujā sakhāyā samāna vka parisasvājate
tayor anya pippala svādvatti anaśnan anyo abhicākaśīti
(Muṇḍaka Upaniad  3.1.1)

The Kṣīrodāśāyī Puruṣa and the jīva live like friends within an aśvatha tree in the temporary world. One of them, namely the jīva, enjoys the pippala fruits according to his karma. The other, namely the Paramātmā, is watching.

           samāne vke puruo nimagno’niśayā śocati mühyamāna
(Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 3.1.2)

Situated within that tree, the jīva who is powerless, falls under the influence of lamentation and bewilderment. It is written in Śrī Bhāgavata:

bhaya dvitīyābhiniveśata syād
īśād apetasya viparyayo’smti
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.2.37)

Being averse to knowledge of the Supreme, and becoming absorbed in secondary interests connected to the avidyā of māyā, the jīva experiences fear and misidentification with the material body. This mood of misidentification is svarūpa-bhrama (bewilderment concerning one’s intrinsic position). This is the first result of connection with avidyā. Forgetting his spiritual form, he accepts a material form and falls into deep forgetfulness of his position as kṛṣṇa-dāsa. Avidyā provides two coverings over the spiritual form of the jīva, namely liṅga or sukṣma (subtle), and sthula (gross). Māyika false ego, māyika memory, māyika intelligence and māyika mind – these four subtle material elements make up the liṅga-deha. It is the residence for these six – lust, anger, greed, bewilderment, pride and envy. Depending on his piety or impiety, these six become the cause of a jīva’s elevation or degradation. The pure spiritual ego of the jīva becomes covered over by the false ego of the jīva. The subtle body cannot act or enjoy alone, therefore apart from that, māyā creates a gross body for the jīva composed of the seven dhātus of skin, flesh, blood, bone, marrow, fat and semen along with the six transformations of birth, maintenance, growth, reproduction, old age and death. Upon attaining a gross body, the jīva’s material false ego becomes more dense. Then he accepts that, “I am this material body.” In this way, due to svarūpa-bhrama, he becomes bound by the noose of karma which is prompted by desires. The laws of varṇāśrama that determine karma (selfish activities in line with the Vedas), akarma (activities that produce no mundane results) and vikarma (forbidden activities), as well as nitya (compulsory activities), naimittika (occasional activities) and kāmyakarma (activities for fulfilling one’s own desires) and also pious and impious activities – all these bind the jīva strongly to māyā. Many anarthas arise in connection with the gross and subtle bodies. Thus the Bhadārayaka says:

sā va ayam ātmā yathā kārī yathācarī tathā bhavati
sādhu kārī sādhur bhavati pāpa kārī pāpo bhavati
puya puyena karmanā bhavati pāpa pāpena

(“According to how the ātmā acts, he attains various conditions. By acting with piety, he becomes a sādhu; by acting with pāpa, he becomes impious. He attains puṇya through puṇya and pāpa by through pāpa.” –  Bhadārayaka Upaniad 4.4.5)

In the Bhāgavata:

sadahyamāna sarvāṅga eṣām udvahanādhinā
karoty avirataho duritāni durāśaya

(“With all his limbs burning, a fool with a wicked mind, will perform terrible deeds due to the anxiety of maintaining his family.” – Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 3. 30.7)

Both these statements are clear. The meaning is that the jīva, identifying with the gross and subtle material bodies, becomes bound by saṁsāra and experiences distress through puṇya and pāpa. The Bhagavat Sandarbha quotes the Sarvajña Sūkta thus:

hlādinyā savidāśliṣṭa sac cid ānanda īśvara
svāvidyā samvto jīva sakleśa-nikarākara

(The Supreme Controller is sacchidānanda and embraced by the hlādinī and samvit potencies. The jīva, having been covered by his own ignorance, experiences so various miseries in the material world.)

In the Paramātmā Sandarbha, Jīva Gosvāmī has said:

 athāvidyākhyasya dve vtti āvaraṇātmikā vikepātmikā ca
tatra pūrvā jīva eva tiṣṭhantī tadīya svābhāvikaānam āvṛṇvānā
uttarā ca ta tad-anyathā-jñānena sañjayantī vartate
(Paramātmā Sandarbha 54)

 The two functions of māyāśakti are vidyā and avidyā. The vidyā function is a manifestation of māyā’s unreserved mercy.  The avidyā function is that specific potency that awards punishment for offences. This avidyā has two functions, namely the āvaraṇātmika function (that which covers) and the vikṣepātmika function (that which distracts). The āvaraṇātmika function covers the jīva’s natural sambandha-jñāna. The vikṣepātmika function produces types of knowledge that places the jīva in ignorance. There is a kārikā about this:

sattva rajas tamaś ceti guṇāḥ prakti- sambhavāḥ
ity ādy upaniad-vākyān nirguo jīva eva hi
cetana kṛṣṇa dāso’ham iti jñāne gate pare
prakter gua-samyogāt karma-bandho’sya sidhyati
karma-cakra-gatasyāsya sukha-dukhādika bhavet
a-guṇābdhi-nimagnasya sthūla-liṅga-vyavasthiti

In the Vedas it is said that sattva, raja and tama are the inferior mundane qualities of material nature. By nature, the jīva is nirguṇa.  Because of his finite nature, he becomes weak and averse to Bhagavān, then these qualities of māyā all become strong and overpower him. Thus, the knowledge that, “I am a conscious substance and a servant of Kṛṣṇa” becomes covered, and due to contact with the material modes he becomes bound by karma. By his acceptance of gross and subtle bodies, the jīva descends into the ocean of six material qualities (hunger, thirst, lamentation, illusion, old age and death), and eventually becoming absorbed in those, he experiences happiness and distress, caught within the wheel of karma. This state is described as the pure jīva’s unfortunate possession by māyā. It is derived from the jīva’s constitution or composition,   being marginal by nature. The jīva is a pure entity, and avidyā, the function of māyā is his upādhi (temporary designation).  The results of this upādhi are the three afflictions – ādhyātmika (miseries created by oneself), ādhidaivika (miseries created by material nature) and ādhibhautika (miseries created by other living beings).