Question: Origin of the Soul

Question: Origin of the SoulI've been reading your stuff for a little while, now and then. I don't understand something. I also have a book I've been reading, named "Jaiva Dharma". This book is written by a person named Bhaktivinode Thakur. It says there that the soul did not fall from the spiritual world, that it came from the tatastha sakti, and that the soul, called jiva, was never in the spiritual world. Do you believe in Bhaktivinode Thakur? Why would anyone want to be envious of God, if there is so much happiness in the spiritual world? It makes more sense what this Jaiva book says. What book do you study to present your conclusion?Hare KrishnaAnswer: The Soul Originates in KrishnaI have noted your question with care, and I shall also reply with care according to the revealed knowledge of the great mahajanas, the great realized souls who have carefully passed down to us the timeless Vedic wisdom. I beg you to kindly read and try to understand the full import of my reply.We do not simply read one book and then take it out of context due to not being properly guided by a bona spiritual master. Nor do we doubt the words of any great Vaisnava Acharya such as Bhaktivinode Thakur. In the Prema-pradipa, Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur states:"When he is imprisoned in the material world, the spirit soul does not lose his original spiritual form, the form he had in the spiritual world of Vaikuntha. However, because of contact with matter the imprisoned soul loses the memory of his original spiritual form in Vaikuntha. Still, his original spiritual form does not cease to exist. The soul's faith, desire and happiness are then directed toward matter. The soul's rasas, which were originally manifested in the spiritual world, are then perverted and reflected into the pains, pleasures and various other states in the material world."I have not anywhere in Bhaktivinode Thakur's writings found the concept that the jiva was never in the spiritual world. The Jaiva Dharma is written in Bengali language. Perhaps you are reading a version that was not properly translated. Nor have you provided me a verbatim quote. You have merely paraphrased according to your own understanding.You are wondering why anyone would be envious of God when there is so much happiness in the spiritual world. It is not difficult to understand. If an inhabitant of the spiritual world sometimes thinks that maybe I could be even more happy than I am now if I were God Himself, he finds himself immediately in the material world, where he is given a chance to try being the center of the universe to see how he likes it. And then when he realizes how foolish such a desire is, he immediately wakes up from his foolish dream and resumes his eternal service to the Lord in His ecstatic pastimes.The tatasha shakti refers to the border line between the spiritual and material energies. It is translated into English as the "marginal energy." When one arrives in the material energy he has certainly come from the tatasha shakti because that is the crossing point between the spiritual and material energies. Just like if someone enters the USA, his crossing point is the border. But if we ask him where he is from, he cannot rightfully say that he is from the border. No, he has come from another country to enter the US and has merely crossed the border to do so.We can easily understand our origin by hearing from the supreme authority, Lord Sri Krishna Himself who clearly states in the Bhagavad-gita that everything emanates from Him:ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavomattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate"I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. "Bhagavad-gita 10.8So our ultimate origin is the transcendental body of Lord Sri Krishna, Who eternally resides in the spiritual world. Try to understand that since we originate from Krishna Who is in the spiritual world, we also must necessarily be originally situated in the spiritual world as His emanations. If an automobile manufacturing plant is located in a particular country, the cars that it produces are also naturally from the same country in which the manufacturing plant is situated, even if they are exported to a different country.I have noted that you have included the words "need to be free again" in your email address This is a very nice statement of the factual reality. It means that previously the person was free, but that now he is no longer free and is feeling the need to be free again. You've hit the nail right on the head! You were originally in a state of perfect freedom in the spiritual sky, and now you can return back home, back to Godhead to your original free state through the most sublime ultimate self realization process.I hope this helps to clarify this matter and that you are in the best of health and an ecstatic mood.Always your well-wisher,Hare Krishna Hare KrishnaFor more discussions visit

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  • Hare Krsna,I am in total confusion.

    Both prabhujis are telling different.

    Who is right Tripada Dasa Prabhu or Girish Jain Prabhu?

    Plz someone who knows instruct me.

    • People in Kali Yuga are led by fake scriptures and unqualified teachers, therefore how and from whom they can learn confidential transcendental knowledge. 

      There is no material duality in the Absolute Truth, therefore ''dirty or pure''  ''conditioned or liberated'' actually doesn't exist when transcendental jivatma is the subject.  

      The soul is never really bound up or liberated, as the Sun on the sky is never bound up or liberated from  the clouds.

      Sri Krishna explained all that very clearly in 11 canto of Srimad Bhagavatam.


  • May 13, 1973 in Los Angeles, Srila Prabhupada says:

    Paramahamsa: "So we can come down to the spiritual world and return?
    Prabhupada: Yes.
    Paramahamsa: Fall down?
    Prabhupada: Yes…He goes out of his free will; again comes out, again goes. Like that."

    Srila Prabhupada morning walk in Mayapur, 2-19-76:

    Prabhupada: No it is not difficult. It is not difficult.
    Acyutananda: It is not difficult. They don't want to understand.
    Prabhupada: Because you are part and parcel of God, God has got full independence, but you have got little independence proportionately, because you are part and parcel.
    Acyutananda: But in the Gita it says "once going there, he never returns."
    Prabhupada: But if he likes, he can return.
    Acyutananda: He can return.

    Try to grasp what Srila Prabhupada is saying. Acyutananda das was trained up in the Gaudiya Math; Prabhupada had him go to Srila Sridhara's Math because there were no temples then. So Prabhupada knew he was talking to one of the deepest philosophers in ISKCON and Prabhupada answered to him that one can return to this material world . Do the Neo-Gaudiyas really think that Prabhupada didn't know what he wanted to say? He could have given Acyutananda an answer that would have satisfied him, knowing as Prabhupada did, that Acyutananda thought we never return to the material world and that's why Acyutananda repeated what Prabhupada said, "He can return"." In continuation, Srila Prabhupada explains in a room conversation in Mayapur on February 19, 1976:

    Disciple: ...So, if the conditions in the spiritual world are so nice and everything is spiritual, how is it that one can become envious of Krsna in such conditions?
    Prabhupada: That is independence…you have got little independence, proportionately, because you are part and parcel.
    Disciple: But in the Gita it says "once coming there, he never returns."
    Prabhupada: But if he likes, he can return.

    In a conversation after lecture on Caitanya-caritamrita in San Francisco on February, 18, 1967, Prabhupada says:

    Disciple: When the souls that were never conditioned at all…do they also have the independence?
    Prabhupada: Yes, but they have not misused.
    Disciple: Could they ever misuse it?
    Prabhupada: Yes, they can misuse it, also. That power is there.
    Disciple: Well, I believe once you said that once a conditioned soul becomes perfected and gets out of the material world and goes back to Krishnaloka, there's no possibility of falling back.
    Prabhupada: No there is a possibility.

    Now let us look at other Bhagavatam verses. In Bhagavad-gita 6.47, Srila Prabhupada states in the purport:

    "Every living entity is of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and thus every living entity is intended to serve the Supreme Lord by his own constitution. Failing to do this, he falls down..The Bhagavatam 11.5.3 confirms this as follows:
    Ya esaam purusam saaksaad aatma prabhavam ishvaram
    Nabhajaty avajaananti stbaanaad bhrastaah patanty adhah

    Anyone who does not render service and neglects his duty unto the primeval Lord who is the source of all living entities will certainly fall down from his constitutional position."

    In a Bhagavad-gita lecture that was given on February 21, 1969 in Los Angeles (Collected Lectures on Bhagavad-gita As It Is, VoI.5, pp. 6-7), Srila Prabhupada quotes the same Bhagavatam verse 11.5.3. He then gives this commentary, which throws even more light on it making it clearer:

    "His is also a very nice example. The Bhagavat says that we are all parts and parcels of the Supreme. If we do not serve the Supreme, then we fall down from our specified place. What is that?..If the part and parcel cannot render service regularly, that means it is painful. So any person who is not rendering service to the Supreme Lord, he's simply giving pain to the Supreme Lord. He's simply giving trouble. Therefore he has to suffer....The same example. Stbanad bhrastah patanty adhah. And as soon as one thing is very painful, just like the government keeps all these painful citizens into a prison house. Collect together. ‘You live here, you are nonsense, you criminals live here. Don't live in the open state.' Similarly, all these criminals who have violated the laws of God, who have simply given pain to the Lord, they are put in this material world. And, sthanad bbrastah, he falls down from the specified place....So we have fallen down. Being against the principles of God consciousness, we are fallen down. So if we want to revive our original position, we must be placed again in that service attitude....The best thing is to revive our original Krsna consciousness and be engaged in the service of the Lord. That is the natural life and that is possible in the spiritual sky or the Goloka Vrndavana."

    At the end of the lecture a question was asked: "Why are you teaching about Krsna Consciousness? Prabhupada answered: "Because you have forgotten the service of Radha and Krsna, therefore you have become the servant of Maya."

    In Bhagavatam 6.11.24, it states:

    Aham hare tava padaika-mula-dasanudaso bhavitasmi bhuyah

    "O my Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, will I again be able to be a servant of Your eternal servants who find shelter only at Your lotus feet?"

    This verse indicates that the word "again" (bhuyah) in the above verse refers to the original state of the jiva. This is a reoccurring word throughout the Bhagavatam. So it has importance.

    In Srimad Bhagavatam 8.24.48, King Satyavrata says:
    Bhajeta varnam nijam esa so ‘vyayo
    Bhuyat sa isah paramo guror gurah

    "Thus one regains his original identity, just as a block of gold or silver sheds all dirt and becomes purified when treated with fire."

    Srila Prabhupada says in his purport:

    "The word varnam refers to the luster of one's original identity. The original luster of gold or silver is brilliant. Similarly, the original luster of the living being, who is part of the sac-cid-ananda-vigraha, is the luster of ananda, or pleasure…The living being should become purified and regain his svarupa, his original identity."

    In a July, 1976 lecture Srila Prabhupada emphasized:

    "Mukti means as it is defined in Srimad Bhagavatam, Muktir hitvanyatha rupam sva-rupena vyavasthitih. That is mukti. Sva-rupena, legally, constitutionally, I am a servant of God, or Krsna. Now I have become a servant of dog and maya. So if I give up this service and again become servant of God, that is mukti."

    In addition, Srimad Bhagavatam 4.28.53 states:

    "The brahmana continued: My dear friend, even though you cannot immediately recognize Me, can't you remember that in the past you had a very intimate friend? Unfortunately, you gave up My company and accepted a position as enjoyer of this material world."

    In the purport of 4.28.53, it affirms:

    "This is an explanation of how the living entity falls down into this material world. In the spiritual world there is no duality, nor is there hate…The vibhinnamsa expansions, the marginal potencies of the Lord, are the living entities. When the living entities desire to enjoy themselves, they develop a consciousness of duality and come to hate the service of the Lord. In this way the living entities fall into the material world,…His affection for the living entity is eternal…In this way the living entity may someday return home, back to Godhead…By misusing his independence the living entity falls down from the service of the Lord and takes a position in this material world as an enjoyer."

    Continuing in the next verse 4.28.54 it says:

    "Although we have been living together for many thousands of years, we are still far away from our original homes.

    The original home of the living entity and the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the spiritual world. In the spiritual world both the Lord and the living entities live together very peacefully. (note: in 8.24.51 purport Prabhupada says "Vaikunthaloka, or the spiritual world" next to each other in the sentence which means these terms refer to the same thing.) Since the living entity remains engaged in the service of the Lord, they both share a blissful life in the spiritual world. However, when the living entity wants to enjoy himself, he falls down into the material world."

    Some say these verses only refer to the Supersoul assisting the jiva soul in the material world. But in this verse it says, "We are still far away from our original home." This is in plural form, meaning both are far away from the original home, which is in the spiritual world, Vaikunthaloka mentioned in 8.24.51 purport. The verse, 4.28.53 is referring to Krsna as a friend. Supersoul is always residing with the jiva as long as the jiva is in the material realm so they are not separated. Supersoul separates from the individual jiva when the jiva goes back to Vaikunthaloka. So the Supersoul cannot be the intimate friend who is mentioned here in the verse.

    In these two verses it is obvious what Prabhupada is explaining. This is a personal exchange with the Lord. In the Brahmajyoti there is no personal exchange and this exchange between the Lord and the living entity was intimate before the jiva soul comes here, as stated in the verse. But it was forgotten. Please see the article Srila Prabhupada spoke exactly in the Archives. These exchanges were in the spiritual world Vaikunthaloka, not the Brahmajyoti, or the Causal Ocean.

    Continuing in 4.28.55 Krsna states:

    "My dear friend, you are now My very dear friend. Since you left Me, you have become more and more materialistic…

    When the living entity falls down, he goes into the material world…Actually, it is Krsna who personally advises all living entities to return home, back to Godhead."

    Krsna is the friend of the jiva soul being mentioned here, as Srila Prabhupada says in the purport. Back to Godhead does not mean back to the Brahmajyoti. And it is obvious by the flavor of the texts in Bhagavatam that it is the topmost scripture. It is not terse, like the verses in Vedanta Sutra. It is obvious why Vyasadeva became satisfied by writing the Bhagavatam. In 11.14.25 Bhagavatam, it asserts:
    yathagnina hema malam jahati
    dhmatam punah svam bhogate ca rupam
    atma ca karmanusayam vidhuya
    mad-bhakti-yogena bhajaty atho mam

    "Just as gold, when smelted in fire, gives up its impurities and returns to its pure brilliant state, similarly, the spirit soul, absorbed in the fire of bhakti yoga, is purified of all contamination caused by previous fruitive activities and returns to its original position of serving Me in the spiritual world."

    Note: the Sanskrit, punah svam bhajate ca rupam atma - which means again enters its own spirit soul form. Punah-again; svam-its own; bhajate-enters; ca-also; rupam-form; atma-the spirit soul or consciousness. This shows that the soul expanded here returns or enters its own form there in Vaikunthaloka. The Satchitananda vigraha, which already existed prior to coming to this world.

  • The following explanation is from the book Brahmana & Vaisnava written by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada:


    "Before acquiring material designations, the living entity is supremely pure. Even though he is not engaged in serving the Supreme Lord, he remains situated in the neutral position of santa-rasa due to his marginal nature. Though the living entity born from the marginal potency does not at that time exhibit a taste for serving the Lord due to a lack of knowledge of self-realization, his direct propensity of serving the Supreme Lord nevertheless remains within him in a dormant state. Though the indirect propensity of material enjoyment, which is contrary to the service of the Lord, is not found in him at that time, indifference to the service of Hari and the seed of material enjoyment, which follows that state of indifference, are nevertheless present within him. The living entity, who belongs to the marginal potency, cannot remain indifferent forever by subduing both devotional and non-devotional propensities. He therefore contemplates unconstitutional activities from his marginal position. As a sleeping person dreams that he is active in the physical world without actually being involved in activities, when the dormant indifferent living entity of the marginal potency exhibits even a little apathy to the service of the Supreme Lord and situates himself in a neutral, unchanging condition for even a little time, he is infected by impersonalism. That is why the conditioned soul desires to merge in the impersonal Brahman, thus exhibiting his mind's fickle nature. But due to neglecting the eternal service of the Lord and thereby developing the quality of aversion to the Lord, he cannot remain fixed in that position. In this way aversion to the Lord breaks his concentration of mind and establishes him as the master of this world of enjoyment.

    Maya, the external energy of the Supreme Lord, then induces the marginal living entity to enjoy this world through her covering and throwing potencies and thus shows the living entity the reality of being averse to the Lord's service. At that time the living entity considers himself the king of enjoyers,

    Due to being situated in the marginal position, living entities who are averse to the Lord assume the nature of mixed consciousness; in other words, when the marginal energy living entities mix with the external energy, they consider themselves the enjoyers and then enter the material world. The cause of the spirit soul's coming to live in this world in aversion to Krsna is his misuse of his free will. When this aversion becomes strong, the living entities accept a material mind and body in order to enjoy the temporary material world and thus come under the control of fruitive reactions. And when, on the strength of pious activities, they become transcendental to the varnasrama principles, which distinguish superior and inferior behavior in this world, they become paramahamsas by perfecting themselves through sadhana. Those who become paramahamsas are the Hari-janas. And those who fall from the platform of paramahamsa and engage in fruitive activities while associating with matter are situated on the platform of varnasrama."



    Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur gave the following explanations:



    "The jiva appeared by the marginal energy at the dividing line between spirit and matter. From that position, he began to gaze at the spiritual and material worlds. Those jivas who were attracted somewhat to realization of the Supreme Person became desirous of the spiritual realm because of that contact of knowledge. They then obtained strength from the hladini potency of the abundant cit sakti, which made them favorable to the Lord eternally, and they were brought into the spiritual world as associates of the Lord. Those who, by their own free will, became bewildered and became greedy for maya situated on the opposite side, being beckoned by maya, then became attracted to the material universe, and were thrown in the universe by Karanarnavasayi Visnu, the controller of maya. That was but the result of their eternal aversion to the Supreme Lord. The moment they entered the material realm, they became overcome by ignorance, the function of maya. Overcome by ignorance, they fell into the wheel of binding karma in order to become fully absorbed in their task." (Mahaprabhura-siksa ch.7)

    "It should be understood that the jiva soul is neither produced of this material world, nor created in the transcendental world. They are originated from the marginal line between the transcendental and mundane spheres." (Tattva Viveka 2.4,page 55)

    "Among the unlimited potencies of Sri Krsna, there is one known as tatastha-sakti (border-potency). From that sakti comes out the jiva-souls remaining at the junction of the two worlds, viz., the transcendental and the mundane ones, may contact them both. In its composition it is only the atomic cit (pure sentience) . . . On account of the purity in its composition, it has got the capacity for being the eternal denizen with divine bliss in the transcendental power." (Jaiva Dharma, chapter 4)

    "A jiva is a spark of the eternal consciousness. A jiva is first situated on the line of demarcation between the material world and the spiritual world. There those jivas who do not forget their relation with Krsna derive the power of consciousness and are drawn into the spiritual world, they come in eternal touch with Krsna and enjoy beatitude arising from the worship of Krsna. And those who forget Krsna and give themselves up to maya's enjoyments, maya with her own force draws them into herself. It is from that very moment that we fall into the misery of this world." (Jaiva Dharma, chapter 7)

    "The semblance or dim reflection of the internal Cit-potency is the jiva-sakti (potency) or tatastha-sakti stationed in between cit-jagat and a-cit-jagat or mayika-jagat whereas the shadow or perverted reflection of that internal cit potency is the maya-sakti or external a-cit potency. All the jivas emanate from the tatastha-sakti of God and accordingly the mundane worlds emanate from the maya-sakti of God." (Bhagavat-arka Marici-mala, chap. 1, Intro)

    "The jiva-souls are emanated from the jiva-sakti of Sri Krsna and they are spiritual but atomic. In the very self of the jiva-soul or in his constitution practically there remains no maya. As jiva-souls are atomic in size and being emanated from the tatastha-sakti of Sri Krsna (viz. from the intermediary-potency which exists in between cit-jagat and mayika-jagat) jiva-soul is liable to be subjected to maya when he becomes averse to his constitutional right of serving the Lord. Jiva-soul in bondage misconstrues himself as the doer and enjoyer, therefore is affinated to the adopted bodies that are provided by prakrti. A jiva by dint of spiritual virtue may possess steadfast devotion to Sri Krsna and getting rid of worldly affinity goes back to the abode of bliss." (Bhagavat-arka Marici-mala, ch. 7, text 34, purport)

    "The constituent particles, in the form of pencils of effulgence of Maha-Visnu are manifest as the individual souls (jivas)." (Brahma-samhita 10, purp.)

    "The cit-potency of God is boundless, so is His maya-potency also enormous; between them are the innumerable minute jivas. The Jivas emanate from the tatastha-sakti (border potency) of Sri Krsna; so is the nature to tatastha (border potency) of Sri Krsna." (Jaiva Dharma, chapter 15)

    "The root of all actions is the desire for acts, the root of which again is avidya. Avidya is the name for the forgetfulness of soul's essential nature that 'I am Krsna's servant.' This avidya did not commence within the course of the mundane time. That root of karma of the jiva arose when he was at the tatastha position. As such, the beginning of karma is not to be traced within mundane time, and, on that account karma is beginning-less." (Jaiva Dharma)

    "There are two types of jivas liberated from maya, nitya-mukta, eternally liberated, and baddha-mukta, those who were bound but became liberated. The jivas who were never bound by maya are called nitya-mukta. The nitya-muktas are also of two types, aisvarya gata nitya mukta and madhurya gata nitya mukta. The former are the associates of Lord Narayana in Vaikuntha and are the atomic particles from Mula Sankarsana. The latter are the associates of Lord Krsna in Goloka. They are the atomic particles of Sri Baladeva situated in Goloka Vrndavana." (Jaiva-Dharma, Chapter 17)



    • Hare Krishna,

      All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

      I am really enlightened by reply of Tripala Dasa Prabhu. Thanks Prabhu.I always had this question in my mind how we fall in materialistic world. As Prabhupada always said "Once soul enters into spiritual kingdom of lord, he never falls" and he also said "Soul being a marginal potency of lord always have a tendency to fall down to materialistic world as he has got a minute free will being part and parcel of Infinite free will" but i never was sure from where he falls down because he cannot fall down form Spiritual abode of Lord. The explanation above clarifies things. 


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