Where did the soul comes from?

The Book 'Jaiva Dharma' helps us to understand the real dharma of the Jiva or the constitutional function of the living being. From external appearances, human beings seem to have different religions according to classifications of country, caste, race, and so on. The constitutional natures of human beings, animals, birds, worms, insects, and other living entities also seem to be of different varieties. But in reality, all living beings throughout the universe have only one eternal, immutable dharma. 

The Book 'Jaiva dharma' answers & clears all the doubts regarding the nature of the soul. Where is he coming from? His situation in the material world & also about the question regarding 'Does Jiva again fall in the clutches of Maya once he reaches the spiritual world'? In the 'Soul' series of articles we will be presenting answers to the above questions from Srila Bhakti Vinoda Thakurs Jaiva dharma.

In the Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad (2.2.20 and 4.3.9) it is said:


yathagneh ksudra visphulinga vyuccaranti

evam evasmad atmanah sarvani bhutani vyuccaranti 

"As tiny sparks fly from a fire, so all individual souls have come from the Supreme."

tasya va etasya purusasya dve eva sthane

bhavata idan ca paraloka-sthanan ca

sandhyam trtiyam svapna-sthanam

tasmin sandhye sthane tisthann ete ubhe

sthane pasyatidan ca paraloka-sthanan ca

"A person has two places: the spiritual world and the place where the spiritual world meets another world. There is also a third place, a place of dreams. Standing between them, the soul sees on one side the spiritual world and on the other side the place of dreaming."

This passage describes the individual soul's (jiva-shakti), which can reside in either the spiritual or material worlds (tatastha).


In other words: There are two positions about which the jiva should inquire – the inanimate material world, and the spiritual world. The jiva is situated in a third position, which is a dreamlike condition (svapna-sthana), and is the juncture (tatastha) between the other two. Being situated at the place where the two worlds meet, he sees both the inert world (jada-jagat) and the spiritual world (cid-jagat).

In the Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad (4.3.18) it is also said:

"As a large fish in a river may go to one shore or the other, so a person may go to one world or another. He may go to a world where he is awake, or may go to a world made of dreams." 


In other words : Just as a large fish in a river sometimes goes to the eastern bank and sometimes to the western bank, so the jiva, being situated in karana-jala (the water of cause that lies between the inert and conscious worlds), also gradually wanders to both banks, the place of dreaming and the place of wakefulness

Vrajanatha: How does the Vedanta philosophy define the word "tatastha?"

Babaji: The place where a river's waters meet with the land of the shore is called the 'tata'. The 'tata' is then the place where water meets the land. What is the nature of this 'tata'? It is like the thinnest of threads that runs along the boundary of land and water. A 'tata' is like the finest of lines, so small that the gross material eyes cannot even see it. In this example the spiritual world is like the water and the material world is like the land. The thin line that separates them is the 'tata'. That boundary place is the abode of the individual spirit souls. The individual spirit souls are like atomic particles of sunlight. The souls can see both the spiritual world and the material world created by Maya. The Lord's spiritual potency, cit-shakti, is limitless, and the Lord's material potency, maya-shakti, is gigantic. Standing between them, the individual spirit soul is very tiny. The individual spirit souls are manifested from the tatastha-shakti of Lord Krishna. Therefore the souls are naturally situated on the boundary (tatastha) of matter and spirit).

In other words: The space between the ocean and the land is called tata (the shore), but the place that touches the ocean is actually nothing but land, so where is the shore? The tata is the line of demarcation separating the ocean and the land, and it is so fine that it cannot be seen with the gross eyes. If we compare the transcendental realm to the ocean, and the material world to the land, then tata is the subtle line that divides the two, and the

jiva-sakti is situated at the place where the two meet. The jivas are like the countless atomic particles of light within the sunrays. Being situated in the middle place, the jivas see the spiritual world on one side and the material universe created by maya on the other. Just as Supreme Lord's spiritual sakti on one side is unlimited, maya-sakti on the other side is also very powerful. The innumerable subtle (suksma) jivas are situated between

these two. The jivas are marginal by nature because they have manifested from Krsna’s tatastha-sakti (marginal potency).


Vrajanatha: What is this 'tatastha' nature of the individual souls?

Babaji: Standing between them, the soul can see these two worlds. The 'tatastha' nature of the souls refers to the fact that they must be under the control of one of these two potencies. The actual place of the 'tata' (shore) may change. What was once dry land may be covered with water, and what was once covered by water may again become dry land. If he turns his gaze upon Lord Krishna, the soul comes under the shelter of Lord Krishna's spiritual potency. But if he turns away from Krishna and turns his gaze to the material potency, maya, then the soul is caught in maya's trap. That is what is meant by 'the soul's tatastha nature'.

In other words:  It is the nature that enables one to be situated between both worlds, and to see both sides. Tatastha-svabhava is the eligibility to come under the control of either of the saktis. Sometimes the shore is submerged in the river because of erosion, and then again it becomes one with the land because the river changes its course. In the same way, if the jiva looks in the direction of Krishna – that is, towards the spiritual world – he

is influenced by Krishna sakti. He then enters the spiritual world, and serves Bhagavan in his pure, conscious, spiritual form. However, if he looks towards maya, he becomes opposed to Krishna and is incarcerated by maya. This dual-faceted nature is called the tatastha-svabhava (marginal nature of the soul).

Vrajanatha: Does maya have anything to do with the nature of the spirit souls?

Babaji: No. The spirit souls are completely spiritual. However, because they are atomic in size, the souls are not very strong. That is why maya can dominate them. However, in the soul's nature there is not the slightest scent of maya. 

Brajsunder Das

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  • Volunteer

    Please forgive my ignorance and guide me to Krishna,,,

    My question is: At the very beginning of creation, I am talking about the very very very first creation, when the souls are manifested, no soul is influenced by maya at that stage, so all souls are still eternal servants of Krishna. when the soul were given whatever bodies, what made or was the factor to deviate from that servancy? there has to be some factor, right? I have read about beings wanting to enjoy the things that Krishna had created and getting attached to it. But we are talking about the spiritual world where everything is eternal and not influenced by maya. The material world (according to what I have read so far) was created for the fallen souls. So, the material world was a remedy by Krishna to the fallen souls to let them enjoy and from the same material world Krishna also provided spiritual intelligence to elevate the fallen to the eternal servancy again, but what made them to fall? If it was lust, greed, expectation and all the materially driven thoughts, then all these throughts are present in the spiritual world as well?

    I hope I have not committed any offense in my question and if I have offended anyone, please accept my sincere apologies..

    All glories to Krishna and his eternal servants.

    Hare Krishna

    • Hare Krsna, prabhu. I cannot personally guide you to Krsna, because I am not with Him myself. But in terms of simply repeating like a postal peon what I've read, some jivas decided to look towards Krsna, while others of us looked towards the material energy, like if you drop mustard seeds on a sharp blade, some will go one direction, whereas others go the other direction. Unlike the the Biblical conception, creation is cyclical and only exists in this material world, affecting the material body:    

      CC. Madhya 20.117

      kṛṣṇa bhuli’ sei jīva anādi-bahirmukha
      ataeva māyā tāre deya saṁsāra-duḥkha
      kṛṣṇa bhuli’ — forgetting Kṛṣṇa; sei jīva — that living entity; anādi — from time immemorial; bahir-mukha — attracted by the external feature; ataeva — therefore; māyā — illusory energy; tāre — to him; deya — gives; saṁsāra-duḥkha — miseries of material existence.
      “Forgetting Kṛṣṇa, the living entity has been attracted by the external feature from time immemorial. Therefore the illusory energy [māyā] gives him all kinds of misery in his material existence.

      When the living entity forgets his constitutional position as an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa, he is immediately entrapped by the illusory, external energy. The living entity is originally part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa and is therefore the superior energy of Kṛṣṇa. He is endowed with inconceivable minute energy that works inconceivably within the body. However, the living entity, forgetting his position, is situated in material energy. The living entity is called the marginal energy because by nature he is spiritual but by forgetfulness he is situated in the material energy. Thus he has the power to live either in the material energy or in the spiritual energy, and for this reason he is called marginal energy. Being in the marginal position, he is sometimes attracted by the external, illusory energy, and this is the beginning of his material life. When he enters the material energy, he is subjected to the threefold time measurement — past, present and future. Past, present and future belong only to the material world; they do not exist in the spiritual world. The living entity is eternal, and he existed before the creation of this material world. Unfortunately he has forgotten his relationship with Kṛṣṇa. The living entity’s forgetfulness is described herein as anādi, which indicates that it has existed since time immemorial. One should understand that due to his desire to enjoy himself in competition with Kṛṣṇa, the living entity comes into material existence.

  • Jiva swarupera nitya Krishnadasa haya. The constitutional position of the Spirit Soul is to serve Parmatma or Bhagvan Krishna eternally but because of that forgetfulness the Spirit Soul takes repeated birth and death in various 8400000 species and remains conditioned in the material world . The Spirit soul is 1/100th of a tip of hair and is fragmented part and parcel of the Super soul and the Super soul resides in every individual Soul as the representative of Lord Krishna. Thus due to the free will the Spirit Soul remains away from Krishna in the material world and when he surrenders to Lord Krishna by the process of Bhakti and Naamjapa in human form of life he revives his lost Krishna consciousness and is eligible to go home, back to Godhead by the mercy of Lord Krishna.

    The Spiritual world is governed by Parashakti or Antaranga Shakti of Radharani

    The material world is governed by Aparashakti or Bahiranga Shakti of Durgadevi or Maya

    and the Jivatmas belong to Tatashtha Shakti that means they have free will either to remain eternally liberated in Spiritual world or in conditioned state in the material world under the influence of Maya.

  • Hare Krishna,PAMHO

    But dreams seem to be very nonsensicale. They either show what has happened today, or something very unlikely. Does the 'dream' stand in a literal sense or a implicit meaning between the material and spiritual worlds?

    P.S. is babaji Prabupada?


    • The babaji isnt Srila Prabhupada. Thakur Bhakti Vinod is narrating a conversation between the two elevated personalities of Navadvip Dham. The questions were asked by Vrajanatha to Raghunatha dasa Babaji.

      Dreams here means a certain state of consciousness when the soul is in the Karana ocean. This is not like the dream of what we experience here.

  • Prabhy thanks, you cleared a lots of doubts. One question, who is Babaji here?

    • Thakur Bhakti Vinod is narrating a conversation between the two elevated personalities of Navadvip Dham. The questions were asked by Vrajanatha to Raghunatha dasa Babaji.

  • Really wonderful article prabhu.....

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