BY: SUN STAFF
Srila Jiva Goswami
Jun 02, CANADA (SUN) In April of this year, we concluded the fifth of a series of six Sandarbhas by Jiva Goswami, known as the Sad-sandarbhas. At that time we were unable to locate a copy of the sixth Sandarbha, the Sri Priti-sandarbha, which is actually fifth in the series of six. Instead, we referred our readers to a version of Priti-sandarbha published by Bhaktivedanta Library Services. Today we're pleased to report that one of our readers kindly provided us with a digital version of Priti-sandarbha, and we can now commence a serial presentation of this final text in Sri Jiva Goswami's Sad-sandarbhas.
tau santoshayata santau
punar etad vivicyate
kritva likhati jivakah
Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, the great philosopher from the southern provinces who greatly pleased Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami, left many valuable notes that defeat various philosophical misconceptions. Systematically arranging these notes, and considering their content, Jiva Gosvami writes this book.
Now the Priti-sandarbha will be written. The Supreme Truth, as He is revealed in the scriptures, was described in the first four sandarbhas. The worship of the Supreme Truth was described in the next, the fifth sandarbha. Those topics already explained, the true need of mankind will be now described. The need of mankind is to end suffering and attain happiness. When the Supreme Personality of Godhead is pleased, then one attains happiness and ends all sufferings. In the previous sandarbhas many passages from scripture were quoted to describe the nature of the Supreme Truth. There it was proved that the Supreme Truth is perfect with eternal, limitless, transcendental bliss. In Taittiriya Upanishad (2.8.1) it is said that the Prajapatis enjoy happiness thousands of times greater than the happiness of human beings, and the great souls who know the Supreme enjoy happiness hundreds of times greater still. In Taittiriya Upanishad (2.4.1) it is said that happiness is limitless and very extraordinary. In Taittiriya Upanishad (2.7.1) it is said that the Supreme is the source of all bliss experienced by the living entities. In the same way the Supreme is also the source of the sun's light and all other light also. When he is ignorant of the Supreme Lord, the individual soul finds himself defeated by maya (material illusion). In that condition, his awareness of his original form is taken away from him and he is covered by an external form created by maya. In this way he is imprisoned in the world of birth and death and shackled by a host of material sufferings. This was already explained in the Paranmatma-sandarbha. Therefore when one has direct knowledge of the Supreme Truth, one attains the greatest bliss. Attaining that bliss is the true goal of life. When ignorance is dispelled, one understands his true spiritual nature. Then sufferings end. The first (understanding one's true spiritual nature) of these is attained when the Supreme Truth is directly manifest before one. The second (the end of sufferings) of these is attained when one attains his spiritual form, which never dies. Then one is situated in eternity. The first of these is the highest goal of life. It is described in these words of Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.9-12):
dharmasya hy apavargasya. . .
tac chraddadhana munayo
pashyanty atmani catmanam
"All occupational engagements are certainly meant for ultimate liberation. They should never be performed for material gain. Furthermore, according to sages, one who is engaged in the ultimate occupational service should never use material gain to cultivate sense gratification.*
"Life's desires should never be directed toward sense gratification. One should desire only a healthy life, or self-preservation, since a human being is meant for inquiry about the Absolute Truth. Nothing else should be the goal of one's works.*
"Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call the non0dual substance Brahman, Paramatma, or Bhagavan.*
"The seriously inquisitive student or sage, well equipped with knowledge and detachment, realizes that Absolute Truth by rendering devotional service in terms of what he has heard from the Vedanta-shruti."*
The stage where all sufferings end is described in these words of Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.21):
bhidyate hridaya-granthih. . .
"Thus the knot in the heart is pierced, and all misgivings are cut to pieces. The chain of fruitive actions is terminated when one sees the self as the master."*
This is also described in these words of Sri Vishnu Purana (6.5.59):
"Attaining the Supreme Lord is the medicine to cure the suffering soul. That medicine fills the taker with transcendental bliss."
In the Taittiriya Upnaishad (2.4.1) it is said:
anandam brahmano vidvan
na bibheti kutashcana
"A soul who knows the bliss that comes from the Supreme Brahman never fears."
The word "mukti" (liberation) is defined as: “The state that comes after the shackles of birth and death are cut". Srila Suta Gosvami describes liberation in these words of Srimad-Bhagavatam (12.4.34):
yadaivam etena viveka-hetina
tam ahur atyantikam anga samplavam
"Cutting the bonds of false ego with the sword of knowledge, the soul sees the infallible Supreme Personality of Godhead. My dear friend, then the soul's bondage in matter is completely destroyed."
This verse means, "When the soul sees the infallible Supreme Personality of Godhead, that state is called liberation."
The same explanation is given in these words of hrimad-Bhagavatam (2.10.6):
"Liberation is the permanent situation of the form of the living entity after he gives up the changeable gross and subtle material bodies."*
These words mean that even though the soul may still reside in the world of birth and death, he may still directly see his original spiritual form. These words also mean that the soul's misidentification with the external material body (anyatha-rupam) is then destroyed. In this verse the primary meaning of the word "svarupa" is "the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead". However, because the individual spirit souls are fragmental parts of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the same way rays of sunlight are fragmental parts of the sun planet, the word "svarupa" may also refer to the individual soul.
In Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.9.33) Lord Garbhodakashayi Vishnu tells the demigod Brahma:
yada rahitam atmanam
pashyan svarajyam ricchati
"When you are free from the conception of gross and subtle bodies, and when your senses are free from all influences of the modes of material nature, you will realize your pure form in My association. At that time you will be situated in pure consciousness."*
In this verse the word "upetam": means "it is attained without any trouble". The happiness of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is most important. The happiness of the individual souls is secondary. The individual souls' relationship with the Supreme is described in these words of Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.55):
tasmat priyatamah svatma. . . .
krishnam enam avehi tvam
jagad-dhitaya so 'py atra
dehiva. . . .
"Therefore it is his own self that is most dear to every embodied living being, and it is simply for the satisfaction of this self that the whole material creation of moving and nonmoving entities exists.*
"You should know Krishna as the original soul of all atmas (living entities). For the benefit of the whole universe He has, out of His causeless mercy, appeared as an ordinary human being."*
The idea that the individual souls are not in any way different from the Supreme has already been refuted in the Paramatma-sandarbha. The Taittiriya Upanishad (2.7.1) gives this conclusive opinion:
raso vai sah. rasam hy evayam labdhvanandi bhavati.
"When one understands the Personality of God, the reservoir of pleasure, Krishna, he actually becomes transcendentally blissful."*
The individual souls are the fragmental parts and the Supreme is whole, within which the parts are contained. That is their relationship. This relationship is manifested in two ways. In the first manifestation one becomes free from the illusions presented by maya and attains the impersonal Brahman. In this way one attains knowledge of the power of impersonal Brahman manifested in the material world. Then one gradually passes beyond the coverings of the material world. Then one very intently worships the impersonal Brahman. In the second manifestation of liberation one attains the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One attains Him because, even though He is not openly present everywhere in the material world, by His inconceivable potency the Supreme Personality of Godhead is openly present everywhere in the spiritual world of Vaikuntha, and then one also attains Him because one is able to stay near His lotus feet. One may attain liberation at the moment of death, and one may also be liberated even during the time one lives in the material world. At the time of death one may become free from having to take another material body and one may directly see the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Also, even as one lives in the material world, one may know that he is not the external material body created by maya and one may also see the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly. That liberation is the highest goal of life is explained in these words of Srimad-Bhagavatam (4.22.35), where Sanatkumara tells King Prithu:
tatrapi moksha evartha
traivargyo 'rtho yato nityam
"Out of the four principles-namely religion, economic development, sense gratification, and liberation-liberation has to be taken very seriously. The other three are subject to destruction by the stringent law of nature-death."*
In the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (2.4.3) it is also said:
yenaham namritah syam kim aham tena kuryam
"What shall I do to become free of death?"
Attaining the liberation where one directly sees the Supreme Truth is the highest goal of life. This is explained again and again. The Supreme Truth has two features. In one feature He is seen indistinctly, and in the other feature He is seen distinctly. In His feature as the impersonal Brahman He is seen indistinctly, and in His feature as Paramatma (the Supersoul) and Bhagavan (the Supreme Personality of Godhead) He is seen distinctly. Thus His feature as Bhagavan and Paramatma is superior to His feature of impersonal Brahman. This I have already explained in Bhagavat-sandarbha (anuccheda 80) in my explanation of this verse of Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.5.4):
jijnasitam adhitam ca
brahma yat tat sanatanam
tathapi shocasy atmanam
akritartha iva prabho
"You have fully delineated the subject of impersonal Brahman as well as the knowledge derived therefrom. Why should you be despondent in spite of all this, thinking that you are undone, my dear prabhu?"*
With further explanations I will now again show how that is true. Direct perception of Bhagavan, who appears as Paramatma and in many other forms also, is the highest kind of liberation. In that highest liberation the most exalted spiritual activities are known by names like "bhakti" (devotional service) and "priti" (spiritual love). Spiritual love is considered the highest of all spiritual sentiments. Priti completely ends all sufferings. Without priti the highest stage of spiritual life is not attained. Priti is not dependent on anything else. To the extent one has priti, one is fortunate. Priti is present as one is making progress toward liberation and it is also present when one has attained liberation. That is the correct understanding.
The form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is full of transcendental bliss. transcendental bliss is the abode of priti. Therefore priti is most important in experiencing transcendental bliss. Therefore, the spirit souls should always try to attain priti. Priti is the greatest need, the highest goal of the spirit souls.
Some examples of the exalted nature of priti will now be given. In Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.20.33) the Supreme Personality of Godhead explains:
mad-bhakto labhate 'njasa
kathancid yadi vanchati
"If he desires them, by serving Me with devotion My devotee easily attains Svargaloka, liberation, or My own abode."
In Srimad-Bhagavatam (5.5.6) Lord Rishabhadeva explains:
pritir na yavan mayi vasudeve
na mucyate deha-yogena tavat
"Therefore, until one has love for Lord Vasudeva, who is none other than Myself, he is certainly not delivered from having to accept a material body again and again."*
In Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.14.21) the Supreme Personality of Godhead explains:
bhaktyaham ekaya grahyah
shraddhayatma priyah satam
"Being very dear to the devotees and sadhus, I am attained through unflinching faith and devotional service."*
In the Mathara-shruti it is said:
bhaktir evainam nayati. bhaktir evainam darshayati. bhakti-vashah purusho bhaktir eva bhuyasi.
"Devotional service brings one to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Devotional service reveals to one the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Devotional service brings the Supreme Personality of Godhead under its control. Devotional service is stronger than the Supreme Personality of Godhead."
In Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.2.42) Kavi-yogeshvara explains:
bhaktih pareshanubhavo viraktir
anyatra caisha trika eka-kalah
"Devotion, direct perception of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and detachment from the material world, these three appear simultaneously."
Priti manifest as one makes progress toward liberation is described in these words of Vasudeva Upanishad:
mad-rupam advayam brahma
bhaktya janati cavyayam
"Only by devotional service can one understand my glorious, eternal, blissful, all-knowing spiritual form."
Chandogya Upanishad's declaration "tat tvam asi" (You are that) actually describes the individual soul's natural love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Love is seen even in the ordinary dealings of the material world love. Love is natural for all living beings. It is seen even among the least spiritual of materialists, among they who have destroyed their spiritual life. How can the soul give up its nature? Therefore every soul seeks someone to love. That search for love finds its final culmination when one falls in love with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore falling in love with the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the highest goal of life. This the saintly devotees say. That love will be written about in this Priti-sandarbha.
In this sandarbha will be shown, one after another, many proofs that love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the highest goal of life. The scriptures declare that liberation is the true goal of life. for example, in Srimad-Bhagavatam (12.13.12) it is said:
sarva-vedanta. . .kaivalyaika-prayojanam
"Srimad-Bhagavatam is accepted as the essence of all Vedic literature and Vedanta philosophy. Srimad-Bhagavatam explains that liberation is the true goal of life."
This verse means: "Srimad-Bhagavatam explains that liberation is the true goal of life." Ignorance of the Supreme Truth, the Supreme Lord, is the root of all problems that beset the individual soul. This is explained in these words of Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.2.37):
bhayam dvitiyabhiniveshatah syad
ishad apetasya. . .
"When the living entity is attracted by the material energy, which is separate from Krishna, he is overpowered by fear."*
The word "kaivalya" used in the previously quoted verse of Srimad-Bhagavatam (12.13.12) thus means "the purity that comes from knowing the Supreme Personality of Godhead". Or, the world "kaivalya" may also mean, “the highest state of liberation, which is manifested in the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself". This second meaning is seen in these words of Skanda Purana:
yat praptum naiva shakyate
sa yat-svabhavam kaivalyam
sa bhavan kevalo hare
"O Lord Hari, Your exalted position is far above the material world. Even Brahma, Shiva, and all the demigods cannot attain Your exalted position of the highest liberation."
Sometimes the world "kaivalya" means, "the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is situated in the highest state of liberation. In Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.9.1), in the teachings of Dattatreya, the word is used in that way:
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead is greater than all other beings, both high and low. His form is not material. He is filled with spiritual bliss. He is situated in the highest stage of liberation."
Thus the word "kaivalya" may mean either “directly seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead" or “the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is situated in the highest state of liberation". Both meanings are employed in the scriptures. The verse quoted in the beginning of this anuccheda was spoken by Srila Suta Gosvami.