Adventures in Humility

News, Views, and Chews on spiritual issues.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Vedanta of the Siddha-Deha

Opinions have clashed with regards to the subject matter of cultivating a spiritual body and identity for the sadhaka to operate with in his sublime desire of possessing said identity upon his entrance into the spiritual world. One school of devotees hold that this identity and body (siddha-deha) is given to the disciple by the guru after a period of deep contemplation and revelation, and that they will realise that identity in the course of their spiritual practice and especially after their achievement of liberation.
The other school holds that the siddha-deha is an inherent feature of the soul which is "covered" by lifetimes of sin and avidya. The intensity of spiritual practice and the mercy of the guru and Vaishnavas etc. will itself bring forth the siddha-deha at the opportune time for the sadhaka to realise it and interact with the Lord within it, which is also especially true upon the sadhaka's achievement of liberation.

The proponents of the latter theory have employed the Vedanta-sutras in support of their arguments, also claiming that Srimat Baladeva Vidyabhushan - Gaudiya Vedanta-bhashyakara - is in agreement with their views. As I have recently acquired a copy of 'The Vedantasutras of Badarayana - with the commentary of Baladeva' by Srisa Chandra Vasu, I took the liberty of typing up the relevant sections for the good of the public. I believe that, in agreement with the mainstream Gaudiya tradition and practice at large and also in line with scriptural reasoning, the former view of being bestowed a siddha-deha is true.

I have corrected spelling mistakes where necessary, added Upanishadic references at the end of each entry when the text made reference to them, and also highlighted relevant portions of the commentary in bold. Below are the links for each Vedanta Sutra with Baladeva's commentary. If it is all too hard to understand, please feel free to go straight to the digest where the main points of each sutra have been summed up.


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