Adventures in Humility

News, Views, and Chews on spiritual issues.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Priti Sandarbha 13

Read this for background. And now finally, Priti Sandarbha gives a few more details about the attainment of the spiritual body before proceeding to describe the activities and powers of the liberated soul:

The bodies of the liberated souls are also described in these words of Chandogya Upanisad (8.13.1):

azva iva romANi vidhUya ... dhUtvA zarIram
akRtaM kRtAtmA brahmalokam abhisambhavAni

"As a horse sheds its hairs, . . .so will I shed this external material
body and go to the spiritual abode of the Supreme Lord."

Thus, by the intervention of the Supreme Lord's inconceivable potency, the devotee leaves behind his material body and attains a spiritual body like that of the Lord. This is described in the following narration of Dhruva Maharaja's activities (Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.12.29):

bibhrad rUpaM hiraNmayam

"Before getting aboard, Dhruva Maharaja worshiped the airplane, circumambulated it, and also offered obeisances to the associates of Visnu. In the meantime he became as brilliant and illuminating as molten gold. He was thus completely prepared to board the transcendental plane."
Srila Sridhara Svami comments:

"This means he attained a form brilliant and illuminating as molten gold."

Sarsti liberation is described in these words of the Supreme Lord (Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.29.34), which I have already discussed in Bhakti-sandarbha (anuccheda 309):

martyo yadA tyakta-samasta-karmA. . .

. . .mayAtma-bhUyAya ca kalpate vai

"A human being who renounces all fruitive activities, offers himself to Me, and yearns to serve Me, becomes immortal. He becomes glorious like Me."

So that's pretty clear I think, is it not? Sri Jiva Gosvamipada sets down the siddhanta in his stupendous Sandarbha series and succeeding Acharyas after him have followed his example: The weight of the evidence is in support of the "given" theory. However, there does seem to be anecdotal support in favour of the inherent theory and I hear that some say that both approaches are possible. Possibly the "given" theory is the "official line" but I wouldn't be surprised if both paths were possible. There are a multiplicity of ways to attain the Lord's company and we should rejoice that they are all possible. Consider BG 4.11:

ye yathA mAM prapAdyante
tAMs tathaiva bhajAmy aham
mama vartmAnuvartante
manuSyAH pArtha sarvazaH

As all surrender unto Me, them I certainly reward.
My path is followed by all men, O son of Pritha, in all respects.

What more need be said?

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  • At 02 May, 2007 10:54, Anonymous Malati dasi said…


    Thanks for the Priti Sandharba quotations and your commentaries.

    Nice pictures you have in the other post.

  • At 04 March, 2008 21:36, Anonymous San1 said…

    Where does it say in the blog residents of vaikuntha are more effulgent than 10 million moons, I'm sure I saw this in blue text a few weeks ago.


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