Bhagavat Gita Verse 15.7 Additional Light

Dear Readers,

Please accept our dandavat pranams. All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga!

In his recent VNN article A New Light On Bhagavad Gita Verse 15.7 Tridandi Viksu Bhakti Hridoy Mangal Maharaj has kindly pointed out his realization concerning this Bhagavad-gita sloka in which Lord Krsna explains something about jiva tattva. We thank him for his effort . He is genuinely concerned that the technical point of our gaudiya-siddhanta, [that there is a distinction between the svamsa and vibhinamsa expansions of the Supreme Lord] should be enunciated. Not to worry. His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has clearly made the same point in simpler language in his purport to this Gita sloka. Kindly examine the verse and purport and you can see that he makes the same distinction by using the words fragmental , secondary and separated for vibhinamsa and primary and personal to indicate svahmsa. . Therefore, since His Divine Grace's purport clearly makes the distinction between the Supreme Lord and his separated parts and parcels, we cannot worry too much about any concern that later in the same purport His Divine Grace says:

"The living entities, not only the human beings and the cats and dogs, but even the greater controllers of the material world--Brahma, Lord Siva, and even Visnu -- are all parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord"

This statement is general and includes not only the human beings, but Lord Siva and Lord Visnu. Therefore, to use the adjective " potency" in this sentence would be incorrect, since both svamsa and vibhinamsa expansions are mentioned together in the same sentence. We make no effort to apologize for the choice of language used by our divine preceptor His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. We have firm faith that his purports were written solely for the eternal benefit of the jiva souls and have nothing but a positive spiritual effect on any sincere reader.

Chapter 15. The Yoga of the Supreme Person


mamaivamso jiva-loke
jiva-bhutah sanatanah
prakrti-sthani karsati


mama--My; eva--certainly; amsah--fragmental particles; jiva-loke--world of conditional life; jiva-bhutah--the conditioned living entity; sanatanah--eternal; manah--mind; sasthani--six; indriyani--senses; prakrti--material nature; sthani--situated; karsati--struggling hard.


The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.


In this verse the identity of the living being is clearly given. The living entity is the fragmental part and parcel of the Supreme Lord--eternally. It is not that he assumes individuality in his conditional life and in his liberated state becomes one with the Supreme Lord. He is eternally fragmented. It is clearly said, sanatanah. According to the Vedic version, the Supreme Lord manifests and expands Himself in innumerable expansions, of which the primary expansions are called visnu-tattva and the secondary expansions are called the living entities. In other words, the visnu-tattva is the personal expansion, and the living entities are separated expansions. By His personal expansion, He is manifested in various forms like Lord Rama, Nrsimhadeva, Visnumurti and all the predominating Deities in the Vaikuntha planets. The separated expansions, the living entities, are eternally servitors. The personal expansions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the individual identities of the Godhead, are always present. Similarly, the separated expansions of living entities have their identities. As fragmental parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord, the living entities have also fragmental qualities, of which independence is one. Every living entity has an individual soul, his personal individuality and a minute form of independence. By misuse of that independence, one becomes a conditioned soul, and by proper use of independence he is always liberated. In either case, he is qualitatively eternal, as the Supreme Lord is. In his liberated state he is freed from this material condition, and he is under the engagement of transcendental service unto the Lord; in his conditional life he is dominated by the material modes of nature, and he forgets the transcendental loving service of the Lord. As a result, he has to struggle very hard to maintain his existence in the material world.

The living entities, not only the human beings and the cats and dogs, but even the greater controllers of the material world--Brahma, Lord Siva, and even Visnu -- are all parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord. They are all eternal, not temporary manifestations. The word karsati (struggling or grappling hard) is very significant. The conditioned soul is bound up, as though shackled by iron chains. He is bound up by the false ego, and the mind is the chief agent which is driving him in this material existence. When the mind is in the mode of goodness, his activities are good; when the mind is in the mode of passion, his activities are troublesome; and when the mind is in the mode of ignorance, he travels in the lower species of life. It is clear, however, in this verse, that the conditioned soul is covered by the material body, with the mind and the senses, and when he is liberated this material covering perishes, but his spiritual body manifests its individual capacity. The following information is there in the Madhyandinayana-sruti: sa va esa brahma-nistha idam sariram martyam atisrjya brahmabhisampadya brahmana pasyati brahmana srnoti brahmanaivedam sarvam anubhavati. It is stated here that when a living entity gives up this material embodiment and enters into the spiritual world, he revives his spiritual body, and in his spiritual body he can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face. He can hear and speak to Him face to face, and he can understand the Supreme Personality as He is. In smrti also it is understood that in the spiritual planets everyone lives in bodies featured like the Supreme Personality of Godhead's. As far as bodily construction is concerned, there is no difference between the part and parcel living entities and the expansions of visnu-murti. In other words, at liberation the living entity gets a spiritual body by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

The word mamaivamsah (fragmental parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord) is also very significant. The fragmental portion of the Supreme Lord is not like some material broken part. We have already understood in the Second Chapter that the spirit cannot be cut into pieces. This fragment is not materially conceived. It is not like matter, which can be cut into pieces and joined together again. That conception is not applicable here because the Sanskrit word sanatana (eternal) is used. The fragmental portion is eternal. It is also stated in the beginning of the Second Chapter that (dehino 'smin yatha) in each and every individual body, the fragmental portion of the Supreme Lord is present. That fragmental portion, when liberated from the bodily entanglement, revives its original spiritual body in the spiritual sky in a spiritual planet and enjoys association with the Supreme Lord. It is, however, understood here that the living entity, being the fragmental part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, is qualitatively one, just as the parts and parcels of gold are also gold.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is
His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

After all, every living enitity, and every potency of the Supreme Lord are of Sri Krsna and connected to Him eternally. Therefore we don't see any great harm in saying that the living entities are Sri Krsna's parts and parcels, as long as the distinction between The Supreme Lord and his fragmental parts is clearly explained? While it may be more technically correct to say that the living entities are parts and parcels of potency of the Supreme Lord we don't feel there is any major cause for alarm.

Additional explanation of this sloka is found in Srimad Bhagavad Gita, in the commentary of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti and the purport by Srila B.V. Narayana Maharja. Perhaps if both the Bhagavad- Gita As It Is and Srimad Bhagavad-Gita are read together, then perhaps Sripad Mangala Maharaja's concerns can be put to rest. Here is the verse and tikha from Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Sloka 7

mamaivamso jiva-loke /jiva-bhutah sanatanah
manah-sasthanindriyani/ prakrti-sthani karsati
eva.certainly; mama.My; sanätanah.eternal; amsah.separated part and parcel; jiva-bhütaù.who experiences conditioned life; the world of conditioned living beings; karsati.struggles; manah.with the mind; (and) sasthäni.the six; indriyäni.senses; -.which are subject to the influences of material nature.

The eternal jivas in this material world are certainly My separated parts and parcels (vibhinamsa). Bound by material nature, they are attracted by the six senses including the mind.

Sarartha-Varsini (by Srila Visvnatha Cakravarti Thakura)

What is the nature of the jivas who, by performing Your bhakti, cross beyond this material world and obtain Your dhäma? In response to this question, Sri Bhagavän speaks this sloka beginning with the word mamaivämsah. In the Varäha Puräna it is said, The amsas of Bhagavän are of two types, svämsa (a personal expansion or part) and vibhinnämsa (a separated expansion or part). The jivas are vibhinnämsa, separated parts. The jivas are eternal, but while living in material bodies, they are bound by mundane attraction through the mind and the five senses. Due to such an ego whereby they think, "All these things are mine", they become attracted to worldliness as if pulled by a chain bound to their feet.

Sarartha-Varsini Prakasika-Vrtti (by Srila B.V. Narayana Maharaja)

In the present sloka, Sri Bhagavän is explaining jiva-tattva. The jiva is an amsa (part) of Bhagavän, but what type of amsa should be understood. Sri Bhagavän's amsas are of two types: svamsa and vibhinnämsa. Within the svamsa category is visnu-tattva. Avatäras such as Matsya, Kürma, Nrsimha and Räma are svämsa-tattva. Jivas are vibhinnämsa-tattva. When sac-cid-änanda Bhagavän is parted from all other energies and is only endowed with His tatastha-sakti, His separated parts are called vibhinnämsa-tattva. This is also explained in the following manner: The jivas who are generated from the jiva-sakti or tatastha-sakti, which is non-different from Bhagavän, are vibhinnämsa-tattva. Some of their characteristics are qualitatively the same as Bhagavän's, and other qualities are different. Hence, their relationship with Bhagavän is inconceivably and simultaneously one and different, acintya-bheda-abheda-tattva. Jivas have two states: bound and liberated. In the liberated state, the jiva is free from illusory designations and remains engaged in service to Bhagavän, but in the bound state, he remains entangled in the material world, being covered by the illusory designations of gross and subtle bodies. In Srimad- Bhägavatam (11.11.4), this has been explained in the following way:

ekasyaiva mamämsasya / jivasyaiva mahä-mate
bandho .syävidyayänädir / vidyayä ca tathetarah
O most intelligent Uddhava, the jivas are the separated parts of Me, who am advitiya-svarüpa (one without a second, the non- dual Absolute Reality). Due to avidyä, they have become bound, and by vidyä they attain mukti.

And moreover, it is stated in Srimad-Bhägavatam (1.7.5): yayä sammohito jivah. Due to this external energy, the jiva, although transcendental to the gunas, thinks himself a material product and, thus, undergoes the reactions of material suffering. By speaking this sloka, mamaivamso jiva-loke, The jiva is My separated part, Bhagavän Sri Krsna herein refutes the illusory conception of those who say that the jiva himself is brahma. Besides this, by using the word sanätanah (eternal), Sri Bhagavän refutes the opinion of the mäyävädis. They say that, when brahma accepts the shelter of Maya, brahma is known as the jiva, and when freed from Maya, he again becomes brahma. From this sloka, it is clear that the jiva is an eternal entity, sanätana-tattva. He can never merge into the existence of anything else, or be destroyed. The existence of the jiva is eternal, both in his liberated and in his bound state. The jiva always remains a jiva. He never becomes brahma. This fact has been established in Gitä (2.23- 24). If the jiva had ever been brahma, or if he were non- different from brahma in all respects, he would not have had to become bound in the material world. In other words, he would not have to suffer material miseries. Satyam jnänam anantam. The Absolute Reality is truth, knowledge and limitless. According to this statement of sästra, it is impossible for brahma to be in illusion or ignorance. Sri Caitanya Mahäprabhu, therefore told the famous advaita-väda, Särvabhauma Bhattäcärya, Paramesvara is the controller of Maya, and the jivas are under the control of Maya. This has been established in sästra. But you are saying that the jiva and Isvara are the same, which is completely against the injunctions of sästra.

The srutis very clearly declare that the jiva is not brahma: savant yatra purusäh serve vaikuntha-mürtayah (Srimad- Bhägavatam 3.15.14). .People who are free from Maya can acquire a form suitable to reside in Vaikuntha and serve Sri Näräyana, the master of Vaikuntha. In other words, after obtaining sharpie-mukti (a spiritual nature and form) they serve Sri Näräyana. Sri Krsña's words in the present sloka such as jéva-bhütaù, mamamsah and sanätanah also show the futility of the opinion of those who say that this material world is false, and that the jiva and brahma are one.Other mäyävädis (pratibimba-vädis) accept the jiva and inert matter to be a reflection of brahma, but this conception is also speculative and futile for the following reasons. 1) If brahma is all-pervading, what possibility is there of His having a reflection? 2) Who is the person who sees the reflection, and where exactly is He reflected? If the jiva is considered to be the seer, and avidyä (ignorance) the place of reflection, one has to accept the existence of two objects which are separate from brahma, that is, the jiva and Maya in the form of ignorance. How, then, can brahma be ekam evädvitiyam, one without a second., and how can He be all- pervading? 3) Brahma is not the object of perception, in other words, He is without energy, transformation or qualities and is iguana-tattva. How can transcendental brahma be divided if even the material element sky, cannot be divided? There- fore, the mäyäväda philosophy, that brahma has divided into parts as the jiva (pariccheda-väda), is also completely baseless. Sästra says that brahma is avikäri, without any transformations. This means He cannot be transformed into a jiva or into matter. We see, therefore, that both the concepts of the mäyävädis: pratibimba-väda (that the jiva and inert matter are a reflection of brahma) and pariccheda-väda (that brahma has divided into parts as the jiva) are illusory. One may argue that this assertion contradicts Vedic statements such as sarva khalv idam brahma, Everything is brahma, and tat tvam asi, You are that. (meaning that the jiva is brahma). However, all sästras, including the Upanisads and Vedänta, explain that it is Bhagavän's sakti, and not Bhagavän Himself, which has transformed into the jivas and the universe. Bhagavän (brahma) is non-different from His sakti, so the jiva and this material world, which are transformations of the sakti of brahma, are also non-different from brahma. That there is a difference between the jiva, brahma and Bhagavän has been established from the statements of the srutis, such as nityo nityänäm cetanas cetanänäm, and in various statements in Gitä. For example, Gitä (15.18) states: I am purusottama-tattva, the Supreme Person, beyond both perishable and imperishable entities.

Thus, everything consists of brahma, but parabrahma is Sri Krsna Himself, and is indeed beyond everything. The mäyävädis falsely assert that the statement tat tvam asi in the Upanisads means "you are that", but this speculation is against the injunctions of sästra. The real import of this statement is, "you belong to Him; you are the servant of Bhagavän". All Vedic statements have established this to be the meaning of tat tvam asi. Sankaräcärya explains the following two statements:

rtam pibanto sukrtasya loke guhäm
pravistau parame parärdhe
Katha Upanisad
Having entered within the cave of the heart, both Paramätmä and the vijnänätmä (self-realised soul) drink the nectar of the truth for a very long time.
guhäm pravistäv ätmänau hi tad-darsanät
Certainly the two souls have entered the cave so that the Supreme Lord may reveal His glories to the jivätmä. Sankaräcärya, what to speak of others, has accepted the existence of two separate purusas due to the grammatical construction of the word ätmänau. These two purusas are vijnänätmä (the jiva) and Paramätmä. In various places in the srutis, the difference between the jiva and brahma has been shown by explaining that Paramesvara is vibhu (all- pervading), and the jiva is anu (atomic). Some examples of this are as follows: Srila Bhaktivinoda Thäkura quotes Krsna as saying, "If you doubt how the jivas attain these two states, then listen. I am Bhagavän, the complete sac-cid-änanda. I have two types of amsa: svamsa and vibhinnämsa. As svamsa, I perform liläs in forms such as Räma and Nrsimha. As My vibhinnämsa, I have manifested jivas, who are My eternal servants. In svamsa-tattva the ego of My Supreme Lordship fully exists (aham-tattva). In My vibhinnämsa, however, I do not have aham-tattva, the ego of being Paramesvara, and therefore a separate, individual aham-tattva ego appears. This jiva, vibhinnämsa-tattva, has two states: mukta (liberated) and baddha (bound). In both states, the jiva is eternal. In the liberated state, the jiva is completely dependent upon Me and has no relationship with the material nature. In the bound state the jiva accepts the six senses (the mind and the five external senses) as his own and identifies with them while being situated in the material body (prakrti), which is his designation."

Srimad Bhagavad Gita
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura
Srila B.V. Narayana Maharaja

Finally we can point to Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Maharaja's translation of the verse under discussion. There is no purport, but again we can clearly see that he used the word "fragmental" to make the same distinction called for by Sripad Mangala Maharaja. "Fragmental particle or potency" are used, so we know anyone not fully satisfied by the Bhagavad- Gita As It Is, will find solace in this translation:

SRIMAD BHAGAVAD-GITA The Hidden Treasure of the Sweet Absolute

7) The soul is a part of Me (as My separate fragmental particle or potency). Although he is eternal, he acquires the mind and five perceptual senses, which are parts of material nature (as creations of maya, My deluding potency).

The Hidden Treasure of the Sweet Absolute
Srimad Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Deva Goswami Maharaja

I hope this clarifies the matter. His Divine Grace explained nicely that:

"Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was an ideal acarya. An acarya is an ideal teacher who knows the purpose of the revealed scriptures, behaves exactly according to their injunctions and teaches his students to adopt these principles also. As an ideal acarya, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu devised ways to capture all kinds of atheists and materialists. Every acarya has a specific means of propagating his spiritual movement with the aim of bringing men to Krsna consciousness. Therefore, the method of one acarya may be different from that of another, but the ultimate goal is never neglected. Srila Rupa Gosvami recommends:

tasmat kenapy upayena
manah krsne nivesayet
sarve vidhi-nisedha syur
etayor eva kinkarah
An acarya should devise a means by which people may somehow or other come to Krsna consciousness. First they should become Krsna conscious, and all the prescribed rules and regulations may later gradually be introduced. In our Krsna consciousness movement we follow this policy of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu..."

"...It is the concern of the acarya to show mercy to the fallen souls. In this connection, desa-kala-patra (the place, the time and the object) should be taken into consideration..."

Cc. Adi lila 7.37-38

Your servant,
Puru Das Adhikari, das anudas

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