Knowledge, the Lord’s Mercy

The Process of Attaining Knowledge

Question:  If sattva leads to jnana, then why does everyone’s knowledge differ in seeing the same thing when they are in a state of sattva?

Answer: Because everyone does not have the same amount of sattva. Sattva is always mixed with rajas and tamas, which varies from person to person.

Question:  Does it change after receiving right knowledge by citti-vritti?

Sabda is dependent upon aptajana, but aptajana varies based on sampradaya. For example, we take Sri Rupa, Sri Jiva, etc . as aptajana, but others don’t accept them. Then their jnana from sabda will considerably vary with ours.

But this variation is only in relation to certain aspects of the philosophy, not that everything Rupa Gosvami says is unacceptable to others. That is so because there are different levels of realizations of the sabda. This is not only true for sabda but also for pratyaksha. The same object seen by different people appears differently, depending upon the angle and the distance they see it from.

Question:  Mahat is the first manifestation from pradhana. Ahankara comes from mahat  which means buddhi comes first. Individualism by ahankara is later. How does buddhi become individualized?

Answer:  Ahankara claims buddhi as its own. Appearance of something and it being claimed as personal are two different things.


The Lord’s Mercy — Difference between Krpa and Anugraha

Question:  In Bhakti-sandarbha, Annuccheda 180, Jiva Gosvami argues that bhakti or “turning toward the Lord” is not given by the Lord directly because he is unable to feel mercy (krpa) for the souls suffering in samsara.  This is because he always tastes bliss and is free from impurities.

In the same anuccheda, Jiva Gosvami quotes Bhagavata 10.2.31 (svayam samuttirya sudustaram…), which states that the Lord has mercy (anugraha) for his devotees.

What is it about the Lord that allows him to feel anugraha for bhaktas, but not krpa for abhaktas? Can the Lord feel krpa for a bhakta who is suffering? Is there a distinction in the ways the Acaryas use krpa and anugraha?

Answer: There are two distinct aspects of the Lord, called Bhagavan and Paramatma. Paramatma is in charge of the material world. He does not interfere in the karma of the living beings. Bhagavan does not deal with the material creation but only with His devotees. A devotee is one who has attained that part of the internal potency of Bhagavan which is called bhakti. Through this internal potency, He is connected to His devotee. What Bhagavan does is only in relationship to His devotees. He does not involve Himself at all with anything else. Therefore He does not give His kripa to the abhaktas because He cannot feel their pain of suffering, but because He is linked to His devotees, He can feel their suffering and gives them His grace. As it is said in the 9th Canto, sādhavo hṛdayaṁ mahyaṁ sādhūnāṁ hṛdayaṁ tv aham mad-anyat te na jānanti nāhaṁ tebhyo manāg api (9.4.68).

There is no real difference between the terms kripa and anugraha, but the word kripa specifically signifies one who has to the power to help. The word anugraha can be translated as empathy because it is made from two words, anu and graha. Graha means to capture and anu means after. So anugraha means someone whose heart is captured by someone who is suffering.

5 thoughts on “Knowledge, the Lord’s Mercy”

  1. Babaji Pranam,
    If Bhagavan is not giving His kripa to abhaktas then who is delivering the abhaktas esp. in “Gaura Lila” like Shri Jagai and Madhai?
    Shri Nityanada Prabhu delivered them but as Nityananda Prabhu has time and again said that he does everything as per “Mahaprabhu’s” wish. A contradiction is arising in my mind. Also, is wish of Lord not a part/ beginning of his Kripa ? Please clarify the subtleties.

    1. Abhaktas get mercy from bhaktas.
      Gaura lila is lila as you use the word yourself. Lila means play.
      Jagai and Madhai are the Lord’s associates.
      It is said that they were Jaya and Vijaya.

  2. Dear Babaji,


    Thank you for your Answer to the last question. You seem to be saying that because the Bhagavān is connected with his bhakta (through the svarūpaśakti), he can “feel their suffering.” It seems, however, that Śrī Jīva is saying in Bhaktisandarbha 180 that Bhagavān cannot suffer in anyway:

    “The nature of compassion (kṛpā) is a mental transformation produced when there is contact of one’s own mind with the suffering of another person. But at all times the Lord tastes only supreme bliss and he destroys impurities. Furthermore, the śruti establishes his difference from the jīva, the embodied soul. Like the impossibility of darkness near the sun, in his mind there can be no cause for that [compassion] because it is impossible for him to come into contact with the suffering that is born of ignorance. (kṛpā-rūpaś ceto-vikāro hi para-duḥkhasya svacetasi sparśe satyeva jāyate | tasya tu sadā paramānandaika-rasatvenāpahata-kalmaṣatvena ca śrutau jīva-vilakṣaṇatva-sādhanāt tejo-mālinas timirāyogavat tac-cetasyāpi tamo-maya-duḥkha-sparśanāsambhavena tatra tasyā janmāsambhavaḥ |).

    If Bhagavān is by definition a being that can’t have a duḥkha, and if kṛpā depends on a memory of duḥkha, in what sense can Bhagavān have kṛpā on the bhakta? When Vishvanatha refers to the cit-śakti as “kṛpā-vilāsa-rūpā” in Sararthadarshini 2.9.33, is he talking about some other sense of kṛpā?

    Yours, Janakirama dasa

  3. Namaste:

    “This is not only true for sabda but also for pratyaksha. The same object seen by different
    people appears differently, depending upon the angle and the distance they see it from.”

    I am not quite able to understand this statement.
    Are you saying consciousness/jiva/aptajana perceives only its idea or its representation of an object and not the real object itself?
    I think what you mean to say is , the perception differs based on the aparatus (angle , distance and eye). Hence one must have right vision and right aparatus.

    However when it comes to perceiving veda, the aparatus is also provided within the veda in the form of vedangas.

    Ofcourse there will be difference of opinion in how we use the aparatus – called as the “yuktis”
    in nyAya parlance.

    So for gaudiyas,since there is no have access to all the shakhas in the vedas,and
    since the yukthis involved in reading brahma sutras or upanishads is tough,the best way
    to perceive veda and vedanta is through the lens of Srimad Bhagavatam.

    When it comes to “how” to perceive srimad bhagavatam , sandarbhas are written to show it.

    Is this understanding right ?


  4. Bhakta has oneness of heart with Bhagavan.
    Bhakta does not suffer material misery, but can know an abhakta’s suffering from past experience. Thus bhakta can feel compassion on abhakta.
    Bhakta’s suffering is not material. It is in relation to Krsna, like Gopis’ suffering in separation. Krsna can feel that and bless them by His presence.
    Krsna became bound by His grace when He realized the labor performed by Yasoda – dRSTvA pariSramam kRSNa kRpayA AsIta sva-bandhane.

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