The Divine Couple Radha and Krishna

Presence of Paramatma, Spiritual Destinations

Question: Is Paramātmā present within the ātmā or the soul? I understand that Paramātmā is present along with the soul in the material bodies, but is He present within the ātmā as well?

Answer: Yes.

Question: If the ātmā is an indivisible unit, how can Paramātmā be situated inside the ātmā? 

Answer: Space is indivisible but everything is inside space.

Question: Is Paramātmā present in the spiritual world as well?

Answer: Bhagavān Himself takes the role of Paramātmā in the spiritual world. There is no separate Paramātmā. 

Question: Is Paramātmā present within the soul even in the spiritual world? Or is He present within the soul only within the material world?

Answer: Yes, He is present here as well as there.


Question: Does Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī say that the jīva experiences the world through the mind or that the false self experience the world while the jīva remains aloof? 

Answer: All experiences, material as well as spiritual, happen through the mind. Kṛṣṇa says the experience of ātmā (the self as well as Brahman or Paramātmā) happens through the mind. See Bhagavad Gītā 6.20–21. Also see SB 4.9.2 describing Dhruva’s experience of Bhagavān, and SB 12.8.32, 12.10.9–11 about Markandeya. All these experiences are in the citta. Who is the experiencer? It is the pure self—identified with the ahaṅkāra


Question: Is bhakti synonymous with svarūpa-śakti, or are there differences between the two? Viśvanātha Cakravartī defines bhakti as “the essence,” so it seems that svarūpa-śakti includes more than bhakti. 

Answer: The internal potency has three main divisions—sandhinī, saṁvit, and hlādinī. These are stated in the famous Viṣṇu Purāṇa verse 1.12.69. Bhakti is either considered as hladini sakti or an essence of hlādinī and saṁvit. Anuccheda 99 of Bhagavat Sandarbha gives an elaborate description of the internal potency.


Question: Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī calls svarūpa-śaktyānanda by the names ‘mānasānanda’ and ‘aiśvaryānanda.’ What do mānasānanda and aiśvaryānanda mean? 

Answer: Mānasānanda is the bliss that Bhagavān experiences in His mind by reciprocating with His devotees. For example, He felt happy playing with the gopa boys or by giving His mercy to Prahlāda. The bliss which Kṛṣṇa experiences when He enjoys His opulences is aiśvaryānanda.


Question: Can one who has attained dāsya-rasa in Vaikuṇṭha still aspire for and attain a mañjarī-svarūpa in Goloka Vṛndāvana? I read in Bṛhad-bhāgavatamṛta about Gopa-kumāra going from Vaikuntha to Goloka Vṛndāvana. Also, does Krishna choose the realm and the rasa in which we serve Him, depending on our qualification?

Answer: Whatever you want to achieve is practiced here in the sādhaka body. Once you attain perfection and reach Vaikuṇṭha or Goloka in any rasa, then there is no changing from there. The spiritual worlds are not places of sādhana. They are perfect places for perfect beings. The rasa you serve in is what you receive from your guru.

Gopa-kumāra’s journey illustrates the gradation of various destinations. Gopa-kumāra did not attain Vaikuṇṭha as a final destination. We should try to understand what the author, Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī, taught and not draw conclusions unintended by him. He has written an elaborate commentary himself on the book to make his intentions clear.


Question: Can someone fall after attaining sayujya mukti or from brahmajyothi? Is there a  verse to support this? 

Answer: No one falls from sayujya mukti; otherwise, it cannot be called mukti? There are five types of mukti and one of them is sayujya. All muktis are eternal destinations. Mukti means to give up one’s subtle and gross body and becoming situated in one’s spiritual nature, muktir hitvānyathā rūpaṁ sva-rūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ, SB 2.10.6. In the state of sayujaya mukti, one has no form, material or spiritual. There is not contact with anything and one does not perceive anything except one’s identity with Brahman, and Brahman is unlimited.  

Falldown can happen either because of one’s own present action one’s past karma  or by the will of Bhagavan. None of this is possible because there is no possibility of any action on the part of this person who attained mukti, he has no past karma and Bhagavan does not will anyone to fall-down. Moreover, it is not even theoretically possible to fall-down from Brahman because It is unlimited, so you cannot escape from It.

You can refer to BG 2.72; 5.19, 5.21, 5.24, 5.26, 14.26-27, 18.53, and 18.55 for this, which refer to a person who has attain Brahman while in the present body.





9 thoughts on “Presence of Paramatma, Spiritual Destinations”

  1. Please accept my humble obeisances and inquiry. In the post it is stated:

    “Question: Is Paramātmā present within the ātmā or the soul? I understand that Paramātmā is present along with the soul in the material bodies, but is He present within the ātmā as well?

    Answer: Yes. ”

    Please can I get a scriptural reference for this as this was not my understanding.

    Your servant,

    1. eko devaḥ sarva-bhūteṣu guḍhaḥ sarva-vyāpī sarva-bhūta-antarātmā
      karmādhyakṣaḥ sarva-bhūtādhivāsaḥ sākṣī cetāḥ kevalo nirguṇaśca (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.11)

      kṛṣṇam enam avehi tvam ātmānam akhila-ātmanām (Bhāgavata Purāṇam 10.14.55)

  2. Hare Krishna!
    Please accept my humble obeisances and question.
    Could you kindly help me to understand the following words of Srila Prabhupada regarding the fall-down from sāyujya-mukti? Thank you.

    SB 4.9.29, Purport: In the opinion of many scholars, this sāyujya-mukti, although counted among the five kinds of mukti, is not actually mukti because from sāyujya-mukti one may again fall down to this material world. This information we have from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.2.32), wherein it is said, patanty adhaḥ, which means “they again fall down.”

    1. You have cited Srila Prabhupad’s purport on 4.9.29, in which he refers to verse 10.2.32 in support of fall-sown from sayujya mukti.
      So let us first see verse 10.2.32 on its own. Below is the translation taken from Vedabase:

      “O lotus-eyed Lord, although nondevotees who accept severe austerities and penances to achieve the highest position may think themselves liberated, their intelligence is impure. They fall down from their position of imagined superiority because they have no regard for Your lotus feet.”

      This verse is speaking about non-devotees, and of their imagined superiority. The sanskrit term is vimukta-māninaḥ “those who consider themselves liberated”. They are not actually liberated.
      So, their fall-down is certainly not from any of the five types of muktis. This is supported by Srila Prabhupada’s comment on this verse, “In the present day, big, big politicians all over the world think that by scheming they can occupy the highest political post, that of president or prime minister, but we actually see that even in this life such big prime ministers, presidents and other politicians, because of being nondevotees, fall down (patanty adhaḥ).”
      Therefore, this verse certainly does not say directly and indirectly about fall-down from sayujya mukti. Then how to reconcile Prabhupada’s comment on 4.9.29 cited by you? Well my understanding is that the sayjya mukti mentioned in this comment is an imaginary sayjya-mukti and not the real one. Verse 10.2.32 uses the phrase vbimukta-māninaḥ which can mean imagined liberation. ther ois no fall-down from real mukti otherwise it would not be mukti. Moreover a non-devotee cannot get mukti. Mukti is given only by Mukunda.

    2. To answer your questions, let me first describe my understanding of what is mukti and its various types. It is defined as follows: muktir hitvānyathā-rūpaṁ svarūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ – “Liberation (mukti) means to be established in the self’s true essential nature (svarūpa), after abandoning identification with all that it is not” (SB 2.10.6). It means to become free from identification with the subtle and material bodies. Mukti is further of two types, called “living liberation” (jīvan-mukti) and “posthumous liberation” (utkrānta-mukti). In the jīvan-mukta state, a devotee continues to live in the present body while directly perceiving all products of prakṛti as temporary and in a state of constant flux. Such a devotee does not identify with the body-mind complex, knowing well that such identification is illusory. In the state of utkrānta-mukti, the devotee becomes free of both the gross and subtle bodies. This is defined as establishment in one’s own svarūpa. In the posthumous condition following death (utkrānta-daśā), the above-mentioned liberation (mukti) has two varieties – immediate (sadya) and gradual (krama). Immediate means that the liberated person attains the final spiritual destination immediately after giving up the subtle and gross bodies. Gradual mukti means that the person gives up the gross body but not the subtle body. With the subtle body, he travels to the places of his choice in the material creation. Then when he desires to leave material creation, he gives up the subtle body also and enters into the spiritual realm. This specific ultimate liberation (utkrānta-mukti) is of five types — namely, sālokya, sārṣṭi, sārūpya, sāmīpya, and sāyujya. All these types of mukti, including sāyujya, are eternal positions. There is no fall-down from any of these muktis, otherwise, they cannot be called mukti.

      Based upon the above understanding, I fail to understand how sāyujya mukti can be partial mukti. Sāyujya is of two types, Brahma-sāyujya and Bhagavat-sāyujya. I have never come across any reading that they are partial muktis.
      Therefore, I have no reply to your question no. 1
      Question no 2. “If Krishna gives sājujya-mukti then how it could be imaginary sājujya-mukti?”
      My reply: The sāyujya mukti that Krsna gives is not imaginary. Imaginary mukti is the one when a person himself thinks that he is liberated. This is what is meant by the phrase vimukta-manina in SB10.2.32
      Reply to question No: The person himself is the equivalent to a rope. It means he is conditioned being (rope) but imagines or thinks himself to be mukta (snake).
      Reply to question no 4. Without bhakti, no one can get any type of mukti. It is only through bhakti that one can transcend the three gunas of prakṛti. This is clearly stated by Kṛṣṇa Himself in BG 14.26.
      The process of attaining sāyujya mukti is described elaborately by Kapila in chapter 28 of the third canto of S.B. Krsna is Mukunda – the giver of mukti. No one else can give mukti. So even impersonalists have to do bhakti with the intention to attain sāyujya mukti. This is called kaivalya-kāmā bhakti. Those impersonalists who do not engage in bhakti do not get mukti. This is the purport of verse 10.2.32. They are vimukta-manina.

  3. Hare Krishna, Satyanarayana Prabhu!
    Please accept my humble and respectful obeisances.

    Thank you for your elaborate answer. If you do not mind I would like to ask you some more questions in this regard. They are to understand the topic and not to challenge you.

    Thank you for your answers.p

    Here is a quote from the purport of Srila Prabhupada ( SB 7.1.35)

    “The impersonalists cannot reach the Vaikuṇṭha planets to become associates of the Lord, and therefore, according to their desires, Kṛṣṇa gives them sāyujya-mukti. However, since sāyujya-mukti is partial mukti, they must fall again to this material world.”

    Based on it I conclude that:

    – Kṛṣṇa gives sāyujya-mukti to impersonalists according to their desires;
    – sāyujya-mukti is partial mukti;
    – since sāyujya-mukti is partial mukti, they must fall again to this material world.

    Regarding the Prabhupada’s comment on 4.9.29 you said:

    “Well my understanding is that the sayjya mukti mentioned in this comment is an imaginary sayjya-mukti and not the real one. Verse 10.2.32 uses the phrase vbimukta-māninaḥ which can mean imagined liberation.”

    Could you kindly answer my questions that I have got trying to reconcile these two explanations:

    1. What is it I do not understand thinking of the following points?
    – I can understand your point, that mukti is mukti. Partial mukti is not a mukti.
    – However, Prabhupada clearly says: sāyujya-mukti is partial mukti. I can accept that also, because it starts with mukti that ends.
    – If it would not be correct to call mukti that ends “mukti”, then, the same way it would not be correct to call happiness that ends “happiness”. However Krishna does it in BG 18.38:

    …. tad agre ’mṛtopamam
    pariṇāme viṣam iva
    tat sukhaṁ rājasaṁ smṛtam

    …. that happiness which appears like nectar at first but poison at the end ..

    2. If Krishna gives sājujya-mukti then how it could be imaginary sājujya-mukti?

    3. If there is an imaginary sājujya mukti – or any imaginary mukti – what is the principle behind that? Does one just imagine something ( what?) that is not mukti to be a mukti? Like one imagines a rope to be a snake? Then what in this case plays the role of “rope”?
    Or, it is something (what?) that – like in the example of happiness – has mukti in the beginning and fall-down at the end?

    4. You said “non-devotee cannot get mukti.”
    As I understand, impersonalists are non – devotees. If so, how they could get sājujya mukti? If it is not real sājujya-mukti – what is it? Then why Prabhupada calls it sājujya-mukti?

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