Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das
The sadhaka jiva’s eternal spiritual identity, the siddha svarupa or spiritual body is not an imagination because it exists eternally in the spiritual realm, Vaikuntha/Vrndavana. As the material sky is unlimited and has unlimited residents, the spiritual sky is also unlimited with unlimited spiritual bodies.
There are unlimited siddha-dehas suitable to the unlimited types of moods of would-be sadhana siddha devotees. And that spiritual body i.e. siddha dehais revealed to a qualified sadhaka by a qualified guru. Or the siddha dehais given by Bhagavan Sri Krishna Himself as the Bhagavata describes regarding Narada Muni, Dhruva Maharaja, Ajamila, Gajendra and Putanarasasi.
Srimad Bhagavatam (3.15.14) says:
vasanti yatra purusah, sarve vaikuntha murtayah,
ye’ nimitta nimittena, dharmen aradhayan harim
“The great liberated persons [sarupya muktas] are residing there eternally [in the spiritual sky]. They all have transcendental Vaikuntha forms [like Visnu], and they worship Hari causelessly.”
In the Krama Sandarbha tika on Srimad Bhagavatam 3.15.14, Sri Jiva Goswamipada says:
vaikunthas yeva nitya ananda rupa murtir yesam, te yatra vasanti,
“The liberated souls living in the spiritual world all have eternal, blissful forms like that of Bhagavan Sri Visnu/Krishna in Vaikuntha.”
In the Priti Sandarbha (10) tika on Srimad Bhagavatam 3.15.14, Sri Jiva Goswamipada says, “Illuminating the spiritual world, Bhagavan Visnu/Krishna has unlimited spiritual forms that ARE ALL ETERNALLY EXISTING THERE (murtir yas tatra vartante) as expansions of Himself. From these unlimited murtis or transcendental forms, Bhagavan gives or awards one murti i.e. siddha svarupa to each liberated soul. This murti or transcendental form resembles that of Bhagavan Visnu/Krishna.
The siddha deha is not within one’s heart or lying dormant inside of one waiting to rise or wake up. In his tika on Vedanta Sutra (4.4.1),Baladeva Vidyabhusana says that by Bhagavan’s mercy the jiva attains its own, eternally existing svarupa (spiritual body) which is not inherent in it.
Unlike the material body inhabited by the atma, that spiritual body i.e. siddha svarupa is not created at some point in time, nor is it external or different from the atma.
Basically, what happens is that at the devotional stage of bhava or prema, one’s eternally existing spiritual body i.e. siddha deha becomes one with the atma or self. For the liberated soul, sadhana-siddha, there is no longer any duality between the self (atma) and the body. In other words, the atma, self, is the siddha deha and the siddha deha is the atma.
But you may ask, ‘Exactly how is the siddha deha non-different from the jivatma, since the jiva is tatastha-shakti, and spiritual bodies are made of svarupa-shakti i.e. antaranga-sakti i.e. Sri Krishna’s eternal internal energy?’
This is a fine point that exceeds the limits of ordinary material logic. The liberated jiva as tatastha-sakti does not change into svarupa-sakti. The siddha deha is not like the physical body of our experience; it’s a body made of bhava, prema—gopi bhava. Similarly, the divine, transcendental form of Srimati Radharani is made of maha-bhava.
The sadhana siddha or liberated tatastha-saktijiva does not become svarupa-sakti. But it is something like an iron rod made red hot by contact of the fire of svarupa-sakti in the form of prema or gopi-bhava that now constitutes one’s siddha deha or bhava deha.
Imagine if you wear a dress made of flame, would you feel different or one with the flame? Similarly, the liberated tatastha-saktijiva experiences a sense of oneness with Sri Krishna’s svarupa-sakti because of it’s possessing a transcendental body, siddha deha, made of gopi-bhava (hladini-sakti).
WHAT ARE SPIRITUAL BODIES DOING NOW?
What are all those spiritual bodies doing right now in the spiritual sky, Vaikuntha/Vrndavana? Unfortunately, other than the evidence given above, there is NO CLEAR objective answer to this question given either in sastra nor by our Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya acaryas like the six Goswamis, Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana or Visvanatha Cakravartipada.
In the absence of adequate sastrapramana, therefore one must resort to yukti i.e. logic, reason and “common sense” to draw one’s own conclusion.
Or one may select what one considers to be the most reasonable answer to this question from among the various subjective views propounded by different spiritual teachers.
Subjective Answers from Transcendental Teachers:
- “The spiritual body i.e. siddha deha is in an ‘in inactive state’, because when talking about transcendental things like this, we are severely limited by our language and our experience to clearly convey the situation there.”
- “The spiritual body i.e. siddha deha of the liberated soul exists in Vaikunthalike a 3D picture. And it’s activated when it is awarded to a sadhana siddha devotee.”
- “Presently, the siddha dehas of the sadhana siddhas are lying dormant in Vaikuntha like statues, clothes hanging on hangers in a closet, or shiny new cars waiting in showroom for the buyer to purchase, put in the key and drive away.”
- “Pramana or spiritual truth, siddhanta is based on sastra and also yukti, common sense. The idea of the siddha deha in Vaikuntha being inactive, dormant, frozen in time and “waiting for the right time to be activated” does not make sense to me.
“The Srimad Bhagavatam statement, na ca kala vikramah (2.9.10), and the acaryas’ tikas establish the fact that unlike here in the material world of our experience, there is no linear time in spiritual world.”
“In his tika to Brahma Samhita (56), Sri Jiva Goswamipada says “Very great time periods of billions of years, or even split seconds of time do not exist in the spiritual realm of Vaikuntha or Vrndavana.”
“In the Krama Sandarbha tika on Srimad Bhagavatam 3.15.14, quoted above, Sri Jiva Goswamipada uses the word NITYA which means the spiritual body exists eternally in the past, present and future. If the spiritual body is ‘activated’ at some point of time, that would mean it has beginning and thus is not nitya.”
“The idea of the dormant, inactive or still siddha deha is nowhere in sastra, and nor does it make sense (yukti). Presently and eternally in Vaikuntha/Vrndavana the siddha dehas or spiritual bodies of the liberated souls are active. It’s a seamless transfer from death as a perfected premi sadhaka to one’s eternal siddha deha in the spiritual sky, Vaikuntha/Vrndavana.”
“What happens is this: Right here right now on earth, the perfected premi sadhaka is meditating upon and serving in his/her siddha deha, eternal spiritual body. Then at death, that premi bhakta is immediately transferred to Vaikuntha or Vrndavana, and continues serving in that same spiritual body, siddha deha, there in the spiritual realm.”
“Just imagine right here in Radha Kunda, a premi bhakti enters a deep state of meditative samadhi fanning Srimati Radharani in his/her manjari svarupa. Suddenly death comes, then in a flash that premi bhakta, now a sadhana-siddha, continues fanning Srimati Radhika in the spiritual realm in his/her nityasvarupa or eternal siddha deha. Jai Radhe!”
“The Srimad Bhagavatam (1.6.28-29) story of Narada Muni’s death, the immediate attainment of his siddha deha, and his transfer to Vaikuntha gives the proof or praman for this fact. The eternality of the soul’s Vaikuntha/Vrndavana spiritual deha is proven in the vasantiyatrapurusasloka of Srimad Bhagavatam 3.15.14.”
“To repeat, no sastras describe closets in Vaikuntha with dormant siddha dehas hanging on hangers; or still not yet inhabited siddha dehas. Sastra clearly say that the sadhakajiva’s siddha deha is eternal, already in the spiritual realm and actively serving Bhagavan Sri Krishna/Visnu.”
“It’s common sense that a fully Krishna conscious, blissful spiritual entity in a spiritual body, i.e. siddha deha, would be lovingly serving Bhagavan. He or she would not just besitting alone in cave of Govardhana Hill—still, inactive, dormant—and hanging around doing nothing.”
“The spiritual world and everyone in it is fully active, dynamic, and eternally blissful. The idea of a “dormant, inactive, not-yet-inhabited eternal body” or siddha deha in Vaikuntha/Vrndavana does not make any sense at all. The only non-inhabited body is a dead material body!”
We have presented the available sastra praman on the topic of “Your Spiritual Body”, and the subjective views of various spiritual wisdom teachers. Now each reader can choose the answer that seems most reasonable and satisfying to his/her intellect. Jai Jai Sri Radhe!
(concept adapted: Sri Satyanarayana Das Babaji, Sri Advaita Dasji, Sri Krishna Dasji)