Duty, True Religion, Consciousness & Inherent Nature of Man | Crash Course on Philosophy

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Hare Krishna, Welcome to this session with
‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’. This is your servant Diptiman Gaurahari das. So in this video we are going to talk about
the eternal duty of man; we are going to discuss about the nature of the soul. We are going to talk about who we actually
are, what we are made up of, and our eternal tendencies, natural characteristics and our
intrinsic nature that wants to find its expression in our day to day lives. So any substance which exists or any entity
which exists, possesses a set of natural characteristics or a set of natural traits, which is part
of its intrinsic constitution. This inherent permanent nature of a substance
is also known as its Nitya Dharma. Now sometimes it might so happen that when
this substance comes in contact with other substances…or may be under the influence
of the external circumstances… the original permanent set of characteristics for this particular
substance might get transformed. Over time, this transformed nature gets
stable, and it might come across as the permanent nature of the particular substance or the
‘Nitya Dharma’ of the particular substance.However this is merely a deception as these distorted
set of characteristics is not the original genuine nature of the substance. These newly acquired traits of that particular
substance is also known as its Naimittika Dharma, which is different to the set of its
permanent intrinsic characteristics …or the Nitya Dharma of that particular substance. So if we take the example of water..liquidity
is its intrinsic natural characteristic..and it might be said liquidity is the Nitya Dharma
of water.Similarly heat and light is the Nitya Dharma of fire. Sweetness is the Nitya Dharma of sugar…so
on and so forth. But if we take the example of water, then
liquidity might be its Nitya Dharma but the same water when put under freezing conditions…it freezes into ice. So Solidity now becomes its acquired nature.So
when water comes in contact with the freezing conditions…these freezing conditions act
as a catalyst and transforms the liquid water into solid ice. So this happens when a particular circumstance..which
is the freezing conditions in this case..acts as a catalyst for a particular change to occur. Liquidity is water’s Nitya dharma or its
permanent characteristic..whereas solidity in this case is its Naimittika Dharma or its
set of acquired characteristics. Naimittika Dharma is temporary by nature..and
the substance once again reveals its original characteristics as soon as the circumstance which
acts as a catalyst for the change is removed.So for example in this case, if the ice is returned
to normal temperature and is taken away from the freezing conditions, it once again transforms
itself into water. So Nitya Dharma or the original characteristics
of a substance is never lost.. it never vanishes…But it stays latent within the substance even
if the substance gets distorted or acquires a temporary nature. So in time the Nitya Dharma or the permanent
nature of the substance which is intrinsic to its own constitution – it reveals itself. So there are two things to be considered over
here – one is the Nitya Dharma or the permanent intrinsic set of characteristics of a particular
substance or an entity ; the second is the Naimittika Dharma or the set of acquired characteristics. So those who have true knowledge can differentiate
between the eternal and the occasional functions of a particular being. In other words they can differentiate between
the Nitya Dharma and the Naimittika Dharma of a particular entity. However those who do not possess this knowledge
mistake the acquired traits of a particular being to be its permanent nature. This principle of the Nitya Dharma and the
Naimittika Dharma applies to all beings including us the living entities. The ancient Vedic scriptures reveal that God
is the Supreme Being and the jivas emanate from the Supreme Lord just as the sunlight
emanates from the sun. The sunlight, though it emanates from the
sun, does not diminish the sun in the slightest. Similarly God is not diminished in the slightest
though we jivas ,the living entities, emanate from Him. Just as the sunlight and the sun are the same
qualitatively, similarly we jivas and the Supreme Lord, are the same when it comes to our
spiritual nature and our consciousness. However the stark difference lies in the fact
that He is the infinite..the Supreme Lord is infinite..whereas we the jivas, the living
entities ,are infinitesimal. He is the complete whole whereas we , the
jivas, are His tiny part and parcel.So the Supreme Lord and the jiva are simultaneously
one and different from each other. There is a natural loving relationship between
the two – God is the attractor whereas we are the attracted… God is the observer whereas we are the observed… God is the master of all potencies whereas
the tiny jiva is devoid of any… God is our all-loving father whereas we are
simply incomplete without His love…So that brings us to our original question – what
is the Nitya Dharma or the eternal characteristics, the eternal tendencies ,the eternal traits
of a living entity ? To discuss further on this, we need to understand
a little bit about the Supreme Lord and His various energies. The Supreme Lord is the possessor of unlimited
energies and of unlimited potencies..For example, His ‘Antaranga shakti’ or His internal
energy is responsible for manifesting the spiritual world.Similarly His external energy
or the ‘Bahiranga shakti’, creates and controls the material world. We, the jivas or living entities, are a manifestation
of the ‘tathasta shakti’ or the marginal potency of the Supreme Lord. ‘Tat’ refers to the boundary region between
land and water and is considered to be a part of both. ‘Tat’ upholds the characteristics of both
land and water. Similarly the consciousness of the jiva or
the conditioned living entity , lies at the boundary of pure spiritual realm and the realm
of dull matter. The jiva’s nature is spiritual but its composition
is such that it can come under the influence of the mundane material energy as well. Therefore the jiva is considered to be a part
of this marginal potency…or the ‘tathasta shakti’ of the Supreme Lord as it can come
under the influence of either the internal energy , the ‘Antaranga shakti’ of the
Supreme Lord…or the ‘Bahiranga shakti’ ,the external energy of the Supreme Lord. By nature the spiritual and the material energies
of the supreme Lord are incompatible with each other. However this marginal potency creates an entity
which can interact with both spirit as well as with dull matter. In this way the jiva or the conditioned living
entity has innate characteristics which is different from matter as well from pure spirit. The Bahiranga shakti , or the external energy
of the Supreme Lord, which is also known as ‘Maya’ , bewilders the conditioned living
entity and covers up the reality of the spiritual realm from him. The jiva, the conditioned living entity, under
certain circumstances, gets bewildered and comes under the influence of matter…it becomes
controlled by Maya..for he is subject to its influence. So these three principles – the Bhagawan,
or the Supreme Lord..the jiva, or the conditioned being..and Maya, the external energy of the
Supreme..these are three eternal principles. The Supreme Lord or Bhagawan is the founding
principle of the other two, as has been confirmed in Katha Upanishad –
‘nityo nityanam, cetanas cetananam’ – ‘Bhagawan is the supreme eternal amongst all other eternal
beings. He is the fundamental conscious being among
all the other conscious beings’. So what is our Nitya Dharma ? What is the
eternal duty of man ? Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita explains :
jivera svarupa haya krishnera nitya-dasa – The nitya dharma of the jiva , the conditioned
living entity, is to serve Sri Krishna, the supreme personality of Godhead. So rendering loving devotional service unto
Sri Krishna, the Supreme Lord, is the Nitya Dharma or intrinsic characteristic , the intrinsic
original nature of the living entity. Krishna is the eternal master, while jiva
is His eternal servitor. The jiva, or the conditioned living entity,
is the manifestation of the marginal potency of the Supreme Lord. There is a natural loving constitutional relationship
between the two. Now we can discuss in a separate video as
to why we are referring to Sri Krishna as the Supreme Lord. The scope of this video is limited..hence we
can defer that discussion for a later video. However the truth is that the Nitya Dharma
or the eternal characteristics of a conditioned living entity comes into light only when he
comes in contact with Krishna, his eternal master. When the jiva, the conditioned living entity,
forgets his eternal nature..his Nitya Dharma…he then comes in contact with the material energy
and becomes enslaved by Maya. The Nitya Dharma is one ,indivisible and faultless
in all situations. However the Naimittika Dharma or the temporary
nature of the living entity assumes different forms under the influence of various circumstances. This set of distorted acquired characteristics
which the living entity develops when it comes in contact with the material energy is the
root cause of all the evils that pervades one’s consciousness. The living entity is like a tiny spark emanating
from a big undivided fire. And just as a spark of fire possesses the
same qualities, the same traits as the big, undivided fire…similarly a living entity,
no matter how tiny he is..he possesses the same qualities and the same characteristics
as that of the Supreme Lord. A tiny fire which is in contact with inflammable
objects can ignite a raging wildfire which can subsequently engulf the entire world..similarly
a jiva, a living entity, who has obtained the ultimate objective of love of God, and
is firmly situated in his Nitya dharma of rendering loving devotional service unto the
supreme..he can flood the entire universe with his ecstatic devotion. On the other hand a living entity who is forgetful
of his Nitya Dharma of serving the Supreme and is always busy serving his own senses
…such a living entity appears debilitated. In ‘suddhavasta’ or the pure state of
existence, a living entity executes his Nitya Dharma and renders loving devotional service
unto the Supreme Lord. Such a person derives immense satisfaction
and bathes his body,mind and soul in divine bliss. On the other hand a conditioned living entity
who lives under the influence of ‘Maya’ suffers the pangs of material miseries. So the solution to all the material problems
lies in rejecting our temporary nature, the Naimittika Dharma, and cultivating our Nitya
Dharma, which is by nature is Pure, complete and Eternal. So Thank you very much for watching this video. Hope you liked this session …Hope this session
proved to be useful. Please also don’t forget to visit our website
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watching this video. Hare Krishna.

 

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