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Madhvacharya's View Of Hell

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Hare Krishna,



How can the soul be tamasic? I know the subtle body can be so influenced. Also the three modes always compete for supremacy.BG 14.10


Are you saying that Krsna formed living beings out of the mode of ignorance and thus condemned them to eternal hell?




Let me explain correctly. Spirit(Jiva) is not created by anybody(not even GOD) in DVAITA as in any other Vedic system.


IN Dvaita, there is gradation among Jivas. Each Jiva is unique and it's inherent nature remains even after liberation. Thus even if material modes compete with each other the inherent nature of the individual predominates.


The development of an individual takes place strictly in accordance with his inner nature. The environmental factors only help manifest what is already rooted in one's inner nature. Thus inner nature is the spontaneous way of life for a Jiva. It is an innate characteristic rooted firmly in the Jiva from the time immemorial. No amount of effort can alter its course. A sattvika or pure-hearted man cannot become a tamasa or evil-minded one. Nor can a tamasa turn into a satvik. One's attainment of perfection is nothing but a complete manifestation of one's unique individual nature.

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Hare Krishna,




Jivas (Atman):


Souls are conceived in Madhvas system as finite centres of

conscious experience, each with a unique essence of its own. The essence

of individuality is that one finite centre of experience cannot possess,

"as its own immediate" experience, the experienc e of another. It is this

non-transferable immediacy of experience that distinguishes one self from

another, inspite of their possessing certain similar characteristics. Each

has a specific content of consciousness, reality and bliss and constitutes

a foca lization which is nowhere exactly repeated in nature. The nature of

the souls is to be one of unalloyed bliss and pure intelligence. It is

essentially free from any kind of misery or pain; though subjected to a

natural gradation of intelligence and bliss in cosmic hierarchy of selves

and subject always to the Supreme, in bondage "and in release". The sense

of misery, which is bondage, is external to their essence and is brought

about by a "real" though "misplaced sense of independence of initiative

and co nduct"


The jivas are reflected counterparts (pratibimbamsa) of Brahman

(Visnu). The bodies of the jivas, eternally present in Vaikuntha, the

celestial abode of Visnu, are transcendental (aprakrta). Hence, they are

called unconditioned-reflected-counterparts (nirupadhika-pratibimbamsa)

of Visnu. The bodies of the jivas of the material world are matierial;

therefore, they are called conditioned-reflected-counterparts

(sopadhika-pratibimbamsa) of Visnu.


(i) Plurality of selves: Madhva holds the doctrine of multiplicity

of selves. The basis for this is the intrinsic diversity of their

essences, which he shows to be "inevitable presupposition of the theory of

karma". It is accepted that the inequalities o f individual equipment and

endowment are regulated by ones pastlife and its karma. But, by its very

nature, the karma theory would be powerless to explain the why of such

inequalities, in the remotest past, without recourse to the hypothesis of

an intrin sic peculiarity (anadi visesa) that is uncaused. It is this

anadivisesa or svabhavabheda says Madhva, that distinguishes one soul

from another. This is the decisive contribution which Madhva has made to

the interpretation of the problem of life and its diversitis. He has thus

gone beyond the principle of karma, unerringly, to the " svabhavabheda" (

intrinsic or essential differences in the nature of the beings).

Similarly, the uniqueness of each individual experience, which forms the

content of per sonality, is sufficient reason, according to Madhva, for

the acceptanc of jiva-bahutva-vada (plurality of souls) and the

distinctiveness of each individual.


The theory of svarupabheda of souls elaborated by Madhva is, thus,

the only solution of the problem of plurality of selves, their freedom and

free will.


(ii) Tripartite classification of souls: Madhvas doctrine of the

Soul insists not only upon the distinctiveness of each soul but also upon

an intrinsic gradation among them based on varying degrees of knowledge,

power, and bliss. This is known as tarat amya or svarupataratamya,

which comes out all the more clearly in the released state, where the

souls realize their true status. Jiva-traividhya or tripartite

classification of "unreleased souls" into (1) muktiyogya (salvable), (2)

nitya-samsarin ( ever-transmigrating) and (3) tamoyogya (damnable) are

the allied doctrines of svarupataratamya of souls. This theory of

Madhva, is intended to justify and reconcile the presence of evil with

divine perfection.


Sri Madhva also speaks about the intrinsic differences existing

among the "released" souls. Hiranyagarbha among the released (and in

samsara too) occupying a privileged position as jivottama. His accepts

innate distinction among (released) souls into dev a, rsi (pitr, pa) and

naras. The devas are sarva-prakasa (fit to realize God as pervasive),

the sages are antahprakasaand the rest bahihprakasa.


The doctrine of intrinsic gradation among souls would follow as a

matter of course, once the principle of their plurality is admitted. Many

philosophical topics related to the law of karma, the problem of good and

evil, behaviour of free-will displayed i n the case of individual jivas

etc. can be solved only by the acceptance of the above theories of Sri



The recognition of special class of souls called nityasuris (as

in the system of Ramanuja) and the class called nityasamsarins will be

inexplicable without the acceptance of an intrinsic gradation of souls

into ordinary and "elect" and so on. The hig her position of sesitva

assigned to "Sri" in respect of nityasuris also points to a natural

gradation among souls. Similarly the existence of nityamuktas like

Visvaksena, Garuda, Ananta etc. who always remain free from samsara

(accepted by the Visistadvat ins) and the high place assigned to Brahma

among the gods (by Vedic and Puranic literature) are to be highlighted in

this connection as their spititual excellence and superiority over other



Gods and men are not equal in their basic nature and powers, or in

the innate tendencies for good or bad, which determine their future

development. The doctrine of intrinsic gradation of souls is thus a

resoned and reasonable hypothesis of human nature a nd destiny, suggested

by the moral law and supported by reason, revelation and experience.

Madhva holds that it can not be satisfactorily accounted for the presence

and continuation of evil in a world created and ruled by a most perfect

Being unless it is taken to be natural to some as goodness is to others.

Without such a fundamental division of human nature, the disparities of

life reflected in the seemingly unfair distribution of pleasure and pain

and oportunities for moral growth are not satisactorily explained. The law

of karma cannot satisfy the quest for an ultimate explanation of such

bewildering enexplicabilities. It cannot explain why given two

alternatives of good or evil, certain persons show a marked preference or

tendency towards the one and others to the opposite. Moral worth,

knowledge, works, experience, heredity, opportunities, culture - none of

these explanatons of diversity solves the riddle pushed to its staring

point; The final solution can only be found in the ingerent nature of bei



Madhva and his commentators have cited many texts from the Vedic

and post-Vedic literature ( from Gita 16.3, 5, 6, 18, 20; 8.2; Bhag.

6.14.5; Isa. Up 3 etc.), in support of the acceptance of the traividhya

among jivas who are entangled within the samsara . An intrinsic divergence

of nature and faith into sattvika, rajasa and tamasa which is rooted

in the core of individual nature (dehinam svabhavaja) as stated in the

Gita, is the ultimate basis of this theory according to Madhva. This

theory is deve loped from the doctrine of trividha-sraddha in the Gita.

The term sattvika, rajasa, and tamasa are applied to the jivas in their

tripartite classification, according to Madhva, ha reference to their

basic nature of Caitanya going beyond the play of prakrt i nad its gunas:

"yo yac chraddhah sa eva sah" (Gita 17.3). This is clear from Madhvas

comment on the above verse, where he interprets the term "sattvanurupa" as



(iii) Self-luminosity of souls: The individual soul, as a sentient

being, is admitted by Madhva to be self-luminious (svaprakasa). It is

not merely of the form of knowledge (jnanasvarupa) but is a knower

(jnatr). The conception of self as a conscio us personality is the same

as it is in respect of God, expect for the fact that even the

self-luminosity of the jiva is dependent on the Supreme, which makes

bondage possible.

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  • 1 year later...

Hare Krishna,



Mother Kali is not Satan or something like this. Rather she represents the destructive force which we must remember has no effect on the Atman, but only on our bodies.



Rama Rama...


I am talking about Kali purusa and not GODDESS KAALI, a form of GODDESS Parvati, wife of Lord SIVA.


Please read Bhagavatam.


Kali purusa has a short 'a' inbetween K and L.


Goddess KAli has a long 'A'.

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