Dormant Love in Priti Sandarbha?

Question: Recently, I read my Gurudeva´s Vilapa Kusumanjali, verse 65. In his tika to that verse, my Gurudeva quotes a verse from Sripad Jiva Goswami´s Priti Sandarbha, Anuccheda 65:

tasyā hlādinyā eva kvāpisarvānandātiśāyinī vṛttir nityaṁ bhakta-vṛndeṣveva nikṣipyamānā bhagavat prītyākhyayā vartate

(Prīti Sandarbha 65, Anuvākya)

“Kṛṣṇa has always placed an all-blissful item of His pleasure potency (hlādinī-śakti) within the hearts of His devotees, and when it is captured in the devotee’s heart it shines there as prema.”

Since you are a scholar in these matters I wanted to ask you a question:

It seems that this verse says that a part of the hladini sakti is eternally placed in the hearts of the jiva.

Answer: No, it does not seem to say so. Read it again. Even the English translation has no

Jiva Gosvami with students

Jiva Gosvami with students

word such as “jiva” in it. The Sanskrit word used is bhakta-vrindeshu, and the translation is very clear, “His devotees”.  Moreover, he uses the indeclinable eva (“only”). This energy exists only in devotees. So from where does the word jiva creep in?

Such a mistake is made because of our preconception. We see what we already have in our mind. So have no misgivings. Sri Jiva Gosvami is not saying that at all. He is speaking about Krsna’s eternal associates. You have to read the context and understand what he is trying to explain.

Question: How would you translate this part of the anuccheda?

Answer: I translate it differently but even what you have does not convey the meaning you are suggesting.

Question: The key seems to be the word “NITYAM”. Does the presence of the word nityam not imply that prema is dormant in the heart, if it is there eternally?

Answer: Yes, when our mind is fixated on a misconception, this is how we will misconstrue the meaning, although there is no talk of dormant prema here. It clearly says bhaktavrindeshu niksipyamana - “placed in the devotees”, not that it is already there. No word that means dormant has been used in this text. Moreover, Sri Jiva Gosvami never says that prema is dormant in the jiva. He has done a very elaborate and minute analysis of priti or prema in Priti Sandarbha. He clearly says that prema is hladini sakti and that it comes from Krsna. If it were dormant in the jiva, he would have said it.

The reason why you may think like this is because there are two contradictory words in this text, nityam (eternal), and niksipyamana (being thrown). If it is being thrown or placed, it cannot be eternally there. If it is eternally there, then it cannot be placed there. So why does Sri Jiva Gosvami use such contradictory words? Is he confused? Certainly not. He has a purpose in such usage. He wants to say that the eternal devotees have hladini sakti eternally. Then why say that Krsna places it? This is to convey that ultimately Krsna is in control. Otherwise it could be understood that devotees were independent and that would not need Krsna in order to have devotion or hladini sakti. The basic philosophy of the Bhagavatam is that there is only one tattva which is non-dual, advaya-jnana (SB 1.2.11). Sri Jiva Gosvami has that in his mind and it is to convey this idea that he has used such a language. Language has certain limitations while explaining the Absolute Tattva. Yet it is the only means to explain.

Question: With a straw between my teeth, could you please send me a translation of just that part?

Answer: “Some particular aspect of hladini sakti, which is most blissful, eternally entrusted only in the devotees, exists by the name of priti for Bhagavan.”

Question: ​Thank you very much. ​So NITYAM refers to PREMA being ETERNALLY placed into the hearts of the eternal associates? And by performing bhakti, this prema is infused into our hearts.

Answer: Yes.

The Divine Couple Radha and Krishna


  1. It is curious that our gauḍīya philosopher uses a type of vyāghāta or contradiction in order to sustain a fundamental axiom already implicit in the context and first part of his proposition. In any case, if hlādinī is not latent in the jīva, does this not contradict the pratipādya-vākya of CC. 2.20.108-109?* That is, taṭastha—an intersection of the other two energies—implies the intrinsic presence of hlādinī-śakti in the jīva. Perhaps this is why Jīva Gosvāmī says: kvāpisarvānandātiśāyinī, the best aspect of this same energy corresponds only to the bhaktas.

    (*) See also CC. 2.22.107



    • How would it contradict? Jiva being ‘krsnera nitya-dasa’ means this is what jiva is meant for – its constitutional position when it has attained bhakti. But it does not mean that is already acts in this capacity as long as it is in avidya. Just like a screw of a car. If it is not in its proper place, it cannot fulfill that function.
      And being tatastha does not imply that jiva has hladini and bahiranga in it. Otherwise the three gunas would also be in the atma eternally and jiva would never be liberated. Tatastha is only one of the energies, but it does not have all qualities of the others shaktis, just as a drop does not have all qualities of the ocean.

      As far as the famous nitya-siddha verse (CC. 2.22.107), it is only explaining how bhakti is attained and does not make any statement about prema being in the hear. Please note that the Bengali text does not mention “in the heart”. This verse is basically a paraphrase of BRS 1.2.2. A simple and straight translation would be:

      “Krsna prema rises by mercy within the heart as one’s awareness is sufficiently purified, becoming a suitable vessel for this treasure.”

      EC Dimock and T K Stewart translate is as:

      “Krsna prema is eternal and is perfect [krsna-prema nitya-siddha] – it is never ‘to be attained’ [‘sadhya’ kabhu naya], and in the pure mind sravana and the rest arise [sravanadi-suddha-citte karaye udaya].”



  2. Mātājī.

    Let the first part of CC. 2.20.108-109 be only an expression of sādhya; immediately the jīva is defined as taṭasthā-śakti and bhedābheda-prakāśa and there are placed two upamitī or analogies for emphasizing it. In ontological terms, this means that there is simultaneously a qualitative similarity and a quantitative difference between Kṛṣṇa and the jīva. How can the incomplete arise from the complete?… aṇur nityo vyāpti-śīlaś ca cid-ānandātmakas tathā. So the jīva is antaraṅga; and at the same time, she is also bahiraṅga because of her anādi-karma. Therefore, some aspect—not the better—of hlādinī-śakti must be in the jīva.

    And CC. 2.22.107 does not suggest hlādinī being evidently infused from outside but mysteriously arising from inside; indeed, the principal meaning of udaya is “rise, going up, coming forward”. Why Kṛṣṇadāsa Gosvāmī repeat udaya and does not introduced nikṣipta, sthāpana or antarnihita as a technical term in his theology?

    In any case, this is just a philosophical inference attempt, since- littera enim occidit, Spiritus autem vivificat.

    Do you know any scriptural pramāṇa that directly and undoubtedly states that hlādinī-śakti is not intrinsically present in the jīva?



    • The nature of the jiva is explained in detail in Paramatma Sandarbha (which we just published with Babaji’s commentary). There is no overlapping of tatastha, antaranga and bahiranga. If tatastha had any of the other energies, they would have to be in the atma itself, since the body is part of bahiranga. And whatever is in atma is unchanging and eternal. So if there were eternally the gunas of prakriti in the atma, they would be there eternally.

      In his commentary to PS Anu 92, Babaji writes:
      “Bhagavān has His intrinsic potency, which is beyond logic and supremely powerful, and so He cannot be subdued by the extrinsic energy called māyā, even though it too is powerful and inconceivable, being His own energy. The jīva, on the other hand, lacks this intrinsic potency and thus succumbs to māyā. This refutes the opinion of some people that the jīva has dormant love for Kṛṣṇa. Unadulterated divine love (prema) is an aspect of the intrinsic potency and does not exist in the living entity’s essential nature (svarūpa). If it did, the jīva would never come under the sway of māyā. Moreover, if prema existed within the jīva, it could never be dormant: The phrase “dormant love” is an oxymoron.”

      The translation of “udaya” as “arises” or “manifests” does not indicate that prema is inherent in a dormant state. If that were the case, it would have been called “supta prema” or “nidrita prema”, but such terminology does not exist at all in scripture.
      Madhya 22.133 speaks of of bhava-janmane, which again means appearing, manifesting, arising (not mean awakening). Jiva Gosvami uses the verb utpadyate (is generated) in this context to point out that this love is not newly created but that it becomes manifest in the heart.

      Here is an excerpt from Babaji’s commentary to Tattva Sandarbha, Anu 47.2:
      “In this verse, the verb utpadyate (is generated) does not mean that love of God is created anew, but that it becomes manifest in the heart. Because prema is an aspect of God’s intrinsic potency, it exists eternally in the heart of perfected devotees, siddha-bhaktas, and, hence, never created. This is confirmed in Caitanya Caritāmṛta (Madhya 22.104), “Kṛṣṇa-prema is eternally existent. It is never a generated event.” For the same reason, prema does not stand in a causal relation with sādhana, meaning that sādhana does not produce prema. If sādhana were the cause of the appearance of prema, then prema would not be a prior existing, self-manifested condition. Rather, being a conscious potency of Bhagavān, prema manifests of its own accord in the heart which is devotionally turned to Bhagavān through the medium of sādhana. Thus, sādhana is not the cause of prema; yet, it is normally the prior condition for prema’s own self-manifestation.”

      Another indicator that it comes from outside has already been given earlier in CC Madhya 19.151: “Guru krsna prasade paya bhakti lata bija” Why would we need it get the seed if it was already there?

      The Śruti quite clearly says that ānanda is not a property of the jīva: raso vai saḥ, rasam hy evāyam labdhvānandī bhavati, “God is verily rasa. If one attains rasa, one becomes blissful“. Apart from that, in the ānandamayādhikaraṇa of the Vedānta-sūtras, the ācāryas explain that the jīva is not ānandamaya.

      VIṢṆU PURĀṆA says that hlādinī does not exist in the jīva:

      hlādinī sandhinī saṁvit tvayy ekā sarva-saṁśraye
      hlāda-tāpa-karī miśrā tvayi no guṇa-varjite

      “The one energy, having the three divisions of hlādinī (bliss), sandhinī (eternal existence) and saṁvit (knowing), exists only in You, the support of everything. But the energy that yields material happiness, misery and their mixture, does not abide in You, because You are free from the guṇas. (VP 1.12.69)”

      There is so much more on this topic, but it tends to become an endless discussion and I do not have that much time. But there are other websites where this is being discussed in more detail.



  3. I have reviewed a bit the arguments of two parties. There is a fortunate gauḍīya parivāra—which have its ācāryas, svāmīs, gurus and bhaktas—that holds the theory of the “dormant/awakening love or prema” in the jīva [1]. The other, a small and promising parivāra, holds the opposite. As I see it, the arguments of the latter are stronger than those of the former but do not nullify completely its propositions. So is it possible a harmonious coexistence of two opposing forms of thought within the larger structure of the same Vaiṣṇava theology?


    1. I wonder if they are completely wrong, why Kṛṣṇa had blessed them in the past with bhakti-bala?





    • I would be happy if someone like you could reconcile the two positions.



  4. The article is too complicated, but in reality everyting is much simpler. Prema (or better say Chit) is dormant and awakened. If you look at the Darshana of Shree Vallabha-Sampradaya or Ramanuja-Sampradaya, you will see that it is just the matter of TIRODHANA-SHAKTI. And baddha-jiva is just concealed amsha of Chit-Shakti (Shreemati Radharani-Devi). Shaiva-Trika holds the same view.

    Sorry, I have no much interest in Gaudidya system (though I know this system by heart), but it is always beneficial to listen to several Vaishnava-Acharyas or even Shaiva (though Shakta-Acharya will be always the best choice!!!!!).

    Anyway, let me explain. When Shreemati Radharani-Devi plays over jivas with Tirodhana-Shakti you get baddha-jiva with concealed Chit. When Shreemati Radharani-Devi feels compassion (Karunya) over baddha-jiva, She just plays with Anugraha-Shakti and jiva goes mukta (or Chit or Prema), that is goes into original state, which had been concealed previsouly by Tirodhana-Shakti.

    But the state of Chit (or Prema, if you use the terms of Shree Gaudiya-Sampradaya) is always in jiva, DORMANT even in Tirodhana-state, otherwise a jiva will be liveless (being devoid of Chit). That’s the idea.

    Please see “Shree Bhagavata-Purana”, Verse 3.27.23 (prakṛtiḥ puruṣasyeha dahyamānā tv ahar-niśam tiro-bhavitrī….) and further for the details.

    And “Shree Vedanta-Sutra”, 4.4.2 and 4.4.3 (you can check Tikas of Shree RamanujAcharya or Shree NimbarkAcharya). Both Acharyas say about “manifestation” and refer to Shaunaka-Rishi and example with a gem (which eternally have such quality as shine).

    Shree Ramanuja-Acharya and Shree Nimbarka-Acharya both write that “only what is already existent is brought to manifestation” and that Chit (Prema, Svarupa, Svabhava, Krishna-Priti, SadchidAnanda – you can chose any definition) “belong to jiva eternally”.