Durban, South Africa
An Afrikaner chap, Michael, brought up a question after my
delivery of Bhagavatam class.
“How can we settle the matter of the origin of the jeeva,
Michael’s question deserves a little background. The topic
is debatable and controversial. Pundits have been trying
to wrap their hands around the issue of “where did I
initially come from, meaning my soul, my spirit.” Most of
us know about the birth if this body. It’s written on your
birth certificate. That is to do with your body but not
We are informed that through a series of lives we have
been transferring. How many lives is unknown. Since time
immemorial. The question pressing for Michael is actually
not so much when but from where did the soul make entry in
the material world.
Debates on this subject matter have spun around in circles
with no agreed upon siddhanta or conclusion. You merely
have factions that hold hard and fast to varying
positions. But as Michael was well aware, our guru Srila
Prabhupada’s stance on the subject was that primarily we
don’t need to be engrossed in the subject, that we be more
concern about the fact that we are a spirit, we are deeply
entrenched into matter. It’s like being trapped in a deep
dark pit and you immediately strategize how to get out.
Don’t worry about analyzing details of how you fell in.
There is a compulsion to get out, a desperate need to act
and to escape.
My response to Michael was perhaps too simplistic for him.
I suggested that life is such that live with doubt, that
we accept mystery and that not all will be known. Krishna
with His Creation reserves the right to retain his title
as Achintya, the inconceivable.
It is better to love Krishna then to try to understand