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    Neem J

    Namaste Ashishji,

    Hope you are well! I am studying “Conceiving the Inconceivable “, and am having some trouble understanding Dharmopapattesća.

    When we say that there is no external cause for the jeeva to make a certain kind of choice, are we saying that this choice is ultimately the result of the soul’s desire for enjoyment? But then what if the jeeva makes a poor choice?  I am not sure if I am even framing the question well, but please help me understand this.

    Many thanks!


    Ashish Dalela

    Yes, the soul falls due to its desire, and it can be liberated by changing the desire. There are two kinds of desires. One, that wants independent fulfilment. Two, that wants God’s fulfilment as the route to self-fulfilment. The soul is a part of God. So, quite like the stomach, legs, hands, and mouth can desire their self-satisfaction, independent of the whole body, which means that they will not cooperate with the other parts, similarly, the soul develops a desire for independent fulfilment, after which it suffers in the material world because it cannot get fulfilment.

    When the soul realizes that it cannot be independently fulfilled, then it surrenders to God and works for the fulfilment of the whole. That attitude is like the parts of the body function cooperatively for the fulfilment of the body. Since the whole has a desire for its fulfilment, the parts also have the potential for such desire. However, realizing that potential is good for the whole and bad for the parts. So, what potentially exists in the soul should not be realized or converted to reality.

    Thereby, there is a potential for bad choices in us. That possibility doesn’t exist in God because self-fulfilment of the whole is the fulfilment of all parts. Hence, even if God is selfish, it is good for everyone. But if we are selfish, it is good for no one.

    So, we can say that God desires His happiness, and that is happiness for everyone. The soul inherits that same desire for self-satisfaction. However, because the soul is a part and not the whole, self-fulfilment becomes a bad desire. This is the genesis of evil, namely, something in God is good, but the same thing in the soul is bad. We can say that God is all-good, He creates the soul, and yet, that soul becomes bad if it tries to be just like God, namely, desire its own self-satisfaction like God.

    The cure for that evil is knowledge, namely, knowing that we are a part and not the whole. The correction of that mistake cures evil and restores goodness.

    Neem J

    Thank you! That explanation clarifies it for me.

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