Relative independence of the jiva

Relative independence of the jiva

ACARYA SERIES, Uncategorized

Srila Bhakti Vallabha Tirtha Goswami Maharaja

“God controls all affairs, but He does not interfere in the relative independence of the jiva, the individual souls. He can interfere if He wishes, for He is omnipotent. But if He did so, then the individual consciousness would become inert; it would become matter. The independent consciousness would be destroyed.

So the Lord Himself appears and tries to persuade the souls who are averse to Him to accept His teachings willingly.

He does not want to force them to accept devotion. He could do so, but if He did, then the individual consciousness would be destroyed. What would be the benefit of that?

Consciousness is a great wealth, so, while still maintaining the jivas’ relative independence, the Lord appears here in this world or He sends His own associates to make the jivas understand that they should willingly submit to Him.”

— Srila Bhakti Vallabha Tirtha Goswami Maharaja


  1. BV Vaikhanas

    Wonderful quotation. Thank you.
    Are there any lectures that explain in more detail the meaning of relative independence? Many people ask about how much independence we really have if we are controlled by the three modes of material nature. And if we are controlled by the three gunas, then how are we responsible for our own actions?
    There must be some conscious choice involved in our actions if we are responsible for the results. And yet, we know that the cause of action is rooted in seeds sown by previous actions and thoughts which create a particular state of mind and intelligence. And then according to our conditioned nature, we are manipulated by the material energy to do this or that.
    So how much free will is there? I have some ideas, pieced together from my studies, but would really like to hear something from our acaryas on this.

  2. dayanidhi

    I would venture something my dearest A.C. Swami Prabuhpada said when asked , was it our good karma or fortune that brought us to Krsna, I believe his reply was , I have created your good fortune. This is the mercy of Maha Bhagavats and a statement of free will. If no free will, why preach? Yes the tendency is there to continue in conditioned response but one can break out through intelligence, calamity or other processes. Christ’s mission was exemplary in this, the people He put on the path were mostly untouchable in character.


Leave a Reply to dayanidhi Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

read next

Acarya highlights

Share This