Is The Soul Originally Krishna Conscious?


Question

Some people use the following statement of Prabhupada, and similar statements, to argue that the soul is not originally Krishna conscious and does not possess intrinsic, if dormant, bhakti. “Only when the hlādinī-śakti emanates from Śrī Kṛṣṇa and is bestowed upon the living being to attract Him does the living being become a pure lover of God. “

Answer

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To clarify, I suggest we consider this statement in the larger context of the Kṛṣṇa-jīva exchange. For example, in Bg 15.15, Kṛṣṇa famously states that He is in our heart and from Him come memory, knowledge, and ignorance. This does not mean that in its original state, the jīva is unconscious and bereft of all knowledge or memory. As we know, the soul is by nature conscious, and to be conscious is to know something. Even highly bewildered entities may correctly perceive something, such as colors, shapes, the literal meaning of language, or the basic laws of nature such as gravity. Thus the fact that knowledge and memory come from Kṛṣṇa does not mean that the soul is originally unconscious.

Similarly, Kṛṣṇa says that everything emanates from Him. “Everything” includes souls, yet Kṛṣṇa says that souls have always existed.

Conclusion: the fact that some object or characteristic ‘comes from’ Kṛṣṇa does not mean that it did not previously exist. So the fact that bhakti comes from Kṛṣṇa does not mean that bhakti does not originally exist in the soul.