Dhanurdhara Swami October 15th, 2000
I appreciate good philosophy. I read today from Jaiva Dharma by Bhaktivinoda Thakur:
“The eternal nature of a vastu, or truly abiding object, is it eternal dharma. Nature arises from the elementary structure of an object (ghatana). By the desire of Krishna, when an object is formed, a particular nature is built into that structure as an eternal concomitant factor. It is this nature which is the eternal dharma of an object.
“When by force of circumstances or due to contact with other objects, a change takes place in a given object?its nature becomes altered or distorted. With the passage of time this distorted nature becomes fixed and thus takes the appearance of permanence, as if it were the eternal nature of that object. This distorted nature is not the true nature, or svabhava; it is called nisarga, that nature which is acquired through long-term association. Occupying the place of the factual nature, this nisarga identifies itself as the true nature, or svabhava.
“Water, as an example, is an object and liquidity is its svabhava. When, under certain circumstances, water solidifies and becomes ice, the acquired nature of hardness acts in place of its substantial nature. In reality the acquired nature is not eternal; it is occasional and temporary. It arises due to some cause; and, when that cause is no longer effective, it vanishes automatically. However, the svabhava, is eternal. Although it may become distorted, it remains inseparablyconnected to its object. When the proper time and circumstances arise, the true nature can certainly be established.” (Jaiva Dharma, Ch. 1, p.8, Gaudiya Vedanta Publications)