(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada)
"Regarding your questions: Your first question, 'Are great sages put under yogamaya or maya? Also are all the eternally liberated souls under yogamaya?' Yogamaya means the mercy of the Supreme Lord which connects a devotee in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, and mahamaya means the external potency of the Lord which puts a conditioned soul into illusion that he will be happy by material adjustment. So great sages who are impersonalists are also under the spell of mahamaya, because a conditioned soul in the material world wants to improve his material position as exalted as possible, and the concept of becoming one with the Supreme Lord is the greatest illusion for them. Because it is a fact that nobody can be equal or greater than the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and as such, anyone desiring to become one with the Supreme means that he is still in the trap of maya. On the other hand, a humble devotee who may not be a great sage, but simply by his implicit acceptance of the Lotus Feet of the Lord as the goal of his life means that he is under the protection of yogamaya. I think this will clear the idea.
Your next question, 'Is there a difference between Arjuna's body and his soul, and how does this apply to all Krishna's eternally liberated souls described in the scriptures. Is Arjuna always the same in his appearances with Krishna or is a new soul taking his body each time?' Yes, there is difference. Therefore he forgets his past activities. Just like we forget ourselves while dreaming because our subtle body acts at that time differently from the gross body. Similarly, by changing this body or transmigrating from one body to another, we forget all the activities of our previous body. The associates of the Lord, even though they have a different body, or even though they forget the activities of their past body, still they are associates of the Lord. These explanations are given in the Bhagavad-gita as it is.
Your next question, 'Is a pure devotee eternally liberated and if so is he at any time a conditioned soul? We are eternally conditioned, but as soon as we surrender to Krishna do we then become eternally liberated? When Lord Christ appeared he seemed to be conditioned in his growth. Was he a specific incarnation or a conditioned soul who became liberated?' You are not eternally conditioned. You are eternally liberated but since we have become conditioned on account of our desire to enjoy materialistic way of life, from time immemorial, therefore it appears that we are eternally conditioned. Because we cannot trace out the history or the date when we became conditioned, therefore it is technically called eternally conditioned. Otherwise the living entity is not actually conditioned. A living entity is always pure. But he is prone to be attracted by material enjoyment and as soon as he agrees to place himself in material enjoyment, he becomes conditioned, but that is not permanent. Therefore a living entity is called on the marginal state, sometimes this side, sometimes that side. These are very intelligent questions. And I am very glad that you are putting such intelligent questions and trying to understand it. It is very good. But best thing is that one should know he is in conditioned life and try to cure it. When a man is in diseased condition he should try to get out of diseased condition without harassing his brain when the disease has begun. But it is to be understood that the disease is not our constant companion, it is temporary. So the best thing is to cure the disease, and not waste our time to find out the date when it began. Forgetfulness of Krishna is the disease, so let us keep ourselves always in Krishna Consciousness, and get out of the disease, that is healthy life. Yes, Lord Jesus was jivatattva. He is not Visnu tattva. When a jiva tattva becomes specifically empowered by the Lord, he is called saktyavesa avatara. Lord Buddha and Lord Jesus Christ were in this group of saktyavesa avatara.. But they were not in conditioned state when they appeared; they came to teach here."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, November 14, 1968)
"Regarding your question of Paramatma: you are fortunate enough for your sincere service, Krishna as Paramatma Who is sitting within your heart is now dictating. Krishna is so kind that He wants to help us as Spiritual Master in two ways. He helps us from within as Caitya Guru and He expands Himself externally as Siksha Guru (as instructor) and diksha Guru (initiator). So the principle is that whatever you are instructed by the Chaitya Guru internally may be confirmed by the instructor or initiator externally. Then your progress will be complete."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, May 21, 1969)
"Regarding your question, 'What does Rama mean in Hare Rama? Is this Balarama or Lord Ramacandra?', you can take it both ways, because there is no difference between Ramacandra and Balarama. Generally it means Krishna, because Rama means enjoyer. So either Ramacandra, Balarama or Krishna are all Visnu Tattvas and are always enjoying. The sakti tattva, or jiva tattva is always enjoyed. Our position is always predominated. If we remain in that position and properly use our small independence, then we remain happily eternally. But artificially, if we want to be independent and imitate the Supreme Enjoyer, then it is delusion. Material life means trying to imitate the Enjoyer, and spiritual life means to remain in one's eternal position as enjoyed. This Hare Krishna Mantra is addressed to the energy of the Lord and the Lord Himself to keep the chanter in his eternal position of being enjoyed. The prayer is 'My Lord, Oh the Spiritual Energy of the Lord, kindly keep me engaged in Your service.'
Regarding your other question, Krishna in His four-handed Visnu Form is within our hearts, but He is not different from two-handed Krishna."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, September 9, 1969)
"Regarding your question about Krishna's associates, the principle is that all living entities are expansions of the Original Living Entity, Krishna. But there are different grades of living entities: Vishnu Tattva and Jiva Tattva. Visnu Tattva is almost equal to the level of the Personality of Godhead, and Jiva Tattva is minute particles. So when Lord Chaitanya appeared, Nityananda Prabhu and Advaita Prabhu were Visnu Tattva; whereas Gadadhar Prabhu and Srivas Prabhu were Shakti Tattva. Jiva Tattva is also within the Shakti Tattva. These things are explained in TLC and other of our books. Lord Nityananda is Balarama Himself, not an expansion of Him. Srila Narottama das Thakur has sung that the Lord who appeared as the Son of Nanda Maharaj has now appeared as the son of Sachidevi; and the same Balarama has appeared as Nityananda. This is the statement of Srila Narottama das Thakur."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, December 8, 1969)
"Your third question: why does Srila Narada Muni condemn Srila Vyasadeva for compiling the Vedic Scriptures? Sri Narada Muni was the Spiritual Master of Srila Vyasadeva. A Spiritual Master has the right to chastise his disciple any way He likes. A sisya or a disciple means one who accepts the disciplinary action given by the Spiritual Master. Even although sometimes a Spiritual Master chastises his disciple as a fool or rascal in fatherly affection, it does not mean necessarily that the disciple is a fool or a rascal. You will find even in the statement of Lord Chaitanya—He presents Himself as a fool designated by His Spiritual Master, but that does not mean that He was a fool. A sincere disciple feels it pleasurable when his Spiritual Master chastises him with calling him such names as fool and rascal. My Spiritual Master sometimes called me in that way and I remember that day always and feel transcendental pleasure."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, January 27, 1970)
"Regarding your question about collecting, whatever money sent it is all the hand of Krishna. When Krishna gives, you get. Don't be disappointed if you do not get any collection after working.
Always depend on Krishna, and everything will be all right. Fight and depend on the results on Krishna. yudhyasva vigata-jvarah, fight without being lethargic, Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita.
Pushing on this movement, I had to face so many difficulties throughout since I left my home. I lived in Delhi at Sakur Basti because the rent was cheaper there, and I could not even take an apartment in Delhi. Then I was provided with a room at Chippi Walla, Radha Krishna temple, wherein I was able to keep my publication office.
But, by Krishna's grace we are situated on a standard footing. Let us maintain this position cooperatively, and always pray to Krishna that we may not spoil what Krishna has already given us. Try to make improvement more and more."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, November 15, 1974)
"Regarding your question about Vaikuntha; the example is The King and the bed bug, both of them are sitting on the same throne, but the business of the King is to rule and the bed bug's business is to bite. The place is the same, but the consciousness is different. It is said the Lord is situated in everyone's heart, so that means Krishna is also in the heart of a hog, and he is also in the heart of a demigod, but that does not mean that God has become a hog, or a demigod, God is always in Vaikuntha. Similarly, those who are God conscious, Pure devotees of the Lord, they are always in Vaikuntha, there is nothing like material for them."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, November 30, 1975)