1956 Back to Godhead vol 3 part 11 - Rational Theism
The Absolute Truth in His Supreme Feature is 'Purushottam' or the Personality of Godhead. Impersonal 'Brahma' and localised super-soul 'Paramatma' features are His hazy and partial realisation, although 'Brahma,' 'Paramatma' and 'Bhagwan' are one and the same Absolute Truth. We have already discussed this subject matter in our article 'Shri Krishna The Supreme Vedantist.'
The Absolute Truth is realised as 'Sat-Chid-Ananda' Substance. 'Sat' means eternal existence, 'Chit' means full of knowledge and 'Ananda' means full of joy. Therefore the Supreme Truth is 'Satchidananda Vigraha' or the eternal form of personality and full of knowledge and joyful nature. He is therefore a Purusha or the enjoyer but He is Akshara Purusha as distinguished from the Kshara Purusha. We can have the idea of the Akshara Purusha by studying the nature of Kshara Purusha because so far the Purusha quality is concerned, both the Kshara Purusha and Akshara Purusha are one and the same thing.
The Kshara Purusha or the living entities want to live eternally, to know everything fully and to enjoy fully. Amongst all the different living entities the human form of living being is considered to be the highest because in that form only the living being can realise his own self as part and parcel of the Absolute Satchitananda Vigraha.
The Satchidananda Vigraha is just like the sun. When there is sun there is no darkness. This darkness of self realisation is resumed when the Kshara Purusha or the living being is face to face with the Satchidananda Vigraha. Therefore a human being in his attempt to know the Absolute Truth realises either impersonal Brahman, or localised Paramatma or the Purushottam Bhagwan according to his inclination or capacity of realisation. 'Brahma' realisation is compared with the realisation of the sun rays, Paramatma realisation is compared with the realisation of sun-disc and Bhagwan realisation is compared with the realisation of Sun-God living within the Sunglobe with all his paraphernalia. The sun-globe is exactly a similar globe like the one in which we are living but the atmosphere is different from the one that we are enjoying here. The living entities within the sun-globe have different types of bodily structure just suitable for living there as much as the aquatic animals or the flying birds have suitable structure of material bodies for living in water or flying in the sky respectively. The animals of the land cannot live in water or fly in the sky but that does not mean there is no living being neither in the sea or in the sky. Similarly there is no truth in the assertion that there is no living being in other planets including the Sun. Every planet is as much a living place as this earth is.
So the Absolute Personality of Godhead or the Akshara Purusha being the Supreme Sachidananda Vigraha, He has His own abode for enjoyment called by the name Goloka although He in His Impersonal Brahma feature is all pervasive and in His localised Paramatma feature He is residing within every heart and everywhere including the atoms and electrons.
Therefore a Kshara Purusha or the living being realises the same Satchidananda Vigraha in His "Sat" feature indicated by the transcendental sound "Om Tatsat" and becomes an impersonal monist or "Brahma" Vadi or a "Brahman" the intelligent man. When he realises the same Satchidananda Vigraha in His "Satchid" feature he realises Paramatma as the localised aspect. As we have already explained Paramatma realisation is just like the realisation of the Sun-disc. If there are crores and crores of men distributed in an area of thousand and thousands of miles, all of them will say at mid-day that the Sun-disc is hovering above his head. Although the sun is one it can be realised as on the head of everyone all over the world, similarly the Satchidananda Vigraha in His "Satchid" Vigraha can be realised by one and all. But when a person is competent to enter into the abode of the Satchidananda Vigraha Shri Krishna the Purushottam, he can enjoy the company of Him in person as we can enjoy the personal company of our master, our friends, our parents, and our lovers.
There are five direct transcendental "Rasas" or mellows enjoyed by the Kshara Purusha in association with Akshara Purusha. They are called by the name (1) "Santa Rasa" (2) "Dashya Rasa" (3) Sakhya Rasa" (4) "Vatsalya Rasa" and (5) "Madhurya Rasa."
"Santa Rasa" is enjoyable by persons who have realised the Sachidananda Vigraha in His "Brahman" and Paramatma features. But the other "Rasas" namely "Dashya" etc. are enjoyable by the devotees of Shri Krishna the Purushottam. Shri Krishna therefore informs directly in the Bhagwat Geeta as follows:-
- Ja, Mam, Eba, Asammudha,
- Janati Purushottamam
- Sa, Sarbabid, Bhajati, Mam,
- Sarbabhabena, Bharata.
One who is not a "Mudha" or "Naradhama" but one who is "Asammudha" i.e. transcendental to all varieties of ignorance can realise Purushottam. There are different kinds of ignorant people. The fruitive workers are described as the "Mudhas" and "Naradhamas" and the empiric philosophical speculators are described as the class of "Mayoapahrita Jnana." We have already discussed this subject matter in our article "The lowest of the mankind." Besides these two classes of ignorant men there are others who are described as the "Duskritina," "Ashuri Bhavamapanna" etc.
So when one becomes a perfect "Asammudha" i.e. above all classes of foolish people, he gives up the false arguments of realising the Absolute Truth and accepts Sri Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead the Purushottam.
Shri Arjuna was made an "Asammudha" person by the mercy of his beloved friend Shri Krishna when he was given instruction on Bhagwat Geeta. He actually understood Bhagwat Geeta and therefore he became an "Asammudha." And whoever will understand Bhagwat Geeta in the "Parampara" or disciplic succession of Arjuna, he will also become an Asammudha" after reading Bhagwat Geeta. One cannot be called an "Asammudha" as long as one will continue to argue about the real nature of the Supreme Truth. In search of such Supreme Truth as we find in the process of enquiries by Arjuna and its suitable replies by the Lord. When Arjuna became perfectly Asammudha he said like this:
- Nasta, Moha, Smriti, Labdha,
- Tat, Prasadut, Maya, Achchuta.
- Sthitho, Asmi, Gata, Sandeha,
- Karishya, Vachanam, Tabas.
"My ignorance (Moha) is now dissipated (Nasta) and I have regained (Labdha) my original consciousness (Smriti) by your Grace. Oh Achchuta! (The infallible)
"I am now settled up in my conviction because all my doubts (Sardeha) about my duty are now cleared off. I shall now carry out your order."
This is the stage of being 'Asammudha' and in this stage only one can accept Shri Krishna as the Supreme Person Godhead. This is the highest stage of spiritual realisation superior to the realisation of "Brahman" and "Paramatma." In such realisation only all arguments about the Supreme Truth stops and one begins to serve (Bhajoti) Shri Krishna, knowing Him to be the Purushottam. Even those who are after 'Brahma' realisation or after 'Paramatma' realisation can worship Shri Krishna knowing Him to be "Purushottam" which term includes the other two features namely "Brahman" and "Paramatma."
This conviction of Purushottam realisation is so transcendentally valuable that simply by this conviction even by blind faith and without any knowledge evaluations, one can become vastly learned in the spiritual science. The reason is that Purushottam Godhead Shri Krishna is residing in the heart of every living being. And as soon as such living being turns his face towards Purushottam for His service, the devotee is instructed from within by this Supreme Vedantist in His Paramatma feature. When Paramatma becomes the instructor of a "Kshara Purusha" he is sure to be vastly learned in the transcendental science for who can become greater instructor than the Supreme Lord? The Supreme Lord Shri Krishna takes special care for His devotee otherwise He is always neutral to every living being. This is explicitly expressed in the Bhagwat Geeta. And to show special favour to one who is constantly engaged in His service the Personality of Godhead Purushottam says like this:-
- Sama, Aham, Sarba, Bhuteshu,
- Na, May, Deshya, Asti, Na, Priya,
- Je, Bhajanti, Tu, Mam, Bhaktya,
- Mayee, Te, Tesu, Cha, Api, Aham.
- (G. 9/29)
- Ja, Mam, Ajam, Anadim, Cha,
- Betti, Loka, Moheswaram,
- "Assamudha," Sa, Marteshu,
- Sarba, Papai, Pamuchyate.
- (G. 18/3)
- Tesham, Satata, Yuktanam,
- Bhajatam, Priti Purbakam,
- Dadami, Buddhiyogam, Tam,
- Jena, Mam, Upayanti, Te.
- (G. 10/10)
- Tesham, Eba, Anukampartham,
- Aham, Ajrajam, Tamah,
- Nashayami, Atmabhobastha,
- Jnana, Dwipena, Vaswata.
- (G. 10/11)
One may argue as to how one can realise the Purushottam the highest principle of spiritual realisation without undergoing the process of culturing spiritual knowledge. To them the direct reply is that one who is constantly engaged in the transcendental loving service or devotional activities under the direction of a self realised spiritual master and in sincere mood—is awarded a special favour by the Personality of Godhead. This special favour is not obtained by the other classes who are not within the range of devotional activities. One has simply to abide by the order of the Supreme Person and thus His favours will follow automatically. One has not got to ask from Him any special favour which the devotee deserves. The Personality of Godhead being full of knowledge, He perfectly knows the needs of His devotees and He takes charge for all of them.
The Jnana Dwipa or learning light supplied by the Supreme Lord is certainly transcendental and more powerful than the burning light manufactured by a scientist. No scientist can illuminate the whole world at night even by the most powerful searchlight ever discovered by him. But the light of the Supreme Lord supplied through His agent the Sun dissipates all the darkness of night even prior to his rising. And when the rising sun is on the zenith of the sky, there is no question of illumination even to the highest strength.
Similarly the Personal light of the Supreme Lord is so powerful that even by His glowing effulgence the whole material conception of existence becomes cleared off. This light of the Supreme Lord is compared with the twilight before the sunrise. And when a man actually engages his energy in the service of the Lord, there is unlimited supply of spiritual light which one cannot expect to receive even by the studies of all the Vedas.
The conclusion is therefore made by Srila Jiva Goswami the highest scholarly Acharya of the Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu sampradaya. He says "The Personality of Godhead Purushottam is the Absolute Truth on account of His becoming fully powerful with all potencies. In His impersonal feature the variegatedness of diverse potencies are conspicuous by their absence. It is for this reason the impersonal feature is known as 'Brahman' the unlimited. Impersonal Brahman is therefore partial manifestation of Purushottam. The word 'Bhagawana' is analysed in the following manner. Bha means the protector and maintainer, Ga means the leader, the mover and the creator, Ba indicates that all the living entities rest in the body of the Supreme Lord and the Supreme Lord as Paramatma resides in everyone's heart. The word "Bhagvat" indicates fully equipped with unlimited knowledge, energy, strength, opulence, influence, and activity. and all these qualities are transcendental without any tinge of material modes. Protector means one who sustains and settles. Leader means master of the devotees and enjoyer of devotional service. He moves his devotees into His transcendental abode just to favor them with special mercy.
When we say creator we do not mean that He is creator of this material world. This material world is created by one of His numberless agencies and the Prakriti or material Nature is one of them. Personally He creates the transcendental qualities of His devotees. This is said in the Bhagwat Geeta as follows:-
- Maya, Adhyakshena, Prakriti, Suyate, Sacharachara, Hetmuna, Aneyna, Kouvnteya, Jagat, Biparibortate.
"Under My direction only the Prakriti creates all the movable and non-movable objects within the material nature and for this reason only the movement of this progressive cosmos is going on."
So the creation of the material world with all paraphernalias are the result of His direction through His agent Prakriti.
But so far the transcendental qualities of His devotees are concerned He is personally interested to create the favourable circumstances for leading the devotee.
- "Tesham, Eva, Anukampartham, Aham, Ajnajam, Tamah, Nashayami, Atmabhabastha, Jnana, Dwepena, Vaswata." (BG 10.11)
We have already explained this sloka previously in this. So far the material world is concerned He is in one way indifferent in it because He is always joyful by His internal potency. The material world is the product of this external potency and the living entities are His marginal potency.
But although He is personally indifferent like in the affairs of the material world, just to maintain the coordinated relation of Him with the material nature—He maintains the creation, sustenance and destruction of the same by expanding Himself in His plenary parts. Such plenary parts and parts of the plenary parts are known as Rama, Narishinha, Baraha, Narayana, Brahma, Vishnu, Maheswara and many others also who are all to be understood as the Personality of Godhead Himself. Because there is no difference in potency between Him and these plenary parts. The difference is in the matter of manifestation of the potencies.
The cause of all causes or the Primeval Lord Supreme Personality of Godhead Purushottam Shri Krishna enlivens this material world by impregnating His potential parts, called the Jivas or living entities. These living entities, who wanted to enjoy this material world, are given all the facilities of enjoyment and its instrument namely the senses, body and mind. And the plenary portion who controls the management of these material affairs is known as Paramatma. This is confirmed in Bhagwat Geeta as follows- Geeta 10/42
- Athoba, Bahuna, Etena,
- Kim, Jnatena, Taba, Arjuna,
- Vistavya, Aham, Idam, Kritsnam,
- Eka, Amsena, Stitha, Jagat.
"This material world is maintained by one of My plenary portions and you need not know more than this." This Eka Amsa or one plenary portion is called Paramatma and we discussed this point on our last article, "Shri Krishna the Supreme Vedantist.
The ordinary living entities, although part and parcels of the Supreme Lord Purushottam, they are known as Atma or the individual spirit soul. But Paramatma is different from this Atma because there are specific potentialities far superior than the potencies of the Jivatma. Paramatma is cooperator with the Jivatma.
We can understand this by the following example. Whenever there is a congregation of the mass of people for some religious fair or political conference like the annual session of all India Congress etc. in a particular locality or place, the Government deputes some officer like the magistrate or so, for arranging the necessary public works like sanitation, law order, post office, hospital, water supply, etc. Now this deputed officer may be compared with Paramatma. The mass of people who congregate in that mela or conference are as much parts of the Government as the deputed magistrate. But the magistrate is fully equipped with all the potencies of the highest executive head while the mass of people have no such power. The magistrate is situated there to observe the activities of the people and give them necessary facilities for executing their will but the magistrate cannot be called an ordinary man as one of the conference or mela people.
So the Paramatma is situated at everyone's heart as cooperator of the individual soul but He is not equal with the living being. He is Parama or the Supreme.
And the truth which exists eternally either in phenomenon or noumenon or in other words either in manifestation or oblivion is called the impersonal 'Brahman.'
Sreemad Bhagavat concludes like this - (Bhagwat 1/2/11)
- Vadanti, Tatwavida, Tattwam,
- Jat, Jnanam, Adwayam,
- Brahman, Iti, Paramatma, Iti,
- Bhagwan, Iti, Sabdate.
The transcendentalists who are expert in spiritual science calls the Supreme Truth as absolute. That Absolute Truth is realised either as (1) impersonal Brahman or as (2) Paramatma or as (3) Bhagwan according to the realising capacity of the performer. "Bhagwan" or the Personality of Godhead is the last word in spiritual sense.