Krishna – Duality Confusion – One And Many?

Is the Supreme Absolute Truth One or Many? Is Krishna One or Many? How is it that Krishna is One without a Second? How about Love? How about Relationships? How to understand this?

Jyoti Gupta, 27 April 2020

Hare Krishna 

If you could explain Chapter 5, Text 17 of Bhagavad Gita, where it has been told that there is duality in Krishna-simultaneous identity and individuality.

One more thing I would like to know – He is one without a second.. kindly explain .

Thank you 

🙏

Hare Krishna 

Jyoti Gupta

Mahabhagavat Das, 28 April 2020

Dear Mother Jyoti,

Hare Krishna!

You are referring to BG 5.17, where in the purport Srila Prabhupada writes: “A Kṛṣṇa conscious person can thoroughly understand that there is duality (simultaneous identity and individuality) in Kṛṣṇa, and, equipped with such transcendental knowledge, one can make steady progress on the path of liberation.”

What this means is that Krishna is a person originally, and that He has impersonal aspects.

Before we go to Krishna, let us look at ourselves…

You are a person, but if you completely ignore someone, then that is your own impersonal aspect. Also, when you are angry, then anyone who comes in your way will experience your anger, whether they did something to deserve your anger or not, so in this way, your anger can be said to be impersonal, even though you are a person yourself.

Similarly, Krishna, has His own impersonal aspects. The primary impersonal aspect is His Brahman feature. In the Brahman feature, which is His bodily effulgence, there is no individuality. Another one of Krishna’s impersonal features is time, time does not care for any person, it is impersonal, time just moves on and forces the world to keep moving along with it.

In addition to Krishna’s impersonal features, there is also the “localized Supersoul” or Paramatma feature, where Krishna expands into unlimited expansions, enters into the heart of every living entity along with the Atma, and also enters into the atoms and the space within the atoms. Even though Krishna expands in this way, Krishna still remains Krishna individually.

His closest, most intimate feature is Himself, His personal form, name, and identity.

Another crude example is – you may get a letter from the Government… inside the Government there is a department, and that department has a head, and that head has a boss, that boss has another boss, and ultimately it is the President or the Prime Minister who is the top power of the government. But when we see a policeman on the street enforcing the order of the government, then that policeman has the combined force of the entire government, and if necessary, through that policeman, the entire government can act. So, the government can be seen as some sort of “Brahman” – the government is impersonal, but inside that Brahman, there are so many little government representatives… Of course all of this cannot compare to SrI Krishna because Krishna is inconceivable by material means.

Krishna is one without a second because when you rank someone #1, #2, #3, etc., then it implies that there is some measure by which #1 is superior to #2, and #2 is superior to #3… so if #3 tries a bit harder, then they can overtake #1 and become the new #1… but in the case of Krishna, there is no comparison whatsoever, no one else can compare or match up to Krishna!

There may be occasionally some delay in answering questions sometimes, but rest assured that we are here to serve you on your spiritual journey.

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Jyoti Gupta, 29 April 2020

Hare Krishna !

Thank you so much for the kind response, and for bringing clarity to my mind.

Regards

Jyoti Gupta

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Jiva Soul – A poem from 1874

Back in in 1874, Bhaktivinode Thakura wrote this sublime poem that gives us the formula for Supreme Spiritual Success! Jiva Soul, from Saragrahi Vaishnava

This is a poem by the great saint Bhaktivinode Thakura… from his 1874 work, “Saragrahi Vaishnava”

The Jiva Soul:

Alas for those who spend their days
In festive mirth and joy.
The dazzling, deadly liquid forms
Their hearts fore’er employ.

The shining bottles charm their eyes
And draw their heart’s embrace;
The slaves of wine can never rise
From what we call disgrace.

Was man intended to be
A brute in work and heart?
Should man, the Lord of all around,
From common sense depart?

Man’s glory is in common sense
Dictating us the grace,
That man is made to live and love
The beauteous Heaven’s embrace.

The flesh is not our own alas;
The mortal frame a chain;
The soul confined for former wrongs
Should try to rise again.

Why then this childish play in that
Which cannot be our own;
Which falls within a hundred years
As if a rose ablown.

Our life is but a rosy hue
To go ere long for naught;
The soul alone would last fore’er
With good or evil fraught.

How deep the thought of times to be!
How grave the aspect looks!
And wrapt in awe become, O, we,
When reading Nature’s books.

Man’s life to him a problem dark–
A screen both left and right;
No soul hath come to tell us what
Exists beyond our sight.

But then a voice, how deep and soft,
Within ourselves is left;
Man! Man! Thou art immortal soul!
Thee Death can never melt.

For thee thy Sire on High has kept
A store of bliss above,
To end of time, thou art O! His–
Who wants but purest love.

O Love! Thy power and spell benign
Now melt my soul to God;
How can my earthly words describe
That feeling soft and broad.

Enjoyment, sorrow — what but lots
To which the flesh is heir?
The soul that sleeps alone concludes
In them it hath a share.

And then, my friends, no more enjoy
Nor weep for all below;
The women, wine, and flesh of beasts
No love on thee bestow.

But thine to love thy brother man
And give thyself to God.
And God doth know your wages fair–
This fact is true and broad.

Forget the past that sleeps and ne’er
The future dream at all,
But act in time that are with thee
And progress thee shall call.

But tell me not in reasoning cold,
The soul is made alone
By Earth’s mechanic lifeless rules
And to destruction prone.

My God who gave us life and all
Alone the soul can kill
Or give it all the joys above
His promise to fulfill.

So push thy onward march, O soul,
Against an evil deed
That stands with soldiers Hate and Lust–
A hero be indeed.

Maintain thy post in spirit world
As firmly as you can,
Let never matter push thee down–
O stand heroic man!

O Sharagrahi Vaishnava soul,
Thou art an angel fair;
Lead, lead me on to Vrindavan
And spirit’s power declare.

There rests my soul from matter free
Upon my Lover’s arms–
Eternal peace and spirits love
Are all my chanting charms.

Eating a Mango in hiding

The great saint Ramanuja once gave his disciples a mango each and ordered them to eat hidden from view… one disciple couldn’t find a place to hide! What about you? Do you think you can hide?

I heard this from my Gurumata, Srimati Vishnupriya Devi Dasi, one of my primary instructing spiritual masters.

Once upon a time, the great saint Ramanuja, who appeared on this planet more than 1000 years ago, called his disciples and gave them each a mango. He instructed them to eat the mango in a secluded place without being seen by anyone, and report back.

The disciples scrambled, some went to caves, some to forests, some locked themselves into a dark room, yet others hid behind buildings and trees. Some went under a blanket.

One of the disciples though, returned to his spiritual master and apologetically offered that he could find no place where he could be unseen.

Ramanuja heartily congratulated this disciple and was very pleased with him.

Indeed, for every single one of our thoughts, words, and deeds, there are witnesses.

Everywhere we go, we are witnessed by the light of the sun or the moon, the light of the stars, the earth, air, space, and other material elements. These material elements are merely manifestations of the controlling deities.

You may find that hard to accept, but just think about this – do you have a cellphone? Wherever you go, the cellphone network “sees” you, tracks you. If you ever connect to any network, anything you do on that network is seen by all the providers of that network, and if they wish to, they can easily reconstruct all your actions online. Every. Single. Action. Every. Single. Byte. It is all recorded in gigantic datacenters the size of mega cities, in servers and disks with blinking lights, whirring fans, and efficient cooling systems. You are not unseen.

What to speak of man-made networks, there is the Original Network of this Material Nature, with all the material elements, the various gross and subtle manifestations and so on… do you think that the Creator and operators of this network cannot see your actions?

Very specifically, the agents of the personality in charge of death and the ultimate taxes, Yamaraja, such as Chitragupta, are tapped into this network and are recording all our actions. Not one single action goes unrecorded.

मुक्तलिङ्गं सदाभासमसति प्रतिपद्यते ।
सतो बन्धुमसच्चक्षु: सर्वानुस्यूतमद्वयम् ॥ ११ ॥

mukta-liṅgaṁ sad-ābhāsam
asati pratipadyate
sato bandhum asac-cakṣuḥ
sarvānusyūtam advayam

A liberated soul realizes the Absolute Personality of Godhead, who is transcendental and who is manifest as a reflection even in the false ego. He is the support of the material cause and He enters into everything. He is absolute, one without a second, and He is the eyes of the illusory energy.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/3/27/11/

Even if we were to be able to escape the material elements somehow, we cannot escape the Super Soul, the Paramatma, who is expanded within our hearts and travels with ourselves, us, the spirit soul, Atma. The very same Paramatma is expanded inside every atom and within the space between atoms.

eko ‘py asau racayituṁ jagad-aṇḍa-koṭiṁ
yac-chaktir asti jagad-aṇḍa-cayā yad-antaḥ
aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham-
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

He is an undifferentiated entity as there is no distinction between potency and the possessor thereof. In His work of creation of millions of worlds, His potency remains inseparable. All the universes exist in Him and He is present in His fullness in every one of the atoms that are scattered throughout the universe, at one and the same time. Such is the primeval Lord whom I adore.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bs/5/35/

Like that fortunate disciple of Sri Ramanuja, we need to see…

सर्वभूतस्थमात्मानं सर्वभूतानि चात्मनि ।
ईक्षते योगयुक्तात्मा सर्वत्र समदर्शन: ॥ २९ ॥

sarva-bhūta-stham ātmānaṁ
sarva-bhūtāni cātmani
īkṣate yoga-yuktātmā
sarvatra sama-darśanaḥ

A true yogī observes Me in all beings and also sees every being in Me. Indeed, the self-realized person sees Me, the same Supreme Lord, everywhere.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/6/29/

Everyone can see God. Here. Now. For one who has the eyes to see!

No eternal damnation

In many of the world’s religious traditions, there is the concept of eternal damnation… you know, do this, follow that, believe this, till the end of your life, or else, ETERNAL DAMNATION IN HELL FOR YOU!

That sort of fear mongering worked for some time… like with all things that are born in fear, they work on some people all the time, on all people for some time, but not on all people for all time.

People eventually tune that stuff out – with or without the help of the dogmatic religion called atheism.

The problem with eternal damnation is clear when we consider this…

  1. Our legal and constitutional systems have pardons built into them.
  2. Schools and Universities allow failed students to eventually pass.
  3. Even humans, imperfect humans, forgive.

So, something that us fallible humans can construct, police forces, courts, schools, universities… can actually be more merciful, more tolerant, more forbearing than God?

So, does it mean that God, the source of all that be, the Alpha, the Omega, the Origin of the Universe, doesn’t possess the quality of tolerance or forgiveness?

Is God some angry old man sitting around passing judgement and taking delight in making someone suffer eternally in the hellish regions? Is God a sadist?

Having been introduced to such an idea of God, would you blame a reasonable person for turning to atheism?

Nonsense! Eternal Damnation is a myth.

Let me say that again – Eternal damnation does not exist.

Once more – Eternal damnation is a tall tale, told by insecure religious leaders looking to control their flock with fear and intimidation.

But Eternal Damnation? Doesn’t exist, not true, false.

In the Gita, we find this verse:


भोक्तारं यज्ञतपसां सर्वलोकमहेश्वरम् ।
सुहृदं सर्वभूतानां ज्ञात्वा मां शान्तिमृच्छति ॥ ५.२९ ॥
bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ
sarva-loka-maheśvaram
suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati


A person in full consciousness of Me, knowing Me to be the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods, and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attains peace from the pangs of material miseries.

Bhagavad Gita As It Is 5.29 https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/5/29/

Could a “benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities” ever institute a program of eternal damnation, where one can never be redeemed for whatever wrongs one may have committed? Not a chance!

In fact, knowing the material sojourn to be intensely painful, this “benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities” travels with each and every individual soul as the supersoul, till the completion of their material sojourn – whether it be in the body of a bird, a pig, a plant, an insect, a vulture, a tiger or any creature you can think of, God takes His place by the side of the spirit soul, little jiva…


ईश्वरः सर्वभूतानां हृद्देशेऽर्जुन तिष्ठति ।
भ्रामयन्सर्वभूतानि यन्त्रारूढानि मायया ॥ १८.६१ ॥

īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
hṛd-deśe ’rjuna tiṣṭhati
bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni
yantrārūḍhāni māyayā


The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.

Bhagavad Gita As It Is 18.61 https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/18/61/

Yes, just see the immense kindness of God, to accompany a person who has rebelled, and left the association and service of God. How many persons even do that for one lifetime? Leave alone for millions and billions of lifetimes? No, only God is capable of that kind of infinite patience and love.

But what about damnation? There is none, there are simply correctional facilities…


तानहं द्विषतः क्रुरान्संसारेषु नराधमान् ।
क्षिपाम्यजस्रमशुभानासुरीष्वेव योनिषु ॥ १६.१९ ॥
tān ahaṁ dviṣataḥ krūrān
saṁsāreṣu narādhamān
kṣipāmy ajasram aśubhān
āsurīṣv eva yoniṣu


Those who are envious and mischievous, who are the lowest among men, I perpetually cast into the ocean of material existence, into various demoniac species of life.

Bhagavad Gita As It Is 16.19 https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/16/19/

And what happens next?


आसुरीं योनिमापन्ना मूढा जन्मनि जन्मनि ।
मामप्राप्यैव कौन्तेय ततो यान्त्यधमां गतिम् ॥ १६.२० ॥
āsurīṁ yonim āpannā
mūḍhā janmani janmani
mām aprāpyaiva kaunteya
tato yānty adhamāṁ gatim


Attaining repeated birth amongst the species of demoniac life, O son of Kuntī, such persons can never approach Me. Gradually they sink down to the most abominable type of existence.

Bhagavad Gita As It Is 16.20 https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/16/20/

So how can God be advertised as the all-merciful?

This is what A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada says:


It is known that God is all-merciful, but here we find that God is never merciful to the demoniac. It is clearly stated that the demoniac people, life after life, are put into the wombs of similar demons, and, not achieving the mercy of the Supreme Lord, they go down and down, so that at last they achieve bodies like those of cats, dogs and hogs. It is clearly stated that such demons have practically no chance of receiving the mercy of God at any stage of later life. In the Vedas also it is stated that such persons gradually sink to become dogs and hogs. It may be then argued in this connection that God should not be advertised as all-merciful if He is not merciful to such demons. In answer to this question, in the Vedānta-sūtra we find that the Supreme Lord has no hatred for anyone. The placing of the asuras, the demons, in the lowest status of life is simply another feature of His mercy. Sometimes the asuras are killed by the Supreme Lord, but this killing is also good for them, for in Vedic literature we find that anyone who is killed by the Supreme Lord becomes liberated. There are instances in history of many asuras – Rāvaṇa, Kaṁsa, Hiraṇyakaśipu – to whom the Lord appeared in various incarnations just to kill them. Therefore God’s mercy is shown to the asuras if they are fortunate enough to be killed by Him.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, BG 16.19 Purport

But that is reserved for the really big demons, it takes a lot of effort to get there, none of the little ones make it past correction, and time in various insect, plant, animal, bird, fish lifetimes before coming back to another human life.

I’ve been told many times that because I am not following the Qu’ran according to someone’s interpretation, or because I haven’t accepted Jesus as my savior in someone’s view, I am going to hell. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I follow the principles of the Quran better than most people who claim to be Muslims, and it is a fact that Jesus Christ led me to where I am today.

God is a loving person, and I have a loving relationship with God. I will accept all the correction I deserve, seeing it coming from the loving hand of God. But this will remain my prayer…


तत्तेऽनुकम्पां सुसमीक्षमाणो भुञ्जान एवात्मकृतं विपाकम्
हृद्वाग्वपुर्भिर्विदधन्नमस्ते जीवेत यो मुक्तिपदे स दायभाक् ॥ १०.१४.८ ॥

tat te ’nukampāṁ su-samīkṣamāṇo
bhuñjāna evātma-kṛtaṁ vipākam
hṛd-vāg-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jīveta yo mukti-pade sa dāya-bhāk

My dear Lord, one who earnestly waits for You to bestow Your causeless mercy upon him, all the while patiently suffering the reactions of his past misdeeds and offering You respectful obeisances with his heart, words and body, is surely eligible for liberation, for it has become his rightful claim.

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.8 https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/10/14/8/

So eternal damnation, it’s a myth, forget about it.

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