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Dvitiyah Kiranah—Second Ray of Light
Sarvesvara-tattva-nirnayah—The Supreme Personality of Godhead
1 Now we will consider the topics of this book. These topics are five: 1. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, 2. The individual spirit soul, 3. The material nature, 4. Time, and 5. Action (karma). Now the first topic will be discussed. In the Sruti-sastra it is said:
“The Supreme Controller is a person. That highest person has all powers. He has all knowledge. He is supremely blissful. He has a host of transcendental qualities.”
“The Supreme is full of knowledge and bliss. He is eternal and full of knowledge. He knows everything. He knows everything. His every desire is at once fulfilled. It is at once fulfilled. He is a person, the highest person.”
In the Sruti-sastra it is also said:
“The Supreme Lord is the master of all. He was never born. He will never die.”
“We meditate on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is the controller of all other controllers, and He is the greatest of all the diverse planetary leaders. Everyone is under His control. All entities are delegated with particular power only by the Supreme Lord. They are not supreme themselves. He is also worshipable by all demigods and is the supreme direction of all directors. Therefore, He is transcendental to all kinds of material leaders and controllers and is worshipable by all. There is no one greater than Him, and He is the supreme causes of all causes.”* (Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.7)
“Of all that has a cause, He is the cause and the king. No one will ever become a king that rules over Him.”
2 In the Sruti-sastra it is said:
“Please know that the Supreme Personality of Godhead appears in this world by His own will. He is never born.”
In the Smrti-sastra (Bhagavad-gita 4.6) Lord Krishna says:
“Although I am unborn and My transcendental body never deteriorates and although I am the Lord of all living entities, I still appear in every millennium in my original transcendental form.”*
One who know this truth of the Lord attains liberation. In Bhagavad-gita (4.9) Lord Krishna says:
“One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.”*
3 Here someone may protest: Is it not true that Brahma, Siva and the other demigods are also masters of the world? To this we reply: Yes. It is true. The demigods are masters because they are very qualified and powerful. Still, Lord Krishna has supreme mastery. He is master of all the demigods. This is confirmed in Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.7 (quoted in the preceding paragraph). The demigods are like servants of a king. The servants are vested with some of the king’s authority and power.
The Sruti-sastras affirm that all the demigods were born from Lord Krishna. In Shri Narayana Upanisad it is said:
“Lord Narayana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, desired: ‘Let Me create some children.’...Then, from Lord Narayana Brahma was born. From Lord Narayana Siva was born. From Lord Narayana Prajapati was born. From Lord Narayana Indra was born. From Lord Narayana the eight Vasus were born. From Lord Narayana the eleven Rudras were born. From Lord Narayana the twelve Adityas were born.”
In the Maha Upanisad it is said:
“In the beginning of the creation there was only the Supreme Personality of Narayana. There was no Brahma, no Siva. *...Then Lord Narayana meditated, and from His forehead was born a three-eyed person holding a trident in his hand. Then Lord Narayana created wealth, truth, celibacy, austerity, and renunciation.”
In that Upanisad it is also said:
‘Brahma, who has four faces, was born from Lord Narayana.”
4 The word Narayana means, ‘the husband of Goddess Laksmi’. It is said:
“The word Narayana means, ‘the husband of Goddess Laksmi’.”
5 In Shri Vishnu Purana the demigod Brahma says:
“I, the creator of the living beings, was born from Lord Narayana’s happiness. Siva, the destroyer of the worlds, was born from Lord Narayana’s anger. From Lord Narayana was also born Lord Vishnu, who is greater than the greatest, and who is the maintainer of the worlds.”
In the Moksa-dharma Lord Krishna says:
“The patriarchs, Siva and others are created by Me, though they do no know that they are created by Me because they are deluded by My illusory energy.”*
In the Chandogya it is said that Siva is the son of Brahma:
“Obeisances to infallible Lord Siva, who has three eyes and who also has a form with a thousand eyes. He is the master of the worlds and the master of karma. He is an expansion of the creator Brahma. He is Brahma’s eldest son.”
In the Satapatha-brahmana, Astamurta-brahmana, the birth of Siva is described:
“After one year, a child was born. When the child cried, Brahma said, ‘Child, why do you cry? You were born from my austerities’. Then the child said, ‘I have no sins. Now please give me a name’.”
In Shri Varaha Purana it is said:
“Narayana is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and from Him Brahma was born, from whom Siva was born.”*
This relationship, where Siva was born from Brahma, was established in a different kalpa.
6 Here someone may protest: Is it not true that Lord Siva’s name ‘Mahesa’ (great lord) is proof that Lord Siva is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all?
To this I reply: No. It is not as you think. That name has the same meaning as Lord Indra’s name ‘mahendra’ (great king). To think the names ‘mahesa’ and ‘mahendra’ affirm that Siva and Indra are the Supreme Personality of Godhead is a mistake. It is true that a certain demigod is named ‘indra’ (king) and it is true that the Dhatu-patha (Dictionary of Verbs) affirms, ‘Indra means ones who has supreme power and opulence’. Still, Indra does not have mastery over all. Also, the master he does have he attained by his pious deeds, by performing a hundred yajnas. Therefore he is also called ‘Satamakha’ (he who performed a hundred yajnas). The word ‘Mahadeva’ is like Indra’s name. Its true meaning is ‘He who is the king of the demigods’. It truly testifies to Lord Siva’s great power. That is its true meaning. The word ‘maha’ in Mahesa means ‘great’, just as when we say ‘a great tree’.
7 In the Mahabharata it is said that Brahma and Siva became masters of the world because they worshipped Lord Vishnu, who is the yajna-purusa, the object of all yajnas:
“After worshipping Lord Vishnu for a thousand yugas, a certain faithful devotee was born in a lotus flower and attained the post of Brahma, the creator of the worlds.”
Lord Krishna Himself explains:
“In ancient times I created Brahma. When Brahma worshipped Me, I became pleased and offered him many boons.”
“At the beginning of the kalpa I allowed him to become My son. Then I gave him mastery over the worlds.”
In consoling the grieving Yudhisthira, Lord Krishna also said:
“Lord Siva performed a great sarvamedha-yajna where he offered all living entities, including himself.
“Lord Siva performed a great sarvamedha-yajna where he offered himself. As a result he became glorious and effulgent. His fame filled all the worlds.”
8 The Sruti-sastras explain that because he attained a boon from Lord Krishna, Lord Siva became ‘pasupati’ (master of the beastly human beings):
“Lord Krishna said, ‘You may ask a boon.’ Then Lord Siva said, ‘Please make me the master of the beastly human beings.’ That is how Lord Siva became the master of the beastly human beings.”
9 In the Padma Purana it is said:
“Again and again Lord Vishnu protected Brahma and rescued the Vedas.’
In the Smrti-sastras it is said:
“By chanting Lord Krishna’s holy names Lord Siva became free from the sin of killing a brahmana.”
In the Matsya Purana Lord Siva says:
“Then my eyes red with anger, with my left thumbnail I beheaded that brahmana.
Then the brahmana said:
“Because, even though I was innocent, you still beheaded me, you are now cursed. You will be decorated with skulls.”
Then Siva said:
“Distraught my murder of that brahmana, I wandered the holy places of the earth. O goddess, then I climbed the Himalaya Mountains.
“There I met glorious Lord Narayana. I begged from Him a boon. With His fingernail He touched His own side and from that place a stream of blood flowed.
“O girl with the beautiful thighs, by Lord Vishnu’s mercy I became freed from my troubles. But from that time I have carried a thousand skulls. They are like a treasure I found in a dream.”
10 Lord Vishnu arranged that invincible Lord Siva would kill the demon Tripura. In the Mahabharata it is said:
“The Supreme Lord Vishnu touched limitlessly powerful Siva’s bowstring. That is how Siva became able to kill the Tripura demon.”
In the Vishnu-dharma Purana it is said:
“O best of the Kurus, as Lord Siva prepared to kill the Tripura demon, Lord Brahma spoke a mystic amulet to protect Lord Siva, an amulet that was a description of Lord Vishnu’s transcendental form.
In Banasura’s battle, Lord Krishna attacked Lord Siva with a yawning weapon. This is described in the Vishnu Purana:
“Throwing His yawning weapon, Lord Krishna made Lord Siva yawn. Then all the demons were easily killed.
“Defeated by the yawning weapon, Lord Siva stepped down from the chariot. He had no power to fight. He was defeated by Lord Krishna, whose will is never thwarted.”
11 In Shri Ramayana, Lord Parasurama says:
“Seeing Lord Siva stunned and yawning, the demigods and sages understood that Lord Krishna is more powerful than Lord Siva.”
When Lord Siva was hankering to fight and defeat Nara Rsi’s friend Lord Narayana Rsi, then Lord Brahma advised Siva to surrender instead to Lord Narayana Rsi. This is described in the Mahabharata:
“Then Lord Siva tried to please Lord Narayana. He surrendered to Lord Narayana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead who blesses His devotees.”
By chanting Lord Krishna’s holy names, Lord Siva was able to neutralise the kalakuta poison. This is described in the Smrti-sastra:
“Chanting the mantra ‘Acyutananta govinda on namah’, Lord Siva cupped his hands and drank the poison.”
12 At the time of final cosmic annihilation Brahma and everyone else perishes. Only Lord Narayana remains. This is described in the Sruti-sastra:
“In the beginning of the creation there was only the Supreme Personality Narayana. There was no Brahma, no Siva.”*
In the Mahabharata it is said:
“When Brahma, the demigods, the moving and unmoving beings, and all the worlds are merged in the unmanifest material nature, only the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Narayana, the master of all, remains.”
In the Vishnu-dharma Purana it is said:
“Brahma, Siva, Surya, Candra, Indra and all the demigods have power given by Lord Vishnu.
“When the universe is destroyed their powers are removed. Powerless, they rush to destruction.”
13 In the Vishnu Purana it is said:
“The individual spirit souls and the manifest and unmanifest material nature, which is called maya, all merge into the Supreme Personality of Godhead at the time of cosmic devastation.
“At that time everything rests in the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose name is Vishnu, and who is glorified in the Vedas and Vedanta.”
In Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.3.25) this prayer is offered to Lord Krishna:
“After millions of years, at the time of cosmic annihilation, when everything, manifested and unmanifested, is annihilated by the force of time, the five gross elements enter into the subtle conception, and the manifested categories enter into the unmanifested substance. At that time, You alone remain, and You are known as Ananta Sesa-naga.”*
In this way, because Brahma and Siva are born from Lord Krishna and also enter into Him at the time of cosmic annihilation, it is proved that neither Brahma nor Siva can be considered the master of Lord Krishna.
14 In this way it is seen that Brahma, Siva and the demigods are all devotees of Lord Krishna. In Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.18.21) it is said:
“Who can be worthy of the name of the Supreme Lord but the Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna? Brahmaji collected the water emanating from the nails of His feet in order to award it to Lord Siva as a worshipful welcome. This very dear water (the Ganges) is purifying the whole universe, including Lord Siva.”*
In Shrimad Bhagavatam (3.28.22) it is also said:
“The blessed Lord Siva becomes all the more blessed by bearing on his head the holy water of the Ganges, which has its source in the water that washed the Lord’s lotus feet.”*
In another Purana it is said:
“One person massages Lord Krishna’s feet. nother person washes Lord Krishna’s feet. Another person places to his head Lord Krishna’s feet. f these three, who is the best? Please tell me.”
In the Nrsimha Purana it is said:
“In ancient times Brahma and all the demigods worshipped Lord Vishnu. It is by Lord Vishnu’s mercy that the demigods attained their posts.”
In the Narayaniya it is said:
“Manifest in a great variety of forms, the demigods and sages worshipped Lord Vishnu with devotion. Then Lord Vishnu placed them in their respective posts.”
Some people say:
“We touch the Ganga’s water that falls from Lord Siva’s limbs, for it is very holy and purifying.”
Some people think the Ganga is holy and purifying because it is touched by Lord Siva’s limbs. That is a foolish idea. These people say this quote means ‘The Ganga is holy and purifying because Lord Siva carried it on his head.’ The truth is that Lord Siva became pure by touching the Ganga, and that is why he has the power to purify others.
15 Here someone may protest: To rescue Samba, Lord Krishna worshipped Lord Siva. Also, Lord Siva defeated Arjuna in a duel. This is described in the Mahabharata.
To this I reply: Lord Krishna also worshipped Narada and the sages. These actions are part of Lord Krishna’s pastimes.
Then someone may again protest: On Mount Drona, Vyasa glorified Lord Siva with a hundred prayers. He said Lord Siva is the cause of all causes.
To this I reply: His prayers were in truth addressed to Lord Vishnu, the Supersoul in Lord Siva’s heart. This must be so, for there cannot be two Supreme Personality of Godheads, and no one can be equal to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
In this way the supreme position of Lord Vishnu is proved. One should not be bewildered by reading in some Puranas some statements that Brahma or other demigods have the highest supremacy. Those statements are in Purana meant for persons in the modes of passion or ignorance, and therefore those statements should be rejected.
16 In the Matsya Purana it is said:
“Some religious rules are in the mode of ignorance, some in passion, some in goodness, and some in mixtures of different modes. For the people’s benefit the demigod Brahma spoke these four kinds of religious rules.
“In ancient times Brahma recorded these different kinds of religious rules in different Puranas. In them he glorified different Deities.
“In the Puranas meant for persons in the mode of ignorance, Brahma glorified Agni and Siva. n the Puranas meant for persons in the mode of passion, he said the worship of Brahma was better.
“In the Puranas meant for persons in mixed modes, he glorified the worship of Sarasvati and the Pitas. Finally in the Puranas meant for persons in the mode of goodness, he said the worship of Lord Vishnu is best. Persons who follow the goodness Puranas and become perfect in yoga go to the supreme spiritual abode.”
17 In the Kurma Purana it is said:
“In the Puranas the wise sages, considering the present time and circumstances, described numberless religious rituals for the worship of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva.
“In the religious rituals meant for people in the mode of goodness, the sages said the worship of Lord Vishnu is best. In the religious rituals meant for people in the mode of ignorance, they glorified the worship of Lord Siva. In the religious rituals meant for people in the mode of passion, they glorified Lord Brahma.”
Manu explains that any Smrti-sastra that contradicts the four Vedas should be rejected. He says:
“Any Smrti-sastra that contradicts the four Vedas is wicked and useless. Anyone who follows such a sastra should be considered bewildered by the mode of ignorance.”
“The Puranas in the mode of goodness provide evidence that should be accepted. Any evidence contradicting this evidence should be clearly rejected.” They who are wise think in this way. They are not bewildered by any evidence contradicting the Puranas in the mode of goodness.
18 Lord Vishnu has three potencies. The are called Para (spiritual), Ksetajna (the individual spirit souls), and Maya (illusion). In the Sruti-sastra (Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.8) it is said:
“Lord Vishnu has various energies.”*
In the Sruti-sastra it is said:
“Lord Vishnu is the master of the individual spirit souls and the material nature. He is the master of the three modes. He delivers the souls imprisoned in the cycle of birth and death.”
In the Vishnu Purana it is said:
“The potency of Lord Vishnu is summarised in three categories, namely the spiritual potency, the living entities, and ignorance. The spiritual potency is full of knowledge, the living entities, although belonging to the spiritual potency, are subject to bewilderment, and the third energy which is full of ignorance, is always visible in fruitive activities.”*
19 Using His para (spiritual) potency as the primary force, and using His ksetrajna (individual spirit souls) and maya (material elements) potencies as the ingredients, Lord Vishnu created the material world. This is described in the Sruti-sastra:
“Using parts of Himself, the Supreme created the material world.”
20 Lord Vishnu’s body and self are not different.Lord Vishnu’s spiritual body is described in these words of the Sruti-sastra (Gopala-tapani Upanisad 1.10):
“Lord Krishna’s eyes are like lotus flowers. His complexion is like a monsoon cloud. His garments are like lightning. He has two hands. He is rich with transcendental knowledge. He is adorned with a garland of forest flowers. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”
Lord Krishna is the supersoul present in every soul in the material world and every atom of material nature. He is described in these words of the Sruti-sastra (Gopala-tapani Upanisad 1.38):
“Krishna is the only Supreme Personality of Godhead. His form is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss.”
He is full of transcendental bliss. This is described in these words of the Sruti-sastra (Gopala-tapani Upanisad):
“Lord Krishna’s transcendental body is full of bliss.”
21 Lord Vishnu is not different from His transcendental bliss, knowledge, and other limitless transcendental qualities. In the Sruti-sasta it is said:
“Lord Vishnu is identical with His transcendental qualities. They are not different from Him.”
Still, by a specific potency of the Lord, His qualities seem to be different from Him.
22 One should think, ‘Lord Vishnu’s qualities may seem to be different from His self, but in truth they are not really different.’ One should think, ‘Lord Vishnu may seem to be situated in time, but in truth He is eternal. For Him time is forever’. Thus Lord Vishnu is not different from any of His attributes.
23 To think, ‘Lord Vishnu is not eternal’ is an illusion in the same way as to say, ‘This pot I now see does not exist’, is to speak the words of a person who is illusioned. To say ‘Lord Vishnu is eternal’ is not a metaphor. It is not like saying, ‘That man is a lion’. The words ‘Lord Vishnu is eternal’ mean that Lord Vishnu will never cease to exist. They mean, ‘Lord Vishnu was never born and He will never die. His existence is eternal.’ Therefore Lord Vishnu is not different from His attributes. If His attributes seem to be different from His self that is merely seeming.
24 In the Sruti-sastra (Katha Upanisad 2.1.14) it is said:
“The attributes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are like rains that fall equally on the mountains and the valleys. One who thinks the Supreme Lord is different from His attributes will fall down.”
In this way we are forbidden to think the Supreme Lord is different from His attributes (dharman). The Supreme Lord is not like an ordinary living being, who has a host of qualities, all different from his original spiritual identity. The word ‘dharman’ is not used in that way in this passage. The Lord’s qualities are beyond what others can attain.
25 The impersonalists do not think Lord Vishnu is different from His attributes. Neither do they think Lord Vishnu is the same as His attributes. That is because they think Lord Vishnu is an illusion.
26 If the Supreme has no attributes, then His oneness with everything, being an attribute, will not exist. If He has no attributes, He cannot be on with everything, oneness being an attribute. How, then, can one say the Supreme is different from His attributes? For these reason it must be accepted that the Supreme has attributes.
27 In this way the Supreme has attributes and He is also one with everything. For this reason He must have more than one state of being. In this way it is proved that the Supreme certainly has attributes.
28 In this way it is known that Lord Vishnu is the Supreme Self. In Bhagavad-gita (10.20) Lord Vishnu declares:
“I am the Self, O Gudakesa, seated in the hearts of all creatures.”*
By affirming that He is the Self, Lord Vishnu here shows His oneness with all beings. In the Sruti-sastra it is said:
“Lord Vishnu desired: ‘I will become many. I will father many children.’”
In Shrimad Bhagavatam (2.9.33) Lord Vishnu affirms:
“Brahma, it is I, the Personality of Godhead, who was existing before the creation, when there was nothing but Myself. Nor was there the material nature, the cause of this creation. That which you see now is also I, the Personality of Godhead, and after annihilation what remains will also be I, the Personality of Godhead.”*
In this way it is seen that Lord Vishnu is the Supreme Self.
29 Because He is the Supreme Self, by surrendering to Lord Vishnu one attains final liberation. Lord Vishnu Himself confirms this in the following words (Bhagavad-gita 7.14):
“This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is very difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.”*
Lord Vishnu also affirms (Bhagavad-gita 18.55):
“One can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead as He is only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of the Supreme Lord by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God.”*
In this way the word ‘I’ is understood to mean ‘the pure Supreme Personality of Godhead’. He is the true doer, the true enjoyer and the true knower. In the Sruti-sastra it is said:
“Lord Vishnu is the creator and knower of the universes. He is the father of all. He is the supreme doer. He is the great Self.”
“Accompanied by the wise liberated souls, Lord Vishnu enjoys all spiritual pleasures.”
In Bhagavad-gita (9.26) Lord Krishna says:
“If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit, or water, I will accept it.”*
Here the words ‘bhaktya prayacchati’ indicate that the Lord eats what His devotees voluntarily offer with devotion. The Lord does this by His own wish. As Lord Brahma says, Lord Vishnu is ‘svecchamaya’ (supremely independent).
30 In the scriptures it is said that the Supreme Personality of Godhead manifests various forms, sometimes with two arms, sometimes with four, and sometimes with eight arms. His two-armed form is described in these words of the Atharva Veda (Gopala-tapani Upanisad):
“Lord Krishna’s eyes are like lotus flowers. His complexion is like a monsoon cloud. His garments are like lightning. He has two hands. He is rich with transcendental knowledge. He is adorned with a garland of forest flowers. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”
“The goddess of fortune stands by His side. He has two arms, a dark complexion, graceful hair, yellow garments, graceful earrings, and a jewel necklace. He holds a bow. He is peaceful and saintly.”
In the Taittiriya-sruti it is said:
“The Supreme Lord has two arms and two legs. He has ten fingers and ten toes. His broad chest is 25 measures.”
In the Rahasyamnaya it is said:
“The handsome Supreme Personality of Godhead has two hands.”
In the Satvata-sastra it is said:
“In the spiritual sky dwells the limitless, eternal, peaceful Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose form is made of spiritual knowledge. He has no material form. Out of compassion for His devotees, He shows them His spiritual form. He shows them His great handsomeness, more glorious than many millions of moons.
“In His two hands, which are marked with the signs of the conchshell and cakra, He holds the three worlds. e gives His devotees the gift of fearlessness.”
In the Sankarsana-sastra it is said:
“The Supreme Personality of Godhead is splendid like pure crystal. He has two feet and one face. With His two hands He gives the gift of fearlessness. He turns back the results of karma.”
31 Lord Vishnu’s four-armed form is described in these words of Visvaksena-samhita:
“The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the creator and maintainer of all the worlds. His youthful spiritual body is eternal. He is always beyond the material world. He is served by the pure, blissful, untroubled, eternally liberated souls, who stand before Him with folded hands. His limbs are dark. He has four arms.He is accompanied by the goddesses Shri, Bhu and Nila.”
“His eternal form is decorated with eternal, pure glistening ornaments. He has five weapons. He holds the conchshell and cakra. He removes everything inauspicious.”
In Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.3.9) it is said:
“Vasudeva then saw the newborn child, who had very wonderful lotuslike eyes, and who bore in His four hands the four weapons sankha, cakra, gada and pkadma. On His chest was the mark of Shrivatsa, and on His neck the brilliant Kaustubha gem. Dressed in yellow, His body blackish like a dense cloud, His scattered hair fully grown, and His helmet and earrings sparkling uncommonly with the valuable gem vaidurya, the child, decorated with a brilliant belt, armlets, bangles and other ornaments, appeared very wonderful.”*
In Bhagavad-gita (11.46) Arjuna says to Lord Krishna:
“O Universal Lord, I wish to see You in Your four-armed form.”*
The Lord’s eight-armed form is described in these words of Shrimad Bhagavatam (4.30.7):
“Around the neck of the Supreme Personality of Godhead hung a flower garland that reached His knees. His eight stout and elongated arms were decorated with that garland, which challenged the beauty of the goddess of fortune. With a merciful glance and a voice like thunder, the Lord addressed the sons of King Pracinabarhisat, who were very much surrendered unto Him.”
In the Ananda-samhita all three of these forms are described:
“Great is the Lord’s eight-armed form. Subtle is His four-armed form. Most exalted is His two-armed form. One should worship these three forms of the Lord.”
32 As a vaidurkya gem (lapis lazuli) manifests different colours when observed from different angles, so the Supreme Personality of Godhead manifests many different forms. Of all these forms, His two-armed form is the most handsome and has all the Lord’s transcendental qualities in completeness. The other forms are not like it. In the Sruti-sastra it is said:
“The other forms of the Lord are not equal to His two-armed form.”
Here someone may protest: The Lord’s two-armed form and other forms are all inferior to His four-armed form, which stays always in Vaikunthaloka.
To this I reply: That is not an idea fashioned with much thought. In the Maha-Varaha Purana it is said:
“All the forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are eternal. They are never born and they never die. They are not material.”
“They are all full of bliss and knowledge. They are full of all transcendental qualities and free of any faults.”
The Katha Upanisad declares that the Lord’s two-armed form is the highest. Any idea that contradicts this is wrong.
The Supreme Lord is identical with each of His forms. They are all Him. That a certain from of the Lord is His original form, or an expansion of that form, or an expansion of the expansion is determined only by how much of His powers the Lord chooses to display when He manifests that form. Only in that way are some forms of the Lord considered higher and others less high. The great devotees of the Lord declare:
“The Lord’s forms are considered greater or lesser on the basis of how much of His transcendental power the Lord chooses to manifest when He reveals them.”
33 The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the husband of the goddess of fortune. In the Yajur Veda it is said:
“Shri and Laksmi are two wives of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”
In the Atharva Veda it is said:
“Obeisances to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the husband of Goddess Kamala. Obeisances to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is a swan playing in the Manasa Lake of Goddess Rama’s thoughts. Obeisances to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who holds Goddess Rama in His arms.”
The goddess Shri, Gir-devi (Sarasvati), Laksmi and Rama will be described later.
Here someone may protest: In the Sruti-sastra it is said:
“The Supreme is one. He is not many.”
This shows that Laksmi and the other goddesses must be manifested from the illusory potency Maya. Laksmi, Sarasvati and the other goddesses do not have forms of spiritual goodness like the spiritual form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
To this foolish, bewildered idea I reply: As heat is inseparable from fire, so the potencies of the Lord are inseparable from Him. They share His nature. They are perfectly spiritual. This is described in the Sruti-sastra:
“The Lord’s potency is spiritual.”
In this way it is understood that Laksmi, Sarasvati, and the other goddesses that have a relation to the Supreme Lord, are all spiritual. In the Vishnu Purana it is said:
“May Lord Vishnu, who is supremely pure, who is the Supersoul in the hearts of all beings, and who is the husband of the spiritual goddess of fortune, be merciful to us.”
In the Skanda Purana it is said:
“The Lord has a material potency and a spiritual potency. The material potency manifests an external form of dull matter. Goddess Shri is the Lord’s spiritual potency. She has a spiritual form. She takes shelter of Lord Vishnu.”
In the Skanda Purana, Gih-stotra it is said:
“I offer my respectful obeisances to Goddess Sarasvati. She rests on Lord Krishna’s chest. She is a goddess very dear to Lord Krishna. She is eternal, her complexion is fair, and she brings auspiciousness.”
In this way the protest is answered.
34 Here someone may again protest: In the Sruti-sastra it is said:
“The Supreme is one. He is not many.”
This proves that the Supreme is impersonal and has no attributes.
To this I reply: Please don’t think in that way. These words of the Sruti-sastra mean that nothing exists that does not have a relationship with the Supreme Lord. For example, the goddess of fortune’s relationship with the Lord is described in these words of scripture:
“O Supreme Lord, Goddess Shri is Yours, and Goddess Laksmi is also Yours.”
Laksmi, Sarasvati and the other goddesses all have different forms. This is described in the Vishnu Purana:
“Sandhya, Ratri, Prabha, Bhuti, Medha, Sraddha and Sarasvati are included among the goddesses.”
In the Vishnu Purana (1.12.69) is also said:
“O Lord,, You are the support of everythingThe three attributes hladini, sandhini and samvit exist in You as one spiritual energy. But the material modes, which cause happiness, misery and mixtures of the two, do not exist in You, for You have no material qualities.”*
Thus the Lord’s spiritual potency is manifested in three ways. The samvit potency is Goddess Sarasvati. The hladini potency is Goddess Laksmi. It should be known that of the two goddesses mentioned here, the first mentioned actually comes second.Thus Sarasvati follows Laksmi. Thus the knowledge potency (samvit) follows after the pleasure potency (hladini).
35 Because she is not different from the Supreme Lord, Goddess Laksmi is also all pervading. In the Smrti-sastra it is said:
“Goddess Laksmi is the mother of the worlds. She is the constant companion of Lord Vishnu. As Lord Vishnu is all pervading, so is she.”
To think that Goddess Laksmi is different from Lord Vishnu, but still all-pervading, is a false, a heretical idea. In this way the idea that Goddess Laksmi is an individual spirit soul, like the many millions of other individual spirit souls if refuted. As Lord Vishnu has limitless transcendental qualities, so does Goddess Laksmi. In the scriptures it is said:
“O Goddess, even if we had tongues like the demigod Brahma, we still could not describe all Your transcendental qualities. O Lotus-eyed Goddess Laksmi, please do not ever abandon your devotees.”
36 Her power to give liberation, her power to bring Lord Vishnu under her control, and some other of her transcendental qualities are described in these words of scripture:
“O Goddess Laksmi, You are full of transcendental knowledge. You are the giver of liberation. Who is glorious like You? Your form is made of sacred yajnas.
“O goddess the yogis always meditate on You as You rest on Lord Vishnu. For your sake, the people are willing to renounce the three worlds.
“For your sake they become almost dead. From Your glance come wives, children, home, friends, wealth and good fortune.”
“O glorious one, from your glance the people attain the wealth and happiness of this material body. They attain the destruction of their enemies.
“O goddess, for persons who have attained your glance, truthfulness, purity, and a host of virtues are not difficult to attain.
“O saintly one, the people you abandon are truly abandoned. The people you glance on attain all virtues.
“Even if previously they had no virtues, they attain good family and wealth. They become glorious, virtuous, fortunate, respectable, and intelligent.
“O goddess, a person on whom you glance becomes heroic and powerful. O beloved of Lord Vishnu, O mother of the worlds, if you turn away from a person, that person finds all his virtues become sins.”
When Lord Vishnu assumes different forms, Goddess Laksmi also assumes different forms and follows Him. In the scriptures it is said:
“When Lord Vishnu assumes the form of a demigod, Goddess Laksmi assumes the form of a demigoddess. When He assumes the form of a human man, she assumes the form of a human woman. In this way she assumes a form to match the form of Lord Vishnu.”
37 Shri Radha is the origin of all the forms of Goddess Laksmi. Shri Krishna is the origin of all the forms of Lord Vishnu. In the Purusa-bodhini Upanisad it is said:
“In the land of Gokula in Mathura-mandala, Lord Krishna resides. At His two sides are Radha and Candravali.
There it is also said:
“Laksmi, Durga, and the Lord’s potencies are expansions of Shri Radha.”
Shri Radha’s name is hidden in Shrimad Bhagavatam (2.4.14) where Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami says:
“Lord Krishna is the supreme enjoyer of both the material and spiritual worlds, yet He enjoys His own abode in the spiritual sky. There is no one equal to Him because His transcendental opulence (radhasa) is immeasurable.”*
In the Brhad-Gautamiya Tantra it is said:
“The transcendental goddess Shrimati Radharani is the direct counterpart of Shri Krishna. She is the central figure for all the goddess of fortune.She possesses all the attractiveness to attract the all-attractive Personality of Godhead. She is the primeval internal potency of the Lord.”*
In Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.3.28) it is said:
“All the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Shri Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead.”*
In Shrimad Bhagavatam it is also said:
“The eight son of Vasudeva and Devaki is Lord Krishna, the original Personality of Godhead.”