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Are we Gods or God's?
God, by definition, is supremely independent and is never controlled; He is the supreme controller. In the Isopanisad, the word "isha' is used to describe the Supreme Personality of Godhead. 'isha' means 'controller'. Is there any person anywhere within this universe who is not controlled? Can anyone say, "I am not controlled"? Nobody can say that. None of us wants to grow old, get diseased and die; yet it is happening to us all the time and we have no control over it whatsoever. No one wants to suffer, but sufferings are constantly coming in our lives and we have no control to stop them Thus we are thoroughly controlled by the stringent laws of nature. Mayavadi impersonalists claim, "I am GuJ, you are God, everyone is God." But when they get a toothache it controls them so much that they can do nothing about it except moan in pain. So if they are controlled, how can they be God? Does this make any sense? God is never controlled; He is the supreme controller. So if somebody is controlled, immediately we should know that he is not God.
Now, this is not to say that the living entities are not controllers to some extent. In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna says that the living entities are His superior energy. The living entities are superior because they are conscious, whereas material energy is not conscious. Therefore the living entities can control the material energy to some extent. For example, a scientist may produce and pilot a plane to fly great heights, but when the fuel is finished the aeroplane must come down. Thus living entities have limited freedom to manipulate matter. But when they manipulate matter for their own selfish enjoyment, then the material energy dominates them and makes them suffer. The following examples illustrate the relationship between matter and spirit and the difference between the infinitesimal living entity and the infinite Supersoul:
• A big airplane can fly nicely in the sky, but if the spiritual energy - the pilot - is not there, it is useless. The jet plane may be in the airport for thousands of years; it cannot budge an inch, unless the small particle of spiritual energy, the pilot, comes and operates it. Thus an ordinary living entity can control an airplane, but God being the supreme controller can control this gigantic manifestation of material energy, the entire cosmic manifestation.
A scientist, a tiny living entity, can put a satellite in orbit after years of research; but God can float millions of huge planets in orbit effortlessly.
A human being, a tiny living entity, can create at best a 200 storied skyscraper building, but God can create millions of universes (ananta koti brahmanda nayak).
A human being can make a small swimming pool, but God can make gigantic swimming pools, the vast oceans.
Thus the superior spiritual energy can have some control over the inferior material energy. But we have forgotten that, although we are superior to matter, we are still subordinate to God. And so that superiority is being misused to exploit matter for sense gratification. This is the cause of our suffering.