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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Soul Science God Philosophy > Vaishnava Siddhanta Mala > Chp 2 Bhagavan Is Truth > 2.1-2 Who Is God

Vaishnava Siddhanta Mala
by Seventh Goswami Shrila
Sacchidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura

Chapter 2: Bhagavan Alone Is the Supreme Truth
Who Is God?
Commentary by His Holiness
BRS Swami Gaurangapada

Q1. Who is Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead?
Q2. What are the different types of the Lord's potencies?
Q3. Then is Bhagavan subordinate to the sakti?
Q4. If Bhagavan is the one and only Supreme truth then why did Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu give His followers instructions about devotional service to Sri Krsna (Krsna Bhakti)?
Q5. How many types of forms does the Lord have?
Q6. What is Sri Krsna's lila?
Q7. What are the obstacles to the attainment of Sri Krsna lila?
Q8. What is material consciousness?
Q9. What is impersonal consciousness?
Q10. If Sri Krsna's pastimes are beyond matter, then how does He enact His lila in the material world at the end of the Dvapara-Yuga?
Q11. These truths of Sri Krsna-tattva are the religious principles of the Vaishnava-dharma. What about people who are involved with other types of religion?

His Holiness Swami Gaurangapada : In this most beautiful book by Srila Sacchinandana Thakur, these questions are answered by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura himself.

Q1. Who is Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

His Holiness Swami Gaurangapada : A question that arises in the mind of all spiritual aspirants,
"Who is the supreme personality of Godhead?"

A. Bhagavan is the one Who expands all jivas and all matter by His own inconceivable energy (acintya-sakti), and then enters into these creations as the Supreme Lord (Isvara-svarupa). He also transcends all souls and matter as the impersonal Brahman effulgence (brahma-svarupa), which is far beyond all imagination; and moreover, it is He who manifests His divine potency (para-sakti) to reveal His form of eternity, knowledge and bliss (sac-cid-ananda svarupa), thereby becoming the object of devotion for all souls.

His Holiness Swami Gaurangapada : Because without knowing who is the Lord how can we engage in devotional service, because the object of all endeavours in life is actually Lord Gauranga Krishna the supreme Personality of Godhead.The supreme absolute truth.The answer is very beautifully given, quoting from Shrimad Bhagavatam..

vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvam yaj jnanam advayam
brahmeti paramatmeti
bhagavan iti sabdyate

Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavan.
Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.11

His Holiness Swami Gaurangapada : He is basically in is 3 features as brahman , paramatma and bhagavan. Srila Prabhupada gives an example, that when one sees a train at night, one only sees a light in the distance, and thinks its just light coming, but when the train comes closer, then one realises that the train is comprising of so many different parts, engines and compartments.
So the person getting a closer look is compared to the paramatma realsaisation, the brahman realisation compared to the train light in the distance, the light being the transcendental light emanating fron Gauranga. And in the beginning one thinks that is all it is, the glaring effulgence from the Lords body, the light from the brahmajoti.The light is part of the train and simarly the brahman is part of Gauranga Krishna, light from his transcendental body, but the light is not the Lord but 1 feature of the Lord.
The Gyanis who realise only the brahman think they have realised everything, but actually they only realise the bodily effulgence, they are not able to penetrate the effulgence and come face to face with the Lord.
"Oh My lord please remove this glaring effulgence that is permeating the material world, please remove this so i can see your transcendental divine face in the spiritual world."
So this realisation of the light of the train is not complete realisation, further it is realised the train has compartments and boges.

The stage of realisation of the yogis is when they see the train with compartments etc, but they go beyond the light and see the Purusha avatara,

Ishvara Svarupa, there are 3 ishvaras...the creator Maha Vishnu, Karbodakahaya Vishnu enters into each of the innumerable universe from Maha Vishnu
and then kshirodakashaya Vishnu incarnates in each soul in each universe as paramatma.
The 3 purusha avataras that are realized by the yogis in the heart. They see the 4 handed form of the Lord, they see the Lord as a person so they are higher than the gyanis as the gyanis see only light.
From the 2 handed form of Gauranga/Krishna the 4 handed form of the Lord s manifested and from that the impersonal form the brahmajoti is manifested.
Normally people think how can the 2 handed fom of the lord manifest the source of Gauranga or Krishna or Rama, but in Brahma Samita it is said that this is so.

So the ultimate realisation of the train is when the train is moving very close to the person who is standing on the ground and the person can see within the train that there is activity within the train
the person can see the people inside, somebody is sleeping, someone is walking, someone is reading, that is the most perfect realisation of the train and similarly when one comes closer to God, one first sees the impersonal light and thinks God is light, then one understands that is just the effulgence of the Lord, they try to understand what is beyond the light and then the person comes in contact with paramatma, the vishnu forms, the guru in our hearts, and the guru outside guru directs us to the inside guru.
Then the spiritualist advances to become a yogi as he realises paramatma
and then when he tries to think higher, is Gods only activities, creation, maintenance and destruction?
But no, that is the Vishnus!
But they are looking for the source, who is the real God
So the spiritualist tries to go deeper and deeper and then he comes to the 2 handed 3 folded bended form of Krishna and the golden form of Gauranga
Krishna was first and Vishnu is later as Krishna is the source, but our acharyas say that between Krishna and Gauranga it cannot be said which is first as they are the same complete personalities, they both are the source.
So when one goes closer and closer, he realises he is sac cid ananda, transcendental form, the object of meditation, ultimately all paths lead to bhakti yoga, so one realises the rupa of the Lord and that is the first step of realisation in the process of chanting Nityananda Gauranga Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.

Then one should try to search for the form of the Lord in the heart and then one will see the form of the Lord before the eyes and then later he will realise the qualities of the Lord.
Nama Rupa Guna Lila
When one comes to the realisation of Bhagavan, like when one goes inside the train one knows the light and the engines and compartments.
When one goes to the sun, he goes through the rays and then goes in and meets Vishwavan the sungod and meeting the sungod in the sun planet is compared to Bhagavan realisation, to have the supreme Lord face to face.
So that is the 3 levels of realisation of God.

mattah parataram nanyat
kincid asti dhananjaya
mayi sarvam idam protam
sutre mani-gana iva 7.7

O conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.

His Holiness Swami Gaurangapada : This is confirmed by Krishna in the Gita also.The meaning is the brahman, the brahmajoti is all pervading and it is maintaining and upholding the whole creation
in the form of the purusha avataras, the vishnu forms, but we are not able to see him, just like the thread going through the pearls, we cant see the thread but if its not there the pearls will fall apart
If some foolish person says the pearls hang in the air alone, then of course this is not right
as they are strung together by the thread and similaraly those who say the creation is happening by chance, that is also not correct , it is in ignorance.
So the Lords expansion into these 3 features is explained in 9.5 Bhagavad Gita :
"I am there in the whole of creation, everything is resting on me, but still i am not there" The inconceivable difference and non difference. In the form of paramatma he is there, but in his original form of Gauranga and Krishna he is not there he is enjoying in the spiritual world enjoying his transcendental pastimes.

"In my Bhagavan form I am residing in my spiritual planet of Goloka"

Q2. What are the different types of the Lord's potencies?

A. We are unable to fully describe the Lord's potencies. The reason for this is His saktis have no boundaries, whereas we have boundaries; therefore, His energies are called para-sakti. These saktis are completely imperceptible to us, but on the other side of the matter, in the divine realm of His para-sakti, all things are accomplished effortlessly. Thus the para-sakti simultaneously conducts the opposing affairs of spirit and matter automatically.

His Holiness Swami Gaurangapada : His energies are called Para Shaktis, completely imperceptible by us, there all things are accomplished effortlessly

apareyam itas tv anyam
prakritim viddhi me param
jiva-bhutam maha-baho
yayedam dharyate jagat 7.5

Besides these, O mighty-armed Arjuna, there is another, superior energy of Mine, which comprises the living entities who are exploiting the resources of this material, inferior nature.
7.5 Bhagavad Gita

His Holiness Swami Gaurangapada : Krishna confirms this as above. Para Shakti, the soul is also part of the para shakti of the Lord as the soul is Cit, spiritual, but it is known as tatastha or marginal energy as it is bewildered by the inferior material energy, apara shakti.

hladini sandhini samvit
tvayy eka sarva-samsthitau
hlada-tapa-kari misra
tvayi no guna-varjite

"O Lord, You are the support of everything. The 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."
Vishnu Pura 1.12.69

This is confirmed in Vishnu Pura also, some say there are just 2 energies
in the vishnu pura 1.12.69 three features are described

Sat -> sandhini enerrgy
Source -> Lord Nityananda Balarama
Hladini the pleasure giving potency
Lord Nityananda is the souce of the Sandhini Shakti
Chit -> Knowledge -> Samvit potency -> Lord Gauranga Krishna Himself.

Gauranga Krishna is actually the reservoir of ultimate knowledge, the Lord knows what is happening in every nook and cranny of his creation, which is zillions of universes, that is known as samvit potency, Lord Gauranga Krishna has this full knowledge.

Hladini, is the 3rd potency of ananda or bliss, the hladini potency, and with these 3 potencies he is complete.
Ananda - Bliss -> Hladini Potency -> Shrimati Radharani
The Hladini potency is manifested by Srimati Radharani, she is the complete abode and personnification of the Lords potency which is capable of giving pleasure to the Lord himself, that is the marvellous thing of the Lord, as he wants to enjoy pastimes that is why the hladini potency manifests as Radharani, who gives ultimate joy and bliss to even Lord Krishna, what to speak of the souls who all get bliss by serving Radha, in both their forms.

Gaura Hari is Radha Krishna combined. All these potencies are manifested in the Lord and the Lord becomes complete through these 3 potencies.

Q3. Then is Bhagavan subordinate to the sakti?

A. It is not that Bhagavan is one thing and the sakti is another, just as the burning power of the fire is inseparable from the fire, similarly Bhagavan's sakti is inseparable from Bhagavan.

His Holiness Swami Gaurangapada : Hladini, Sandhini and Samvit
Ananda, Sat and Chit.
The 3 energies of the Lord, Hladini, Sandhini and Samvit, which are ananda , sat and cit,
The gunas Sattva, Rajo and Tamo.

The soul also has these 3 in minute quantity, but when the soul enters into the material world, in the material world, when the soul becomes embodied, then the spiritual qualities become covered
By the guns Goodness, Passion and Ignorance
By sattva guna, raja guna and tamas guna, goodness, passion and ignorance.
These are the perverted reflections, the contorted reflections of hladini, sandhini and samvit
the soul forgets the spiritual qualities and becomes overwhelmed by the 81 combinations of the material gunas.
There are 81 combinations , either we have more of sattva, less of tamas we have to rise above these material qualities of the body in order to understand the spiritual qualities of the soul.
As the material qualities of the material gunas only give us misery in the material world, but sac cid ananda, when we realise this, sat...we are eternal...cit the soul has full knowledge, minute, but perfect.....
and the soul by constitutional nature is full of ananda...bliss!
How is this possible? Only if the material layers are removed, if the material consciousness is removed, by transcendental sound vibration, the Holy names, chanting Nityananda Gauranga Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Questions and Answers

Chandrika Gauranga dasi says :Is the Lord aware of the material world?

His Holiness Swami Gaurangapada : He is aware, he is omnipotent, omniscient so he is aware
so surely when he is performing his transcendental pastimes in Goloka he is aware of everything
that is happening in the material and spiritual worlds, but he directs all the events through his Vishnu forms.
When the Vishnu forms are aware of course the original forms are aware, Krishna/Gauranga.

Bharati says : In His Avatara as Krishna & Gauranga,is He not present in the material world?

Chandrika Gauranga dasi says : Are potencies the same as qualities?

His Holiness Swami Gaurangapada : Hladini Sandhini and Samvit, these potencies give rise to the qualities
the 64 qualities of Lord Krishna arise from the potencies the energies of the Lord
From the form the qualities come up, from the combnation of hladini , sandini and samvit
the hladini potency has 25 qualities, these qualities are arising from his potencies
So after understanding who is God, what are the potencies of the Lord, we are unable to fully describe his potencies, as his potencies have no boundaries.

Gauranga dasi says : Gaura Hari is Radha Krsna then why Gadadhara Pandit is Radha how ?

His Holiness Swami Gaurangapada : Gaura Hari is basically Krishna in the mood of Radha, black inside and golden outside, he has accepted the mood and complexion of Radha, but then Radha thinks that the Lord has taken her mood and he will dance and roar and roll on the ground, so Radha thought she should go there and protect him from falling on the ground and so she appeared as Gadahadara.
Gadadhara would always be with Lord Gauranga reciting Srimad Bhagavatam and telling the stories many times, in Tota Gopinath he told stories from the Bhagavatam, and the Lord was never satisfied, so Gadadhara came to give pleasure to Gauranga.

Transcription and layout by Chandrika Gauranga dasi.