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The Most Confidential Knowledge: God is a Person
Generally people have a notion that the Absolute Truth is some power or some form of energy, but the actual fact is that God is a person just like each one of us is a person. He is sentient and He reciprocates love with His unlimited subordinates, the liv-Ing entities, in His own abode, known variously as the kingdom of God or the spiritual world. All religions refer to God as a person ar>d not as a power or a void. For example. In the Bible, Ezekiel (1.26) describes God as having "the semblance of a human form. " In Genesis, chapters 18 and 19. it is stated that God appeared before Abraham in a humanlike form, although the form is not elaborately described. There are also many other references to the form of God, such as. "under His feet' (Exodus 24:10), "the eyes of the Lord' (Genesis 38:7), 'the ears of the Lord' (Numbers 11:1). 'inscribed with finger of God' (Exodus 31:18)
• In the Koran too, Allah's face ('Wajh' 55.26-27). Allah's eyes (' Aynun' 11.37) etc are clearly mentioned How can an impersonal God have feet, finger, hand, eyes, ears etc? The Vedic literatures, which predate the Bible as well as the Koran and which were written in a highly advanced spiritual culture, also declares God to be a person, but they go well beyond that; they specifically reveal His form, His features, His pastimes and His personality. Of course the attributes of God are infinite, and words can only hint at His glory. A few quotes from the Vedic scriptures proving the form of God are given below:
om shri krishnaya namah om sac cid ananda rupaya "I invoke Lord Krishna, who possesses a form that is eternal, full of knowledge and bliss." (Gopal Tapani Upanishad 1.1, 1.2)
isvarah paramah krishnah sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah
anadir adir govindah sarva-karana-karanam
"Krishna (God) is the supreme controller. He has a form of eternity, knowledge and bliss. He is the prime cause of all causes (Brahma Samhita 1). Here the word vigraha, which means 'form , is explicitly used.
The Vedic literatures also give vivid descriptions of the form of the Lord. For example,
alola-candraka-lasad-vanamalya-vamshi- ratnangadam pranaya-keli-kala-vilasam
shyamam tri-bhanga-lalitam niyata-prakasham govindam adi-purusham tam aham bhajami
-•I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, round whose neck is swinging a garland of flowers beautified with moon-locket, whose two hands are adorned with the flute and jeweled ornaments, who always revels in pastimes of love and whose graceful threefold-bending form of Shyamasundara is eternally manifest." There are many other similar descriptions about the Lord. The Vedic literatures thus clearly declare that God has a form. But they also explain that His form is certainlv not like ours -made of flesh, bone and stool. Our body is temporary, and is the cause of our ignorance and misery whereas the Lord's body is eternal, full of knowledge and bliss. That the Lord's form is inconceivable is also stated in the Bhagavad-gita (8.9)
kavim puranam anushasitaram anor aniyamsam anusmared yah
sarvarsya dhataram acintya rupam aditya-varnam tamasah parastat
Here the word acintya-rupam clearly indicates that the form of the Lord is inconceivable.
Thus the form of the Lord is completely transcendental, beyond the limits of sense perception. Nevertheless He has a form. To help us understand how His form is completely different from ours, the Lord perfomed a wonderful pastime which when Lord Krishna was still a child, His mother, Yashodamai, looked into His mouth to see if He has eaten mud. What would one expect to see in the mouth of an ordinary mortal? The oral cavity with teeth, tf)ngue and palate - nothing worth seeing. Yet when she looked lnto the mouth of the Lord she saw the entire universe in His mouth - all the directions, the mountains, the islands, oceans, Seas, planets, air, fire, moon and stars. In this universe she also saw herself - looking into Krishna's mouth. This pastime illus-ates that although Krishna appeared to be just like an ordinary child standing in front of His mother, He simultaneously contained the entire universe within Himself. Thus the conclusion of the Vedic scriptures is crystal clear: God is a person. This conclusion is the most confidential knowledge taught by the Vedas. And it was revealed to the' world by His Divine Grace A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who thus opened the lid of the honey bottle of love of Krishna and made it available for anyone and everyone throughout the world to drink and relish. To make the subject free from all ambiguity, he would always refer to the Absolute Truth, not just as God but as "the Supreme Personality of Godhead." This is the English equivalent of the Sanskrit word Bhagavan, which refers 10 the ultimate aspect of the Absolute Truth. When the Lord is addressed as "the Supreme Personality of Godhead", it is clearly understood that He has a form and a personality. And the word Godhead signifies that He is the supreme God (God with a capital G) heading all the other gods (god with a small g).