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Mohini Shakti Devi
09 January 2010, 04:01 PM
This Thread is a result of poster named, Devotee's request for Lord Caitanya's explaination of "acintya-bhedabheda” tattva:

Thank you devotee Prabhu,

your sincere and intelligent question caused me to research my books on sastra inorder to fulfill your request as best I can. Thank you for the adventure you inspired me to take.

Below is a collection of commentary by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami in regards to the subject of “acintya-bhedabheda” according to the vaishnavas in Lord Caitanya’s line.


. . .

The living entity is different from the material elements, and the supreme living entity, the Personality of Godhead, who is the creator of the material elements, is also different from the individual living entity. This philosophy is propounded by Lord Caitanya as acintya-bhedäbheda-tattva. Everything is simultaneously one with and different from everything else. The cosmic manifestation created by the Supreme Lord by His material energy is also simultaneously different and nondifferent from Him. The material energy is nondifferent from the Supreme Lord, but at the same time, because that energy is acting in a different way, it is different from Him. Similarly, the individual living entity is one with and different from the Supreme Lord. This “simultaneously one and different” philosophy is the perfect conclusion of the Bhägavata school


. . .
An example may be cited here: The different limbs of the body cannot enjoy life independently; they must cooperate with the whole body and supply food to the stomach. In so doing, all the different parts of the body enjoy equally in cooperation with the whole body. That is the philosophy of acintya-bhedäbheda, simultaneous oneness and difference. The living entity cannot enjoy life in opposition to the Supreme Lord



. . .
The impersonalist idea is an impurity of the Kali-yuga and it is refuted by the Vedas. The pure truth taught by the Vedas is the philosophy of acintya-bhedabheda (simultaneous oneness and difference).

The conclusions taught in the Upanisads are called “Vedanta” (the conclusion of the Vedas). Srila Vyasadeva summarised these conclusions in a book of four chapters, a book called the Brahma-sutra or Vedanta sutra. The truly learned people of this world respectfully accept the authority of this book. The general conclusion is that the Vedanta-sutra gives a proper exposition of the truths taught in the Vedas.

The different acaryas have each explained Vedanta-sutra in a way to support their conclusions. Sri Sankaracarya used the Vedanta-sutra to support his philosophy of impersonalism (vivarta-vada). He said that the philosophy of parinama-vada is not correct, for it must lead to the conclusion that Brahman is not the highest. He taught a philosophy called vivarta-vada, which is also called mayavada. To support this philosophy of vivarta-vada, he collected quotations from all the Vedas.

It seems that the philosophy of parinama-vada must have been popular before his time. By establishing his vivarta-vada, Sri Sankara suppressed the parinama-vada. Still, the vivarta-vada is only one of many theories. Displeased with it, Sri Madhvacarya created the theory of dvaita-vada.

He collected quotes from all the Vedas to support his theory of dvaita-vada. In the same way Srimad Ramanujacarya established the Vasistadvaita-vada and collected quotations from the Vedas to support it. Sri Nimbarka Acarya established his philosophy of dvaitadvaita-vada and he also collected many quotes from the Vedas to support it. Sri Visnu Svami preached the philosophy of suddhadvaitavada, which he based on the Vedanta-sutra and the texts of the Vedas.

The mayavada philosophy preached by Sri Sankaracarya is opposed to the truths of devotional service. Each with his own philosophy, the four Vaisnava acaryas taught that devotional service is the highest conclusion. Sriman Mahaprabhu based His philosophy on all the statements of the Vedas. His philosophy is called 'acintya-bhedabheda” (simultaneous oneness and difference). This philosophy accepts the basic framework of Madhvacarya's teachings.



What is the parinama-vada?
There are two kinds of parinama-vada: brahma-parinama-vada and sakti-parinama-vada. The brahma-parinama-vada teaches that Brahman becomes transformed into the individual souls and the material world. Thus they say that only Brahman exists, and to support their idea they quote these words of the Chandogya Upanisad (6.2.1): “Brahman is one without a second.”

This theory may be called 'advaita-vada' (impersonalism). Look. In this context 'vivarta' and 'parinama' are synonyms. On the other hand, the philosophy of sakti-parinama-vada declares that Brahman Himself never becomes transformed. Rather it is Brahman's inconceivable potency that becomes transformed. The jiva-sakti becomes transformed into the individual spirit souls and the maya-sakti becomes transformed into the material world. If this version of parinama-vada is accepted, Brahman does not become transformed. The act of transformation is defined in these words:
“Transformation is when something appears to be what it is not.”



What is transformation?
Transformation is when something appears to be different that what is it. Milk becomes transformed into yoghurt. It is still milk in essence. It only appears to be something else. That is transformation. According to the brahma-parinama-vada, the individual spirit souls and the material world are both transformations of Brahman. This idea is not correct. Of this there is no doubt.

The impersonal Brahman has no qualities. Therefore it has nothing that could be transformed into something else. Therefore it cannot be said to be the origin of transformations. Therefore the brahma-parinama-vada theory is not good. On the other hand, the sakti-parinama-vada does not have these defects. According to sakti-parinama-vada, Brahman is not transformed. Rather it is Brahman's potency, which can do any impossible thing, that is transformed into the atomic individual souls and into the perverted reflection that is the material world.

When Brahman desires, “Let the individual souls come into existence”, numberless souls are manifested from His potency. When Brahman desires, “Let the material world come into existence”, material universes without limit are manifested from His potency. These things are not transformations of Brahman.

If someone says, “If Brahman has a desire, then Brahman is transformed. The desire itself is a transformation of the original desireless Brahman. How is it possible that Brahman can be transformed in this way?” then I reply, “You are assuming that Brahman's desire is like the desires possessed by the individual spirit souls. That is why you say Brahman's desire is evidence that Brahman becomes transformed. The individual spirit soul is very small, and therefore his desire naturally touches Brahman's other potencies.

For this reason the soul's desires are actually transformations. However, Brahman's desires are completely independent. They are part of His intrinsic nature and are not subjected to outside influences. They are at once the same as and different from His potencies. Therefore Brahman's desires are part of His original nature. They do not involve any transformations. Ordered by His desires, His potencies act. His potencies then become transformed.

The living entity's small intelligence does not have the power to discover these subtle truths unaided. These truths are known only by hearing the testimony of the Vedas. Now we may consider the nature of the transformation of the potency. The example of milk being transformed into yoghurt is not the only example to show the transformation of potency. Although material analogies cannot give one a complete understanding of spiritual realities, they can help one understand certain aspects of it. Even though it is material in nature, a cintamani jewel is said to produce many other jewels within itself being changed in any way.

The Spiritual Supreme Personality of Godhead creates in a way like that. The Supreme Personality of Godhead remains completely unchanged after creating, by His desire and with the aid of His inconceivable potency, the numberless individual souls and numberless material universes consisting of fourteen planetary systems. This explanation that the Supreme is “untransformed” does not mean that the Supreme exists only as the qualityless impersonal Brahman. The word 'brahman' means the greatest (brhat).

Therefore the word “brahman” directly refers to the eternal Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the master of six opulences. If we only say that He is 'untransformed' and do not say anything else about Him, we do not accept His cit-sakti (spiritual potency). The truth is that by the power of His inconceivable potency, He is simultaneously the qualityless Brahman, and the Supreme Person who possesses a host of spiritual qualities. Therefore to say only that He is 'untransformed' means to understand only half of His nature, and thus not understand Him in full. The Vedas have used the instrumental (by), ablative (from), and locative (in) cases to describe His relationship with the material world. In the Taittiriya Upanisad (3.1.1) it is said:

“Please know that Brahman is He from whom all living beings are born, by
whose power they remain alive, and into whom they enter at the end.”

When it is said that the living beings are manifested from Brahman, the ablative case is used. When it is said that the living beings live by Brahman's power, the instrumental case is used. When it is said that the living beings enter into Brahman, the locative case is used. In this way it is said that the Supreme has qualities. This shows that He is the Supreme Person, for it is a person that has qualities. Srila Jiva Gosvami describes the Supreme Person in these words:

“The Absolute Truth is one. Still, by His inconceivable potency He is manifested in four ways: 1. svarupa (His original form), 2. tad-rupa-vaibhava (Hisincarnations), 3. jiva (the individual spirit souls), and 4. pradhana (the material energy).

Mohini Shakti Devi
09 January 2010, 04:03 PM
On the basis of the säìkhya** philosophy of acintya-bhedäbheda-tattva, which maintains that the Supreme Lord is simultaneously one with and different from His creation, Lord Caitanya taught that the most practical way for the mass of people to practice sänkhya-yoga** meditation is simply to chant the holy name of the Lord. He taught that the holy name of the Lord is the sound incarnation of the Lord and that since the Lord is the absolute whole, there is no difference between His holy name and His transcendental form.

Thus by chanting the holy name of the Lord one can directly associate with the Supreme Lord by sound vibration. As one practices chanting this sound vibration, one passes through three stages of development: the offensive stage, the clearing stage and the transcendental stage. In the offensive stage of chanting one may desire all kinds of material happiness, but in the second stage one becomes clear of all material contamination. When one is situated on the transcendental stage, one attains the most coveted position—the stage of loving God. Lord Caitanya taught that this is the highest stage of perfection for human beings.

** Säìkhya-yoga—the process of linking with the Supreme by intellectually tracing out the source of creation.

** Säìkhya—analytical discrimination between spirit and matter and the path of devotional service as described by Lord Kapila, the son of Devahüti in the Çrémad-Bhägavatam; analytical understanding of the body and the soul.

Lord Çré Kåñëa and His plenary expansions are all in the category of the Lord Himself, the energetic Absolute Truth, whereas His devotees, His eternal associates, are His energies. The energy and energetic are fundamentally one, but since their functions are differently exhibited, they are simultaneously different also.

Thus the Absolute Truth is manifested in diversity in one unit. This philosophical truth, which is pursuant to the Vedänta-sütra, is called acintya-bhedäbheda-tattva, or the conception of simultaneous oneness and difference.

The real Vedic philosophy is acintya-bhedäbheda-tattva, which establishes everything to be simultaneously one with and different from the Personality of Godhead.

“As the material elements enter the bodies of all living beings and yet remain outside them all, I exist within all material creations and yet am not within them.”

This verse instructs that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by His inconceivable energies, is simultaneously one with and different from the living entities and the material energy. This knowledge is called acintya-bhedäbheda-tattva. When an individual living entity surrenders to the Supreme Lord, Kåñëa, he can then develop natural transcendental love for Him. This surrendering process should be the primary concern of a human being.

The Vaiñëavas following Lord Caitanya stress the doctrine of acintya-bhedäbheda-tattva, which states that the Supreme Lord, being the cause and effect of everything, is inconceivably, simultaneously one with His manifestations of energy and different from them.

“Mäyävädé sannyäsés accept that the commentary by Çré Çaìkaräcärya known as Çäréraka-bhäñya gives the real meaning of the Vedanta-sütra. In other words, Mäyävädé sannyäsés accept the meanings expressed in the explanations of the Vedänta-sütra by Çaìkaräcärya, which are based on monism.

Thus they explain the Vedänta-sütra, the Upaniñads and all such Vedic literatures in their own impersonal way.” The great Mäyävädé sannyäsé Sadänanda Yogéndra has written a book known as Vedänta-sära, in which he writes, vedänto näma upaniñat-pramäëam. tad-upakäréëi çäréraka-süträdéni ca. According to Sadänanda Yogéndra, the Vedänta-sütra and Upaniñads, as presented by Çré Çaìkaräcärya in his Çäréraka-bhäñya commentary, are the only sources of Vedic evidence. Actually, however, Vedänta refers to the essence of Vedic knowledge, and it is not a fact that there is nothing more than Çaìkaräcärya’s Çäréraka-bhäñya.

There are other Vedänta commentaries, written by Vaiñëava äcäryas, none of whom follow Çré Çaìkaräcärya or accept the imaginative commentary of his school. Their commentaries are based on the philosophy of duality. Monist philosophers like Çaìkaräcärya and his followers want to establish that God and the living entity are one, and instead of worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead they present themselves as God. They want to be worshiped as God by others. Such persons do not accept the philosophies of the Vaiñëava äcäryas, which are known as çuddhädvaita (purified monism), çuddha-dvaita (purified dualism), viçiñöädvaita (specific monism), dvaitädvaita (monism and dualism) and acintya-bhedäbheda (inconceivable oneness and difference).

Mäyävädés do not discuss these philosophies, for they are firmly convinced of their own philosophy of kevalädvaita, exclusive monism. Accepting this system of philosophy as the pure understanding of the Vedänta-sütra, they believe that Kåñëa has a body made of material elements and that the activities of loving service to Kåñëa are sentimentality.

They are known as Mäyävädés because according to their opinion Kåñëa has a body made of mäyä and the loving service of the Lord executed by devotees is also mäyä. They consider such devotional service to be an aspect of fruitive activities (karma-käëòa). According to their view, bhakti consists of mental speculation or sometimes meditation. This is the difference between the Mäyävädé and Vaiñëava philosophies.

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami’s Comments on Verse #309 of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila Chapter 20:
Rudra is simultaneously one with and different from the viñëu-tattva. Due to his association with mäyä, he is different from the viñëu-tattva, but at the same time he is an expansion of Kåñëa’s personal form. This situation is called bhedäbheda-tattva or acintya-bhedäbheda-tattva, simultaneously one and different.

CC. Ädi Lila verses 17.99:
On another day a great devotee of Lord Çiva, chanting of Lord Çiva’s qualities, came to Lord Caitanya’s house, where he began dancing in the courtyard and playing his òamaru [a musical instrument].

CC. Ädi Lila verses 17.100:
Then Lord Caitanya, adopting the mood of Lord Çiva, got on the man’s shoulders, and thus they danced together for a long time.


Commentary
Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu adopted the mood of Lord Çiva, for He is Çiva also. According to the philosophy of acintya-bhedäbheda-tattva, Lord Çiva is not different from Lord Viñëu, but still Lord Çiva is not Lord Viñëu, just as yogurt is nothing but milk and yet is not milk nevertheless. One cannot get the benefit of milk by drinking yogurt. Similarly, one cannot get salvation by worshiping Lord Çiva. If one wants salvation, one must worship Lord Viñëu. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gétä (9.4): mat-sthäni sarva-bhütäni na cähaà teñv avasthitaù. Everything is resting on the Lord, for everything is His energy, yet He is not everywhere. Lord Caitanya’s adopting the mood of Lord Çiva is not extraordinary, but one should not therefore think that by worshiping Lord Çiva one is worshiping Lord Caitanya. That would be a mistake.




CC Madhya 9.194
Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu said:
“Spiritual substance is never within the jurisdiction of the material conception. This is always the verdict of the Vedas and Puräëas.”



CC Madhya 9.195
Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu then assured the brähmaëa, “Have faith in My words and do not burden your mind any longer with this misconception.”



Commentary
This is the process of spiritual understanding. Acintyä khalu ye bhävä na täàs tarkeëa yojayet: “We should not try to understand things beyond our material conception by argument and counterargument.” Mahä-jano yena gataù sa panthäù: “We have to follow in the footsteps of great authorities coming down in the paramparä system.” If we approach a bona fide äcärya and keep faith in his words, spiritual realization will be easy.

Mohini Shakti Devi
09 January 2010, 04:04 PM
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami’s Comments on SB 2.1.39:
The Supreme Lord is one, and His expansions are various. He is therefore the Supersoul of everything. When a man sees anything, he must know that his seeing is secondary and the Lord’s seeing is primary. One cannot see anything without the Lord’s having first seen it. That is the instruction of the Vedas and the Upaniñads. So whatever we see or do, the Supersoul of all acts of seeing or doing is the Lord. This theory of simultaneous oneness and difference between the individual soul and the Supersoul is propounded by Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu as the philosophy of acintya-bhedäbheda-tattva.

The viräö-rüpa, or the gigantic feature of the Supreme Lord, includes everything materially manifested, and therefore the viräö or gigantic feature of the Lord is the Supersoul of all living and nonliving entities. But the viräö-rüpa is also the manifestation of Näräyaëa or Viñëu, and going further on and on one will eventually see that Lord Kåñëa is the ultimate Supersoul of everything that be.

The conclusion is that one should unhesitatingly become a worshiper of Lord Kåñëa, or, for that matter, His plenary expansion Näräyaëa, and none else. In the Vedic hymns, it is clearly said that first of all Näräyaëa cast a glance over matter and thus there was creation. Before creation, there was neither Brahmä nor Çiva, and what to speak of others. Çrépäda Çaìkaräcärya has definitely accepted this, that Näräyaëa is beyond the material creation and that all others are within the material creation.

The whole material creation, therefore, is one with and different from Näräyaëa, simultaneously, and this supports the acintya-bhedäbheda-tattva philosophy of Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu. Being an emanation from the glancing potency of Näräyaëa, the whole material creation is nondifferent from Him. But because it is the effect of His external energy (bahiraìgä mäyä) and is aloof from the internal potency (ätma-mäyä), the whole material creation is different from Him at the same time.

The example given in this verse very nicely is that of the dreaming man. The dreaming man creates many things in his dream, and thus he himself becomes the entangled seer of the dream and is also affected by the consequences. This material creation is also exactly a dreamlike creation of the Lord, but He, being the transcendental Supersoul, is neither entangled nor affected by the reactions of such a dreamlike creation.

He is always in His transcendental position, but essentially He is everything, and nothing is apart from Him. As a part of Him, one should therefore concentrate on Him only, without deviation; otherwise one is sure to be overcome by the potencies of the material creation, one after another. It is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gétä (9.7) as follows:


sarva-bhütäni kaunteya

prakåtià yänti mämikäm
kalpa-kñaye punas täni
kalpädau visåjämy aham



“O son of Kunté, at the end of the millennium every material manifestation enters into My nature, and at the beginning of another millennium, by My potency, I again create.”

The human life, however, is an opportunity to get out of this repetition of creation and annihilation. It is a means whereby one may escape the Lord’s external potency and enter into His internal potency.


. . .

According to the Gauòéya acintya-bhedäbheda-tattva philosophy, anything which satisfies the senses of the Supreme Lord, Çré Kåñëa, is also Çré Kåñëa. For example, Çré Våndävana-dhäma is nondifferent from Çré Kåñëa (tad-dhäma våndävanam) because at Våndävana the Lord enjoys the transcendental bliss of His internal potency.


. . .




SB 4.7.54

Lord Viñëu continued: One who does not consider Brahmä, Viñëu, Çiva or the living entities in general to be separate from the Supreme, and who knows Brahman, actually realizes peace; others do not.




COMMENTARY

Two words are very significant in this verse. Trayäëäm indicates “three,” namely Lord Brahmä, Lord Çiva and Lord Viñëu. Bhidäm means “different.” They are three, and therefore they are separate, but at the same time they are one. This is the philosophy of simultaneous oneness and difference, which is called acintya-bhedäbheda-tattva.



. . .

SB 4.11.18 Commentary:
How the Lord acts is nicely explained in the Viñëu Puräëa: fire is situated in one place, while the heat and light produced by the fire act in many different ways. Another example given is that the electric powerhouse is situated in one place, but by its energies many different types of machinery move. The production is never identical with the original source of the energy, but the original source of energy, being the prime factor, is simultaneously one with and different from the product. Therefore, Lord Caitanya’s philosophy, acintya-bhedäbheda-tattva.



. . .

The great sage Närada said:
Just as the sunshine is nondifferent from the sun, the cosmic manifestation is also nondifferent from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Supreme Personality is therefore all-pervasive within this material creation. When the senses are active, they appear to be part and parcel of the body, but when the body is asleep, their activities are unmanifest. Similarly, the whole cosmic creation appears different and yet nondifferent from the Supreme Person.




COMMENTARY

This confirms the philosophy of acintya-bhedäbheda-tattva (“simultaneously one and different”) propounded by Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is simultaneously different and nondifferent from this cosmic manifestation. In a previous verse it has been explained that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, like the root of a tree, is the original cause of everything. It was also explained how the Supreme Personality of Godhead is all-pervasive. He is present within everything in this material manifestation.

Since the energy of the Supreme Lord is nondifferent from Him, this material cosmic manifestation is also nondifferent from Him, although it appears different. The sunshine is not different from the sun itself, but it is simultaneously also different. One may be in the sunshine, but he is not on the sun itself. Those who live in this material world are living on the bodily rays of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but they cannot see Him personally in the material condition.


. . .



The sunshine is light, the sun globe itself is light, and the sun-god is also light. However, the sunshine is not identical with the sun-god, Vivasvän. This is the meaning of simultaneously one and different (acintya-bhedäbheda-tattva).


. . .


SB 6.16.9


The living entity is eternal and imperishable because he actually has no beginning and no end. He never takes birth or dies. He is the basic principle of all types of bodies, yet he does not belong to the bodily category. The living being is so sublime that he is equal in quality to the Supreme Lord. Nonetheless, because he is extremely small, he is prone to be illusioned by the external energy, and thus he creates various bodies for himself according to his different desires.




COMMENTARY

In this verse the philosophy of acintya-bhedäbheda—simultaneous oneness and difference—is described. The living entity is eternal (nitya) like the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but the difference is that the Supreme Lord is the greatest, no one being equal to or greater than Him, whereas the living entity is sükñma, or extremely small. The çästra describes that the magnitude of the living entity is one ten-thousandth the size of the tip of a hair. The Supreme Lord is all-pervading (aëòäntara-stha-paramäëu-cayäntara-stham). Relatively, if the living entity is accepted as the smallest, there should naturally be inquiry about the greatest. The greatest is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the smallest is the living entity.


. . .


If from the beginning of life one is taught the Vaiñëava philosophy of duality or variety, the monistic philosophy will not bother him very much. In reality, everything is an emanation from the supreme source (janmädy asya yataù [SB 1.1.1]). The original energy is exhibited in varieties, exactly as the sunshine, the original energy emanating from the sun, exhibits itself in variety as light and heat. One cannot say that light is heat or that heat is light, yet one cannot separate one from the other. Therefore Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu’s philosophy is acintya-bhedäbheda, inconceivable nonseparation and distinction. Although there is an affinity between the two physical manifestations light and heat, there is also a difference between them. Similarly, although the whole cosmic manifestation is the Lord’s energy, the energy is nevertheless exhibited in varieties of manifestations.

Onkara
15 January 2010, 07:26 AM
Thank you for this post, Mohini Shakti Devi
I have a question which arises and hope someone might be able to explain further.

On what philsophical grounds does the Lord sustain his personality? I understand from the above it is because us individuals have personality then the lord must also have personality? Pehaps I missed something or someone may have more to add please.

Kindly note, I am looking for further philsophical understanding of acintya-bedabheda and not a debate or a comparision. :)

Krsna Das
15 January 2010, 08:06 AM
Thank you for this post, Mohini Shakti Devi
I have a question which arises and hope someone might be able to explain further.

On what philsophical grounds does the Lord sustain his personality? I understand from the above it is because us individuals have personality then the lord must also have personality? Pehaps I missed something or someone may have more to add please.

Kindly note, I am looking for further philsophical understanding of acintya-bedabheda and not a debate or a comparision. :)

Hare Krsna ! Dandavats to all !

That is a very good question. I would like some senior vaisnavas like jiva-tattva and grames and others to enlighten us on this matter.

Radhe !

Onkara
20 January 2010, 06:42 AM
Thank you Ksna Das Ji
I would certainly like to understand the topic of personality further. Perhaps some one has precise explanations to share here, if necessary I can take it from there if questions arise.

Thanks

Krsna Das
21 January 2010, 08:22 AM
Thank you Ksna Das Ji
I would certainly like to understand the topic of personality further. Perhaps some one has precise explanations to share here, if necessary I can take it from there if questions arise.

Thanks

Hare Krsna !

Dandavat Pranamas to all the Vaisnavas !
ALL glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga !

I think we can discuss this verse from BG in this context.

Other seniour vaisnavas can kindly also shed some light on this topic.

Please let me know if I am saying anything which is unauthorized by sastra.


BG , 4:6 :


ajo 'pi sann avyay-ātmā
bhūtānām īśvaro 'pi san
prakṛtiḿ svām adhiṣṭhāya
sambhavāmy ātma-māyayā

The Supreme Lord declares:

I am unborn (ajo 'pi) and also imperishable (avyay-ātmā), as well as I am Iswara of all the Jivas (bhūtānām īśvaro 'pi san).

BUT does this means that I have to loose my personal form in being so? -

No, In this very personal (syama-sundar) form, I represent myself (sambhav-āmy) - ajo 'pi, avyayātmā and bhūtānām īśvaro 'pi - attributed with such majestic and divine qualities.

But how do I appear in such personal divine form, attributed simultaneously with such majectic atrributes?

- By my internal-inconcievable-spiritual-potency or atma-maya (sambhavāmy ātma-māyayā) - also known as "svarūpa-ṣakti" among my devotees.

And this (appearing in such divine form) is not unusual for me. Why? -

-because "prakṛtiḿ svām adhiṣṭhāya" - that is my very own spiritual-nature, or swabhav, or prakṛti.

===========================

The above statements are with reference to swayam-rūp of Supreme Person (His original form). However he also represents in other forms, of which a hint has been given by Mohini Sakti Mataji above:


“The Absolute Truth is one. Still, by His inconceivable potency He is manifested in four ways: 1. svarupa (His original form), 2. tad-rupa-vaibhava (Hisincarnations), 3. jiva (the individual spirit souls), and 4. pradhana (the material energy).

There are various references and explanations to all these manifestations in various vedic-literature.

Radha-Krsna !

Onkara
21 January 2010, 10:15 AM
Pranams Krsna Das
This is an interesting response, thank you. So the form that the Lord takes, spoken of in BG 4.6, is the form that is medidated upon and worshiped by devotees in ISKON, correct?

prakṛtiḿ svām adhiṣṭhāya
sambhavāmy ātma-māyayā

So it is the form that the Lord wills to take or as to appear to us, based on his power (atama-mayaya or sakti) over prakriti. Would this then be the method of thinking of or seeing the form of the Lord lead to The Surpreme Personality of God Head? Ultimately this form is defined as Sri Krishna, I understand.

Please feel free to correct or add to that understanding.

I looked further into atma-mayaya and found explanations at the bottom of http://www.bhagavad-gita.us/articles/501/1/Bhagavad-Gita-46/Page1.html

bhaktajan
21 January 2010, 11:58 AM
My Dear O' Snip-ster miester,

here my two farthings:

Snip wrote:
"So it is the form that the Lord wills to take or as to appear to us, based on his power (atama-mayaya or sakti) over prakriti. Would this then be the method of thinking of or seeing the form of the Lord lead to The Surpreme Personality of God Head? Ultimately this form is defined as Sri Krishna, I understand."

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"His original form --- However he also represents in other forms"


This is the essence of the Truth of creation. And we spirits in the material world are microcosms of the same principle ---but temporary.

The creation is real and absolute in all regards except inregards to the effects of time.

Time changes all things ---but this dynamic is an absolute reality.

God is beyond time.

Krishna appears in order to RE-ESTABLISH Dharma and to give pastimes to his entourage.

Krishna is the "Original-Original form of God" before any proxy avataras are sent to preform any purposes.

The material cosmic manifestation is a proxy in of itself. Every aspect of The material cosmic manifestation should remind one of a proxy quality of Krishna, God Personified in his "Original-Original form" [even more specifically, as a cowherd boy].

Since God by definition is primarily a persona. Then the creation is the property of that Primary Persona that allows God to past the time eternally enjoying sport with his own transcendant entourage beyond the influence of time.

Onkara
21 January 2010, 04:45 PM
"His original form --- However he also represents in other forms"


Krishna is the "Original-Original form of God" before any proxy avataras are sent to preform any purposes.

The material cosmic manifestation is a proxy in of itself. Every aspect of The material cosmic manifestation should remind one of a proxy quality of Krishna, God Personified in his "Original-Original form" [even more specifically, as a cowherd boy].

Since God by definition is primarily a persona. Then the creation is the property of that Primary Persona that allows God to past the time eternally enjoying sport with his own transcendant entourage beyond the influence of time.
Thanks once again Bhaktajan.
I would be interested to know more about the definition of God as a persona. Am I right that ISKON worship the persona described in the Bhagavad Gita, Puranas and other work. This is also acknowledge as an Avatar or form which occurs due to prakriti? As we humans are also prakriti we experience the Lord through prakriti.

What is God when not taking form as an Avatar (form through prarkiti)? And what of his persona in those instances from an ISKON point of view, how is it known to be?

Krsna Das
25 January 2010, 10:21 AM
[quote=Snip;38351]Thanks once again Bhaktajan.
I would be interested to know more about the definition of God as a persona.


By the perspective of opulances (aiswarya) Lord is the owner of Bhag-vastu (Six infinite opulances) which for now I assume that you are aware of.

Also per Brahma-samhita, his spiritual body had divine form (Isvarah paramah Krsnah sachhidananda vigraha) So Lord's vigraha is sat-cit-ananda - which is again gyan sakti, bala-sakti and kriya -sakti mentioned in Sruti.

Another reference is that Lord says - janma - karma ca me divyam-eivam - My appearance in this world in this human form look like that of mortal beings, but they are actually spiritual (divya) in nature.


Am I right that ISKON worship the persona described in the Bhagavad Gita, Puranas and other work.

That's correct.


This is also acknowledge as an Avatar or form which occurs due to prakriti?

We do not accept krsna as avtar but source of all avtaras. These spiritual forms and also his original forms are all manifested to us by his swarup-sakti.


As we humans are also prakriti we experience the Lord through prakriti.

Correct. We are his tatastha-sakti and we attain Lord by the mercy of his ahladini-sakti.



What is God when not taking form as an Avatar (form through prarkiti)?


God is Supreme Person, Krsna in his original (swayam-rup) form already discussed above.


And what of his persona in those instances from an ISKON point of view, how is it known to be?

There is no difference b/w Krsna and his swansa-expansions since all are divya. But there is difference on the level of Rasa, and Krsna is akhil-rasamrita-sindhu (ocean of nectarian mellows).

You can get more information in Jaiva-Dharma where Sakti-tattva is described in detail.

Also sakti-tattv and Jiva-Tattva, both are called "avicintya" meaning unfathomable by our brains. But we can just get an idea what it could be like.

Hare Krsna.

grames
27 January 2010, 08:49 AM
Dear Snip,

The derivation is not from Jiva to Lord but the other way around. We have 'this or that' and such is only possible if it is supplied by the Lord and to supply He must be having it in abundance, unlimited quantity of such 'quality' or Guna.

So why He is GunaPurna! who is full of all Guna ( surprisingly He is full of all conflicting Gunas and so why His nature is very difficult to comprehend)