Absolute Personality of Godhead and His inconceivable potencies

Although situated in one place, a fire can distribute its light and heat for some distance; similarly, the Absolute Personality of Godhead, although fixed in His transcendental abode, can diffuse His different energies everywhere.

1940

Continued from previous page… Srlia Prabhupada’s purport to Mantra 3 ends on this page. Mantra 4 mentions about the Personality of Godhead and His energies.

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Sri Isopanishad | page-a-day series | 11

Such materialistic asuras sometimes make a show of religion, but their ultimate aim is material prosperity. The Bhagavad-gita (16.17-18) rebukes such men by calling them atma-sambhavita, meaning that they are considered great only on the strength of deception and are empowered by the votes of the ignorant and by their own material wealth. Such asuras, devoid of self-realization and knowledge of ishavasya, the Lord’s universal proprietorship, are certain to enter into the darkest regions.

The conclusion is that as human beings we are meant not simply for solving economic problems on a tottering platform but for solving all the problems of the material life into which we have been placed by the laws of nature.

MANTRA 4

TRANSLATION. Although fixed in His abode, the Personality of Godhead is swifter than the mind and can overcome all others running. The powerful demigods cannot approach Him. Although in one place, He controls those who supply the air and rain. He surpasses all in excellence.

PURPORT. Through mental speculation, even the greatest philosopher cannot know the Supreme Lord, who is the Absolute Personality of Godhead. He can be known only by His devotees through His mercy. In the Brahma-samhita (5.34) it is stated that even if a nondevotee philosopher travels through space at the speed of the wind or the mind for hundreds of millions of years, he will still find that the Absolute Truth is far, far away from him. The Brahma-samhita (5.37) further describes that the Absolute Personality of Godhead has His transcendental abode, known as Goloka, where He remains and engages

in His pastimes, yet by His inconceivable potencies He can simultaneously reach every part of His creative energy. In the Vishnu Purana His potencies are compared to the heat and light that emanate from a fire. Although situated in one place, a fire can distribute its light and heat for some distance; similarly, the Absolute Personality of Godhead, although fixed in His transcendental abode, can diffuse His different energies everywhere.

Although His energies are innumerable, they can be divided into three principal categories: the internal potency, the marginal potency and the external potency. There are hundreds and millions of subheadings to each of these categories. The dominating demigods who are empowered to control and administer such natural phenomena as air, light and rain are all classified within the marginal potency of the Absolute Person. Lesser living beings, including humans, also belong to the Lord’s marginal potency. The material world is the creation of the Lord’s external potency. And the spiritual sky, where the kingdom of God is situated, is the manifestation of His internal potency.

Thus the different energies of the Lord are present everywhere. Although the Lord and His energies are nondifferent, one should not mistake these energies for the Supreme Truth. Nor should one wrongly consider that the Supreme Lord is distributed everywhere impersonally or that He loses His personal existence. Men are accustomed to reaching conclusions according to their capacity for understanding, but the Supreme Lord is not subject to our limited capacity for understanding. It is for this reason that the Upanishads warn us that no one can approach the Lord by his own limited potency.

In the Bhagavad-gita (10.2) the Lord says that not even the great rishis and suras can know Him. And what to speak of the asuras, for whom there is no question of understanding the ways of the Lord?

 

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Source: Sri Isopanishad. Translation and purports by His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Copyright BBT International http://www.vedabase.com/en/iso