Continued from previous page… Purports to Mantra 4 end on this page. Commenting on Mantra 5, Srila Prabhupada points out Supreme Lord’s contradictory qualities is a proof of His inconceivable potencies.
This fourth mantra of Sri Isopanishad very clearly suggests that the Absolute Truth is ultimately the Absolute Person; otherwise there would have been no need to mention so many details in support of His personal features.
Although the individual parts and parcels of the Lord’s potencies have all the symptoms of the Lord Himself, they have limited spheres of activity and are therefore all limited. The parts and parcels are never equal to the whole; therefore they cannot appreciate the Lord’s full potency. Under the influence of material nature, foolish and ignorant living beings who are but parts and parcels of the Lord try to conjecture about the Lord’s transcendental position. Sri Isopanishad warns of the futility of trying to establish the identity of the Lord through mental speculation. One should try to learn of the Transcendence from the Lord Himself, the supreme source of the Vedas, for the Lord alone has full knowledge of the Transcendence.
Every part and parcel of the Complete Whole is endowed with some particular energy to act according to the Lord’s will. When the part-and-parcel living entity forgets his particular activities under the Lord’s will, he is considered to be in maya, illusion. Thus from the very beginning Sri Isopanishad warns us to be very careful to play the part designated for us by the Lord. This does not mean that the individual soul has no initiative of his own. Because he is part and parcel of the Lord, he must partake of the initiative of the Lord as well. When a person properly utilizes his initiative, or active nature, with intelligence, understanding that everything is the Lord’s potency, he can revive his original consciousness, which was lost due to association with maya, the external energy.
All power is obtained from the Lord; therefore each particular power must be utilized to execute the will of the Lord and not otherwise. The Lord can be known by one who has adopted such a submissive service attitude. Perfect knowledge means knowing the Lord in all His features, knowing His potencies and knowing how these potencies work by His will. These matters are described by the Lord in the Bhagavad-gita, the essence of all the Upanishads.
TRANSLATION. The Supreme Lord walks and does not walk. He is far away, but He is very near as well. He is within everything, and yet He is outside of everything.
PURPORT. Here is a description of some of the Supreme Lord’s transcendental activities, executed by His inconceivable potencies. The contradictions given here prove the inconceivable potencies of the Lord. “He walks, and He does not walk.” Ordinarily, if someone can walk, it is illogical to say he cannot walk. But in reference to God, such a contradiction simply serves to indicate His inconceivable power. With our limited fund of knowledge we cannot accommodate such contradictions, and therefore we conceive of the Lord in terms of our limited powers of understanding. For example, the impersonalist philosophers of the Mayavada school accept only the Lord’s impersonal activities and reject His personal feature. But the members of the Bhagavata school, adopting the perfect conception of the Lord, accept His inconceivable potencies and thus understand that He is both personal and impersonal. The bhagavatas know that without inconceivable potencies there can be no meaning to the words “Supreme Lord.”
We should not take it for granted that because we cannot see God with our eyes the Lord has no personal existence. Sri Isopanishad refutes this argument by declaring that the Lord is far away but very near also.
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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