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Sri Krishna be all-pervading if He has a medium-sized, human-like form?

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C H A P T E R 13

Pramana & The Commencement of Prameya


Bhaktivinoda Thakura

Translated From Hindi into

English, Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja


Vrajanatha: But how can Sri Krishna be all-pervading if He has a medium-sized, human-like form? If we accept that He has form, it means He can only stay in one place at a time, and that gives rise to so many philosophical discrepancies. The first is that He cannot be the all-pervading tattva if He has a form and body. Secondly, if He has a body, He will be limited by the material modes of nature, so how can He be independent and have limitless and absolute authority? How can this be reconciled?

Babaji: My dear son, you are now thinking like this because you are bound by the qualities of maya. As long as the intelligence remains bound by material qualities, it cannot touch suddha-sattva. If such conditioned intelligence attempts to exceed its own limitations trying to understand suddha-tattva, it superimposes mayika forms and qualities on suddha-tattva, and thus conceives of a material form of Transcendence. :smash:After some time, the intellect rejects this form as being temporary, mutable, and subject to the material modes, and then it imagines the nirvisesha-brahma. That is why one cannot gain an understanding of the Supreme Absolute Truth through the intelligence.


Whatever limitations you are inferring about the transcendental, medium-sized form are completely unfounded. Formlessness, immutability, and inactivity simply comprise the material conception of what is opposite to our conception of material qualities, so they are themselves a type of material quality. However, Sri Krishna also has qualities that are of an altogether different nature: for example, His beautiful, blossoming, smiling face; His lotus eyes; His beautiful lotus feet, which bestow fearlessness and peace upon His bhaktas; and His spiritual form, which is the pure embodiment of transcendence, with limbs and body just suitable for varieties of playful sports. The 'medium sized' sri-vigraha, that is the very basis of these two types of qualities (form and all pervasiveness), is supremely pleasing. The Narada-pancaratra describes His extreme attractiveness to the mind, and this description is replete with all siddhanta:


nirdosha-guna-vigraha atma-tantro

niscetanatmaka-sarira-gunais ca hinah


sarvatra ca svagata-bheda-vivarjitatma


Sri Krishna's transcendental body is composed of eternity, consciousness and bliss, without even a trace of material qualities. He is not subject to material time or space. On the contrary, He exists fully at all places and in all times simultaneously. His form and existence are the embodiment of absolute nonduality (advaya-jnana-svarupa-vastu).


Direction (space) is an unlimited entity in the material world. By material estimation, only a formless object can be unlimited or all-pervading; an entity with a medium-sized form cannot. How ever, this conception only applies in the material world. In the spiritual world, all objects and their intrinsic natures and attributes are unlimited, so Sri Krishna's medium-sized form is also allpervading. Medium-sized objects in this material world do not have this quality of all-pervasiveness, but it is charmingly manifest in Sri Krishna's medium-sized vigraha. That is the supra-mundane glory of His transcendental vigraha. Can such glorious attributes be found in the conception of the all-pervading brahma? Material substances are always limited by time and place. If an entity who is naturally beyond the effects of time is compared to the all-pervading sky, which is limited by time and space, then is not that entity, beyond the influence of time, incomparably greater?


Sri Krishna's vraja-dhama is none other than the Brahma-pura which is mentioned within the Chandogya Upanishad. This vrajadhama is a completely transcendental reality, and is comprised of all types of transcendental variety. Everything in that place-the earth, water, rivers, mountains, trees, creepers, animals, birds, sky, sun, moon and constellations-is transcendental and is devoid of material flaws or shortcomings. Conscious pleasure is present always and everywhere, in its fullest form. My dear son, this Mayapura-Navadvipa is that self-same spiritual abode. You are unable to perceive it, however, because you are bound in maya's snare. But when, by the mercy of saints and sadhus, spiritual consciousness arises in your heart, you will then perceive this land as the spiritual dhama, and then only will you achieve the perfection of vraja-vasa (residence in Vraja).


Who has told you that there must be material merits and faults wherever there is medium-sized form? You cannot realize the actual glories of the transcendental medium-sized form as long as your intelligence is bound up in material impressions.


Vrajanatha: No intelligent person can have any doubts about this point. However, I would like to know when, where and how Krishna's spiritual vigraha, dhama, and lila are manifested within material limitations, since Sri Radha-Krishna's vigraha and bodily complexion, and Their lilas, associates, houses, pastime-groves, forests, secondary forests and all the objects in the spiritual world are transcendental.


Babaji: Sri Krishna possesses all potencies, so even that which appears to be impossible is actually possible for Him. What is astonishing in this? He is the all-potent Personality (sarva-saktiman purusha), the fully independent supreme controller who is completely autocratic and imbued with lila. Simply by His desire, He can appear in this material world in His self-same spiritual form, along with His spiritual abode. How can there be any doubt about this?


Vrajanatha: By His desire, He can do everything, and He can manifest His purely spiritual form in this material world-that much is clear. However, materialistic people tend to think that Sri Krishna's own transcendental abode that is manifest here is simply a part of this material universe, and they perceive His vraja-lila to be just like ordinary mayika activities. Why is this? Why can't worldly people see Krishna's self-manifest, spiritual form as sac-cid-ananda when He mercifully appears in this world of birth and death?


Babaji: One of Krishna's unlimited transcendental qualities is His bhakta-vatsalya (affection for His bhaktas). Because of this quality, His heart melts, and through His hladini-sakti, He bestows upon His bhaktas a type of spiritual potency that enables them to have direct darsana of His self-manifest form and His transcendental pastimes. However, the non-devotees' eyes, ears, and other senses are made up of maya, so they can see no difference between Bhagavan's spiritual pastimes and the mundane events in human history.

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