07.24: When excess makes a good thing worse than bad…
The Bhagavad-gita (7.24) declares the impersonalists who consider Krishna’s form to be a temporary and illusory product of the impersonal Brahman to be abuddhayah, bankrupt of intelligence.
The impersonalists are classic and tragic examples of taking a good thing so far as to make it disastrously bad. The impersonalists conceive of the Absolute Truth to be impersonal, devoid of any beauty, personality, quality or activity. The good thing about them is that they have gained an insight into the futility of all worldly forms; they have recognized that these forms being temporary can never offer lasting pleasure and attachment to them cause bondage and suffering. Consequently, they conclude that these forms are products of illusion and so seek a reality beyond these forms.
The bad thing about them is that they extrapolate their insight that forms are products of illusion from the material realm, where it holds true, to the spiritual realm, where it doesn’t; the spiritual realm is characterized by non-decaying, non-temporal forms. In fact, the impersonalists make their insight into an absolute truth, placing it on a pedestal higher than the actual Absolute Truth, Sri Krishna. Consequently they make the erroneous and disastrous inference that even Krishna’s form is a product of illusion, thereby directly contradicting the revealed wisdom of the Gita and the realized vision of great devotee-sages.
To mistake a counterfeit note to be genuine, as the materialists do by mistaking material forms to be real, is bad, but to mistake the genuine note to be false, as the impersonalists do by mistaking Krishna’s form to be illusory, is worse. No wonder the Gita laments their bankruptcy of intelligence.