18.55 – Claiming that the unknown is unknowable is claiming to know the unknown

by August 9, 2012

“God is so great that we tiny creatures can never know him.” So claim some people.

At first sight, this position seems reasonable and even humble. However, it neglects the reality that God is so great that he transcends not only affirmation, but also negation. Not only can we not know what God is, but also what he is not. The statement that God is unknown to us reflects our humility. However, the statement that God is unknowable to us indicates that we are overstepping beyond humility to claim unwarrantedly that we know God in the sense that we know that he is unknowable.

True, we cannot know God by our own efforts. But the claim that we can never know him minimizes his potency; it makes him impotent to reveal himself to us. God’s greatness is so great that he can enable even us finite beings to know his infinite glories. Of course, we can never know God in full, but we can know him enough to fall completely in love with him.

Gita wisdom furnishes us with knowledge of God in his sweetest manifestation as Krishna. This knowledge is not meant to be an anthology of textual statements. Rather, it is a symphony of transformational realizations that begins only when we cultivate devotion for Krishna, as the Bhagavad-gita asserts (18.55: bhaktya mam abhijananti). The more we render devotional service to Krishna, the more he progressively reveals his unlimited glory to us. With every passing day, Krishna, the supreme unknown, becomes increasingly, deliciously known. And yet, because he is infinite, he remains tantalizingly, everlastingly unknown.

Krishna’s self-revelation as an enchanting blend of known-unknown makes the life of loving him an eternal adventure of exhilarating y.




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