If both Krishna and we are eternal, then how is he our source and why don’t we have the six opulences fully?

by Chaitanya Charan dasJanuary 30, 2014

From Jayant Kulkarni

We had very nice discussion over Whats App and one devotee asked an interesting question. As per BG2.12, lord says that he and we are eternal. Which means no one is first and other is second If so then it means we both existed at the same time. If so then how can he become our source? Secondly, we both existed at same time (Let us consider some time as there is not effect of time in spiritual sky.) then how come Krishna has all opulence in full and we don’t.

Answer Podcast

Transcription: Sudha Mehta Mataji

Question: If both we and Krishna are eternal then how is Krishna our source? And why don’t we have all the six opulences fully as Krishna has, if both of us are eternal

Answer:Yes this is one of the defining differences between the Vedic world view or the Vedic philosophy and the philosophy of many schools of thought in the Abrahamic religion. In the Abrahamic religion the idea is that God created living beings in fact in many of the Abrahamic religions the idea is that every time a man and women unite a new soul is created so the idea is soul is in one sense semi eternal from the time on it is created then it becomes eternal of course some also say that souls also die if the souls does not surrender to Jesus some say the souls go to hell eternally whichever way it is. The point is they have the idea of creation even of souls. That is not the Vedic philosophy. The soul is spiritual. Spiritual means eternal.  As it’s quoted in Bhagavad Gita 2.12

na tv evaham jatu nasam
na tvam neme janadhipah
na caiva na bhavisyamah
sarve vayam atah param

Krishna says that all of us are eternal so when we talk about eternal how can we talk about a source so that source is not in a timed notational sense it is in ontological sense. Ontology means nature of existence timed notational or chronological sense means this happens after that this happens so when we say Krishna is our source the same Bhagavad Gita says both in 2.12 it says all of us are eternal and in 10.8 Krishna says

aham sarvasya prabhavo
mattah sarvam pravartate
iti matva bhajante mam
budha bhava-samanvitah

Translation: I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who perfectly know this engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.

Everything comes from me so is the Bhagavad  Gita contradicting itself? No. In 15.7 Krishna says

mamaivamso jiva-loke
jiva-bhutah sanatanah
manah-sasthanindriyani
prakrti-sthani karsati

Again he says that these are my parts and these are eternal. So is there creation in The Vedic philosophy also? Yes there is creation of the material world. So matter is eternal in fact but the forms that matter acquires are temporary so the elements that comprise material existence air, water earth, ether they exist in un-manifested form as Pradhan and then they become manifested and take various shapes and then they take the shape of our bodies or things around us matter is eternal and spirit is also eternal but forms that matter take are temporary and the bodies that the spirit acquires when in material existence they are also temporary. So there is creation of the material forms there is no creation in the spiritual sense of the world in the spiritual world directly. So if everything is eternal then in what sense are we parts and parcels of Krishna? that is in the sense of dependence. Krishna alone is the complete independent reality and we all are realities and we all are eternal but we are dependent on him. So when we say Krishna is our source then the source is in the sense of dependence. It is not in the sense of origin and this differentiation is significant because we cannot be satisfied separate from Krishna. Krishna indicates in the same 15.7

mamaivamso jiva-loke
jiva-bhutah sanatanah
manah-sasthanindriyani
prakrti-sthani karsati

the mind and the sense fill us with plans to enjoy separate from God and these plans causes suffering             we undergo karshati struggle and suffering in material existence so to convey our dependence on Krishna eternally the idea of we being from the source is used. It is not in the sense of chronological sequence although sometimes for the sake of analysis or explanation of certain concepts because we cannot conceive of things beyond the time domain and so sometimes that sort of usage is given so Eko bahusyam the one became many or

Radha Krishna pranaya vikrtir hladini saktir asmad
ekatmanav api bhuvi pura deha-bhedam gatau tau
Caitanyakhyam prakatam adhuna tad-dvayam caikyam aptam
Radha bhava dyuti suvalitam naumi Krishna swarupam
Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Adi Lila 4.55

so there was one absolute truth that became two Radha and Krishna and then they became one again as Caitanya Mahaprabhu. This is simply to help us understand that in the transcendental realm there is no time and everything happens eternally but to help us understand the mutual interrelationships so what is the relationship between radha and Krishna and Caitanya Mahaprabhu? How one absolute truth manifest as Radha and Krishna?

So when we talk about source How one is the source of the other?That is primarily to understand the nature and hierarchy of relationships it is not to talk about the sequence of the occurrence of the events. It is in a philosophical sense of dependence and it’s not in a chronological sense of occurrence that we talk about Krishna being the source of us and further because we are parts we have Krishna’s qualities in parts

Something is eternal does not mean it has to Supreme. No. We are parts and parcels of Krishna. Just like an ocean may be existing for thousands and millions of years that does not mean all the drops of the ocean has all the properties of the ocean so similarly we are eternal like Krishna but amsa sanatanah mamaivamsho jiva loke jiva bhuta sanatanah so we are his eternal parts and because we are his eternal parts we have his some attributes partially / fragmentally. Like spark has some attributes of the fire we have some attributes of the Lord. In quality we are one but in quantity we are limited. So in this way we understand the relationship between us and the Supreme Lord.

Thank you. Hare Krishna

About The Author
Chaitanya Charan das

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