Is Krishna omninpresent as his energy or personally as the Supersoul?
Transcription by– Vandana Goel & Keshavgopal das
Question– When we talk about Krishna being omnipresent, does that referred to His presence as His energies, ‘sarvam khalmam idam brahma’ that everything is brahman or is Krishna present as a super soul everywhere personally?
Answer– Yes, both are there. We see that sarvam khalmam idam brahma, all of this brahma. This refers to how one should perceive the spiritual nature of everything ultimately. Shankaracharya talks about this in one of the mahavakyas also.
It’s often quoted:
mayā tatam idaṁ sarvaṁ
na cāhaṁ teṣv avasthitaḥ
Here first Krishna says jagad avyakta muritna that I am present in the whole world. That would indicate that He pervades everything as the supersoul but then this is 9.4, but immediately in 9.5 He says:
na ca mat-sthāni bhūtāni
paśya me yogam aiśvaram
bhūta-bhṛn na ca bhūta-stho
Here Krishna first says that everything is sustained by Me, mat sthani sarva bhutani, na chaham teshv avasthita, everything is sustained by Me but I am not present there. Then He says actually ‘everything is not sustained by Me’. So here Krishna is talking about His different manifestations.
9.4 first talks about (the first two lines) talk about brahmam manifestation ………., masthani sarva bhutani talks about His parmatma manifestation, I sustain everything. Na chaham teshva avasthithah talks about His Bhagwan manifestation. I am not present in that. Then further talking about His Bhagwan manifestation He says ‘ na ca mat sthani bhutani ‘ that as Bhagwan I am not present everywhere. I am in My transcendental abode.
Now is the parmatma present everywhere, we have statement aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham the Bhramasamhita says that He is present in the andantra and He is also present in the paramanu. Then Mintropa(?) directed the devotees to illustrate ‘life comes from life’, there they also depicted how supersoul is present inside the atom. Now of course atom may be depicted as in modern terms of the nucleus and electron and things like that. That may not be the conception of atom as described in vedic shabda darshna but it is just a contemporary depiction of that. The point is Krishna as supersoul is present in the atom also. So there are multiple levels of omnipresence of the Lord. At one level He is omnipresent through His energy. His energy means He is present as matter and as spirit. After that we have a sequence of realization of brahman, parmatma and Bhagwan in 6.28 and 6.29 and 6.30. As a yogi progressively realizes, then first he realizes that:
atyantaṁ sukham aśnute
So first, brahma samsparsham i.e. brahma realization. In 6.29 He describes:
One who sees Me present in all living beings and all living beings present in Me. Actually, sarvabhutastham, ‘bhuta’ does not necessarily refer to living beings, actually it can refer to all things also, all of existence and all of conscious beings. It can be all living beings and all things, living and non living. So Krishna is situated in everything and everything is situated in Krishna. Both are true. One who sees this, such a yogi, īkṣate yoga-yuktātmā sarvatra sama-darśanaḥ, the person sees everything in the same way, that is the parmatma realization. And then the next verse describes the bhagwan realization:
yo māṁ paśyati sarvatra
sarvaṁ ca mayi paśyati
tasyāhaṁ na praṇaśyāmi
sa ca me na praṇaśyati
this is clearly the bhagwan realization, one who sees Me everywhere, mam is there.
sarva-bhūta-stham ātmānaṁ sarva-bhūtāni cātmani this is referring to parmatma manifestation and it also refers to all pervasiveness. Krishna is present everywhere as His energy and also as the controller of His energy, as the supersoul. This is also talked about at several places. yo loka-trayam āviśya
bibharty avyaya īśvaraḥ (BG 15.17) talks about this point that he pervades all material existence. There is another verse also (in Prayers of Kunti Maharani), which talks about how You are the source of the vishva and You are the vishva and You are the controller of the vishva.
atha viśveśa viśvātman
viśva-mūrte svakeṣu me
sneha-pāśam imaṁ chindhi
dṛḍhaṁ pāṇḍuṣu vṛṣṇiṣu
Viśveśa, viśvātman and viśva-mūrte svakeṣu me. Vishvesha, You are the controller of the vishva, vishvaatman, You are present inside the vishva and vishvamurte, You are the vishva itself, you are the universal form also. In that sense Krishna is both the controller, is omnipresent as His energy and also as the energetic controller of His energy. So both are the ways in which He is omnipresent.