Krishna is the trans-personal shelter of all the things that shelter us
[Bhagavatam class at ISKCON, Chowpatty, Mumbai]
Transcription of summary :
The difference between the impersonal and the personal conceptions… the impersonalist’s hold that the impersonal is the highest, and personalism manifests from that, and they think of this because they see that the personal is limited, but the Bhgavatam takes us beyond this dichotomy of personal and impersonal to trans-personal, and the idea is that God is not just a person like many other persons. He is not just the best of all beings, but he is the basis of all beings.
So, the idea of oneness is not that it is a non-differentiate stream of consciousness with no subject and object. The idea of oneness is that there is no disconnection from the absolute… vasudevam sarvam iti. Everything is Vasudev in the sense that everything is connected with Vasudeva, but within that there is differentiation. That’s why, Prahlad doesn’t surrender or worship the pillar, he worships Narasimhadev.
The Gita doesn’t say, ‘Surrender to sarvam’, it says, ‘sarvam parapadyate.’ So, yes God is everything… God is one special thing… So, God is both the basis of all being, and He also manifests as the best of all beings; and how the impersonalists… they think that maya is an illusory perception like seeing water where there is no mirage where there should be mirage, but maya is actually illusion of conception.
There are attractive things in the world, but to see their attractiveness separate from Krishna, that is maya, and then we discussed about how understanding Krishna’s position can decrease our anxiety and insecurity, because we may not know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future.
We think of things as going wrong because we see the present and think of the future, but Krishna sees the future and plans the present. The child sees simply that I have pain and this injection and surgery is increasing the pain, but the doctor says, ‘There is going to be far greater pain, so let me decrease the pain.’ So, the doctor gives the injection. So, like that we often have things which give us shelter and that shelter may actually be enabling us to take shelter of Krishna, and we may feel that if this shelter goes away I will be disturbed. Why is this going away?
But Krishna is seeing the future, and He sees that ultimately we have to take the shelter of Him alone. So, the things that give us shelter of Him, sometimes they can become substitutes for us, and to prevent that from happening Krishna takes away that shelter, and at that time either we become shelter-less or we see the source of that shelter and take that shelter. So, it may be for health or for money. In my case it may be my laptop or it may be a relationship with some devotees. Through all these we get shelter, but we see that it is Krishna’s shelter coming through it, and if somehow that shelter is taken away, rather than getting frustrated or resentful of giving up Krishna bhakti, we see that this is an opportunity of taking direct shelter of Krishna. Just as Draupadi was normally sheltered by her husband, but then when her husband couldn’t protect, she didn’t become resentful of them but she took direct shelter of Krishna.
When we do this… take direct shelter of Krishna, then we understand that Krishna will always be there with us, and that conviction can give us the security that no other shelter can provide us.
Thank you very much. Hare Krishna.
(Transcription by Sadananda Krishnaprema Prabhu)