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Godhead and His Supreme Personality

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:49 am
by Drpta
Hi Hari,

if you consider this topic is for good old days, move it down there, please.

In Indian religious traditions there are a huge variety of avataras and expansions of God. And some traditions consider that Krisna is supreme but another convinced that Rama for example is supreme and another is saying that Visnu is supreme. I am just wondering where it have appeared from such an idea of supreme or highest personality of Godhead? If there is highest so it means that there are also lowest and middle ones, isn’t it? Or they mean that all creation is God and we are also personalities of God but the essence of God is His supreme personality?

And from said above such a question arises: why are you saying that namely Radha and Krisna are the Supreme but not another Divine couple? You said in your answer here that it might be mostly a matter of faith we feel best with. Can we expand this statement and say that the personality of God we are choosing as the Supreme is a matter of our faith and tradition? Then whether it means that God depends from what we believe?

Could you clarify these points please?

P.S. There is a language problem appeared when I was trying to name the topic. Godhead is neither he or she nor it. What to do?

Re: Godhead and His Supreme Personality

Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 12:10 am
by Hari
God is God. There is little use in declaring God to be the Supreme. Do we make God the Supreme by our declaration? Or is this statement meant to convince someone else that God is the Supreme? Convincing others is a part of theology, but God being the Supreme has little importance to me in everyday life. What have I gained by saying that the person above all others is the highest? I already knew this and God already knows this. If we see this statement in the context of defining ourselves as lowly and fallen, then God is the great highest force and we are the lowly force. That highest force is over us at all times and we should not forget it. And to make sure we do not forget it, we require to compare our highest force with someone else's highest force so that we can declare boldly and once and for all that our God is the best God. These ideas make religions what they are. The idea that God is the Supreme cannot be wrong, but it does not truly improve our lives. Sometimes it even creates conflict or war.

Philosophies require concepts to discuss and argue about. If you are a philosopher, then it is important for you to list the various forms of God you know about and categorize them. This is what philosophers do. If you are a mystic, you find God wherever God appears and you embrace that appearance whenever you find it. You do not worry that the deities in your temple are somehow less than the real God in the sky (who is up there somewhere). You accept the energy of the deities, their love, care and connection and embrace them. Sakti saktiman abheda (if I can remember the sanskrit after all these years, "Energy and the energetic source are non-different")

You can always discuss with someone if you must and certainly you will present your understanding in a proper manner. If you can find God anywhere, accept that. Do not worry for a second that the God you found is not the supreme highest form of all forms and does not look exactly as some painting says He/She should look! Feel God! This is superior to memorizing definitions of God. Experience always trumps knowledge for there is never a better form of knowing a person than feeling their energy. Feeling does not depend on faith and has little concern for tradition. Yet, speaking about God helps focus our attention on the divine and the more personally you speak, the greater your feeling for God grows. This feeling forges a strong connection with God.

Is God a He, or a She, or a He/She? Or should we say, God Is? Or at one point do we stop relating to these personalities who we love with our heart and soul by their category and simply see them as they are, feel them as they are, and love them as they are, as they love us as we are?

I have a real hard time with commenting on words such as "The Supreme." This phrase does not speak to me. Neither am I inspired by speaking about the highest, most powerful, or the greatest this and that. Yes, yes, but so what if I cannot be with them?

Re: Godhead and His Supreme Personality

Posted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:47 am
by Drpta
If you are a mystic, you find God wherever God appears and you embrace that appearance whenever you find it.
This statement is very consonant with my mood in understanding of God now. But I have a kind of natural gravitation to Indian culture and this is a little confusing me since I want to have something universal, do not limited with traditions.

In this connection I have a question. It is about of the worlds for representatives of different religions.

There are a variety of religions and each one has its own understanding of God with different names, for example Allah, Yahweh, Krishna or any other. Each proclaims its God is supreme. But it is obvious that there is only one God. Then can we suppose that God assumes a certain form according to belief system of certain religion? Besides that each religion supposed that there are special worlds, realms and planets, different for every religion, where the followers of respective beliefs are going to after death of this body. If it is so, who creates that worlds? Are they real? Is there an evolution in those worlds, which are highest for respective religion?

And the main question: is there an absolute world which exists independently from our beliefs, where the personality(s) of God is residing in its independent pure form (if it has such a form)?

Can I say that according to my faith I can create my own spiritual world where God appears in most acceptable for me form? Does it mean that ISCKON for example already has created its own spiritual world according with its values?

Re: Godhead and His Supreme Personality

Posted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:33 pm
by Hari
This question is asked by many, especially now. Maybe something woke up in people and gave them a glimpse of how spirit works?

I remember once in Mayapur. Prabhupada was napping outside on a rocking chair in the hallway where he stayed. He woke up and said, "I just saw the heavenly planet where pious Muslims go after death!"

Every religion has their own unique conception of God and a theology that includes the other aspects of their religion, including the different places one goes under specific circumstances. Everything makes sense to the believers of that religion. Sometimes they each think their conception is the best and others have no idea. This conviction assists them to deepen their beliefs.

If God is limitless, the ways God can be approached are limitless. If God is personal, then He or She or It or Whatever (again, all according to your belief system) can approach you, you can approach God, and a communication can take place, energy exchanged, and salvation-liberation-rewards can be received.

I do not bother too much with trying to present what I say in a universal manner since I know that I can never please everyone all the time. I too resonate with the culture of the east and find it very comfortable, but I can also easily adjust my language to accommodate other's conceptions. I do not want to do that all the time, though, as it interferes with my personal devotion. When I am in my own temples, I am entirely within my own tradition and never consider others or their vocabulary.

Whenever someone drags the word absolute into a conversation, I internally head for the hills! As soon as that big gun is rolled onto the battlefield, the booming explosions, shouts of valor, and the righteous declarations of devoted followers appear. I am not a fan of the word. I am a fan of God, or as I would speak of them, Radha and Krsna, and all their expansions regardless of where they are in the universe. I do not think in absolute terms. I used to think more in absolute terms when I was younger, but my aging has made it almost impossible to even listen to a conversation based on this word.

God can do whatever, whenever, and however. No limits. And yet God can create self-limitations for pleasure, for a purpose, or to facilitate an individual's development. God can be independent, dependent or work cooperatively. Having said that, I have no problem with dealing with God in the manner to which I have grown accustomed over the years. I just skip thinking about God as absolute and supreme and almighty and so on.

Re: Godhead and His Supreme Personality

Posted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:32 pm
by Akhila L
This is a very nice explanation and very personal declaration. I think the key word might be "self-limitations". In my experience, you appreciate somebody more when you lose them. Or even things and objects. It is somewhat difficult to appreciate persons and things we have. Maybe Radha and Krishna play that game with us? Just an idea that comes back again and again when I think about it.
By the way, They are ABSOLUTELY fantastic. And supremely humorous.

Re: Godhead and His Supreme Personality

Posted: Sun May 03, 2015 11:30 am
by Drpta
Hi Hari,

Can I say that God has created us for the purpose to experience the moment of suddenness thru the oblivion of the knowledge and for experience the efforts and other difficulties thru being limited? And for this purpose He has manifested Himself as the limited living beings who does not have omnipotence, and who are His form for experience the life in the limited state? And maybe it is better to say that we are neither limited but not-omnipotent since limitations can be removed or overcame but not-omnipotence is the quality. So everyone is able acting limitlessly by using qualities he has.

So, in this way we have us as embodied Brahman, whose embodiment has one set of qualities and other personalities, who are Brahman’s embodiment with another set of qualities. The “others” I mean those who are known as Supreme Personality of Godhead and His tattva. Of course there are a huge variety of another species and energies with their respective qualities.

Why I am asking all of these—it is because the conclusion is that we are also Personalities of God with all issuing consequences. And all dividing on lowest and highest, superior and inferior is absolutely useless in this light. In this regard I may say that all is Brahman’s manifestation. Is it impersonalism? Nope! It is, I think, highest degree personalism based on natural, free and pure relationships with others and with so called God too (saying with care), without any artificial definitions.

Please correct me if my considerations are wrong?

Re: Godhead and His Supreme Personality

Posted: Tue May 05, 2015 7:17 pm
by Hari
Only God can say if you are wrong! It is how you feel now. Later on, if you are inclined, you can modify your statement to fit your updated experience.

Who am I to state that creation is a certain way? I can only give my opinions. You can accept or reject my opinions based on your experience and inclination. Therefore, to ask me to approve or disapprove your ideas is not really relevant, I think. But maybe I am wrong? :022

Re: Godhead and His Supreme Personality

Posted: Wed May 06, 2015 11:00 am
by Drpta
It is coming out that there are nothing absolute in the creation? Everything is very relative and depends on how I fill and experience world around me?

Re: Godhead and His Supreme Personality

Posted: Thu May 07, 2015 6:41 pm
by Hari
Anything created can be destroyed and before that it can be modified. Therefore, it is not absolute. Laws, principles, structures, and the like always exist and assist us to delineate and define our lives. Anything that affects us will by definition depend on how we feel and experience it. This is common sense.

If you wish to speak about God and creation, your opinions have validity. You can either accept statements from religious literature, if you are so inclined to believe them, or you can try to figure it out on your own. It seemed to me that you were attempting to make sense of a difficult subject that is not adequately addressed in religious traditions. Since you are speculating according to your feelings and experiences, I encouraged your process.

If you wish me to state definitively, "It is so," I shall not do that because I cannot definitively state anything regarding the motive of God. I can only give my opinion and why is my opinion so much more important to you than your own?

As far as why we are here, I spoke about this at length in one of my lectures concerning our feeling not good enough. I consider this the primary reason we are in this world.

Your question started with the words, "Can I say..." and to this I answer definitively, of course you can say it. Whether it is true or not remains to be seen. People will discuss the issue, arguments will take place, and everyone will go home thinking exactly what they thought when the process started despite their expression that the will listen to someone else's answer and accept it, unless, of course, they are surrendered souls who just believe what they hear without questioning it or doubting it. I am not one of them and neither are you. So I answered as I did.

Re: Godhead and His Supreme Personality

Posted: Fri May 08, 2015 10:21 am
by Drpta
It seemed to me that you were attempting to make sense of a difficult subject that is not adequately addressed in religious traditions.
Yes, you are absolutely right. And one of the issues is if we are divine by nature then why must popular religions are making accent on that we are always somehow less divine then God? If one of the reasons we are here is that we once filled we are not good enough, so how we may to return to the God (if we must) if we are going on to cultivate this state? This is religious absurd.

And therefore recently I attempted to explore my divinity and have found that it is really wonderful state to experience yours divine nature. In this state I saw things, world and people in absolutely different light and find that in this state more ease to have contact with divine beings. And besides I felt and saw Krisna at absolutely new view—deeper and closer. I think the cause of this phenomenon is that the nature I started to perceive myself becomes more close to the nature of divine beings and God. In another words I find new frequency to have contact with them.
Since you are speculating according to your feelings and experiences, I encouraged your process.
You know, the reason I am looking for your “approval” is what I am doing now is very opposite to what is accepted in religious teachings and what is instilled to us in ISKCON especially (this is for another special topic). And sometimes I am even becoming afraid when “blasphemous” ideas are coming to my mind. But the experience I am having is, as a rule, ever worthwhile. So in these my investigations I sometimes need some support from people who I conceder as authority. And your opinion, as more experienced and authoritative person, is very important to me. But it does not mean that I am just blindly accepting all what you are saying. And it is not that I wish you say “It is so”, I just need a beacon for be sure I don’t get lost and did not go to wrong side.

Actually I want to say that you helped me very much to make a very great advance. I am very much obligated to you.