“And I am the basis of the impersonal Brahman, which is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness, and which is immortal, imperishable and eternal.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 14.27)Download this episode (right click and save)
Does this actually need to be stated? Isn’t the inherent understanding that prayers are offered to an individual? The child knows this. They are not bent towards atheism. Through continued ignorance, fueled by further indulgence in sense gratification, the belief in an Almighty figure above the dualities of birth and death diminishes.
From Vedic literature alone the truth can be learned. Yet the proper understanding of the ancient Sanskrit texts is required. Otherwise, Brahman will be the limit of realization, and the already present cheating propensity in man will limit further progress.
1. Everything comes from Him
God is a somebody; not a something. Everything comes from Him. Everything includes every kind of something. This makes sense logically, but there is also confirmation from Vedanta-sutra.
“The words janmady asya [SB 1.1.1] suggest that the source of all production, maintenance or destruction is the same supreme conscious person. Even in our present experience we can know that nothing is generated from inert matter, but inert matter can be generated from the living entity.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, Introduction)
Everything that exists comes from this single source. That is actually one way to define the Almighty. It is an easy thing to understand. Everything has a beginning. Just trace out the ultimate beginning and you have found God.
2. We are a somebody
We have intelligence. We have a little independence. Through our actions future life emerges. Life thus comes from life. If matter were the ultimate cause then simply supplying a missing ingredient would bring a dead body back to life. The atheistic scientists promise to one day make this a reality, but they are not any closer than their asura-like ancestors from ages past.
If we are an individual, dominating over the many “somethings,” then surely the original source is the same way. We have no experience of somebody coming from something. This entire creation, with its amazing intelligence embedded into every aspect, could not come about randomly. A smartphone, a television, an automobile - these inanimate objects require intelligence for creation. A random blast does not generate them.
3. Use of the word Bhagavan
The false notion of God being a something comes from an improper understanding of Vedic literature. The particular word is Brahman. This means the total spiritual energy. The full definition includes everything material as well. Mahat-tattva is the material side to Brahman.
“The total material substance, called Brahman, is the source of birth, and it is that Brahman that I impregnate, making possible the births of all living beings, O son of Bharata.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 14.3)
In the Bhagavad-gita Shri Krishna says that Brahman is the source of birth. He Himself impregnates the material side of Brahman, giving birth to the many living entities on earth. Thus a source is revealed. There is a seed-giving father.
“It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kunti, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 14.4)
A father implies a person. Seeds are potential for future life emerging from an existing life. Further proof is in the use of the word Bhagavan. This is a superior realization to Brahman. In between is Paramatma, which is the Supersoul. We living entities are individual soul, jivatma. The individual soul is local to a specific body, whereas Paramatma is distributed throughout every space that has an individual soul.
Paramatma is a singular entity and is an expansion of Bhagavan, a word which His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has translated as “Supreme Personality of Godhead.” The verbose version is intentional, to dissuade from the false notion that God is a something. He is a somebody, which means that He can be served by other somebodies. The individual somebodies derive the most pleasure from this service, as it is at the very core of their existence, their dharma.
A something He is not,
As somebody identity He’s got.
In this world original seed giving,
To create population of things living.
Even at local level domination there,
Spirit over matter, with consciousness aware.
Supreme Person, most intelligent being,
Eyes with transcendental love the proof seeing.