Entering the Seventh Year of

Rays of The Harmonist Monthly On-line Edition

On the appearance day of jagadguru oṁ viṣṇupāda aṣṭotara-śata śrī
Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarsavatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda


śrī śrī guru gaurāṅga jayataḥ!

Rays of The Harmonist On-Line Edition

Year 7, Issue 1
Posted: 19 February 2014

Dedicated to
nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda

Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja

Inspired by and under the guidance of
nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda

Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja

Aspects of the One Absolute

by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda

(Portrait of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda)

Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya told us that we must, necessarily, first determine what the self is; otherwise we will confuse the mind with the soul. Mind is quite different from the soul. Mind is the conductor of the Physical world. It receives impressions of nature through the medium of the senses and through the working of our body – that is, through our senses’ inter-mingling with external things, which are made of matter.

We are used to commingling with such things, yet when we consider theism – that is, when we enquire what the actual figure of Godhead is – we find in the Catur-śloki Bhāgavatamthat the Absolute Fountainhead said to Brahmā, the Creator,

“If I am to bestow My mercy upon someone, I must expose Myself to him fully. Those who have wrong aspirations and speculative minds will be debarred from having un-obscured perception of My actual Size, Figure and Colour. If I do not confer upon them My mercy, they will simply miss Me.”

Hence, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya has disparaged all mundane thinkers, who busy themselves with high-class philosophies or who maintain their mundane ethical principles, as well as those who engage in essentially altruistic enterprises.

In substance however we find in our ācārya’s writings:

“No one should misconstrue that when we talk of Śrī Kṛṣṇa we are talking of a wholly different Object from Rāmacandra. By talking of Śrī Kṛṣṇa we do not mean that we are differentiating Śrī Kṛṣṇa from Śrī Rāmacandra. Śrī Rāmacandra and Śrī Kṛṣṇa are not substantially different Objects. They are identical. But just as we find in this distorted realm that a single man finds himself simultaneously in the position of father to one, son to another, and physician to many others, we also find manifold aspects of the same Absolute in the transcendental realm.”

So do not imagine that we are talking of wholly different objects when we mention variousavatāras. Vāsudeva is the same as Lakṣmi-Nārāyaṇa; Lakṣmi-Nārāyaṇa is identical with Sīta-Rāma; Sīta-Rāma is the same as Śrī Kṛṣṇa. We do not find any differences among Them. There should not be any controversy in this matter, and there cannot be any scope to draw distinction between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Śrī Rāma, save in the planes of respective rasas(transcendental humours). We want to appreciate the respective positions of the One Absolute.

We have no ambition to shift our position, but we are to do everything for confidential service to the Over-soul; and this is safe, too. We may find that within a particular form of worship to Rāmacandra, our potential for service is not engaged a hundred percent. We may find that within another particular form of worship we set aside a part of our activities for our own selfish use, so that only some portion of our activities go to that very adorable Object. Such worship is not perfectly devoid of self-interest. We often find that a man claims himself to be the master of several dependent things. ‘I have many servants’, he believes; ‘I have a big estate’, ‘I have great learning’, and so forth. If one is inclined to confine oneself to a particular aspect, then it would be rather incompatible with human nature, as he will have nothing to do with the other aspect of the same object.

Adapted from The Gaudiya, Volume 26, Number 2
by the Rays of The Harmonist team


Rays of The Harmonist On-line, Year 7, Issue 1, "Aspects of the One Absolute" by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License to ensure that it is always freely available. You may redistribute this article if you include this license and attribute it to Rays of The Harmonist. Please ask for permission before using the Rays of The Harmonist banner-logo.