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ime ca dvārakāukasaḥ
sarve ’py evaṁ yadu-śreṣṭha
To protect His parents’ intimate relationship with Him, Lord Kṛṣṇa stresses the oneness of all existence in this statement to His father, Vasudeva. Vasudeva had been reminded of his sons’ greatness by hearing the sages gathered at Kurukṣetra. But his sense of awe was ruining his intimate parental relationship with Kṛṣṇa, and therefore Kṛṣṇa wanted to dispel it.
We should not misunderstand the “oneness” Lord Kṛṣṇa speaks of here. The subtle words of the Upaniṣads often mislead impersonalists into believing that all existence is ineffably one, without any variety in the ultimate issue. Some Upaniṣadic mantras emphasize the sameness of God and His creation, while others speak about their difference. Tat tvam asi śvetaketo (“You are that, O Śvetaketu”), for example, is an abheda-vākya, a mantra affirming that all things are one with God, being His dependent expansions. But the Upaniṣads also contain many bheda-vākyas, statements that affirm the unique, distinguishing qualities of the Supreme, such as this statement: ka evānyāt kaḥ prāṇyād yady eṣa ākāśa ānando na syāt, eṣa evānandayati. “Who would there be to activate the creation and give life to all beings if this infinite Supreme were not the original enjoyer? Indeed, He alone is the source of all pleasure.” (Taittirīya Upaniṣad. 2.7.1) By the influence of the Supreme Lord’s bewildering Māyā, envious impersonalists read the abheda-vākyas literally and accept the bheda-vākyas only in a figurative way. Authoritative Vaiṣṇava commentators, on the other hand, carefully reconcile the apparent contradictions in accordance with the interpretive principles of Vedic Mīmāṁsā and the logically established conclusions of Vedānta.