TTP 5: Realizing that God Is Everywhere
Mahārāja Prahlāda informed his classmates about the all-pervasiveness of the Supreme Lord. But although the Supreme Lord is all-pervasive by means of His expansions and His energies, that does not mean He has lost His personality. That is significant. Although He is all-pervading, still He is a person. According to our material perception, if something is all-pervading, then it has no personality, no localized aspect. But God is not like that. For example, the sunshine is all-pervading, but the sun also has a localized aspect, the sun planet, and you can see it. Not only is there a sun planet, but within the sun planet is a sun-god, whose name is Vivasvān. We get this information from Vedic literature. There is no way to understand what is taking place on other planets except to hear from authorized sources. In the modern civilization we accept scientists as authorities in these matters. We hear a scientist say, "We have seen the moon; it is such and such," and we believe it. We have not gone with the scientist to see the moon, but we believe him.
Belief is the basic principle of understanding. You may believe the scientists, or you may believe the
Further, the conditioned soul must become illusioned. This happens when he continually mistakes one thing for something else. For example, we accept the body as the self. Since I am not this body, my acceptance of the body as my self is an illusion. The whole world is going on under the illusion that "I am this body." Therefore there is no peace. I am thinking that I am Indian, you are thinking that you are American, and a Chinese man is thinking that he is Chinese. What is this "Chinese," "American," and "Indian"? It is an illusion based on the body. That's all.
The propensity to cheat is the fourth defect of conditioned life. I may be a fool, but I will boast that I am very learned. Everyone who is illusioned and commits mistakes is a fool, but still such fools pose themselves as being sources of infallible knowledge. So all conditioned souls have imperfect senses, they are subject to commit mistakes and become illusioned, and they are influenced by the propensity to cheat.
How can one expect real knowledge from such conditioned souls? There is no possibility of receiving actual knowledge from them. Whether a person is a scientist, a philosopher, or whatever, because he is conditioned he cannot give complete information, no matter how educated he may be. That is a fact.
One may now ask, How can we get complete information? The process is to receive knowledge via the disciplic succession of spiritual masters and disciples beginning with Kṛṣṇa. In the
So, Prahlāda Mahārāja says that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is identical with the all-pervading Supreme Soul, the Paramātmā. The same information appears in the
Prahlāda Mahārāja then says, "Although He is not seen, He can still be perceived. One who is intelligent can perceive the presence of the Supreme Lord everywhere." How is this possible? During the daytime, even someone in a room can know that the sun is up. Because it is light in his room, he can understand that the sun is shining in the sky. Similarly, those who have received perfect knowledge in disciplic succession know that everything is an expansion of the energy of the Supreme Lord. Therefore they see the Lord everywhere.
What can we perceive with our material senses? We can see what is visible to the material eye—earth, water, fire. But we cannot see air, although we can perceive it by touch. We can understand that there is sky by sound, and we can understand that we have a mind because we are thinking, feeling, and willing. Similarly, we can understand that we have an intelligence which guides the mind. If we go still further, we can understand, "I am consciousness." And one who is further advanced can understand that the source of consciousness is the soul and, above all, the Supersoul.
The visible things around us are expansions of the inferior energy of the Supreme Lord, but the Lord also has a superior energy—consciousness. We have to understand consciousness from higher authorities, but we can also directly perceive it. For example, we can perceive that there is consciousness spread all over the body. If I pinch any part of my body, I will feel pain; that means there is consciousness throughout my body. In the
Our process is to dovetail our consciousness with Kṛṣṇa consciousness—that will make us perfect. It is not that we merge into that consciousness. In one sense we "merge," but still we keep our individuality. That is the difference between impersonalist philosophy and Kṛṣṇa conscious philosophy. The impersonalist philosopher says that perfection means to merge into the Supreme and lose our individuality. We say that in the perfectional stage we merge into the Supreme but keep our individuality. How is that? An airplane starts from the airport and climbs up and up, and when it goes very high we cannot see it: we can simply see sky. But the airplane is not lost—it is still there. Another example is that of a green bird entering into a big green tree. We cannot distinguish the bird from the tree, but they both continue to exist. Similarly, the supreme consciousness is Kṛṣṇa, and when we dovetail our individual consciousness with the Supreme, we become perfect—but keep our individuality. An outsider may think that there is no distinction between God and His pure devotee, but it is due only to a poor fund of knowledge. Every individual person, every individual being, maintains his individuality eternally, even when dovetailed with the Supreme.
Prahlāda Mahārāja says that we cannot see consciousness—either supreme consciousness or individual consciousness—but that it is there. How can we understand that it is there? We can understand the supreme consciousness and our individual consciousness simply by perception of blissfulness. Because we have consciousness, we can feel
Our consciousness exists because we are part and parcel of the supreme consciousness. For example, a spark is only a tiny particle of the fire, yet the spark is also fire. A drop of the Atlantic Ocean possesses the same quality as all the ocean water—it is also salty. Similarly, because the pleasure potency exists in the Supreme Lord, we can also enjoy pleasure. The Lord is
Because Kṛṣṇa is the supreme controller, He can control all the universal affairs by His different potencies. I also feel that I am controlling my bodily affairs to some extent, but because I am not the supreme controller, if there is something wrong in this body, I have to go to a physician. Similarly, I have no control over other bodies. I speak of this hand as "my hand" because I can work with this hand and move it according to my desire. But I am not the controller of your hand. If I desire to move your hand, that is not in my power; that is in your power. You can move your hand if you like. So I am not the controller of your body, and you are not the controller of my body, but the Supreme Soul is the controller of your body and my body and every body.
Thus Kṛṣṇa, as the Supersoul, or Paramātmā