Part 9 of "Essence of Pure Devotion"

Actual Form of Krishna

by His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Gosvami Maharaja

Srila Krsnadas Kaviraja has written: Sri Vrajanandana Sri Krishna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead above Lord Visnu. He is the complete resplendent form of ultimate existence, knowledge and supreme bliss being absolutely independent. He is the complete whole in respect to all His features. He manifests His sweet pastimes in Vraja in His original form. The devotees understand Him as the Supreme Absolute Truth and His name, form, qualities and pastimes are all transcendental. These transcendental features of the Lord are above the three modes of material nature and to call this form of the Lord as material is a great offense to the lotus feet of the Lord. Differentiation of the Lord or duality is an illusion The Lord's form is non-different from Him otherwise in contemplating that the Lord's form is illusion would mean duality which is ignorance. Lord Krishna Himself, His original incarnations (Vilasa) pastimes expansions are all transcendental and are seen in the light of non-dual truth. To the question of Saunaka Rsi, as to the essence of all scriptures, Suta Goswami replies: (SB 1/2/11)

vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam yaj jnanam advayam
brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate
The learned call the essence of truth as non-dual. The one absolute truth is known in three different aspects, firstly as Brahman (or effulgence); secondly as the Supersoul in the heart and thirdly as Bhagavan or the Supreme Lord Himself. The Pundits (jnanis) reject all association with material nature as false or non-existent and identify the truth as the formless effulgence of the Lord called Brahman. The yogis however, with their one-pointed minds, locate Him, the Supreme Truth, as the form of the Supersoul in the heart devoid of any pastimes. The devotees view te Supreme Lord in His complete feature of knowledge, existence and bliss and exulting in unique loving pastimes with His associates. Amongst the devotees of the Supreme Lord, the confidential devotees of Lord Krishna who taste the sweetness of loving pastimes in Vraja stand 0out as most superior in preference to those who loving moods of servitorship are tinged with awe and reverence. In this context, just as one very far away can only perceive the effulgence of the sun, similarly the learned pundits, not being able to behold the attractive form of Lord Syamasundar, are able to perceive only the shining effulgence emanating form the Supreme Lord. The yogis understand the form of the all pervading Lord as present in the hearts of the innumerable living entities and as the Supersoul in the heart. The devotees, by following the process of devotional service, are able to see the Lord's forming truth and amongst such devotees, those in the spontaneous loving moods, free from awe and reverence, can only be so fortunate visualize the pure, transcendental form of Sri Krishna.

ete camsa-kalah pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam
indrari-vyakulam lokam mrdayanti yuge yuge
Sri Rama, Lord Nrshimadeva, etc, are part of the incarnations of Vishnu or part of the part but Lord Sri Krishna is the original Supreme Lord. He incarnates from age to age to rescue the demigods like Lord Indra from the oppression of the demons. As in C. Charimtamrta Adi (2/89/0), the one candle which originally lights all the other candles, has the characteristic of being the original candle. Similarly, in this way Lord Sri Krishna is the fundamental original persons and all are His expansions. In Gita too (14/21) the Supreme Lord says He is the basis for Brahman which is under His shelter. In Gita (10/42)

atha va bahunaitena kim jnatena tavarjuna
vistabhyaham idam krtsnam, ekamsena sthito jagat
In this verse, it mentions the Supreme Lord is existing in one part as the Supersoul in the heart of all living entities which is meditated upon by the yogis. He is also celebrated as the Supreme Person (Purusottama) in His original form. The Kapila deva who founded the atheistic philosophy refers to creation as the ordinary combination of masculine and feminine gender. In Gita (9/10), the Supreme Lord informs Arjuna that the material nature is always subordinate to Him and is one of His multifarious energies. But at the same time under His direction material nature is able to produce the living and non living entities. The Lord is in the form of purified goodness, being transcendental and has no direct connection with material nature. Maha-Vishnu lying the Causal Ocean from far away casts a glance on material nature by which the material nature becomes agitated to produce this world of living and non-living things. Thus the mere glance of the Supreme Lord is sufficient to create this universe. The primary cause of this creation is the Supreme Lord Krishna while the secondary cause is the material nature. As the nipples of the neck of the goat cannot give milk, similarly, without the energy of the Lord Krishna, the material nature cannot produce or create living entities. In the construction of an ornamented pot, earth is one of the ingredients, the potter is the direct cause or maker and his tools which include the potter's wheel are the secondary cause of the creation of the pot. In this way, Sri Krishna in the form of Maha-Vishnu is the main reason for creation of the universe and His implements of creation namely, time and His energies are the secondary causes. Nevertheless, the act of creation was done from very far away by Maha-Vishnu, with faint resemblance of contact by limb i.e. in this case by His direct penetrating glance.

In the conversation of Sri Kapiladeva and Devahuti (3/26/19), and also between Sri Vidura and Maitreya (3/5/26), two verses are significant:-

daivat ksubhita-dharminyam svasyam, yonau parah puman
adhatta viryam sasuta mahat-tattvam hiranmayam
The Supreme Person injects His vital fluid into the agitated material energy and from the inert material nature, the Maha-tattva was born.

kala-vrttya tu mayayam guna-mayyam adhoksajah
purusenatma-bhutena viryam adhatta viryavan
The partial expansion of Lord Maha-Vishnu, injected the living entities with His transcendental potencies in the aggrieved restless condition of material nature, by the influence of time. In the form of Maha-Vishnu, His only contact with material nature is His sweet will by which the innumerable tiny spiritual sparks are injected into material nature. Firstly, the inert initial condition of nature is called pradhana and by the glance of the Lord, the mahat-tattva is formed form the static material nature after which this Mahat-tattva when impelled by time, gives rise to three kinds of false-ego as in the modes of Goodness, Passion and ignorance respectively. The living entities, originally of spiritual constitution, become embedded in the mahat-tattva whose predominating Deity is Vasudeva. The transformation of this mahat-tattva, by the false-ego in the mode of Goodness, gives rise to the mind and the presiding Deities or demigods, the predominating Deity of this mahat-tattva, by the false-ego in the mode of Passion, develops into intelligence and the subtle senses. The Deity for this mode is Pradyumna. The transformation of the mahat-tattva in the mode of ignorance gives rise to the five elements and the tan-mantras (sound, touch, sight). The predominating Deity for this mode is Sankarshana.

Though the acts of creation are exclusively done by the expansions of Lord Vishnu, the Supreme Lord Krishna is eternally present in His transcendental abode Goloka Vrindavana and is constantly engaged there without break performing His sweet nectarine pastimes in His original pure form. He, together with His own internal potency, enacts His spiritual pastimes constantly and has no need of performing any other work. His extraordinary form by which all His pastimes are carried out is the transformation of His sandhini potency (internal potency).

Sri Srila Prabhupada writes:-

"Krishna's childhood pastimes in Goloka, His expansions as Vasudeva and Sankarshana in the spiritual planets, the functions of Vishnu-Purusa incarnations, the uncommon appearances as Matsya (Fish) or Kurma (Tortoise), incarnations at different ages, the incarnations in the different modes like Lord Siva ad Brahma, the empowered incarnations like King Prthu and Vyasadeva, the Qualified Supersoul in the heart of all, the formless Brahman or effulgence are all His variegated pastimes. In comparison of the Supreme Lord's infinite pastimes, manifesting as above, the most superior is His conjugal loving mellows with the cowherd damsels of Vraja. The form of Krishna is very human-like. He is young in complexion and dresses like a cowherd boy. He, with flute in His hand, is expert in song and gait The forms of His in His different pastimes in the material world is not mortal, neither is it limited or divided in anyway, nor can it be covered by material nature in the slightest. The Deities in the mode of Absolute Goodness (paravyoma) does not have any control over this incredible internal potency of His (yogamaya), which is under the sole jurisdiction of the Supreme Lord alone. The Lord has appeared from His spiritual abode with His extraordinary form worshipped by His devotees, also demonstrating at the same time the amazing power of His Yoga-maya potency. Lord Krishna is the original Supreme Lord, He enacts His most nectarine pastimes as the Supreme Absolute Truth. All expansions emanate from Him. He is the final repose and controller of all beings. He presents Himself as a young cowherd boy and the son of Nanda Maharaja, King of Vraja. He is eternally performing blissful pastimes in Vrndavana, which is non-different from the original Goloka.

He, accompanied by His spiritual paraphernalia appears in every one day of Lord Brahma in this material world. This period is called one kalpa. The duration of Kali-yuga is 432,000 years while the other ages are twice, thrice and four times the measure of this duration. The combination of these four yugas or one Maha-yuga has the duration of 4,320,000 years and 72 Maha-yugas is the time of one Manu, the governor of this universe, and a total of 14 such Manus is the day of Lord Brahma. We are presently living in the reign of the 7th Manu, Vaivasvata Manu. In this same Manvantara, on the 28th Maha-yuga at the end of Dvapara-yuga, Lord Krishna advents and exhibits His uncommon pastimes which is immediately followed by that of Lord Gauranga in Kali-yuga. It is important to mention here that the religious principles of any specific Yuga can be established by other expansions of the Supreme Lord but eh Divine Sports of Vraja with the reciprocal exchange of transcendental loving mellows is the monopoly of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna exclusively. The propagation of such spontaneous loving mellows can only be done by Sri Krishna, therefore in this way He is non different from Lord Gauranga. The removal of the heavy burden of the Earth is usually not the normal pastime of the Supreme Lord Krishna, but is done by the Maintainer of the universe: Lord Vishnu. Incidentally, Lord Krishna appeared at a time when there was a dire need to remove the excess weight on the planet Earth. Lord Krishna is the Supreme Lord, while His plenary expansions and their expansions are all under His shelter. In fact, originally Lord Vishnu was presenting the spiritual body of Sri Krishna. Especially, it was through Lord Vishnu, that Sri Krishna performed all His works like that relating to killing of the demons and establishment of religious principles. The primary function of Lord Krishna's descent is not mainly these purposes such a killing of demons, etc., this are joint secondary causes in compliance with maintaining the religious order for that period. The fundamental reason for His descent is the relishing of His own natural spontaneous mellows and the propagation of these moods. Usually, Lord Vishnu carries out the propagation of formal codes of regulated devotional practice from which spontaneous devotion is hardly available. Lord Krishna has again descended as Lord Gauranga to relish spontaneous mellows and to distribute it. In order to find the extent of Sri Radha's love His own deep innate sweetness which He himself could not fathom and the type of Her happiness in their transcendental conjugal relationship, Lord Krishna taking the mood and complexion of Srimati Radharani has appeared as Lord Gauranga. This has been explained in the Caitanya Caritamrta by Srila Krsnadas Kaviraja Goswami:

Lord Krishna, the son of Nanda Maharaja as the cowherd boy in Vraja exhibits the Vaibhava form and in the dress and mood of a warrior appears in His Prabhava expansion. Ultimately He is one, but for the sake of executing His diverse sports and pastimes, He appears differently. Similarly, His expansions as the Super soul in the heart or as the formless Brahman are non different from Him .

jnana,yoga, bhakti,---tina sadhanera vase
brahma, atma, bhagavan,---trividhha prakase
(CC M 20 / 157)
For the learned pundits, He appears as the concept of the formless Brahman, without form and attributes. To the Yogis, who engage in the eight-fold mystic yoga process, He appears as the Supersoul in the heart. Finally to those who cultivate devotional service to search out the Absolute, He manifest His complete, unique form of the Lord Krishna can only be realized in the absorption in pure spontaneous loving mellows not tinged with awe and reverence.

Many declare Him to be with form while others deny this form with futile arguments. However, the Supreme Lord can manifest in both these ways. Is it that in acceptance of a form would mean that the Supreme can be touched by effect of material nature? But in fact, this is not so. He is the reservoir of al variegated energies, by which He manifests and preserves His transcendental form. Hence the transformations of material nature has no effect on Him and he remains untouched and aloof, the transcendental autocrat The scriptures refer to Him in many places, as without qualities : Hayasirsva Pancharatra has the verse

ya va srutirjalpati nirvisesam sa sabhidhate sa visesam eva
vicarayoge satihasta tasam prayo baliyah sa visesam eva
Those scriptures which declare the superiority of the Absolute Truth without qualities in the beginning, at the end declares the Superiority of the Absolute Truth with qualities. By experience the Supreme Truth with qualities is better known and can be more easily accepted. From Taitriya Upanishads we have further this statement:

yato va imani bhutani jayante yena jatani
jivanti yatprayantya bhisamvisanti tadvijijnasa sva tadera brahma
Meaning:- The Supreme Lord, by His acts of creation, maintenance and destruction, has to be with attributes by virtue of all these actions (ablative, causative and locative) in thinking, feeling and willing. Further, to magnify this point, the Taitriya Upanishad has the verse "bahusyam" and "sa iksata", which declares that by His glance only did the material creation take place. From this we can infer that His eyes and mind existed before material creation, and therefore are not material, but spiritual altogether. The 'brahma' which is used in many texts is in fact referring to the blissful Absolute Brahman-Sri Krishna. In Bhagavat Gita too, there are many verses which were spoken by Lord Krishna Himself who declares Himself as the Supreme Person, the end of the Vedas 'loke ca prathitah Purusottama' ,

In Srimad Bhagavatam, the essence of the all scriptures the verse is mentioned (10/14/32)

aho bhagam aho bhagyam nanda-gopa-vrajaukasam
yan-mitram paramanandam purnam brahma sanatanam
The fortune of the cowherd boys and the residents of Vraja are without comparison, for the eternal blissful form of Sri Krishna as the highest Brahman has appeared as their very friend. The Srutis have their sayings like 'raso vai sah' 'ananda mayo bhyasat' which means that the Supreme Truth is completely blissful, transcendental and the reservoir of living devotional mellows. On the contrary, the Impersonalist dismisses the possibility of pastimes in any relationships between the Supreme Lord and his surrendered devotees, not knowing the infinite joy and sweetness of such loving relationships. They even try ultimately to eradicate all the differences between knowledge, knower and known, forgetting that by doing so they can never relish any of the Lord's pastimes.

apani-pado javano grahita pasyaty
acaksuh srnoti akarnah
sa vetti vidyam na ca tasyanti
vetta tam ahur agrayam purusam mahtam
The Svetasvatara Upanishad rejects all conceptions of His possessing material hands and legs, instead declare all His working sense organs are transcendental. One in recollecting the words of the Sruti with a sober mind can by analysis, understand that the Supreme Lord with qualities predominate in contrast with the version of that without qualities as the verdict of the Impersonalists. The Impersonalists dare to discredit the Supreme as without any energies. In defense to this, Svetasvatara Sruti declares the Lord as having three natural energies:- "parasya saktir vividhaiva druyate". In the claim of Brahman as without energies, how can the Impersonalist ever hope to increase the glory of Brahman?

Lord Sri Krishna with His transcendental name, form and qualities are of unlimited splendor, opulence and divinity and for this reason, His ability to be the controller of material energy remains intact.

harir hi nirgunah saksat purusah prakrteh parah
sa sarva-drg upadrasta tam bhajan nirguno bhavet
Lord Hari is above the three modes of nature, the Supreme Person and eternal witness. In worshipping Him, the living entity attains to transcendence. The Vedic scriptures have descriptions of the Supreme Lord, living entity and material energy. In consideration of these precepts, we understand the form of the Supreme Lord to be transcendental, of knowledge, existence and bliss. The spiritual energy is present in three features which are knowledge (sat), existence (cit) and bliss (ananda). The energy by which the Supreme Lord creates and maintains all living existences is the sandhini potency. The energy by which He can understand Himself and relate too, this knowledge to others is chit or the samvit potencies. The energy by which He understands His own happiness and is able to give this to others is hladini potency.

The energy which creates all existences is this sandhini potency and in the pure spiritual dimension, all such actions are above the modes of material nature. The sandhini, internal potency of the Lord is responsible for this unique transcendental form, as well as all existences in the spiritual worlds plus, His spiritual associates and all other necessary paraphernalia which are necessary ingredients in His pastimes. In the domain of material energy, this sandhini aspect causes the creation of the various material universes, while in the realm of the marginal energy, this aspect causes the production of the unlimited spiritual sparks (jivas). The eternal principle called 'Vasudeva' is energized by the effect of the sandhini feature on the spiritual internal potency. It is from this concept of 'Vasudeva' that we can understand Lord Krishna in truth. The samvit potency is referred exclusively to the knowledge aspect. The samvit potency in being yoked to the hladini energy in giving mercy to the ordinary living entity is able to reveal the supremacy of Lord Sri Krishna's position. When the pleasure potency of Sri Krishna, (which is the hladini potency) in combination with the pure samvit potency together gives mercy to the living entity, then love of Godhead fructifies for that individual. If in the marginal potency the hladini aspect of the living entity becomes bewildered by the illusory energy, the living entity becomes attached to material nature and falls into oblivion. The internal pleasure potency gives rise to love of Godhead. In pure love, there is intensity of spontaneous moods and the highest exhibition of such moods was shown by Srimati Radharani, most beloved of Sri Krishna. The eternally worshipable deities are the combination of Sri Radha and Krishna. Sri Krishna is the source of all energies, while Srimati Radhika represents energy. In actual fact, there is no difference between these two. Indeed, Sri Krishna without the presence of Srimati Radhika is like the sun without its strong heat.

Ina striking discussion between Sriman Mahaprabhu and Raya Ramananda, the worship of the Divine Couple was stressed as the greatest perfection.

upasyera madhye kon upasya pradhana
sresta-upasya yugala radha-krsna-nama
On the contrary, in the consideration of the formless aspect of the Lord, no one will be able to relish the variegated and wonderful pastimes which the Supreme Lord has performed. The Supreme Lord by His inconceivable potency, has manifested His Divine birth and pastimes which are all completely transcendental (Sripad Ramanujacarya) and beyond this material world, (Sripad Sridhara Swami). It is to be considered that such birth and pastimes are not only spiritual but eternal:

avajananti mam mudha manusimtanum asritam
param bhavam ajananto mama bhuta-mahesvaram
Meaning: The people of materialistic and ignorant nature mistake My Supreme transcendental form to be material, not knowing My divine nature. The hopes, knowledge and actions of all these people bewildered by ignorance and passion become fruitless.

mahatmanah tu mam partha daivim prakrtim asritah
bhajanty anyaya-manaso jnatva bhutadim avyayam
The wise people are known as 'mahatmas' for they, taking shelter of the divine energy, worship Me in My original form as Lord Krishna, as the beginning and end of all living beings, unalloyed, not caring for works or knowledge.

In Gita (9/14) Sri Krishna describes the true process of worship to Him.

satatam kritayanto mam yatantas ca drdha-vratah
namasyantas ca mam bhaktya nitya-yukta upasate
My devotee, not specifically caring for the proper time, place and circumstance, worships whole-heartedly through the hearing, chanting, remembering of My Holy Names and paying obeisances rigidly to Me constantly through the cultivation of knowledge of My form and qualities. For example a poor householder striving to seek wealth, seeks the assembly of rich people. In this manner My devotee goes to the assembly of saintly people to earn the wealth of devotions as in the method of chanting the Holy Names, etc.. he will revise and study thoroughly the purports of scriptures, without fail observe the vow of Ekadasi, perform the systematic chanting of the Holy Names and pay obeisances in a rigid manner in devotional practices. Gradually, he will be able to attain a perfected body by which he can worship Me in constant communion. Here the Lord has stressed the importance of His actual worship by the canting of His Holy Names, form, pastimes and activities.

It must be understood that only in constant prayer and worship of the lotus feet of the spiritual master, devotees and Supreme Lord will the essence of the scriptures and the fruit of all vows be finally realized.

Eventually, when by such practice all ignorance becomes dissipated, then the transcendental birth and activities of the Supreme Lord will become more defined.


Publisher: Sripad B.B. Bodhayan Maharaja
Sri Gopinatha Gaudiya Matha

This book was printed on the conjunction of the 100th Advent Day of Sri Gurudeva,
Nitya lila pravistha om visnupad paramahamsa astottara sata
His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Gosvami Maharaja

18 Padmanabha 512 Gaurabda
7 Aswin 1405 Bangabda
24th September 1998 Kristobda

Re-typed by Puru Das Adhikari, March, 2003
The Bhaktivedanta Gaudiya Matha, Sri Sri Radha Govindaji Mandira II
134-06 95th Ave.
South Richmond Hill, NY 11419

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