Param Brahma

[Krishna's lotus feet]“Arjuna said: You are the Supreme Brahman, the ultimate, the supreme abode and purifier, the Absolute Truth and the eternal divine person. You are the primal God, transcendental and original, and You are the unborn and all-pervading beauty.” (Bhagavad-gita, 10.12)

arjuna uvāca
paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma
pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān
puruṣaṁ śāśvataṁ divyam
ādi-devam ajaṁ vibhum

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Brahman is one way to realize the Divine. It is the singular spiritual energy, appearing to be divided but actually one. Brahman is the aggregate of all fragments of spirit. The fragments are of the same kind. They are blissful, knowledgeable and eternal. The sparks of Brahman are known as spirit soul. The soul exists perpetually. Nothing can be done to destroy the soul, and so by extension Brahman is known to be the same.

avināśi tu tad viddhi

yena sarvam idaṁ tatam

vināśam avyayasyāsya

na kaścit kartum arhati

“Know that which pervades the entire body is indestructible. No one is able to destroy the imperishable soul.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.17)

From hearing these truths of Vedic philosophy, a person might be led to believe that Brahman is the ultimate realization. There is nothing beyond it. The conception of God that everyone else has – they’re really talking about Brahman. Brahman is everything. It is the final word.

The Bhagavad-gita, which perfectly summarizes Vedic teachings, gives the full understanding. The truth comes from a single verse, in fact. The verse is spoken by Arjuna, who is a warrior being driven on a chariot by Krishna. Arjuna is bewildered, not sure how to proceed on the eve of a great war. Krishna has always been his friend, and so Arjuna naturally goes to Him for help. Krishna then assumes the role of guru, or spiritual master. This role is not foreign to Him, as He is the origin of Vedic teachings and everything else in this universe.

[Krishna and Arjuna]After submissively and sincerely hearing from Krishna, Arjuna realizes the true identity of the chariot driver. He then decides to offer kind words of praise. Anytime a person meets God and understands Him in truth, they offer nice prayers. This is the standard practice, as there is the tendency to praise those who are worthy of it. In God you find the most praiseworthy person, so it is not uncommon for at least an attempt to be made at glorification. The Vedas themselves can be described as basic hymns of praise in honor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

In praising Krishna, Arjuna referred to Him as param brahma. This is significant, since if there were nothing beyond Brahman, the use of the word “param” would be invalid. Param means “supreme” or “more than.” Arjuna says that Krishna is more than Brahman. That is the fact, since Krishna is Bhagavan. Bhagavan is the source of the spiritual energy. Brahman is like a light emanating off of His inconceivably large spiritual body.

Brahman is a collection of individual spirit; really more of a perspective than a physical object. Individual spirit has limitations, namely in the type of residence. The living beings inhabiting this world are all spotless sparks of Brahman, but they are encased inside of flawed material coverings. Param brahma, or Parabrahman, is never susceptible to such residence. He never comes under the control of the material energy. This is one way to know the difference between God and the living entity.

Arjuna was friends with Krishna, so perhaps there was exaggeration in the praise. Knowing that others might think this way, Arjuna made sure to reference other great personalities like Narada and Vyasa, whose opinions concur. This means that the greatest souls, the people most well-versed in Vedic philosophy, understand that there is a Parabrahman. They know that Krishna is that superior spiritual figure, and so they take up devotion to Him as their life’s occupation; the same one followed by Arjuna and those succeeding Him in the disciplic succession.

In Closing:

Brahman the spiritual energy to call,

Of each fragment, sum collection all.

If only this information to take,

That summit of realization a mistake.

Arjuna the word param for Krishna using,

Additional references for support choosing.

Means devotional service the life’s occupation,

The same for those following in disciplic succession.



Categories: mayavada

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