Two Key Missing Words From The Impersonal Explanation In Bhagavad-gita

[Virata-rupa]“By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.4)

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मया ततम् इदं सर्वं
जगद् अव्यक्त-मूर्तिना
मत्-स्थानि सर्व-भूतानि
न चाहं तेष्व् अवस्थितः

mayā tatam idaṁ sarvaṁ
jagad avyakta-mūrtinā
mat-sthāni sarva-bhūtāni
na cāhaṁ teṣv avasthitaḥ

The avyakta-murtina. This is a reference to the impersonal form, which is distributed throughout the entire creation. This is one way to understand Divinity. Even if you are the staunchest non-believer, at the very least you acknowledge the existence of everything. The sum of the total substance, the collective, the highest abstract level.

Stopping at such a realization can be catastrophic, however. Despite the fact that a person, an individual, describes the avyakta-murtina in a real conversation recorded for history in the Bhagavad-gita, cheaters and speculators put forth the flawed and dangerous idea that God is ultimately impersonal. Following that logic, we are all God, part of a singular energy that is superior. The issue is that two key words are missing from the verse in the Bhagavad-gita.

1. This

Shri Krishna is the speaker. Acting in the role of guru, the ideal disciple is Arjuna. A back and forth conversation, with question and answer, with a genuine intent to get to the bottom of life’s toughest issues, the transcript is there for future generations to benefit from.

Krishna easily could have said “this” avyakta-murtina. Refer to the impersonal form in the generic sense. No possessives. No reference to the personal. The astute observer notes that avyakta itself is anchored in something real.

To assist in understanding, we can take something like a dream or a reflection. We know it to be a false reality. The dream is not real in the sense that as soon as we wake up, the experience dissipates. There is no substance. The same applies to the reflection, as it is a false image.

Nevertheless, there is a foundation in reality. The reflection is a skewed image of something which really does exist. The dream is based on real-life experiences. We have a reflection of a tree in water, but no one would be foolish enough to say that the tree itself does not exist.

[tree reflection]This means that if there is an avyakta-murtina, there is also a vyakta version. The unmanifest is based on the manifest. Without the reality, there could not be a shadow or less visible copy.

2. You

If the impersonalist philosophy would hold true, Arjuna would have a rightful claim to the avyakta-murtina. Krishna could have said, “By you this entire universe is pervaded.” You and I would have equal right to make the same statement.

The reference is to “me.” This means Krishna specifically. He is not an abstract figure. He is both a historical person and an eternally existing being. He is both of this world and beyond it. He is the impersonal form but also a distinct personality.

This is a difficult pill to swallow for someone who wants to remove any of the detail and nuance from life and merge into nothingness. To take an honest reading of Bhagavad-gita, they would have to accept that Krishna is the speaker and that all of His words must be true.

There is no harm in such acceptance, as He is the kindest object of worship. He has allowed forgetfulness of Him since time immemorial, without any diabolical consequences outside of the basic rules of the material world, which fairly and properly apply to every resident.

[Virata-rupa]Just from chanting His names we gradually purify our existence, to the point that we can proceed in our occupational duties with the same detachment, focus and sober-mindedness as the ideal disciple named Arjuna: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

In Closing:

If of personal side dismissing,
Then see how key words missing.

When Krishna the avyakta to describe,
Where fools in ignorance to deride.

The form which the basis being,
For pervaded murtina seeing.

If as true Gita scholar to call,
Accepting truth of verses all.

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