“O son of Kunti [Arjuna], I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.8)
रसो ऽहम् अप्सु कौन्तेय
शब्दः खे पौरुषं नृषु
raso ‘ham apsu kaunteya
śabdaḥ khe pauruṣaṁ nṛṣu
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explains that with Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there is no diminishing potency with the output of effort. The same applies for giving or extending capabilities to others.
The understanding is clearer when we take a few real-life examples. In one instance we have a wealthy businessman. They are the top in their profession. They are respected throughout society. They get cover photos on popular magazines and journalists are always angling for an exclusive interview.
Having reached the pinnacle of their field, this wealthy person still has desires. Foremost among them is seeing their dependents rise to the top. Let the sons and daughters strike out on their own, with some assistance, if necessary, and be equally as respected in society.
The issue arises when the children ask for financial assistance. They don’t know what it is like to struggle growing up. They live in beautiful palace-like residences, have attendants to meet their every need, and there is never concern over poverty.
Therefore, it is understandable that when the father does help them, they end up squandering the money. One failing business venture after another. They don’t have to worry about it; yet. They can always return to the endless bank account that is the generosity of the father.
At some point, the father has concerns. He is running out of money. Unless the children start to make it on their own, unless their businesses turn a profit, the father will be left bankrupt. They won’t have any potency left.
Another example is the guru offering a blessing to the disciple. The spiritual master in this case has an extended ability, brought about through meditation and dedication to austerity and penance. The guru is so blessed that they can pass on abilities to the disciple.
The problem is the guru knows that doing so will deplete their own reserve of powers. The guru cares about the disciple, but in this case they are hesitant to share in the benefits for fear of becoming powerless themselves.
The same does not apply to the Supreme Lord. Bhagavan can expand and extend His potencies to an infinite level and still remain the same. The best example to study is the expansion known as Supersoul. This is Paramatma, who is the all-pervading witness. We each have God inside of us. He never completely abandons us. We only think that He is far away because we have forgotten Him since before we can remember.
Despite witnessing everything as a neutral, third-party, Bhagavan is not stretched too thin. He hears the prayers offered in the temple. He watches as the burglar approaches the home. He is with the homeowner that tries to defend.
Bhagavan is also in the Vaikuntha planetary system, accepting the massaging of His feet by Lakshmi Devi. He hears the glories from the unlimited mouths of Ananta Shesha Naga. He meets with Lord Brahma and Bhumi Devi when they require assistance.
Bhagavan descends to this earth as Rama and Krishna, but His attention is never diverted. He is the ideal person to approach, regardless of what it is I am seeking. He will always do the best for me, as testified by the acharyas in the devotional line. They are never afraid to share their potency, since they know that Bhagavan is the true source of strength in everyone.
The source of everyone’s strength,
Not diminished by immeasurable length.
Where inside as Supersoul to stay,
And hearing what each person to say.
Even with servants to share,
Amazed at abilities there.
Bhagavan never a miser so,
My best interests always to know.