“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)
मया ततम् इदं सर्वं
न चाहं तेष्व् अवस्थितः
mayā tatam idaṁ sarvaṁ
na cāhaṁ teṣv avasthitaḥ
“I have a little trouble understanding where exactly to find the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavan. I understand that there are primarily three different ways to realize Him. I am speaking in terms of a sober approach, while applying intellect, logic, reasoning, and so forth. If someone wants to rely solely on dogmatic insistence, that is another story.
“There is the impersonal Brahman, which is something like an abstract. Take everything together; a collective. This feature is rather straightforward in terms of a proof. No rational person could deny that everything exists. They may not be able to properly enumerate what everything consists of, but at the very least they know that there is a sum collection. Otherwise, they would have to deny that even they don’t exist, which is a foolish proposition.
“Paramatma is the localized feature. God is inside of everyone, from the tiny ant to the large elephant. The poor person begging for food and the demigod accepting oblations from the sacrificial ritual, viddhi. Wherever you go and to wherever you turn, you can find God in the feature of Paramatma. He is the all-pervading witness, antaryami.
“Then there is Bhagavan. This feature most closely aligns with our natural tendency to worship God. Bhagavan is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, though people may argue as to the exact visuals. In other words, one person may say that God looks like a beautiful youth holding a flute, while another says that He has four hands and receives care and attention from a goddess named Lakshmi.
“I am having trouble understanding exactly where Bhagavan is and where He isn’t. We know that He is Paramatma, but also there is the statement that He is not in everything. Is that not contradictory? If Paramatma is the all-pervading witness, does that not mean Bhagavan is everywhere?”
The specific reference is to a verse from Bhagavad-gita, wherein Shri Krishna describes aspects to the avyakta-murtina. This is the impersonal form. Murti implies a form, which means that even though this feature is without distinguishable attributes [nirguna], it still exists. It is still a potential object for worship.
The first part of the truth is that all beings are in Krishna. This makes sense since He is the complete everything. We are part and parcel of the everything. We are fragments of the spiritual energy, amsha. We are the same as God in quality, but different in terms of a quantitative potency.
The second part of the truth says that Krishna is not in every being. This is a little confusing, considering that He is always my best, well-wishing friend through the feature of Supersoul. I am never alone since Paramatma is always with me. He accompanies me to every future birth, and He remembers where I was in the infinite timeline of the past.
The way to reconcile the two truths is to think of existence. In the world of professional sports we see that sometimes a team will move to a new venue. An upgrade in terms of seating capacity, basic amenities, comfort for the spectators, and so forth. The owners usually build more luxury boxes in the new arena, which allows them to charge more money for certain seats.
The old venue, despite its sentimental value, often gets demolished. The wrecking ball does the damage on a particular day, and all that is left is the memory and some rubble on the ground. The area gets cleared for other uses, such as a parking lot.
In terms of the Supreme Lord, we can say that the wrecking ball does not affect Him. Whether I am destroyed, one of the important planets, or the universe itself, there is no impact on Bhagavan. He is not a component to anything’s existence, and so if something ceases to exist, He remains in His superior standing.
This highlights the foolishness in trying to compete with Him, though there is no shortage of people who have tried in the past, are attempting the same today, or will be an adversary in the future. The better option is to accept the truth that Bhagavan is our friend and show the highest allegiance to Him, as He is the kindest towards His devotees.
No reason to compete,
Find meditation’s seat.
Since even if you think are winning,
Still on reincarnation spinning.
Whereas never affected is He,
Even if universe destroyed to be.
So that with Him I’ll stay,
Confident in the proper way.