“The Supersoul is present in everyone’s body, whereas the individual soul is conditioned in one particular type of body. The individual soul cannot understand what is taking place in another’s body, but the Supersoul knows very well what is happening in all bodies. In other words, the Supersoul is always present in His full spiritual position, whereas the individual soul is prone to forget himself.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 4.28.63 Purport)
“What do you make of these people who say that we are God? I am not sure if they are referring to the collective, that every individual consists of a piece of the entirety that is running things. Or maybe they mean the individual is supernatural, full of potency, but just hasn’t realized it yet.
“Many such people have links to Vedic culture. They may claim to represent it, in the modern day. They will quote from Bhagavad-gita and Vedanta-sutra. I think His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada refers to them as Mayavadi.
“The Sanskrit means that their ultimate conclusion is everything is maya. Brahman is truth, while everything else is false. I guess they mean to say that since we are all Brahman, we are God. We just need to realize our Brahman identity?
“I am not sure, but don’t you feel like they are on to something? After all, we do have this experience with autonomy. All of the self-driving vehicles are meant to imitate the human being. This means that humans are something extraordinary. They are making things move. They are the great energy within this universe. What do you say to that?”
Brahman is the first realization in the gradual progression towards enlightenment in the authorized spiritual culture descending from the origin. In the published or organized form this is known as the Vedas, but in practical application the superior term is sanatana-dharma. It is that way of living matching the constitutional position of the living entity. That way of living has no beginning and no end.
We can consider Mayavada to be a halt to the progression of understanding. It is a kind of perversion, also. The acharyas of the Vaishnava tradition refer to it as the last snare of the illusory energy of this world. In the beginning, I think that I can enjoy to the fullest extent. What we would commonly refer to as atheism – this is the first snare.
There is no God. There is no afterlife. There was nothing prior to my birth. We are all merely products of sexual action. We will turn back into nothing at the time of death. Therefore, let us enjoy as much as possible, in whatever way necessary. There is the odd chance that we can extend life to the point that we nullify the rule. In other words, let’s become immortal. More specifically, let me become immortal while the rest of you suffer due to your inferiority.
The last snare of maya is to think that I have become God. I am the greatest. I am beginning, middle and end. I am the spiritual energy. Just give me some time and I will understand. I will merge back into the collective at the time of death.
After realizing Brahman, the next step in the progression is to identify the two souls living within the body. One represents me. The other is called Supersoul. There are great similarities between the two. Both are spiritual in nature. The temporary body does not identify them. Whatever changes occur, the two souls are unaffected.
There is simultaneous difference. As individual soul, I am only conscious of my experience. Even that consciousness is limited. We could also say that it is suppressed, since the limitations are imposed by the specific conditions. For instance, I did not know what was going on in the bedroom last night. This is because I was sleeping. Otherwise, the conditions were perfect for me to perceive.
When I am awake, I can perceive the world around me, retain some information, and then use that to make decisions in the future. The memories might haunt me, they might cause me pleasure, or they may fade away with the passage of time.
The other soul within me recognizes everything. It is always conscious of not only the experience coming from interaction of the senses with the world outside, but also the experience of others. The same soul is there in other bodies, residing with other individuals. There is neither a division nor a delegation.
This makes the other soul superior. Hence the Sanskrit term Paramatma. While my identity is different from yours, Paramatma is one. It witnesses everything, antaryami. It is always there to give guidance, to bring the spiritual individual back to their dharma.
As we are not Paramatma and cannot equal that ability, we cannot be God. The claim is simply invalid. This is nothing to lament. Rather, the wise person celebrates that the great overseer is currently inside of them, has always been there, and will continue to witness moving forward. He is my greatest well-wishing friend, and as a conditioned soul I will try to understand Him more and more, to both unlock the mystery of life and reach the best destination moving forward.
Limited view to prevent,
But nothing to lament.
Paramatma witnessing all,
My best friend to call.
Like me in many a way,
But as superior to stay.
Guidance coming from where,
Of my true identity made aware.