Article January 14, 2017
According to Vaisnava theology, the Supreme Soul, Supreme Deity, The Ultimate Creator and Fountainhead of All Existence manifests Himself in three phases of existence.
1. The All-Pervading Energies of Existence.
2. The “Holy Spirit”, the Omniscient, Omnipresent Supreme Consciousness within every living being’s heart.
3. And, most wonderfully, in varieties of Spiritual Forms, which is entirely reasonable considering mosquitoes and rabbits have forms, why should the Holy Creator be unable to have a Form if He wants?
Of course the Spiritual Forms of the Divine Being are totally Spiritual, they are not made of matter like our bodies. Sri Krishna is glorified in Vedic Scriptures as the Fullest Manifestation of the Divine Holy Spirit, possessed of all possible Divine Qualities, both of Power, and Sweetness.
Why should the Absolute Supreme Being, the source of All Qualities in Creation merely have thunderous Power and Might? He should also have infinite Sweetnes, Infinite Kind Love and Gentle Beauty.
Horses are sometimes admired as having great handsomeness of physique, how in the world could the Creator not be able to manifest a most wonderfully Superexcellent Spiritual Form if He so desires? That makes no sense at all, that He would be unable to do so.
Sri Krishna is Glorified as the penultimate concentrated Essence of Godhead, Fullest Manifestation. Here are the references and discussion from Vedic Scripture.
(This is from the “Gaudiya Kanthahara”, a Summary Reference of Vaisnava Theology)
The one Absolute Truth is Realized in Three Different Ways
vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam yaj jnanam advayam
brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate
Great seers of the truth, who understand the nature of the Absolute Truth, describe that non-dual truth in three ways as Brahman, Paramatma, and Bhagavan. (Bhag. 1.2.11)
advaya-jnana tattva-vastu krsnera svarupa
brahma, atma, bhagavan tina taora rupa
Krishna is the one Absolute Truth which is conceived of in three ways, as Brahman, Paramatma, and Bhagavan. (Cc. Adi. 2.65)
Bhagavan Realization is Complete, Paramatma and Brahman are Partial
bhakti-yoge bhakta paya yaohara darsana
surya yena savigraha dekhe deva-gana
jnana-yoga-marge taore bhaje yei saba
brahma-atma-rupe taore kare anubhava
Through devotional service devotees can realize or see that Personality of Godhead, just as the denizens of heaven see the personality of the sun. Those on the paths of knowledge and yoga worship only Him. They perceive Him as the impersonal Brahman and localized Paramatma. (Cc. Adi 2.25,26)
The Conclusion of the Sruti About Brahman
na tatra suryo bhati candra-tarakam
nema vidyuto bhanti kuto ‘yamagni
tameva bhantam anubhati sarvam
tasya bhasa sarvam idam vibhati
In the transcendental abode of the Lord there is no need of sun, moon, or stars for illumination, nor is there any need of electricity, what to speak of lamps. All of them get their power of illumination from the Lord’s effulgence alone. In fact the whole universe exists only because of His existence. (Katha Upanisad 2.2.15)
hiranmayena patrena satyasyapihitam mukham
tat tvam pusann-apavrnu satya-dharmaya drstaye
O my Lord, sustainer of all that lives, Your real face is covered by Your dazzling effulgence. Please remove that effulgent covering and show Yourself to Your pure devotee. (Isopanisad 15)
pusann akarye yama surya prajapatya
vyuha-rasmin samuha tejo
yat te rupam kalyanatamam tat te pasyami
yo ‘sav asau purusah so ‘ham asmi
O my Lord! O primeval philosopher, maintainer of the universe. O regulating principle, destination of the pure devotees, well-wisher of mankind please remove the effulgence of Your transcendental rays, so that I can see Your form of bliss. You are the eternal Supreme Personality of Godhead, like unto the sun, as am I. (Isopanisad 16)
The Conclusion of Brahma-samhita
yasya prabha prabhavato jagad-anda-koti-
kotisv asesa-vasudhadi vibhuti-bhinnam
tad brahma niskalam anantam asesa-bhutam
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, whose effulgence is the source of the nondifferentiated Brahman which is mentioned in the Upanisads, and which, being differentiated from the infinity of glories of the mundane universe, appears as the indivisible, infinite, and limitless truth. Millions and millions of universes emanate from that Brahman effulgence, which is infinite, causeless, and unlimited. That Brahman effulgence is simply the light emanating from the brilliant form of the Supreme Lord Govinda. (Brahma-samhita 5.40)
The Conclusion of Bhagavad-gita
brahmano hi pratisthaham amrtasyavyayasya ca
sasvatasya ca dharmasya sukhasyaikantikasya ca
I am the basis of the impersonal Brahman, which is immortal, imperishable, and eternal, and is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness. (Bhagavad-gita 14.27)
यज्ञदानतपःकर्म न त्याज्यं कार्यमेव तत् ।यज्ञो दानं तपश्चैव पावनानि मनीषिणाम् ॥
भावार्थ : यज्ञ, दान और तपरूप कर्म त्याग करने के योग्य नहीं है, बल्कि वह तो अवश्य कर्तव्य है, क्योंकि यज्ञ, दान और तप -ये तीनों ही कर्म बुद्धिमान पुरुषों को (वह मनुष्य बुद्धिमान है, जो फल और आसक्ति को त्याग कर केवल भगवदर्थ कर्म करता है।) पवित्र करने वाले हैं ॥5॥