Pradyumna: Purport: "The Absolute Truth is both subject and object, and there is no qualitative difference there. Therefore Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān are qualitatively one and the same. The same substance is realized as impersonal Brahman by the students of the Upaniṣads, as localized Paramātmā by the Hiraṇyagarbhas, or the yogīs, and as Bhagavān by the devotees. In other words, Bhagavān, or the Personality of Godhead, is the last word of the Absolute Truth, Paramātmā is the partial representation of the Personality of Godhead, and impersonal Brahman is the glowing effulgence of the Personality of Godhead, as the sun rays are to the sun-god.
Less-intelligent students of either of the above schools sometimes argue in favor of their own respective realization, but those who are perfect seers of the Absolute Truth know well that the above three features of the one Absolute Truth are different perspective views seen from different angles of vision.
"As it is explained in the first śloka of the First Chapter of the Bhāgavatam (SB 1.1.1), the Supreme Truth is self-sufficient, cognizant and free from the illusion of relativity. In the relative world the knower is different from the known, but in the Absolute Truth both the knower and the known are one and the same thing. In the relative world the knower is the living spirit, or superior energy, whereas the known is inert matter, or inferior energy. Therefore there is a duality of inferior and superior energy, whereas in the absolute realm both the knower and the known are of the same superior energy.
"There are three kinds of energies of the supreme energetic. There is no difference between the energy and the energetic, but there is a difference of quality of energies. The absolute realm and the living entities are of the same superior energy, but the material world is inferior energy. The living being in contact with the inferior energy is illusioned, thinking he belongs to the inferior energy. Therefore there is the sense of relativity in the material world. In the Absolute there is no such sense of difference between the knower and the known, and therefore everything there is absolute."
Prabhupāda: Hmm. So tattva, tattva means truth, Absolute Truth. So Absolute Truth is vision from three angles of vision. Those who are trying to understand the Absolute Truth by the ascending process, they can reach up to the impersonal Brahman. Those who are trying to find out the Absolute Truth within himself, Paramātmā, they can see the Absolute Truth localized. Localized means just like during meridian, everyone sees the sun on his head. There may be a person dispersed five thousand miles, but everyone will say that the sun is on his head. So the sun is one, but he appears to be on everyone's head.
Similarly, Paramātmā, partial expansion of Kṛṣṇa,
- eko 'py asau racayituṁ jagad-aṇḍa-koṭiṁ
- yac-chaktir asti jagad-aṇḍa-cayāyad-antaḥ
- govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
- (Bs. 5.35)
Eko 'py asau: one plenary portion, Saṅkarṣaṇa. Saṅkarṣaṇa is plenary portion of Kṛṣṇa. So Saṅkarṣaṇa, one, He is managing the whole material creation. Racayituṁ. From Saṅkarṣaṇa there are puruṣa-avatāra: the Mahā-Viṣṇu, Kāraṇodakaśāyī; from Him, again second puruṣa avatāra, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu; and again from Him, the third puruṣa avatāra is Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu is within this universe. He is lying on the ocean of milk, kṣīra. So the Paramātmā… He is Paramātmā feature.
This Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu is situated in everyone's heart: aṇḍāntarasthaṁ. Aṇḍāntarasthaṁ is the Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, and aṇḍāntarasthaṁ and paramāṇu-cayāntarastham: not only within the universe, but within the atom of the universe. Nobody can count how many atoms are there, but still Viṣṇu is there. This is Paramātmā—brahmeti paramātmeti.
Bhagavān, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ—eternal blissful knowledge personified: a person who is eternal blissful knowledge. So Brahmn is eternity, and Paramātmā is knowledge and Kṛṣṇa is bliss. So three things, sac-cid-ānanda—eternity, knowledge and bliss—they are fully present in Kṛṣṇa.
So kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam, that will be explained. The original Bhagavān… Bhagavān, they are all Bhagavāns. From Kṛṣṇa, Baladeva; from Baladeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Aniruddha, Pradumnya, huh, Vāsudeva. In this way expansion. One lamp, one candle, you ignite another candle, another, another, another—hundreds and thousands of candles—all the candles are of the same power, not that the second candle is less powerful than the first candle. No. All viṣṇu-tattvas, They are the same Personality of Godhead.
That is also explained in Brahma-saṁhitā: advaitam acyutam anādim ananta-rūpam (Bs. 5.33). Ananta means unlimited number, expansion. The unlimitedness is compared, just like there are waves in the river; it is going on perpetually, nobody can count. Similarly, how many incarnations and expansions are coming out from original Personality of Godhead nobody can count. Everything unlimited. So…, but They are all the same, viṣṇu-tattva.
They are called svāṁśas. Svāṁśa means personal expansion, and we are, we living entities, we are also expansion, part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, but we are vibhinnāṁśa. Vibhinnāṁśa: separated part and parcel. We are not as powerful as viṣṇu-tattva. Viṣṇu-tattva is all-powerful; we are also powerful, partially. Just like Brahmā. Brahmā is also a living entity, but he is so powerful that he can create a universe. But Brahmā is created by Viṣṇu, and Lord Śiva is created by Brahmā, and all the demigods.
So God, there are different degrees of God. Anyone can claim, "I am God." God means controller. So there are different degrees. I am controller, but I am controlled by someone else; he is also controlled by somebody else. In this way go on, you'll find everyone is controller to some extent, but at the end he is controlled by somebody else. In this way, when you come to viṣṇu-tattva, then you will find that Viṣṇu, He controls everything, but there is nobody controller of Him. Viṣṇu-tattva or kṛṣṇa-tattva—generally known as viṣṇu-tattva. Jiva-tattva: we are jīva-tattva.
So because we have no inquisitiveness, as recommended in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā (SB 1.2.10)… We are not inquisitive. We, when we find that tiny god within, there is finished. No. You search more, tattva-jijñāsā: "Who is this cause?" Just like here in this material world we find the sun is most powerful. Sun is the most powerful. Then if you go on researching, then what is next to the sun? We see the sun globe, but we don't see the sun-god. But there is sun-god. So if we can penetrate into the sun globe, then we can find there is sun-god; he is the cause of the sun globe. So sun globe is the cause of the sunshine.
Similarly brahmajyoti, Brahman effulgence, is the effect of the effulgence from the Goloka Vṛndāvana planet. Brahmajyoti. And within this brahmajyoti there are innumerable Vaikuṇṭha planets. Brahmeti... In the Bhagavad-gītā Lord says, brahmaṇo aham pratiṣṭha (BG 14.27). This brahmajyoti effulgence… Just like the sunshine is resting on the sun globe. The sunshine is not so important as the sun globe, because from there the sunshine is coming out. Although the sunshine is universally spread, still it is less important than the sun globe. Similarly, Brahman effulgence is unlimited; still it is less important than the Goloka Vṛndāvana planet.