Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa and His plenary expansions are all in the category of the Lord Himself, the energetic Absolute Truth, whereas His devotees, His eternal associates, are His energies. The energy and energetic are fundamentally one, but since their functions are differently exhibited, they are simultaneously different also. Thus the Absolute Truth is manifested in diversity in one unit. This philosophical truth, which is pursuant to the Vedānta-sūtra, is called acintya-bhedābheda-tattva, or the conception of simultaneous oneness and difference. In the latter portion of this chapter, the transcendental position of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and that of Śrīla Nityānanda Prabhu are described with reference to the above theistic facts.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is
BG Chapters 13 - 18
The living entities are manifested of His energy and are divided into two classes, eternally conditioned and eternally liberated. Such living entities are innumerable, and they are considered fundamental parts of Kṛṣṇa. Material energy is manifested into twenty-four divisions. The creation is effected by eternal time, and it is created and dissolved by external energy. This manifestation of the cosmic world repeatedly becomes visible and invisible.
SB Canto 1
The eternal living entity transmigrates from one material body to another by the law of karma, and material bodies are perishable by their fundamental structures. Therefore there is nothing to be lamented in the case of the soul's being transferred into another body, or the material body's perishing at a certain stage. There are others also who believe in the merging of the spirit soul in the Supreme Spirit when it is uncovered by the material encagement, and there are others also who do not believe in the existence of spirit or soul, but believe in tangible matter. In our daily experience we find so many transformations of matter from one form to another, but we do not lament such changing features. In either of the above cases, the force of divine energy is uncheckable; no one has any hand in it, and thus there is no cause of grief.
SB Canto 3
Even if the great fear of bondage is avoided by mental speculation and inquiry into the fundamental principles, it may still appear again, since its cause has not ceased.
SB Canto 4
Recitation of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is specifically meant to enlighten people about the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although there is no fundamental difference between impersonal Brahman, localized Paramātmā and the Supreme Person, factual immortality cannot be obtained unless and until one attains the stage of associating with the Supreme Person. Devotional service, which leads to the association of the Supreme Lord, is actual immortality. Pure devotees, out of compassion for the fallen souls, are kṛpālu, very kind to people in general; they distribute this Bhāgavata knowledge all over the world.
SB Canto 7
Sometimes people are very much eager to see God. In considering the word mad-darśanam, "seeing Me," which is mentioned in this verse, one should note that in Bhagavad-gītā the Lord says, bhaktyā mām abhijānāti (BG 18.55). In other words, the ability to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead or to see Him or talk with Him depends on one's advancement in devotional service, which is called bhakti. In bhakti there are nine different activities: śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam/ arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ sakhyam ātma-nivedanam (SB 7.5.23). Because all these devotional activities are absolute, there is no fundamental difference between worshiping the Deity in the temple, seeing Him and chanting His glories. Indeed, all of these are ways of seeing Him, for everything done in devotional service is a means of direct contact with the Lord.
The unconscious state is nothing but ignorance, darkness or material existence, and in the conscious state one is awake. The marginal state, between consciousness and unconsciousness, has no permanent existence. Therefore one who is advanced in understanding the self should understand that unconsciousness and consciousness are but illusions, for they fundamentally do not exist. Only the Supreme Absolute Truth exists. As confirmed by the Lord in Bhagavad-gītā (9.4):
- mayā tatam idaṁ sarvaṁ
- jagad avyakta-mūrtinā
- mat-sthāni sarva-bhūtāni
- na cāhaṁ teṣv avasthitaḥ
"By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them." Everything exists on the basis of Kṛṣṇa's impersonal feature; nothing can exist without Kṛṣṇa. Therefore the advanced devotee of Kṛṣṇa can see the Lord everywhere, without illusion.
Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī states in his Bhagavat-sandarbha (16) that by His potencies, which act in natural sequences beyond the scope of the speculative human mind, the Supreme Transcendence, the summum bonum, eternally and simultaneously exists in four transcendental features: His personality, His impersonal effulgence, particles of His potency (the living beings), and the principal cause of all causes. The Supreme Whole is compared to the sun, which also exists in four features, namely the personality of the sun-god, the glare of his glowing sphere, the sun rays inside the sun planet, and the sun's reflections in many other objects. The ambition to corroborate the existence of the transcendental Absolute Truth by limited conjectural endeavors cannot be fulfilled, because He is beyond the scope of our limited speculative minds. In an honest search for truth, we must admit that His powers are inconceivable to our tiny brains. The exploration of space has demanded the work of the greatest scientists of the world, yet there are countless problems regarding even fundamental knowledge of the material creation that bewilder scientists who confront them. Such material knowledge is far removed from the spiritual nature, and therefore the acts and arrangements of the Absolute Truth are, beyond all doubts, inconceivable.
Just as these desires are the fundamental reason for Kṛṣṇa's appearance whereas destroying the demons is only an incidental necessity, so for Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, promulgating the dharma of the age is incidental.
For logicians who want to accept only that which is proven through logic and argument, it is a fact that without logic and reason there can be no question of accepting the Absolute Truth. Unfortunately, when such logicians take to this path without the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, they remain on the platform of logic and argument and do not advance in spiritual life. However, if one is intelligent enough to apply his arguments and logic to the subtle understanding of the fundamental spiritual substance, he will be able to know that a poor fund of knowledge established on the basis of material logic cannot help one understand the Absolute Truth, which is beyond the reach of imperfect senses.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu personally renovated Vṛndāvana-dhāma and advised His chief disciples, Rūpa and Sanātana, to develop it and open it to attract the spiritual vision of the general populace. At present there are about five thousand temples in Vṛndāvana, and still our society, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, is constructing a huge, magnificent temple for the worship of Lord Kṛṣṇa and Lord Balarāma, along with Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa and Guru-Gaurāṅga. Since there is no prominent Kṛṣṇa-Balarāma temple in Vṛndāvana, we are attempting to construct one so that people will be attracted to Kṛṣṇa-Balarāma, or Nitāi-Gauracandra. Vrajendra-nandana yei, śacī suta haila sei. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says that Balarāma and the son of Mahārāja Nanda have advented Themselves as Gaura-Nitāi. To propagate this fundamental principle, we are establishing a Kṛṣṇa-Balarāma temple to broadcast to the world that worship of Gaura-Nitāi is the same as worship of Kṛṣṇa-Balarāma.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then describes those candidates who are eligible to taste the mellows of devotional service. Their fundamental natures and their varieties are also described. The Lord also informs Sanātana Gosvāmī about all the confidential paraphernalia of devotional service. He gives a description of Goloka Vṛndāvana, where the Lord is engaged in His eternal pastimes described in the Hari-vaṁśa. There is also an opposing description and a favorable description of keśa-avatāra. All these instructions are mentioned herein.
"The fundamental religious system in the Age of Kali is the chanting of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa. Unless empowered by Kṛṣṇa, one cannot propagate the saṅkīrtana movement."
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Renunciation Through Wisdom
Innocent enquirers are known as jijñāsu, "those who are inquisitive." These innocent enquirers are society's hope for the future. Most intelligent and innocent young children are inquisitive: they question their parents about many things and remember the answers. When these bright young boys and girls receive proper guidance from parents and teachers who can lucidly answer their queries, they easily understand each point and gradually develop fine brains. From among these intelligent souls, those who are especially pious begin to keenly enquire about God and other spiritual topics. Others, who pursue ignoble material knowledge, cannot become successful in life and end up beating the chaff. Those who are inquisitive about the self and the Absolute Truth, Brahman, quickly surrender to Lord Kṛṣṇa and His devotees. Such surrender proves their good measure of piety brought over from their previous births. Beginning with fundamental enquiries about Brahman, they swiftly become elevated, understand the statement of Lord Kṛṣṇa in Bhagavad-gītā (14.27) that He is the basis of the impersonal Brahman, and begin to worship Him.