In Vedic literatures there is information of a material object called a "touchstone," which, simply by touch, can transform iron into gold. The touchstone can produce an unlimited quantity of gold and yet remain unchanged. Only in the state of ignorance can one accept the Māyāvāda conclusion that this cosmic manifestation and the living entities are false or illusory. No sane man would attempt to impose ignorance and illusion upon the Supreme Absolute Truth, who is absolute in everything. There is no possibility of change, ignorance or illusion in Him. The Supreme Brahman, the Supreme Absolute Truth, is transcendental, completely different from all material conceptions, and full of inconceivable potencies. The Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad confirms that the Supreme Absolute Personality of Godhead is full of inconceivable energies and that no one else possesses such energies.
It is only by misunderstanding the inconceivable energies of the Supreme that one may conclude that the Supreme Absolute Truth is impersonal. Such a deluded conclusion is experienced by a living being when he is in an acute stage of disease. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (3.33.3) there is a clear statement that the supreme ātmā, the Lord, has inconceivable and innumerable potencies. It is also stated in Brahma-saṁhitā (5.5) that the Supreme Spirit has many variegated and inconceivable energies. Nor should one think that there is any possibility of ignorance existing in the Absolute Truth. Ignorance and knowledge are conceptions in this world of duality, but in the Absolute there cannot be any ignorance. It is simply foolishness to consider that the Absolute is covered by ignorance. If the Absolute Truth could be covered by ignorance, how could it be said to be Absolute?
Understanding the inconceivable energies of the Absolute is the only solution to the question of duality. This is because duality arises from the inconceivable energies of the Absolute. By His inconceivable energies, the Supreme Absolute Truth can remain unchanged and yet produce this cosmic manifestation with all its living entities, just as a touchstone can produce unlimited quantities of gold and yet remain unchanged. Because the Absolute Truth has such inconceivable energies, the material quality of ignorance cannot pertain to Him. The true variegatedness which exists in the Absolute Truth is a product of His inconceivable energies. Indeed, it can be safely concluded that this cosmic manifestation is but a by-product of His inconceivable energies. Once we accept the inconceivable energies of the Supreme Lord, we will find that there is no duality at all. The expansion of the energies of the Supreme Lord is as true as the Supreme Lord Himself. But despite all the variegated manifestations of the Supreme Lord's energies, there is no question of transformation for the Supreme Lord Himself. Once again the example of the touchstone can be cited: in spite of producing unlimited quantities of gold, the touchstone remains the same. (We therefore hear some sages say that the Supreme is the "ingredient cause" of this cosmic manifestation.)