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Internal, external and marginal potencies

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Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 1

The devotees in the Lord's entourage are all liberated souls, perfect representations of the marginal or internal potency in complete negation of the influence of the external potency.
SB 1.11.39, Purport:

When the Lord descends, He does so along with His entourage to display a complete picture of the transcendental world, where pure love and devotion for the Lord prevail without any mundane tinge of lording it over the creation of the Lord. Such devotees of the Lord are all liberated souls, perfect representations of the marginal or internal potency in complete negation of the influence of the external potency. The wives of Lord Kṛṣṇa were made to forget the immeasurable glories of the Lord by the internal potency so that there might not be any flaw of exchange, and they took it for granted that the Lord was a henpecked husband, always following them in lonely places. In other words, even the personal associates of the Lord do not know Him perfectly well, so what do the thesis writers or mental speculators know about the transcendental glories of the Lord? The mental speculators present different theses as to His becoming the causes of the creation, the ingredients of the creation, or the material and efficient cause of the creation, etc., but all this is but partial knowledge about the Lord. Factually they are as ignorant as the common man. The Lord can be known by the mercy of the Lord only, and by no other means. But since the dealings of the Lord with His wives are based on pure transcendental love and devotion, the wives are all on the transcendental plane without material contamination.

SB Canto 2

The spiritual world is the manifestation of the Lord's internal potency, and the material world is the manifestation of His external potency. The living entities are also His marginal potency, and by their own choice they can live in either the transcendental or material worlds.
SB 2.2.14, Purport:

The Supreme Lord is the seer of all worlds, both material and transcendental. In other words, the Supreme Lord is the ultimate beneficiary and enjoyer of all worlds, as confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā (5.29). The spiritual world is the manifestation of His internal potency, and the material world is the manifestation of His external potency. The living entities are also His marginal potency, and by their own choice they can live in either the transcendental or material worlds. The material world is not a fit place for living entities because they are spiritually one with the Lord and in the material world the living entities become conditioned by the laws of the material world. The Lord wants all living entities, who are His parts and parcels, to live with Him in the transcendental world, and for enlightening conditioned souls in the material world, all the Vedas and the revealed scriptures are there—expressly to recall the conditioned souls back home, back to Godhead.

The spiritual world is the manifestation of His internal potency, and the material world is the manifestation of His external potency. The living entities are also His marginal potency, and by their own choice they can live in either the transcendental or material worlds.
SB 2.2.14, Purport:

The Supreme Lord is the seer of all worlds, both material and transcendental. In other words, the Supreme Lord is the ultimate beneficiary and enjoyer of all worlds, as confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā (5.29). The spiritual world is the manifestation of His internal potency, and the material world is the manifestation of His external potency. The living entities are also His marginal potency, and by their own choice they can live in either the transcendental or material worlds. The material world is not a fit place for living entities because they are spiritually one with the Lord and in the material world the living entities become conditioned by the laws of the material world. The Lord wants all living entities, who are His parts and parcels, to live with Him in the transcendental world, and for enlightening conditioned souls in the material world, all the Vedas and the revealed scriptures are there—expressly to recall the conditioned souls back home, back to Godhead. Unfortunately, the conditioned living entities, although suffering continually the threefold miseries of conditioned life, are not very serious about going back to Godhead. It is due to their misguided way of living, complicated by sins and virtues. Some of them who are virtuous by deeds begin to reestablish the lost relation with the Lord, but they are unable to understand the personal feature of the Lord. The real purpose of life is to make contact with the Lord and be engaged in His service. That is the natural position of living entities.

In all circumstances, neither the material ingredients nor the spiritual parts and parcels are independent of the Personality of Godhead Vāsudeva, for all things, whether products of the external, internal or marginal potencies of the Lord, are simply displays of the same effulgence of the Lord, just as light, heat and smoke are displays of fire.
SB 2.5.14, Purport:

The ingredients, namely earth, water, fire, air and sky, as well as the conception of material identity, intelligence and the mind, are produced of the external energy of the Lord. The living entity who enjoys the interaction of the above gross and subtle ingredients, as set up by eternal time, is an offshoot of internal potency, with freedom to remain either in the material world or in the spiritual world. In the material world the living entity is enticed by deluding nescience, but in the spiritual world he is in the normal condition of spiritual existence without any delusion. The living entity is known as the marginal potency of the Lord. But in all circumstances, neither the material ingredients nor the spiritual parts and parcels are independent of the Personality of Godhead Vāsudeva, for all things, whether products of the external, internal or marginal potencies of the Lord, are simply displays of the same effulgence of the Lord, just as light, heat and smoke are displays of fire. None of them are separate from the fire—all of them combine together to be called fire; similarly, all phenomenal manifestations, as well as the effulgence of the body of Vāsudeva, are His impersonal features, whereas He eternally exists in His transcendental form called sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ (Bs. 5.1), distinct from all conceptions of the material ingredients mentioned above.

Because they are between the internal and external potencies, the eternally transcendental living entities are called the marginal potency of the Lord.
SB 2.5.19, Purport:

Because they are between the internal and external potencies, the eternally transcendental living entities are called the marginal potency of the Lord. Factually, the living entities are not meant to be so conditioned by material energy, but due to their being affected by the false sense of lording it over the material energy, they come under the influence of such potency and thus become conditioned by the three modes of material nature. This external energy of the Lord covers up the pure knowledge of the living entities eternally existing with Him, but the covering is so constant that it appears that the conditioned soul is eternally ignorant. Such is the wonderful action of māyā, or external energy manifested as if materially produced. By the covering power of the material energy, the material scientist cannot look beyond the material causes, but factually, behind the material manifestations, there are adhibhūta, adhyātma and adhidaiva actions, which the conditioned soul in the mode of ignorance cannot see. The adhibhūta manifestation entails repetitions of births and deaths with old age and diseases, the adhyātma manifestation conditions the spirit soul, and the adhidaiva manifestation is the controlling system. These are the material manifestations of cause and effect and the sense of responsibility of the conditioned actors.

The omnipotent Personality of Godhead has primarily three potential manifestations, namely internal, external, and marginal potencies, with unlimited expansions of these three energies.
SB 2.7.41, Translation and Purport:

Neither I nor all the sages born before you know fully the omnipotent Personality of Godhead. So what can others, who are born after us, know about Him? Even the first incarnation of the Lord, namely Śeṣa, has not been able to reach the limit of such knowledge, although He is describing the qualities of the Lord with ten hundred faces.

The omnipotent Personality of Godhead has primarily three potential manifestations, namely internal, external, and marginal potencies, with unlimited expansions of these three energies. As such, the potential expansions can never be calculated by anyone because even the Personality of God Himself, as the incarnation of Śeṣa, cannot estimate the potencies, although He has been describing them continuously with His one thousand faces.

The internal potency of the Supreme Lord is identical with the Supreme Lord, and the external potency is enlivened in contact with the internal potency. The parts and parcels of the internal potency which react in contact with the external potency are called the marginal potency, or the living entities.
SB 2.10.3, Purport:

As mentioned in the previous verse, śrutena (or with reference to the Vedic conclusions), the creation is made possible from the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly by manifestation of His particular energies. Without such a Vedic reference, the creation appears to be a product of material nature. This conclusion comes from a poor fund of knowledge. From Vedic reference it is concluded that the origin of all energies (namely internal, external and marginal) is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And as explained hereinbefore, the illusory conclusion is that creation is made by the inert material nature. The Vedic conclusion is transcendental light, whereas the non-Vedic conclusion is material darkness. The internal potency of the Supreme Lord is identical with the Supreme Lord, and the external potency is enlivened in contact with the internal potency. The parts and parcels of the internal potency which react in contact with the external potency are called the marginal potency, or the living entities.

Thus the original creation is directly from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, or Parambrahman, and the secondary creation, as a reactionary result of the original ingredients, is made by Brahmā. Thus the activities of the whole universe are started.

SB Canto 6

As Lord Viṣṇu is all-pervading, His spiritual potency, mother Lakṣmī, is also all-pervading. Lord Viṣṇu has three principal potencies—internal, external and marginal.
SB 6.19.13, Purport:

"O best of the brāhmaṇas, Lakṣmījī is the constant companion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, and therefore she is called anapāyinī. She is the mother of all creation. As Lord Viṣṇu is all-pervading, His spiritual potency, mother Lakṣmī, is also all-pervading. Lord Viṣṇu has three principal potenciesinternal, external and marginal. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has accepted parā-śakti, the spiritual energy of the Lord, as being identical with the Lord. Thus she is also included in the independent viṣṇu-tattva."

In the Kānti-mālā commentary on the Prameya-ratnāvalī there is this statement: nanu kvacit nitya-mukta jīvatvaṁ lakṣmyāḥ svīkṛtaṁ, tatrāha-prāheti. nityaiveti padye sarva-vyāpti-kathanena kalākāṣṭhety ādi-padya-dvaye, śuddho 'pīty uktā ca mahāprabhunā svaśiṣyān prati lakṣmyā bhagavad-advaitam upadiṣṭam. kvacid yat tasyās tu dvaitam uktaṁ, tat tu tad-āviṣṭa-nitya-mukta jīvam ādāya saṅgatamas tu. "Although some authoritative Vaiṣṇava disciplic successions count the goddess of fortune among the ever-liberated living entities (jīvas) in Vaikuṇṭha, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, in accordance with the statement in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa, has described Lakṣmī as being identical with the viṣṇu-tattva. The correct conclusion is that the descriptions of Lakṣmī as being different from Viṣṇu are stated when an eternally liberated living entity is imbued with the quality of Lakṣmī; they do not pertain to mother Lakṣmī, the eternal consort of Lord Viṣṇu."

SB Canto 7

The Lord is endowed with unlimited potencies (parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate (Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport)), which are summarized as thre.
SB 7.3.34, Translation and Purport:

Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme, who in his unlimited, unmanifested form has expanded the cosmic manifestation, the form of the totality of the universe. He possesses external and internal energies and the mixed energy called the marginal potency, which consists of all the living entities.

The Lord is endowed with unlimited potencies (parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate (Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport)), which are summarized as three, namely external, internal and marginal. The external potency manifests this material world, the internal potency manifests the spiritual world, and the marginal potency manifests the living entities, who are mixtures of internal and external. The living entity, being part and parcel of Parabrahman, is actually internal potency, but because of being in contact with the material energy, he is an emanation of material and spiritual energies. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is above the material energy and is engaged in spiritual pastimes. The material energy is only an external manifestation of His pastimes.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Preface and Introduction

Actually Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa is the exchange of love—but not ordinary love. Kṛṣṇa has immense potencies, of which three are principal: the internal, the external and the marginal potencies.
CC Introduction:

This brings up the question of who Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is and what Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa is. Actually Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa is the exchange of love—but not ordinary love. Kṛṣṇa has immense potencies, of which three are principal: the internal, the external and the marginal potencies. In the internal potency there are three divisions: samvit, hlādinī and sandhinī. The hlādinī potency is Kṛṣṇa's pleasure potency. All living entities have this pleasure-seeking potency, for all beings are trying to have pleasure. This is the very nature of the living entity. At present we are trying to enjoy our pleasure potency by means of the body in the material condition. By bodily contact we are attempting to derive pleasure from material sense objects. But we should not entertain the nonsensical idea that Kṛṣṇa, who is always spiritual, also tries to seek pleasure on this material plane. In the Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa describes the material universe as a nonpermanent place full of miseries. Why, then, would He seek pleasure in matter? He is the Supersoul, the supreme spirit, and His pleasure is beyond the material conception.

CC Adi-lila

The primary potencies of the Absolute Truth are mentioned to be three: internal, external and marginal. By the acts of His internal potency, the Personality of Godhead in His original form exhibits the spiritual cosmic manifestations known as the Vaikuṇṭhalokas, which exist eternally, even after the destruction of the material cosmic manifestation.
CC Adi 2.96, Purport:

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.

The primary potencies of the Absolute Truth are mentioned to be three: internal, external and marginal. By the acts of His internal potency, the Personality of Godhead in His original form exhibits the spiritual cosmic manifestations known as the Vaikuṇṭhalokas, which exist eternally, even after the destruction of the material cosmic manifestation. By His marginal potency the Lord expands Himself as living beings who are part of Him, just as the sun distributes its rays in all directions. By His external potency the Lord manifests the material creation, just as the sun with its rays creates fog. The material creation is but a perverse reflection of the eternal Vaikuṇṭha nature.

Although all three potencies—namely internal, external and marginal—are essentially one in the ultimate issue, they are different in action, like electric energy, which can produce both cold and heat under different conditions.
CC Adi 2.96, Purport:

Although the potency of māyā is inferior in quality to the marginal potency, which consists of the living beings, who are part and parcel of the Lord, it nevertheless has the power to control the living beings, just as fog can block the actions of a certain portion of the sun's rays although it cannot cover the sun. The living beings covered by the illusory energy evolve in different species of life, with bodies ranging from that of an insignificant ant to that of Brahmā, the constructor of the cosmos. The pradhāna, the chief cause of all causes in the impersonal vision, is none other than the Supreme Lord, whom one can see face to face in the internal potency. He takes the material all-pervasive form by His inconceivable power. Although all three potencies—namely internal, external and marginal—are essentially one in the ultimate issue, they are different in action, like electric energy, which can produce both cold and heat under different conditions. The external and marginal potencies are so called under various conditions, but in the original, internal potencies there are no such conditions, nor is it possible for the conditions of the external potency to exist in the marginal, or vice versa. One who is able to understand the intricacies of all these energies of the Supreme Lord can no longer remain an empiric impersonalist under the influence of a poor fund of knowledge.

Such influence manifests the three qualitative modes of material nature, proving definitely that the living entities, the marginal potency, are eternally servitors of the Lord and are therefore controlled by either the internal or the external potency.
CC Adi 4.62, Purport:

The form of the Lord and the expansions of His form as svayaṁ-rūpa and vaibhava-prakāśa are directly the enjoyers of the internal energy, which is the eternal exhibitor of the spiritual world, the most confidential of the manifestations of energy. The external manifestation, the material energy, provides the covering bodies of the conditioned living entities, from Brahmā down to the insignificant ant. This covering energy is manifested under the three modes of material nature and appreciated in various ways by living entities in both the higher and lower forms of life.

Each of the three divisions of the internal potency—the sandhinī, samvit and hlādinī energies—influences one of the external potencies by which the conditioned souls are conducted. Such influence manifests the three qualitative modes of material nature, proving definitely that the living entities, the marginal potency, are eternally servitors of the Lord and are therefore controlled by either the internal or the external potency.

It is because these sparks are related with both the internal and external potencies of the Lord that they are known as belonging to the marginal potency.
CC Adi 5.40, Purport:

The activities in the spiritual sky are manifested by the internal potency in pure spiritual existence. They expand in six transcendental opulences, which are all manifestations of Mahā-saṅkarṣaṇa, who is the ultimate reservoir and objective of all living entities. Although belonging to the marginal potency, known as jīva-śakti, the spiritual sparks known as the living entities are subjected to the conditions of material energy. It is because these sparks are related with both the internal and external potencies of the Lord that they are known as belonging to the marginal potency.

In considering the quadruple forms of the absolute Personality of Godhead, known as Vāsudeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna and Aniruddha, the impersonalists, headed by Śrīpāda Śaṅkarācārya, have interpreted the aphorisms of the Vedānta-sūtra in a way suitable for the impersonalist school. To provide the intrinsic import of such aphorisms, however, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, the leader of the six Gosvāmīs of Vṛndāvana, has properly replied to the impersonalists in his Laghu-bhāgavatāmṛta, which is a natural commentary on the aphorisms of the Vedānta-sūtra.

CC Madhya-lila

The potencies are divided into categories—internal, external, personal, marginal and so forth.
CC Madhya 1.43, Purport:

Material goodness is apt to be contaminated by the other two material qualities—ignorance and passion—but when one is situated in the śuddha-sattva position, there is no chance for such contamination. It is a spiritual platform of pure goodness. The potency of the Supreme Lord and the living entity is also described, and there is a description of the inconceivable energies and varieties of energies of the Lord. The potencies are divided into categories—internal, external, personal, marginal and so forth. There are also discussions of the eternality of Deity worship, the omnipotence of the Deity, His all-pervasiveness, His giving shelter to everyone, His subtle and gross potencies, His personal manifestations, His expressions of form, quality and pastimes, His transcendental position and His complete form. It is also stated that everything pertaining to the Absolute has the same potency and that the spiritual world, the associates in the spiritual world and the threefold energies of the Lord in the spiritual world are all transcendental.

The spiritual potency of the Lord is manifested in three phases—the internal or spiritual potency, the marginal potency, which consists of the living entities, and the external potency, known as māyā-śakti.
CC Madhya 6.160, Translation and Purport:

“The spiritual potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead also appears in three phases—internal, marginal and external. These are all engaged in His devotional service in love.

The spiritual potency of the Lord is manifested in three phases—the internal or spiritual potency, the marginal potency, which consists of the living entities, and the external potency, known as māyā-śakti. We must understand that in each of these three phases the original spiritual potencies of pleasure, eternity and knowledge remain intact. When the potencies of spiritual pleasure and knowledge are both bestowed upon the conditioned souls, the conditioned souls can escape the clutches of the external potency, māyā, which acts as a cover obscuring one's spiritual identity. When freed, the living entity awakens to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and engages in devotional service with love and affection.

CC Madhya 8.152, Translation:

“In other words, these are all potencies of God—internal, external and marginal. But the internal potency is the Lord's personal energy and stands over the other two.

The almighty Personality of Godhead has three potencies—internal, external and marginal. The conditioned souls, who are condemned due to their forgetfulness of the Lord, are put under the control of the external potency when she creates the material world.
CC Madhya 15.180, Purport:

The almighty Personality of Godhead has three potenciesinternal, external and marginal. The conditioned souls, who are condemned due to their forgetfulness of the Lord, are put under the control of the external potency when she creates the material world. The three modes of material nature keep the living entity in a constant state of fear (bhayaṁ dvitīyābhiniveśataḥ). The conditioned soul is always fearful due to being controlled by the external potency; therefore the conditioned soul should always pray to the almighty Lord to conquer the external potency (māyā) so that she will no longer manifest her powers, which bind all living entities, moving and inert. By praying in this way one will become eligible to remain constantly in the association of the Lord, thus fulfilling the mission of going back home, back to Godhead.

CC Madhya 20.149, Translation:

“The transcendental form of Lord Kṛṣṇa is unlimited and also has unlimited opulence. He possesses the internal potency, external potency and marginal potency.

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Teachings of Lord Caitanya

This is not ordinary love; Kṛṣṇa has immense potencies, of which three are principal: internal, external and marginal. In the internal potency there are three divisions: saṁvit, hlādinī and sandhinī.
Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter Intoduction:

This brings up the question of who Rādhārāṇī is and what Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa is. Actually Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa is the exchange of love. This is not ordinary love; Kṛṣṇa has immense potencies, of which three are principal: internal, external and marginal. In the internal potency there are three divisions: saṁvit, hlādinī and sandhinī. The hlādinī potency is the pleasure potency. All living entities have this pleasure-seeking potency, for all beings are trying to have pleasure. This is the very nature of the living entity. At present we are trying to enjoy our pleasure potency by means of the body in this material condition. By bodily contact we are attempting to derive pleasure from material sense objects. We should not think, however, that Kṛṣṇa, who is always spiritual, tries to seek pleasure on this material plane like us. Kṛṣṇa describes the material universe as a nonpermanent place full of miseries. Why, then, would He seek pleasure in the material form? He is the Supersoul, the supreme spirit, and His pleasure is beyond the material conception.

Nectar of Instruction

The living entities constitute the marginal potency, and they are situated between the internal and external Potencies.
Nectar of Instruction 2, Purport:

Human life is meant for plain living and high thinking. Since all conditioned living beings are under the control of the Lord's third energy, this material world is designed so that one is obliged to work. The Supreme Personality of Godhead has three primary energies, or potencies. The first is called antaraṅga-śakti, or the internal potency. The second is called taṭastha-śakti, or the marginal potency. The third is called bahiraṅga-śakti, or the external potency. The living entities constitute the marginal potency, and they are situated between the internal and external Potencies. Being subordinate as eternal servants of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the jīvātmās, or atomic living entities, must remain under the control of either the internal or external potency. When they are under the control of the internal potency, they display their natural, constitutional activity—namely, constant engagement in the devotional service of the Lord.

Sri Isopanisad

Although His energies are innumerable, they can be divided into three principal categories: the internal potency, the marginal potency and the external potency.
Sri Isopanisad 4, Purport:

The Brahma-saṁhitā (5.37) further describes that the Absolute Personality of Godhead has His transcendental abode, known as Goloka, where He remains and engages in His pastimes, yet by His inconceivable potencies He can simultaneously reach every part of His creative energy. In the Viṣṇu Purāṇa His potencies are compared to the heat and light that emanate from a fire. Although situated in one place, a fire can distribute its light and heat for some distance; similarly, the Absolute Personality of Godhead, although fixed in His transcendental abode, can diffuse His different energies everywhere.

Although His energies are innumerable, they can be divided into three principal categories: the internal potency, the marginal potency and the external potency. There are hundreds and millions of subheadings to each of these categories. The dominating demigods who are empowered to control and administer such natural phenomena as air, light and rain are all classified within the marginal potency of the Absolute Person. Lesser living beings, including humans, also belong to the Lord's marginal potency. The material world is the creation of the Lord's external potency. And the spiritual sky, where the kingdom of God is situated, is the manifestation of His internal potency.

Mukunda-mala-stotra (mantras 1 to 6 only)

One can easily understand these different circumstances if one understands how the Lord's different potencies work. As explained before, the Lord has three kinds of potency, namely, internal, marginal, and external.
Mukunda-mala-stotra mantra 2, Purport:

In other words, the living being and the Supreme Lord appear in this material world under different circumstances. One can easily understand these different circumstances if one understands how the Lord's different potencies work. As explained before, the Lord has three kinds of potency, namely, internal, marginal, and external. We have wide experience of the external, or material, potency, but we generally fail to inquire about the actions and reactions of the other two potencies. A simple example will help us understand how the Lord's potencies work. Consider three identities: God, a man, and a doll. The doll consists of material energy, the man is a combination of material and spiritual energy, and God consists wholly of spiritual energy. The doll is all matter, internally and externally. Man is externally matter but internally spirit. And God is all spirit, both internally and externally. As the doll is all matter, so God is all spirit. But the man is half spirit and half matter.

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

What is that? The external potency, internal potency, two, and third, marginal potency. The marginal potency and internal potency, they are of the same quality.
Lecture on SB 1.8.35 -- Mayapura, October 15, 1974:

There are many potencies of God, Kṛṣṇa. Parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate (Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport). Many millions. So they have been summarized into three. What is that? The external potency, internal potency, two, and third, marginal potency. The marginal potency and internal potency, they are of the same quality. There are same quality. And there is another potency. That is called external potency. What is that external potency? Now, avidyā-karma-saṁjñānyā tṛtīyā śaktir iṣyate. Viṣṇu-śaktiḥ parā proktā kṣetrajñākhyā tathā parā (CC Madhya 6.154). Viṣṇu-śakti, the Lord's potency, is parā. That is spiritual. Viṣṇu-śaktiḥ parā. And... Viṣṇu-śaktiḥ parā... Viṣṇu-śakti. And kṣetrajñākhyā tathā parā. And kṣetrajñāḥ, the living entities... The kṣetrajña is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, idaṁ śarīraṁ kṣetram ity abhidhīyate. And one who knows this kṣetra... Kṣetrajña ity abhidhīyate. These are stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. So the living entity is kṣetrajña. So kṣetrajña is also parā. But besides these two śakti, there is another, tṛtīyā śakti, which is avidyā, everything in ignorance.

Those potencies have been divided into three. Multi, but roughly, they have been divided into three. One is called internal potency, one is called the external potency, and one is called the marginal potency.
Lecture on SB 1.15.36 -- Los Angeles, December 14, 1973:

So we are... We take our birth and we accept our death not independently. We are under the another potency. We are also one potency. The potency... There are... Parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate (Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport). Those potencies have been divided into three. Multi, but roughly, they have been divided into three. One is called internal potency, one is called the external potency, and one is called the marginal potency. So the external potency means this material world. The whole material universe—so many universes, so many planets, stars, skies, and everything—these are the demonstration of the external potency. And similarly, there is the spiritual world. Spiritual world. That we cannot see. That is not within our experience. But we get it from the śāstra. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, paras tasmāt tu bhāvaḥ anyaḥ (BG 8.20). Kṛṣṇa says, "There is another nature." Paras tasmāt. "This material nature, beyond that there is another nature." Paras tasmāt tu bhāvo 'nyo 'vyakto 'vyaktāt sanātanaḥ (BG 8.20). That is eternal. This material nature is not eternal. Just like your body, my body, it is not eternal, similarly, this gigantic body of universe, that is also not eternal. It has a date of creation, and it has a date for dissolution. That is the nature. Therefore it is said that "That material nature is sanātana. That is never created; neither it is annihilated."

Arrival Addresses and Talks

God has many potencies. They have been divided into three primarily: external, internal, and marginal; bahiraṅgā-śakti, antaraṅga-śakti, and taṭasthā-śakti.
Arrival Lecture -- Calcutta, February 4, 1977:

So the living entities, they are called taṭasthā-śakta. Parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate (Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport). God has many potencies. They have been divided into three primarily: external, internal, and marginal; bahiraṅgā-śakti, antaraṅga-śakti, and taṭasthā-śakti. So we jīvas, living entities, we are also another energy of Kṛṣṇa, in between the material and spiritual. So if we like we can remain in the spiritual world; if we like, we can remain in the material world. If we remain in the material world, then, temporary, we enjoy happiness or distress. There is no happiness. Sometimes we take distress as happiness. Actually there is no happiness, because however happy you may be, you have to change this body. Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi (BG 13.9). So this happiness... Suppose this life I am a king. Maybe for few years, but I have to change this body. Tathā dehāntara-prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati (BG 2.13). So there is no happiness. Suppose you arrange very nicely to live here very happily in this world, but you'll not be allowed to live.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1968 Conversations and Morning Walks

Gadādhara is internal potency. And Śrīvāsa, marginal potency. And there is another potency, external potency. The external potency is not there. External potency means by which this material world is manifested.
Morning Walk at Stow Lake -- March 27, 1968, San Francisco:

Prabhupāda: So similarly, Kardama Muni also expanded into nine. He married Devahūti on condition that unless his wife has got sufficient children, he'll not leave her, and he must leave her. So he expanded himself nine and begotten nine daughters. So we can find from history, the Purāṇas... Purāṇas all means history, Purāṇas. Old history. Purāṇa means old. So even a perfect yogi can expand, what to speak of Kṛṣṇa. He is called Yogeśvara, the supreme yogi. In the Bhagavad-gītā you'll find this word about Kṛṣṇa, yatra yogeśvaraḥ hariḥ. Yogeśvara. He's perfect in all practices of mystic power. So these five expansions, śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu nityānanda-śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura... Kṛṣṇa appeared in five expansions. Sri Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, Lord Caitanya, is Kṛṣṇa Himself. And Prabhu Nityānanda, His immediate expansion. Just like Balarāma. Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. And Advaita is incarnation. And Gadādhara is internal potency. And Śrīvāsa, marginal potency. And there is another potency, external potency. The external potency is not there. External potency means by which this material world is manifested.

Correspondence

1969 Correspondence

Regarding your final question, the marginal potency means internal potency. But because the marginal potency sometimes comes within the external position, therefore, in spite of its being internal potency it is turned to marginal potency.
Letter to Dinesh -- Tittenhurst 31 October, 1969:

Regarding your second question about Sanjaya, he was a student of Vyasadeva, and by the mercy of Vyasadeva he was able to receive the message of the conversation of Krishna-Arjuna. Thus Sanjaya was able to speak to Dhrtarastra about the conversation on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra. Regarding your final question, the marginal potency means internal potency. But because the marginal potency sometimes comes within the external position, therefore, in spite of its being internal potency it is turned to marginal potency. This is stated in Visnu Purana: Any potency of Krishna is spiritual energy, but due to varieties of actions a section is called marginal potency or external potency.

Labangalatika +  and Matea +
September 27, 0010 JL +
October 14, 0010 JL +
BG: 0 +, SB: 9 +, CC: 10 +, OB: 4 +, Lec: 3 +, Conv: 1 +  and Let: 1 +