It is strange but true that political leaders can never understand that the Absolute Truth cannot be impersonal or formless but must be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The scriptures are filled with passages that describe incarnations such as the gigantic form of Lord Mahā-Viṣṇu lying on the Causal Ocean, but Lord Kṛṣṇa is the source of Mahā-Viṣṇu. Still the demented political leaders cannot comprehend the truth. But if out of His mercy Lord Kṛṣṇa wishes to bless such atheists, then their rocklike hearts will soften and they will see the two-handed form of Kṛṣṇa playing His flute in Vṛndāvana.
Those who try to understand Lord Kṛṣṇa without receiving His mercy, like Dr. Radhakrishnan, will certainly be deluded even if they are scholar—philosophers like him. The Brahma-saṁhitā says that Kṛṣṇa is easily manifest to the devotees but is beyond the reach of Vedic scholars. Śrīla Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya has proved this point by participating in a pastime of Lord Caitanya's in which the Bhaṭṭācārya exhibited his Vedic learning. In recent times, paṇḍitas such as Śrī Bankim Chattopadhyaya and Dr. Bhandarkar became equally deluded trying to approach this subject.
One who really wants to know Kṛṣṇa must follow the path He prescribes in the Bhagavad-gītā (18.55): bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ. "One can understand Me as I am, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, only by devotional service." Except for devotional service, there is no way to understand Kṛṣṇa. When Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared in the form of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He gave the same instruction about attaining Kṛṣṇa through devotional service, so it is certain that Kṛṣṇa can be approached only in this manner. Following in the disciplic line of Lord Caitanya, the six Gosvāmīs of Vṛndāvana have written extensive literature with detailed explanations of Lord Kṛṣṇa. These confidential revelations are yet to be properly broadcast in the world. The Gosvāmīs' esoteric logic and profound analytical philosophy have not yet caught the attention of modern thinkers, and the burden of guilt for this discrepancy must indeed fall on us. The Gauḍīya Maṭha mission was founded to propagate the words of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī.
The gigantic universal form that Lord Kṛṣṇa exhibited to Arjuna is certainly not the quintessence of the Lord's divine mood. In fact, the two-handed human form of Kṛṣṇa playing the flute is the superexcellent manifestation of the Lord. But one must not make the mistake of thinking that because Lord Kṛṣṇa appears as a human, He is human. His form is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss, unlike an ordinary mortal's. He is not even an extraordinary human being. The human form may be a facsimile of the Supreme Lord's transcendental form, but that does not make God a man, or vice versa. The Bible and other scriptures state that man was made according to the form of God, but that does not imply that God is a man.
There is substantial proof in the Gītā that those who thoroughly grasp the truth about God will, upon leaving the material body, enter the spiritual realm and be with God. Only those who realize God as the eternal Supreme Personality can become immortal. This realization is the human being's prerogative alone, and one who attains it reaches the highest perfection. Once achieving perfection, the jīva never returns to this temporary world of birth, death, old age, and disease. Only those who discipline their lives so as to attain this objective fulfill the purpose of their human birth; others plunge into oblivion.
Māyā induces one to make plans so that this temporary life of birth, death, old age, and disease can be permanent. The greatest delusion is to plan a life of nonstop bliss in this material world. Which is the better plan: the one that leads to birth in lower animal species like hogs and dogs, or the one that transports the jīva back to Godhead? The jīva's spiritual existence in the abode of the Lord consists of service to Him in different mellows, such as servitude, friendship, parenthood, and conjugal love. Both Lord Kṛṣṇa and Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu mercifully enacted pastimes to attract the jīvas and to teach them the meaning of the following words in the Gītā:
- sarva-dharmān parityajya
- mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
- ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
- mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
- (BG 18.66)
Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.
Who could be more deprived than those conditioned souls who do not try to understand this truth? In the words of Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, "One who has not tried to realize his relationship with the Lord has wasted his life; such a person is a miscreant and is worse than an animal."
Wthout proper understanding, Dr. Radhakrishnan has given his opinion about the descent of the Lord's incarnation. He writes, "An avatāra is a descent of God into man and not an ascent of a man into God." What he means by "descent of God into man" is that the avatāras, or incarnations, possess physical bodies made up of the five gross elements. Of course, it remains to be clarified what he means by "not an ascent of man into God." Nowadays it is very much in vogue to designate a man as God. And it is not just a few who are said to be avataras: many philosophers go as far as to say that every human being is God. For the present we do not wish to delve into this subject.