The Absolute Truth – how simultaneously one and different

Geetha, 05 March 2013

Hare Krishna,
Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Prabhupad,

I am not able to understand clearly  “The Absolute Truth” is one and different.  Please help me to understand it better.

Thank you,

your servant,
Geetha

Rathin Mandal, 05 March 2013

Hare Krishna Mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada,
All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

I am not able to find the exact phrase ‘one and different’. But as I have read it before, so I am trying to describe it to you.
It means to say that everything that exists in the material world or the spiritual world are created by energies of Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna. Hence in a way there is no difference between any entity in either world with Sri Krishna, as it is part and parcel of Sri Krishna only. But at the same time that entity is not in equal position to Supreme Personality. This is explain in the following verse:
BG 9.5: And yet everything that is created does not rest in Me. Behold My mystic opulence! Although I am the maintainer of all living entities and although I am everywhere, I am not a part of this cosmic manifestation, for My Self is the very source of creation.

All the living entities are emanating from the body of Sri Krishna, hence we possess some qualities of Supreme Person, but being very very small particles of the Supreme Person, we cannot equal him quantitatively. When one is able to understand his true identity and his relationship to Supreme Person, he can understand these energies.
BG 10.8: I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who perfectly know this engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.

The phrase ‘one and different’ is also emphasized in the following verse:
BG 9.7: O son of Kuntī, at the end of the millennium all material manifestations enter into My nature, and at the beginning of another millennium, by My potency, I create them again.

In this verse Sri Krishna has said that everything in the material world is created by his will and at the end they enter back into him. This means that during the existence of the material world we are existing differently from the Supreme Personality of Godhead but still we are part and parcel of him.

Hence we are one with Krishna and still different from him.

A common example is that, a tree carries so many leaves, fruits etc. From a distance they may look one with the tree but when we come closer we they see each leaf or fruit has its own identity. But there existence depends only on the tree.

your Servant
Rathin

Geetha, 06th March 2013

Hare Krishna,
Please accept my humble obeisances,
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada,

Thank you Rathin Mandal Prabhu for your reply.

Thank you,

your Servant,
Geetha

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 06 March 2013

Hare Krishna Geetha Mataji and Rathin Mandal Prabhu,

Very nice question, and very nice answer. A place where nice questions are being asked and nice answers are being given is a place of purification

The phrase can be written as “Inconceivable simultaneous oneness and difference” from the cosmic manifestation/living entity/living entities/Supreme Absolute Truth.

So, whenever you hear this “The Supreme Absolute Truth is Inconceivably Simultaneously One and Different”, you should ask first “from what/who”? 🙂

This is a core of our philosophy, achintya (inconcievable) bheda (difference abheda (non-difference) tattva (principle/philosophy). Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has very elegantly explained this concept in such way that our Sampradaya includes the core essence of Advaita/Monism (Shankaracharya), Vishishta Advaita / Pure non-dualism, Dvaita/Dualism (Madhvacharya), Vishishta Advaita / non-duality but characterized by attributes (Ramanujacharya), and all bona fide philosophies of the Supreme Absolute Truth.

Some places where you can read more about this:

http://vedabase.com/bg/7/8
http://vedabase.com/sb/7/9/31
http://vedabase.com/cc/madhya/6/163

And Srila Prabhupada spoke this in Perfect Questions Perfect Answers, with Bob Cohen “Śrīla Prabhupāda: But you cannot say that sunshine is not the sun. Without the sun, where is the sunshine? So you cannot say that sunshine is not the sun. But at the same time, it is not the sun. It is the sun and not the sun—both. That is our philosophy. Acintya-bhedābheda—inconceivable. In the material sense, you cannot conceive that a thing is simultaneously positive and negative. That you cannot think of. That is inconceivable energy. And because everything is Kṛṣṇa’s energy, Kṛṣṇa can manifest Himself from any energy. Therefore, when we worship Kṛṣṇa in a form made of something—of earth, water or something like that—that is Kṛṣṇa. You cannot say that it is not Kṛṣṇa. When we worship this metal form of Kṛṣṇa [the Deity form in the temple], that is Kṛṣṇa. That’s a fact, because metal is an energy of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, it is nondifferent from Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa is so powerful that He can present Himself fully in His energy. So this Deity worship is not heathenism. It is actually worship of God, provided you know the process.” (hint, read full book, it is SO sublime!) http://vedabase.com/en/pqpa/

Please note I am not any expert in this. 🙂

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

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