In the previous article, it was explained that God’s unlimited Divine forms are grouped into three categories: Brahm, Parmatma and Bhagwan. As Brahm, almost none of his powers are outwardly manifested, as Parmatma, they are partially manifested, and as Bhagwan, they are fully manifested.
It is similar to how a rose bloom can be in a bud form, as a partial bloom, and as a full bloom. As a bud, the beauty and fragrance of the rose are not outwardly manifested, but exist in a potential form within the bud. This is like Brahm. As a partial bloom, the beauty and fragrance of the rose are partially manifested, but there is still more potential which has not been outwardly revealed. This is like Parmatma (the almighty forms of God). As a full bloom, the total potential of the rose’s beauty and fragrance is manifested. This is like Bhagwan. As Bhagwan, all of the Divine powers are revealed in their totality.
Notably, the power of bliss, whose essence is the power of Divine love, is revealed to its fullest extent only in this form. Sita Ram and Radha Krishna are the actual forms of the Divine love power. It was explained in previous articles that this power submerges the effect of all other Divine powers when it is manifested, much like the light of the sun submerges the light of the moon if both are in the sky together.
The moon is still shining just as brightly as it was before, but its effect is submerged in the glory of the sun. Similarly, the powers of almightiness and knowledge etc are still active in the form of Bhagwan, but their effect is submerged in the glow of the power of Divine love. This is why Shree Krishna performs playful and human-like leelas, whereas the forms of Parmatma like Vishnu etc are more reserved and serious.
Shree Krishna is ‘Poornatam Purushottam Brahm’
So we see that one single God manifests Himself in these three main ways depending on which powers He outwardly manifests. Shree Krishna is known as ‘poornavatar’ (the absolute full and complete descension of the Divine powers) and ‘poornatam purushottam brahm’ (the absolute supreme Divine personality of God) because it is only in this form that He reveals Himself in full. It is only as Shree Krishna that He reveals the sweet pastimes (leelas) that expose the full extent of His Divine powers.
This is why in the Gita Shree Krishna has said that all who are worshiping God are worshiping Him, and that He Himself comes to the devotee in his desired form. The same Shree Krishna performing leelas in a more reserved way is called Shree Ram. The same Shree Krishna not revealing the Divine love power externally (but only revealing His omniscience and omnipotence) appears as almighty God Vishnu, Shiv, etc. The same Shree Krishna is nirakar brahm when all of His powers are dormant.
So we understand in simple terms how one single God can manifest Himself in uncountable Divine forms.
All forms of God are equal
Please keep in mind that all forms of God are whole, complete, Divine and perfect. One should not think that one form of God is better than any other form. It is like saying that the blossom in full bloom is better than the rose bud – one is not better than the other – they are both one and the same. However, the way that they can be experienced differs.
Just like we cannot say that the fruit of the mango is better than the leaf of the mango. If you chemically analyze them, their DNA would be identical. Therefore, they are internally equal. However, the inner programming of the DNA outwardly manifests differently, and thus the way we experience a mango fruit differs from the way we can experience a mango leaf. You enjoy the nectar-like juice of the mango fruit, but you cannot get the same juice from the leaf. Similarly, although Shree Krishna and nirakar Brahm are one and the same, but you cannot enjoy the nectar-like leelas from nirakar Brahm – or even from Parmatma – you can only enjoy those from Shree Krishna.
All forms of God are omnipresent
The final point that I will make on this topic is that all these unlimited forms of Shree Krishna are eternally existing, and are simultaneously omnipresent. He does not change Himself from one form to another. He eternally exists in all of these forms, and He remains omnipresent in all of these forms.
This is how one God realized Saint who has attained Shree Krishna sees the whole world as the form of Krishna, and another God realized Saint who has attained God Shiv sees the whole world as the form of Shiv. Both situations are simultaneously true.
It is how Shree Krishna can be in infinite places at once, Lord Vishnu can be in infinite places at once, Durga Ma can be in infinite places at once, and yet God is only one. It is an amazing mono-dualistic Divine miracle. This is all inferred by the 11th shlok of the 4th chapter, which has now been explained to you in detail.
This fourth chapter also addresses the question of why Shree Krishna takes avatar. This important topic will be taken up in the next article.
Disciple of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj
Swami Nikhilanand Ji is a Canadian born Hindu spiritual leader based in Austin, Texas. He is a sanyasi disciple and pracharak of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj.
Attracted to the teachings of Hinduism from a young age, Swamiji eventually let his deep spiritual longing lead him to India, where he was most fortunate to come under the guidance of Shree Kripaluji Maharaj. Thereafter, living in the ashrams of JKP, he extensively studied Hindi, the philosophy of the prime Sanskrit scriptures (Vedas, Darshan Shastras, Gita, Bhagwatam), and practiced meditation in the tradition of raganuga bhakti. In 2003, he was given sanyas.
Now, with the blessings of his Guruji, he offers satsang programs throughout America, engaging audiences with his clear explanations of Hindu philosophy coupled with inspired chanting of Sanskrit mantras and shlokas and charming nam sankirtan. His informative and compelling speeches provide practical insight into how to adopt the teachings of Sanatan Dharm into our daily lives, and inspire us to awaken our inner spiritual potential.
To stay in touch with Swami Nikhilanand Ji, like his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SwamiNikhilanand or follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/Swami_Nikhil.