Chapter 3 - Krsna is the Absolute Truth

In the Caitanya Caritamrta, there is the following authoritative statement (amnaya vakya) concerning Krsna:

mukhya gauna vrtti kimva anvaya vyatireke
vedera pratijna kevala kahaye krsnake

The Vedas sometimes speak directly of Krsna, using the primary import of words, and sometimes speak indirectly of Krsna, using the secondary import of words.  Sometimes they speak of Krsna with affirmative, logical statements and sometimes by negative or contrary expression. 

                                                            C.C.Madhya 10,146

svayam bhagavan krsna, krsna sarvasraya
parama isvara krsna sarva sastre kaya

The Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna is the original primeval Lord, the source of all other expansions.  All the revealed scriptures accept Sri Krsna as the Supreme Lord.

C.C.Adi, 106

advaya jnana tattva vastu krsnera svarupa
brahma atma, bhagavan, tin tanra rupa

Lord Krsna Himself is the one undivided Absolute Truth, the ultimate reality.  He manifests Himself in three features-as Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan.

C.C.Adi.2. 65

veda bhagavata upanisad agama
purna tattva yanre, kahe, nahi yanra sama
bhakti yoge bhakta paya yanra darasana
surya tena savigraha dekhe deva gana
jnana yoga marge tanre bhaje yei saba
brahma atma rupe tanre kare anubhava

The Personality of Godhead is He who is described as the Absolute Whole in the Vedas, Bhagavatam, Upanisads and other transcendental literatures.  No one is equal to Him.  Through their service, devotees see that Personality of Godhead, just as the denizens of heaven see the personality of the sun. Those who walk the paths of knowledge and yoga worship only Him, for it is Him they perceive as the impersonal Brahman and localized Paramatma.


The Svetasvatara Upanisad says:

eko devo bhagavan  varenyo yoni svabhavan adhitisthaty ekah 

Bhagavan is worshipable by all.  He is the basis of all entities who take birth.

                                                                                          S.U. 5.4

In the Bhagavatam, bhagavan is identified as Krsna:

ete camsa kalah pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam

All the above mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Sri Krsna is the original Personality of Godhead.

                                                            S.B. 1.3.28

In the Bhagavat Gita, Krsna says:

mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya

O conqueror of wealth, there is no Truth superior to Me. 


vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah  

By all the Vedas am I to be known.


In the Gopala Tapani Upanisad it is said:

tasmat krsna eva paro devas tam dhyayet
tam raset tam bhajet tam yajet
eko vasi sarvagah krsna idya
ekopi san bahudha yo vibhati
tam pithastham ye tu bhajanti dhiras
tesam sukham sasvatam netaresam

Therefore Krsna is the supreme Lord.  One should meditate on Him, chant His name, worship Him and make offerings to Him. All pervading and controlling all, he is to be worshipped.  Though he is one, he appears in many forms such as Kurma, Matsya, Vasudeva and Sankarsana.  Those wise persons who worship this form situated on his pitha attain eternal happiness.  Others, worshipping Brahman or Paramatma, cannot attain happiness.

                                                            G.T. Purva Tapani, 21  

There is a karika in this regard:

krsnamsah paramatma vai brahma taj jyotir eva ca
paravyomadhipas tasyaisvarya murtir na samsayah 

Krsna is the only Lord.  Paramatma is his part and Brahman is his light.  Narayana in Vaikuntha is a lordly manifestation of Krsna.  

There is no doubt about this, since the Vedas and other scriptures clearly show this.  Taittiriya Upanisad says:

satyam jnanam anantam brahma
yo veda nihitam guhayam parame vyoman
so'snute sarvan kaman saha brahmana vipascita

Brahman is eternal, conscious, and infinite.  He is situated in the heart as paramatma and in Vaikuntha as Narayana.  Whoever knows the vipascit brahman attains auspicious qualities similar to the Lord's.

                                                            Taittiriya Upanisad. 2.1

Here, the expression vipascit brahman means Krsna.   Srimad Bhagavatam also uses the world "brahman" to indicate Krsna, as in the following words:

gudham param brahma manusya lingam yam mitram
paramanandam purnam brahma sanatanam

Visnu Purana also uses the word Brahman to mean Krsna: 

yatravatirnam krsnakhyam param brahma narakrtim

Where the supreme brahman called Krsna appeared in human-like form Gita says brahmano hi  pratisthaham,  I am the basis of brahman.

By these authoritative statements and many thousands more, para brahma or vipascit brahman is equated with Krsna.   The meaning of vipascit is "wise" (indicating brahman with quality).   It ranks important among the sixty-four qualities of Krsna. 

The qualities of Krsna are as follows:

1.           soft-limbed

2.           endowed with all auspicious bodily characteristics

3.           beautiful

4.           very effulgent

5.           strong

6.           in the prime of youth

7.           able to speak all sorts of languages

8.           truthful

9.           speaks in a pleasing manner

10.        eloquent

11.        learned

12.        intelligent

13.        genius

14.        clever in rasa

15.        cunning

16.        skilful

17.        grateful

18.        determined in vows

19.        acts according to time, place and person

20.        sees through the eyes of scripture

21.        clean

22.        sense controlled

23.        steady

24.        mild

25.        forgiving

26.        grave

27.        patient

28.        equal to all

29.        generous

30.        righteous

31.        brave

32.        merciful

33.        respectful

34.        straightforward

35.        courteous

36.        bashful

37.        protector of those surrendered to him

38.        happy

39.        friend of his devotee

40.        controlled by prema

41.        makes everyone happy

42.        dignified

43.        famous

44.        attractive to all

45.        refuge of the devotee

46.        attractive to women

47.        worshipable by all

48.        prosperous

49.        the best

50.        endowed with opulences

51.        always situated in his own form

52.        omniscient

53.        ever youthful

54.        form of concentrated eternity, knowledge and bliss

55.        endowed with all mystic powers

56.        endowed with inconceivable energies

57.        shelter of unlimited universes

58.        the origin of all avataras

59.        giver of liberation to even his enemies

60.        attractive to those enjoying the self

61.        ocean of pastimes amazing to all

62.        surrounded by gopis resplendent with unequalled love in srngara rasa

63.        plays the flute which attracts the whole universe

64.        unequalled beauty which astounds all creatures

Among the sixty-four qualities, the first fifty are present in the jivas to a small degree.  All of them are present in Krsna to the fullest extent.  The first fifty qualities and the next five qualities are partially present in Lord Siva and others.  The next five qualities along with the previous fifty-five qualities are present in Narayana, Lord of Vaikuntha.  Narayana has these sixty qualities in full.  However, these sixty qualities appear in Krsna in a more wonderful manner.  In addition, Krsna possesses four exceptional qualities: the sweetness of his pastimes, the sweetness of his love, the sweetness of his form and the sweetness of his flute.   No one except Krsna has these four qualities.   Therefore the para brahman or vipascit brahman, the highest manifestation of truth, should be understood to be Sri Krsna.  

When Krsna's innumerable qualities are diffused like light rays, that is termed brahman.  Therefore the Vedas, in describing the supreme as satyam jnanam anantam are indicating the effulgent brahman.   The form of the absolute truth in the heart or in the universe is Paramatma.  The Lord creates all the universes and then enters them by his expansions.  The form of the Lord who enters the universes and the hearts of the jivas is an expansion of Krsna, called Paramatma.  This form is also known by many other names, such as lord, controller, creator, lord of the universe, maintainer, and protector. He also protects the souls in the material world by taking the avatara forms such as Rama and Nrsimha.  In the spiritual sky, parame vyoma, one of Krsna's expansions known as Narayana is present eternally. 

After understanding brahman, paramatma and the Lord of Vaikuntha, a truly learned person surrenders to the supreme shelter, fully expert in the affairs of rasa-vipascit brahman,  Krsna-and enjoys eternally with the Lord, fulfilling his desires in dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, and madhura rasa. 

The Paramatma expansion of Krsna is described in the Bhagavad Gita.

athava bahunaitena kim jnatena bhavarjuna
vistabhyaham idam krtsnam ekamsena sthito jagat

What need is there Arjuna, for all this detailed knowledge?  With a single fragment of Myself, I pervade and support this entire universe.


The brahmajyoti as the bodily effulgence of Krsna is described in the Brahma Samhita.  

yasya prabha prabhavato jagadanda koti
kotisv asesa vasudhadi vibhuti bhinnam
tad brahma niskalam anantam asesabhutam
govindam adipurusam tam aham bhajami

I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is endowed with great power.  The glowing effulgence of His transcendental form is the impersonal Brahman, which is absolute, complete and unlimited and which displays the varieties of countless planets, with their different opulences, in millions and millions of universes.


There is a karika (to define the form of the Lord):

deha-dehi-bhida nasti dharma-dharmi-bhida tatha
sri krsna s dvaya-jnanatmake kila

Unlike the jiva, in Krsna there is no difference between himself and his body, between himself and his qualities.  In his spiritual form, his body is his self and his qualities are himself.  Though Krsna is situated as one form of medium size, he is also situated everywhere. 

Brhadaranyaka Upanisad says:

purnam adah purnam idam purnat purnam udacyate
purnasya purnam adaya purnam evavasisyate

The Personality of Godhead is perfect and complete, and because He is completely perfect, all emanations from Him, such as this phenomenal world, are perfectly equipped as complete wholes. Whatever is produced of the complete whole is also complete in itself.  Because He is the complete whole, even though so many complete units emanate from Him, He remains the complete balance.

Br Ar 5

Narada Pancaratra says:

nirdosa purna guna grahatma tantre
niscetanatmaka-sarira-gunais ca hinah
sarvatra ca svagata-bheda-vivarjitatma

The Supreme Lord is endowed with all qualities in perfect, without birth, maintenance and destruction common to material bodies.  His body is conscious, devoid of material qualities, composed of bliss.  His form is devoid of distinctions between of body and possessor of the body, quality and possessor of the quality, devoid of internal difference. 

It has been shown above that Krsna, bhagavan, full of eternity knowledge and bliss is the shelter of paramatma and brahman, and is the Supreme Lord.  Now it is necessary to show how the Vedas indicate Krsna by secondary and primary reference (gauna and mukhya), and by negative and positive statement (vyatireka and anvaya).  

Krsna is described by direct abhidha use of words in the Chandogya Upanisad: 

syamac chavalam prapadye
savalac chyamam pradadye

In surrendering to syama, Krsna I take shelter of the essence of the pleasure potency.  In taking shelter of the pleasure potency, I surrender to Krsna. 

                                                            Chandogya Upanisad  8.13.1

Savala means the variegated svarupa sakti of Krsna.  The abhidha vrtti or primary meaning of the word Syama is Krsna.

In the Åg-veda Samhita and Äranyopanisad 5th mantra it is said:

tad visnoh paramam padam sada pasyanti surayah
diviva caksur atatam visnor yat paramam padam

The wise continuously see the highest form of Visnu.  This supreme form, perceived with spiritual eyes, is Krsna.

Åg Veda 1.22.23

Again in the Åg Veda it is  said:

apasyam gopam anipadyamana ma ca para ca pathibhis carantam
sa sadhricih sa visucir vasana avarirvati bhuvanesv antah

I saw a cowherd.  He never falls from his position; sometimes he is near, and some times far, wandering on various paths. He is a friend, decorated with a variety of clothes.  He comes again and again to the material world.  

                                             Åg Veda 1.22.164 sukta 31

In this Vedic statement Krsna's eternal pastimes are directly described.

It is also said:

ta vam vastuny usmasi gamadhyai yatra gavo bhuri srnga ayasah
atraha tad urugayasya visnoh parama-padam avabhati bhuri

I desire to go to the houses of Radha and Krsna, where the cows have big horns and fulfill the desires of the devotees.  This supreme abode of Krsna reveals itself completely.

Åg Veda 1.54 sukta 6

In this Vedic mantra, Krsna in Gokula is described very nicely. There are many more direct descriptions of Krsna in the Vedas. 

The Svetasvatara Upanisad describes the Lord by figures of speech (laksana vrtti).

yasmat param naparam asti kincid
yasman naniyo na jyayo'sti kascit
vrksa iva stabho divi tisthaty ekas
tenedam purnam purusena sarvam   

There is no one greater than Him.  There is no one smaller or lager than Him.  By this person everything becomes complete. He is situated firmly like a tree, surrounded by effulgence.

                                             Svetasvatara Upanisad 3.9

Katha Upanisad says:

agnir yathaiko bhuvanam pravisto
rupam rupam pratirupo babhuva
ekas tatha sarva-bhutantaratma
rupam rupam prati rupo bahis ca 

Just as the element fire enters the world and takes the form of many similar fires, the Supreme Lord, the soul of all souls, enters the material world, as many jivas.  

                                                            Katha Upanisad 2.2.9

That which is like the original but dependent is called counter- image or pratibimba.   Though the jiva is an expansion of paramatma and thus similar, it can never become the original, being situated at a distance from the original. As the sun has particles situated in its external rays, so paramatma has the jivas as his expansions.

Isavasya Upanisad says:

hiranmayena patrena satyasyapihitam mukham
tattvam pusan apavrnu satya dharmaya drstaye

O my Lord, sustainer of all that lives, Your real face (form) is covered by Your dazzling effulgence.  Kindly remove that covering and exhibit Yourself to your pure devotee. 

                                                            Isopanisad  15

One cannot see the Lord without pure bhakti.  Pure bhakti does not arise without the mercy of the Lord. In this verse the devotee pleads for the Lord's mercy. 

Brhadaranyaka Upanisad says:

ayam atma sarvesam bhutanam madhu ayam atma sarvesam

bhutanam adhipatih sarvesam bhutanam raja 

This soul is the honey for all living entities.  He is the Lord of all living entities, the king of all living entities.

Brhadaranyaka Upanisad 2.5.14-15

Here the scriptures are hinting at Krsna by describing his quality. Krsna is described as the sweetness of all living beings, the lord and king.  atma here refers to Krsna.  This is the usage in the Bhagavatam as well.

krsnam enam  avehi  tvam atmanam  jagad atmanam

O King, understand that Krsna is the soul of all souls of the universe.


Chandogya Upanisad makes statements of agreement (anvaya) with the above conclusions:

idam asmin brahma-pure daharam pundarikam vesma   

There is a small, lotus-like dwelling place in Brahma pura. 

This statement directly explains that there is a spiritual realm shaped like a lotus in brahmapura.  This place is also described in the Brahma Samhita:

sahasra-patram kamalam gokulakhyam mahat-padam
tat karnikaram tad-dhama tad-anantamsa sambhavam

The superexcellant station of Krsna, which is known as Gokula, has thousands of petals and a corolla like that of a lotus sprouted from a part of His infinitary aspect.

B.S. 2

esa atma 'pahata-papa vijaro vimrtyu visoko
vijaghatso'pipasah satya-kamah satya-sankalpah

That soul is without sin, without old age, without death, without lamentation, without hunger, without thirst, fully truthful and whose wish is always fulfilled.  

Chandogya Upanisad 8.1.5.

sa yadi sakhiloka kamo bhavati sankalpad evasya sakhayah
samuttistanti tena sakhilokena sampanno mahiyate

If he desires friendship, by his wish, friends appear and with them he can obtain satisfaction.                    Chandogya Upanisad 8.2.9.

syamac chavalam prapadye savalac chyamam prapadye

I surrender to the energy of  Shyama through syama and I surrender to syama through his energy.

Chandogya Upanisad 8.13.1

That supreme place, Gokula, is the shelter of immortality.  The jivas residing there are free of sin, without old age, without death, without lamentation, without hunger or thirst.  Their desires are pure.  All their desires are fulfilled.  The pure soul is endowed with these eight qualities.  There they enjoy the rasas such as fraternity, from which they derive satisfaction and bliss.  They eternally worship syama, who is united with his pleasure potency.  

In the above verses the Vedas show by positive statements the eternal abode and pastimes of Krsna.
The Vedas indicate Krsna by negative or contrary statements (vyatireka) in many places.  Katha Upanisad says:

na tatra suryo bhati na candra-tarakam
nema vidyuto bhanti kuto'yam agnih
tam eva bhantam anubhati sarvas
tasya bhasa sarvam idam vibhati

Neither sun, moon, stars, lightning, what to speak of fire, can reveal the Supreme.   Rather all the luminary objects, in accordance with the Lord, receive their own existence.  Everything rests on the existence of the Lord.

                              Katha Upanisad. 2.2.15

vedaham etam purusam mahantam
aditya varnam tamasah parastat
tam eva viditvatimrtyum eti
nanya-pantha vidyate'yanaya

sarvatah pani padam tat sarvato'ksi siro mukham
sarvatah srutimatloke sarvam avrty atitisthati 

I know that great person as transcendental to the material world, self illuminating like the sun. The jiva, knowing Him, surpasses death.  There is no other path for crossing death.  His hands and feet are spread everywhere.  His eyes, head, mouth and ears are everywhere.  He exists spreading himself in all things.

                              Svetasvatara  Upanisad 3.8.16

na sandrse tisthati rupam asya
na caksusa pasyati kascanainam
hrda hrdi stham manasa ya enam
evam vidur amrtas te bhavanti

His form is beyond material sense perception.  No one can see Him with material eyes.  Those who, by meditation, know him who is situated in the heart, attain liberation.

Svetasvatara Upanisad 4.20

In this manner, the Vedas give abundant descriptions of Krsna by figurative  (gauna) and contrary (vyatireka) statements.   The literal  (mukhya) and supporting (anvaya statements can be recognized as such only by the power of Krsna's spiritual energy, or cit sakti.   In the prayers of the personified Vedas in the Bhagavatam, it is said:

jaya jaya jahy ajam ajita dosa-grbhita-gunam
tvam asi yad atmana samavaruddha- samasta-bhagah
agajagad-okasam akhila-sakty avabodhaka te
kvacit ajayatmana ca carato'nucaren nigamah

O Krsna, you destroy the energy of maya called aja, which gives rise to the three modes of nature, full of fault.  Through your own energy you are the Lord of all powers.  You awaken all the energy of the moving and non-moving entities.  The Vedas describe you in two ways.  When you operate with maya sakti you are described in one way, and when you use your internal energy or atma sakti in performing Vraja lila, you are described in another way.

SB 10.87.14

This karika summarizes the point:

brahma-rudra-mahendradi damane rasa- mandale
guru-putra-pradanadav aisvaryam yat prakasitam
nanya-prakasa-bahulye tad-drstam sastra- varnane
atah krsna-paratamyam svatah siddham satam mate

One cannot see anywhere in the scriptures acts as glorious as Krsna's pastimes, such as his  conquest of Brahma, Siva and Indra, the rasa dance, or the bringing together of his guru with his lost  sons.   Therefore the devotees say that Krsna's supremacy is self-evident. 

Or as Svetasvatara Upanisad says:

tam isvaranam paramam mahesvaram
tam daivatanam paramam ca daivatam
patim patinam paramam parastad
vidama devam bhuvanesam idyam

You are the Lord of all other controllers such as Brahma and Siva.  You are the Lord of all the devatas such as Indra.  You are the Lord of all the prajapatis.   You are superior to the supreme.  We know you as the ultimate object of all prayers and eulogies; the Supreme Personality who is keen on performing wonderfull pastimes.

Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.7


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