Prabhupada had very definite teachings to give that were also contrary to what was going around. What was generally going around is that when we talk about Supreme or an Absolute or an Ultimate Truth we mean something which is ultimately beyond form, beyond names, beyond qualities, beyond description, beyond thinking, beyond anything. Something essentially impersonal and homogeneous. That was the one, the great light, the unspeakable truth, that’s the general discourse. And he challenged that. His essential challenge was that in the world around you, you have variety. Here we have black people, we have white people, we have tan people, we have tall people, we have short people, we have fat ones, and thin ones, and middle sized ones, we have very smart people, we have very stupid people, sorry to say but it’s true we have, all sorts of varieties! We have yellow, we have green……, name a variety we have it. Now by what process does this immense variety precede from something which has no form, no qualities, by definition no variety whatsoever………….. If that ‘It’ has no variety, no differentiation, no anything there, where do you get variety here? Hm? If it’s not in the warehouse how did it get to the shop!?
So his (Prabhupada) presentation was that the Absolute Truth is not an unadulterated impersonal entity. And that it could be understood properly in 3 features. What are those 3 features? The first is, the first is: that impersonal entity. That great unspeakable unreal, indescribable truth. Beyond all limits, beyond all names and forms and qualities. That’s the first, that’s a preliminary realisation, there’s some great something. There’s something greater than us that we can’t describe. Which is everywhere, which is all pervading, and which we don’t really understand.
There’s a second, angle of vision, on that same Supreme Truth. And that is that the Supreme Entity is also within your heart. When you are looking for knowledge, when you are looking for understanding, even when you are not looking for knowledge or understanding there’s some source of inspiration, some source of guidance within each one of us. Which is coming from beyond us. It’s coming from beyond us. That, can be called in Sanskrit, it’s called Paramatma in English you can say Supersoul. But it’s the form of the Absolute within one’s self that one perceives as one traces one’s own thoughts and says ‘Where am I getting this from?’ Hm? ‘Where am I getting this from?’ That Supersoul is within me, within you equally, within all living beings.
PERSONALITY OF GODHEAD
And, the third, perspective on the Absolute, gives us the picture of a personality of Godhead. That is to say that: I’m a person you’re a person, each one of us is personal, and when we come to that understanding of Absolute Truth we again meet a person. But not a person of this material world. Rather the Supreme Unlimited Person. Well, a person means not that’s a limit, you’re placing a definition which is by nature limited. No. It’s a person whose discreet, specific, by definition beyond any limitations. I have a form that means I’m limited. I’m here in London, I’m not in Johannesburg. But when we speak of unlimited form, that unlimited form can be here can be there can be in the next place and still not lose form. Something like the sun, which can be in Johannesburg and London and New York and lots of other places. It can be on my head your head on the next man’s head. And it doesn’t make it something abstract or something with no qualities or no form, and so on. So these 3 aspects, are actually one. That is the Supreme. Supreme, you can’t have 2 or 7 or 3 Supremes. But the Supreme can be realised progressively from different angles of vision.
SUNSHINE, SUN, SUNGOD
Again something like the sun. You wake up in the morning you look out your window and you see the light everywhere and you say the sun is here. And that’s true. That if you were to look up then you’d see a very specific planet and you’d say well that’s the sun. But it’s not that a matter of argument that a person thought the sun what was coming in his window is wrong, and I’m right I see the planet. It’s simply two angles of vision on the same reality. And if you could go to the sun then you might find that the sun was inhabited and that there was a president of the sun, a sun God, in charge of the sun, and you could meet him and talk to him about everything that’s going on in the sun. So he’s also the sun. But again, there’s no difference between any of the 3 features.
(Jayadvaita Swami 10/2007)