(H H Kadamba Kanana Swami, 30th March 2012, Cape Town, South Africa) Lecture: SB 7.15.25
Devotee: Sometimes what I find when I’m speaking to people about the Hare Krishna movement and what I’m getting involved in. If they maybe have some idea already of the movement and have seen some pictures of Krishna. Therefore they are challenging me with questions of His personal form by saying: ’Don’t you figure that He is very young?’ And I find it very difficult to explain that better since they ask: ‘How can He be God? Why does God look like that? How can you claim that He is a little blue boy?’ So that is quite a difficult challenge that I find, and it’s kind of when they are not at all in that kind of consciousness and you can’t present Krishna to them in that way.
Maharaja: First of all, the little blue boy – don’t buy into that picture, this is an artist’s conception. If you look in the Vedic scripture, then it says that the Supreme has both a personal feature and an impersonal feature of energy of the all pervading energy. Not one or the other but both!
And it says that:
‘The Personal form is like a very effulgent form. A form that is emulating effulgence, with a complexion compared to a darkish bluish rain cloud, like you sometimes see in the sky.’ (It already sounds a lot better then the picture of the blue boy). ‘And that He is young.’
Yes, the Vedic scriptures describe Him as young and at the same time as the oldest. It is said,
‘ādyaṁ purāṇa-puruṣaṁ nava-yauvanaṁ ca,’ (Brahma-saṁhitā Text 33).
He is the oldest and the youngest at the same time! He is the original person. He must be the original of everything! But at the same time He is not bound by the laws of material nature: Old age; wear and tear is the limitation that it exists in matter; Spirit is not limited by wear and tear; So when the body is old it begins to crumble and rot; The teeth disappear; The chin and the nose begin to grow together. And that is a punishment and it is suffering. We suffer when we get old, and we run out of breath. Get up – all the joints ache. You have arthritis and rheumatism and there is God:
‘Oh God, got to get up with a sour face because of this arthritis and see everything in mean mood and it feels like a thunderbolt and He’s really thrown someone to hell!’
What a materialistic projection! We are talking about a sublime world and a sublime Personality. So it just takes a little more explanation to take it away from the:
‘Oh well, is that? your God? Is He a blue boy?’
Yes you think He’s a blue boy, but what are we speaking about is the Person who is ever fresh, ever young and yet the oldest, and is effulgent. You see how my explanations can suddenly make it more acceptable! They say:
‘I don’t believe in that.’
That’s okay but then what do you believe in? That is only impersonal but then in His all pervading energy you are limiting Him.
But then you say:
‘We can have personality and God cannot. We have more than God!’
So how can we have more than God? So how can you deny the personality? The personality cannot be denied because it’s here in us! So if we have more than God, then where does that come from? Everything that is here must have its origin as its divine origin, then we see personality everywhere! So there is no personality in the origin, or us. Or something wrong in the untological understanding. You can throw a few words like, ‘unto logical understanding’ and suddenly people get on board, and so okay it’s not all about a blue boy:
‘Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, and God is a blue boy and we wear bed sheets!’
And that sounds like we are a bunch of do-dos without any brains, and without any philosophy – just sort of like a fairy tale type of God – a Peter Pan type of God:
‘My God is Peter Pan.’
Is that what you think? Give us a break! So we have to explain, and we can explain!