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Chapter 7: Knowledge of the Absolute

Bg 7.24
TEXT 24
avyaktam vyaktim apannam
manyante mam abuddhayah
param bhavam ajananto
mamavyayam anuttamam
SYNONYMS
avyaktam—nonmanifested; vyaktim—personality; apannam—achieved; manyante—think; mam—unto Me; abuddhayah—less intelligent persons; param—supreme; bhavam—state of being; ajanantah—without knowing; mama—My; avyayam—imperishable; anuttamam—the finest.
TRANSLATION
Unintelligent men, who know Me not, think that I have assumed this form and personality. Due to their small knowledge, they do not know My higher nature, which is changeless and supreme.
PURPORT
Those who are worshipers of demigods have been described as less intelligent persons, and here the impersonalists are similarly described. Lord Krsna in His personal form is here speaking before Arjuna, and still, due to ignorance, impersonalists argue that the Supreme Lord ultimately has no form. Yamunacarya, a great devotee of the Lord in the disciplic succession from Ramanujacarya, has written two very appropriate verses in this connection. He says, "My dear Lord, devotees like Vyasadeva and Narada know You to be the Personality of Godhead. By understanding different Vedic literatures, one can come to know Your characteristics, Your form and Your activities, and one can thus understand that You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But those who are in the modes of passion and ignorance, the demons, the nondevotees, cannot understand You. They are unable to understand You. However expert such nondevotees may be in discussing Vedanta and the Upanisads and other Vedic literatures, it is not possible for them to understand the Personality of Godhead."
In the Brahma-samhita it is stated that the Personality of Godhead cannot be understood simply by study of the Vedanta literature. Only by the mercy of the Supreme Lord can the Personality of the Supreme be known. Therefore in this verse it is clearly stated that not only the worshipers of the demigods are less intelligent, but those nondevotees who are engaged in Vedanta and speculation on Vedic literature without any tinge of true Krsna consciousness are also less intelligent, and for them it is not possible to understand God's personal nature. Persons who are under the impression that the Absolute Truth is impersonal are described as asuras, which means one who does not know the ultimate feature of the Absolute Truth. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is stated that supreme realization begins from the impersonal Brahman and then rises to the localized Supersoul—but the ultimate word in the Absolute Truth is the Personality of Godhead. Modern impersonalists are still less intelligent, for they do not even follow their great predecessor, Sankaracarya, who has specifically stated that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Impersonalists, therefore, not knowing the Supreme Truth, think Krsna to be only the son of Devaki and Vasudeva, or a prince, or a powerful living entity. This is also condemned in Bhagavad-gita: "Only the fools regard Me as an ordinary person." The fact is that no one can understand Krsna without rendering devotional service and without developing Krsna consciousness. The Gita confirms this.
One cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, or His form, quality or name simply by mental speculation or by discussing Vedic literature. One must understand Him by devotional service. When one is fully engaged in Krsna consciousness, beginning by chanting the mahamantra—Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare—then only can one understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Nondevotee impersonalists think that Krsna has a body made of this material nature and that all His activities, His form and everything, are maya. These impersonalists are known as Mayavadi. They do not know the ultimate truth.
The twentieth verse clearly states: "Those who are blinded by lusty desires surrender unto the different demigods." It is accepted that besides the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there are demigods who have their different planets (Bg. 7.23), and the Lord also has a planet. It is also stated that the worshipers of the demigods go to the different planets of the demigods, and those who are devotees of Lord Krsna go to the Krsnaloka planet. Although this is clearly stated, the foolish impersonalists still maintain that the Lord is formless and that these forms are impositions. From the study of the Gita does it appear that the demigods and their abodes are impersonal? Clearly, neither the demigods nor Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, are impersonal. They are all persons; Lord Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He has His own planet, and the demigods have theirs.
Therefore the monistic contention that ultimate truth is formless and that form is imposed does not hold true. It is clearly stated here that it is not imposed. From the Gita we can clearly understand that the forms of the demigods and the form of the Supreme Lord are simultaneously existing and that Lord Krsna is sac-cid-ananda, eternal blissful knowledge. The Vedas also confirm that the Supreme Absolute Truth is anandamaya, or full of blissful pleasure, and that He is abhyasat, by nature the reservoir of unlimited auspicious qualities. And in the Gita the Lord says that although He is aja (unborn), He still appears. These are the facts that we should understand from the Gita. We cannot understand how the Supreme Personality of Godhead can be impersonal; the imposition theory of the impersonalist monist is false as far as the statements of the Gita are concerned. It is clear herein that the Supreme Absolute Truth, Lord Krsna, has both form and personality.

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