How Krishna is everywhere and also not everywhere?
A male devotee asked like this:
“How is Krsna everywhere? How is he not everywhere”
To understand this, let me give a part of a speech given by Srila Prabhupada on Bhagavad Gita (9.4-7) in New York, 24.11.66:
“You cannot show any example within your experience or in the history that matter is moving automatically, no.
So the Lord says that “All these planets, all this universe, they are resting on My impersonal energy.” So His energy is impersonal, but He is person. He is person. We have so many examples in our experience that a person, by his energy, he can play wonders, by his energy. But still, the person remains as person. Because he is expanding energy in various ways, he does not become imperson. So if a ordinary man in this world, he can expand his energy in various ways and at the same time, he can remain a person, why not the Supreme Personality of Godhead? So that, that impersonal feature of the Lord is His energy. But the Lord Himself is a person. Nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam. Just, just like we are persons, so The Lord says again that na ca mat-sthani, na ca mat-sthani bhutani pasya me yogam aisvaram. Now, you can say, “Oh, Lord, He may be overburdened because He is bearing so many…” Just like, with our material conception… Just we see… We have seen the picture of Atlas: one stout man is bearing a big planet on his head. So we may think, “Oh, Lord is bearing so many big, huge planets on His shoulder. He must be troubled.” No. The Lord says, na ca mat-sthani bhutani pasya me yogam aisvaram: “Although they are in My energy, still they are not in Me.” Pasya me yogam aisvaram: “This is My mystic power.” Pasya me yogam aisvaram. Bhuta-bhrn na ca bhuta-stho mamatma bhuta-bhavanah: “I am maintaining all these living entities.” Bhuta-bhrt bhuta-sthah. “And My energy is all-pervading. Still, I am not there.” Pasya me yogam aisvaram. This is His mystic power. Nanu rati-gurum bharam vahaste(?) mahan kheda syad iti cety aha, gatadau udaka aniva bhara-bhutani ca bhutani samsrsttani mayi na santi, tarhi mat-sthani sarva-bhutanity ukte viruddhe iti ceti tatraha pasyateti.(?)
So this is the wonderful power, inconceivable power, that He is in everywhere, but still, He is aloof, He’s aloof from that place. We can feel His energy, but we cannot see because in this material eye we cannot see. But when we develop our spiritual quality — we sanctify our senses — then even within His energy we can see Him. Take for example. Just like electric power is transmitted everywhere. There is wiring. Now, if some electrician is there he can take electric power from anywhere and utilize the electricity. Similarly, His energy is spread all over the universe. When we are transcendentally situated, just like when we become the electrician, then from anywhere we can see God eye to eye. Premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena [Bs. 5.38]. That creation, spiritualization of the senses, is possible by devotional service and love. Premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti [Bs. 5.38]. Therefore, as the Lord says, that maya tatam idam sarvam jagad avyakta-murtina, the Lord is all-pervading all over the universe. Therefore He is within the stone, He is within the earth, He is within the water, He is within the air — everywhere. Therefore, if we make an image of God from anything, either of water, either of stone, either of anything, oh, that is not doll. That is also God. If we have got sufficient devotion, that image also will speak with me, because God is everywhere. Maya tatam idam sarvam: “I am spread all over, impersonal.” But if we make His personal form from anything, either from the stone or from earth or from wood or from anything, or if we create an image of God within myself… There are eight kinds of images recommended in the sastra, in the Vedic literatures. So any kind of images can be worshiped because God is everywhere.
Now, you can say that why God should be worshiped in images, not in His original form, spiritual form? Yes. That may be a question. But I cannot see spiritual form. That is my difficulty. My senses are so imperfect that I cannot see God immediately in His spiritual form. Therefore, out of His causeless mercy, He appears before you as you can see you, Him. We cannot see just now with our material eyes except stone, earth, wood, something tangible. Therefore He becomes… These forms are called arcavatara, incarnation of arca, conveniently presented by the Supreme Lord so that we can actually see. But the result will be that in the image, if you concentrated your energy, and if you love and offer your, I mean to say, devotion, this will be responded, even from that image.
There are many instances, very many instances.
When we are advanced in spiritual consciousness, then we can see God everywhere. Maya tatam idam sarvam jagad avyakta-murtina. So He is everywhere, and He is not everywhere also. Just like you have got this post box. The post box means the Post Office. You put your letter. It will go to the destination because it is authorized. Similarly, the authorized Deity, established in a temple, that is worshiped by thousands and thousands of men in India still. There was an occasion to worship the temple of Jagannatha at Puri. In one day about 600,000 people assembled there, in one day. So still, India, they have got this faith, and they worship the Deity in the temple. There are thousands and thousands of temples. And they receive the result. They are happy. So if we are prepared to accept these things and do according to the devotional rules and regulation, then it will be possible for us to see God anywhere and everywhere. It requires our own qualification.
But at the same time,
na ca mat-sthani bhutani
pasya me yogam aisvaram
bhuta-bhrn na ca bhuta-stho
So His energy is spread all over the universe, all over the world, and by His energy . He can present anywhere and everywhere, but at the same time, He is not in everywhere and anywhere. The conclusion is: when His devotee is there, He can manifest Himself in everywhere and anywhere, but when there is no devotee, He is not there, although His energy is there. There are many instances. Prahlada Maharaja, he saw Krsna from the pillar. There was… That is a long story. I shall recite some other day. So God can manifest Himself from anywhere and everywhere because He is present everywhere. But it requires my qualification to see Him. It requires my qualification. If I am qualified enough… Premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena [Bs. 5.38]. If I have developed such consciousness, such love, transcendental love for God, then I can see Him everywhere and anywhere, any place — from picture, from statue… [break] …statue, without picture, within myself, in air, in water — everywhere I can see. That is the process.
He is giving a nice example here.
vayuh sarvatra-go mahan
tatha sarvani bhutani
He says, yatha akasa-sthitah nityam vayuh. The air is situated in the sky. Everyone knows it, that air is passing or blowing within the sky. And nityam vayuh, sarvatra-go mahan. And it is blowing everywhere. You cannot find out any place where there is no air. If you want to drive out air, then you have to make by machine, by vacuum, airtight. Otherwise, air is everywhere. Yathakasa-sthito nityam vayuh sarvatra-go mahan. “As the air is spread all over, anywhere, similarly,” tatha sarvani bhutani mat-sthanity upadharaya, “similarly, everything that is there that is existing, it is within Me. It is within Me.” Sarva-bhutani kaunteya prakrtim yanti mamikam. And when this manifestation, material manifestation, is dissolved, then where does it take place? Where does it go? He says, sarva-bhutani kaunteya prakrtim yanti mamikam: “My prakrti, My nature, My nature, is manifested and when the time is finished, that nature is wound up.” And kalpa-ksaye punas tani kalpa, kalpadau visrjamy aham: “In this way, at a certain interval, this material manifestation is exhibited, and again it is wound up.”
This material manifestation is… Sometimes it is created, and sometimes it goes into the nature of the Lord. But spiritual creation is not like that. Spiritual creation is permanent. In the material creation everything is temporary, non-permanent. Just like this body. This body is created. And take for example. In our personal self, we are spiritual spark, fragmental. We have several times discussed this point, that we are all spiritual spark, fragmental part of the Supreme Lord. As we are creating our body and it is finishing, and again I am creating my body and again finishing… That is a fact. I have created this body; you have created your body. You are a small particle, atomic spiritual portion. And when you are put into the womb of your mother you get your body and develop, develops. Everything is developing like that. Similarly, as we are developing our own body, unless that spiritual spark is there within the body, the body will not develop. This example we have given several times. A child comes out. If the child is dead, no, it will not develop. But if he has got life, if the spiritual spark is there, the child grows to a man. Similarly, the whole universe, the whole material manifestation, they are going on the presentation, on the, I mean, the presence of the Supreme Lord.
As we have got our spiritual presence within this body, similarly, this universe is also containing the God’s representative as Paramatma, Ksirodakasayi Visnu. That information we get. Due to His presence, the material existence is there. Just due to my presence, the body is existing, and as soon as I am out of this body, the body will go to hell, similarly, this material manifestation is due to the presence of God. Otherwise there is no such existence. So sometimes He manifests, and sometimes He does not. This is going on. Sarva-bhutani kaunteya prakrtim yanti mamikam: “Similarly, I wound up. It goes to Me again.” Kalpa-ksaye punas tani kalpadau visrjamy aham. Then, after certain intervals, when there is again kalpa… Each creation is called a kalpa. Kalpanta-sthayinah-gunah.(?) Each creation is called a kalpa. So there are many kalpas. We can, cannot calculate what is the age of one kalpa. One hint is there in the Bhagavad-gita that in each kalpa the one day of Brahma…, that sahasra-yuga-paryantam ahar yad brahmano viduh… [Bg. 8.17]. Four hundred thousand, four hundred forty-three, forty-three hundred thousands of years into one thousand, that makes one day of Brahma. Similarly, he lives for hundred years and, after each hundred years, the kalpa is finished and again another kalpa begins. That is the calculation from Vedic literature.”
Thus, Krishna is expanded throughout this universe and at the same time, He is in Goloka Vrindavana also as a PERSON, the SUPREME PERSON.