The conception of God
- as per Islam Al-Quran and Vedic Scriptures -
Srila Prabhupada: "Vedas means the books of transcendental knowledge. Not only the Bhagavad Gita, even the Bible or the Quran, they are also."? (lecture 29-7-68)
God is understood by different religions differently, due to the different time, place and circumstances in which God reveals His divine message. He does so due to the differing of consciousness, capacity and spiritual realisation of the audience to receive His message.
Prophet Mohammed was revealed by Allah three kinds of knowledge - one which he was allowed to share with his followers, the second type he had the discretion to share or withhold, and the third category of revelation he was strictly forbidden from sharing. (Nadar Beg K. Mirza, 'Reincarnation and Islam', and Geo Widengren, 'Muhammad the Apostle of God and his ascension', page 108).
There is no meaning to religion without God and since the entire religion is build upon the idea of God so lets first look into conception of God as per Islam and Sanatan-Dharma.
The Srimad Bhagavatam states: "Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this non-dual substance brahman, paramatma, and bhagavan." (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.11)
This is the Vedic conception of God. God is refered to as Absolute Truth in Vedas. This verse from Bhagavatam states that Absolute Truth is called by three different names by the transcendentalists. These three names (brahman, paramatma, bhagavan) are actually three different conceptions of the same Absolute Truth that a transcendentalists has in proportion with his spiritual realization.
Brahman is nothing but the impersonal spiritual effulgence which is full of dazzling light. Hence is called brahmajyoti. Brahman means spiritual, and Brahmajyoti is the spiritual effulgence emanating from the body of the Lord.
Vedic literature states: This brahmajyoti effulgence is described in detail in several mantras of the Mundaka Upanisad (2.2.10-12): In the spiritual realm, beyond the material covering, is the unlimited Brahman effulgence, which is free from material contamination. That effulgent white light is understood by transcendentalists to be the light of all lights. In that realm there is no need of sunshine, moonshine, fire or electricity for illumination. Indeed, whatever illumination appears in the material world is only a reflection of that supreme illumination. That Brahman is in front and in back, in the north, south, east and west, and also overhead and below. In other words, that supreme Brahman effulgence spreads throughout both the material and spiritual skies.
Lord Krishna in the Holy Gita describes this as follows: "but those who fully worship the unmanifested, that which lies beyond the perception of the senses, the all-pervading, inconceivable, fixed and immovablethe impersonal conception of the Absolute Truthby controlling the various senses and being equally disposed to everyone, such persons, engaged in the welfare of all, at last achieve Me." (Holy Gita 12.3-4)
Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The Parable of His Light is as if there were a Niche and within it a Lamp: the Lamp enclosed in Glass: the glass as it were a brilliant star: Lit from a blessed Tree, an Olive, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil is well-nigh luminous, though fire scarce touched it: Light upon Light! Allah doth guide whom He will to His Light: Allah doth set forth Parables for men: and Allah doth know all things. (24.35)
He is the First and the Last, the Evident and the Immanent: and He has full knowledge of all things. (57.3)
No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision: He is above all comprehension, yet is acquainted with all things. (6.103)
Wa Huwal Latiiful-Khabiir Latiif means fine and subtle. He is so fine that He is imperceptible to senses. Hence no vision can grasp Him. So no one can see Him. This is certainly the description of impersonal effulgence of God.
Atma means Soul and Paramatma means the Supersoul. Both are situated within the heart of all living entities. The Supersoul acts as the inner witness, the inner voice. The Supersoul is the all-pervading partial expansion of lord Krsna. In His Paramatma feature, the Lord permeates the entire cosmos up to the sub-atomic level.
In the feature of Paramatma, the Absolute Truth manifests as Lord Vishnu, a four-handed, fully-bedecked spiritual person, who pervades the entire cosmos and who exist in the spaces between atoms and also within each atom.
These Paramatmas, while uncountably multiplied, are actually one single entity through which the Absolute Truth remains fully cognizant of every subatomic point of subspace throughout all creation. While Paramatma is also partial realization of the Supreme Absolute, a Krsna conscious yogi is the perfect seer because he sees Krsna, the Supreme, situated in everyone's heart as Supersoul (Paramatma).
What Vedas speak about it:
Yet in this body there is another, a transcendental enjoyer who is the Lord, the supreme proprietor, who exists as the overseer and permitter, and who is known as the Supersoul. ( BG 13.23)
Everywhere are His hands and legs, His eyes and faces, and He hears everything. In this way the Supersoul exists.
The Supersoul is the original source of all senses, yet He is without senses. He is unattached, although He is the maintainer of all living beings. He transcends the modes of nature, and at the same time He is the master of all modes of material nature.
The Supreme Truth exists both internally and externally, in the moving and nonmoving. He is beyond the power of the material senses to see or to know. Although far, far away, He is also near to all.
Although the Supersoul appears to be divided, He is never divided. He is situated as one. Although He is the maintainer of every living entity, it is to be understood that He devours and develops all.
He is the source of light in all luminous objects. He is beyond the darkness of matter and is unmanifested. He is knowledge, He is the object of knowledge, and He is the goal of knowledge. He is situated in everyones heart. (BG 13.14-18)
I am the Self, O Gudakesa, seated in the hearts of all creatures. I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all beings. (BG 10.20)The individual soul (Jiva-atma) and the Supersoul (Param-atma)
Both the Supersoul [Paramatma] and the atomic soul [Jivatma] are situated on the same tree of the body within the same heart of the living being, and only one who has become free from all material desires as well as lamentations can, by the grace of the Supreme, understand the glories of the soul. (Katha Upanisad 1.2.20).
Furthermore both the Katha Upanisad and Svetasvatara Upanisad confirm this:
Although the two birds are in the same tree, the eating bird is fully engrossed with anxiety and moroseness as the enjoyer of the fruits of the tree. But if in some way or other he turns his face to his friend who is the Lord and knows His gloriesat once the suffering bird becomes free from all anxieties.
Allah enters into everyones hearts:
Say: If I am astray, I only stray to the loss of my own soul: but if I receive guidance, it is because of the inspiration of my Lord to me: it is He Who hears all things, and is (ever) near. (34.50)
It was We Who created man, and We know what dark suggestions his soul makes to him: for We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein. (50.16)
And He is with you wheresoever ye may be. And Allah sees well all that ye do. (57.4)
But We are nearer to him than ye, and yet see not,(56.85)
..He has full knowledge of the secrets of (all) hearts. (57.6)
and know that Allah cometh in between a man and his heart, (8.24)
discribes the Supersoul as follows:
Keeping the eyes half closed and fixed on the tip of one's nose, being enlivened and alert, one should meditate on the lotus flower situated within the heart. This lotus has eight petals and is situated on an erect lotus stalk. One should meditate on the sun, moon and fire, placing them one after the other within the whorl of that lotus flower. Placing My transcendental form within the fire, one should meditate upon it as the auspicious goal of all meditation. That form is perfectly proportioned, gentle and cheerful. It possesses four beautiful long arms, a charming, beautiful neck, a handsome forehead, a pure smile and glowing, shark-shaped earrings suspended from two identical ears. That spiritual form is the color of a dark rain cloud and is garbed in golden-yellowish silk. The chest of that form is the abode of Śrīvatsa and the goddess of fortune, and that form is also decorated with a conchshell, disc, club, lotus flower and garland of forest flowers. The two brilliant lotus feet are decorated with ankle bells and bracelets, and that form exhibits the Kaustubha gem along with an effulgent crown. The upper hips are beautified by a golden belt, and the arms are decorated with valuable bracelets. All of the limbs of that beautiful form capture the heart, and the face is beautified by merciful glancing. Pulling the senses back from the sense objects, one should be grave and self-controlled and should use the intelligence to strongly fix the mind upon all of the limbs of My transcendental body. Thus one should meditate upon that most delicate transcendental form of Mine. (SB 11.14.36-42)
The Lord was exhibiting His brilliantly effulgent four-armed form, the radiance of which, just like a smokeless fire, dissipated the darkness in all directions. His complexion was the color of a dark blue cloud and His effulgence the color of molten gold, and His all-auspicious form bore the mark of Śrīvatsa. A beautiful smile graced His lotus face, locks of dark blue hair adorned His head, His lotus eyes were very attractive, and His shark-shaped earrings glittered. He wore a pair of silken garments, an ornamental belt, the sacred thread, bracelets and arm ornaments, along with a helmet, the Kaustubha jewel, necklaces, anklets and other royal emblems. Encircling His body were flower garlands and His personal weapons in their embodied forms. As He sat He held His left foot, with its lotus-red sole, upon His right thigh. (SB 11.30.28-32)
The word Bhagavan means the person who possesses all the divine attributes or opulences (bhaga), all wealth, all power, all fame, all beauty, all knowledge, and all renunciation to an infinite degree.
Srila Prabhupada Purport Bhagavad-gita 2.2:
Krsna and the Supreme Personality of Godhead are identical. Therefore Lord Krsna is referred to as "Bhagavan" throughout the Gita. Bhagavan is the ultimate in the Absolute Truth. Absolute Truth is realized in three phases of understanding, namely Brahman or the impersonal all-pervasive spirit; Paramatma, or the localized aspect of the Supreme within the heart of all living entities; and Bhagavan, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krsna. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam this conception of the Absolute Truth is explained thus:
vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam yaj jnanam advayam
brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate
Meditation on the Lords personal form
"The Absolute Truth is realized in three phases of understanding by the knower of the Absolute Truth, and all of them are identical. Such phases of the Absolute Truth are expressed as Brahman, Paramatma, and Bhagavan." (Bhag. 1.2.11) These three divine aspects can be explained by the example of the sun, which also has three different aspects, namely the sunshine, the sun's surface and the sun planet itself. One who studies the sunshine only is the preliminary student. One who understands the sun's surface is further advanced. And one who can enter into the sun planet is the highest. Ordinary students who are satisfied by simply understanding the sunshine--its universal pervasiveness and the glaring effulgence of its impersonal nature--may be compared to those who can realize only the Brahman feature of the Absolute Truth. The student who has advanced still further can know the sun disc, which is compared to knowledge of the Paramatma feature of the Absolute Truth. And the student who can enter into the heart of the sun planet is compared to those who realize the personal features of the Supreme Absolute Truth. Therefore, the bhaktas, or the transcendentalists who have realized the Bhagavan feature of the Absolute Truth, are the topmost transcendentalists, although all students who are engaged in the study of the Absolute Truth are engaged in the same subject matter. The sunshine, the sun disc and the inner affairs of the sun planet cannot be separated from one another, and yet the students of the three different phases are not in the same category.
The Sanskrit word bhagavan is explained by the great authority, Parasara Muni, the father of Vyasadeva. The Supreme Personality who possesses all riches, all strength, all fame, all beauty, all knowledge and all renunciation is called Bhagavan. There are many persons who are very rich, very powerful, very beautiful, very famous, very learned, and very much detached, but no one can claim that he possesses all riches, all strength, etc., entirely. Only Krsna can claim this because He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. No living entity, including Brahma, Lord Siva, or Narayana, can possess opulences as fully as Krsna. Therefore it is concluded in the Brahma-samhita by Lord Brahma himself that Lord Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. No one is equal to or above Him. He is the primeval Lord, or Bhagavan, known as Govinda, and He is the supreme cause of all causes.
isvarah paramah krsnah sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah
anadir adir govindah sarva-karana-karanam
Bhagavan refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. According to Vedic philosophy and Al-Quran as we have seen, that God is impersonal absolute light or all-pervasive Supersoul. But both of them dont end the description here. They continue like this:
Allah is not only discribed as light, but also as the "posessor of light"
The First part says: Allaahu Nuurus . Allah is light
Then it continues: Masalu Nuurihii Nuurihii means His light.
So Allah is not only light but also possesses light.
He guides- (24.35)&(7.155)
He punishes- (7.156) & (8.52) (7.165) (8.16)
He protects and takes care- (2.257)(6.102)
He teaches- (2.282)
Allah reciprocates with His personal devotees- Story about the messenger of God, Joseph that Allah narrated to the Holy Prophet Mohammad.(12.4-101)
Certainly all this requires senses,mind and intelligence to be displayed hence we should at least start to think that Allah is a person also.
Allah has personal desires: 10.107,2.40-41.
Allah has personal memory: 2.152,58.7,20.52
Allah has personal will: 5.17,19.35,85.16
Allah is the living one: 2.255,40.65,2.20,22.40
Allah has personal faculty of speech: 2.30,12.3
Allah has personal faculty of hearing: 2.224,24.21
Allah has personal faculty of sight: 2.233,34.11
Allah has personal features: 10.21,10.32,10.60,12.100,12.98,14.47,20.5, 22.40,22.60,4.147,40.12
Allah plays different personal parts: 2.257,3.98,10.109,11.107,12.66, 13.16, 20.114, 22.78, 33.52, 2.233,35.31,59.23,59.24,6.57
Allah has personal knowledge: 24.35,6.59 (51.56-57)
Allah is the best person [Bhagavan] 8.30,22.58
Allah has a face: 6.52,13.22,18.28,30.38,30.39,2.115,28.88,55.26-27
Allah has hands: 39.67,38.75,3.73,67.1,48.10,5.67
Prophet Muhammad said: "My Lord came to me in the most beautiful image"
Al-Tirmidhi (3234) narrated from Ibn Abbaas that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: My Lord came to me in the most beautiful image and said, O Muhammad. I said, Here I am at Your service, my Lord. He said, What are the chiefs (angels) on high disputing about Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
According to the lengthy hadeeth about intercession, it says, then the Compeller (al-Jabbaar) will come to then in an image different than the image in which they saw Him the first time Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 7440; Muslim, 182.
From these ahaadeeth we learn that it is proven that Allah has an image (soorah/surah in Arabic), in a manner that befits Him, may He be glorified and exalted. His image is one of His attributes which cannot be likened to the attributes of created beings, just as His essence cannot be likened to their essence.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: "The word soorah/sura (image) in this hadeeth is like all the other names and attributes narrated (in the texts) where the words used may also be applied to created beings, in a limited manner. When these words are applied to Allah, they carry a unique meaning, such as al-Aleem (All Knowing), al-Qadeer (All-Powerful), al-Raheem (Most Merciful), al-Samee (All Hearing), al-Baseer (All-Seeing), and such as His creating with His hands, rising above the Throne, etc. Naqd al-Tasees, 3/396
Everything that exists must inevitably have a form or image. Shaykh al-Islam said: Just as everything that exists must have attributes that, so too everything that exists by itself must have a form or image. It is impossible for something that exists by itself not to have a form or image.
And he said: "There was no dispute among the salaf of the first three generations that the pronoun in the hadeeth refers to Allah, and it is narrated through many isnaads from many of the Sahaabah. The contexts of the ahaadeeth all indicate that but when al-Jahamiyyah became widespread in the third century AH, a group began to say that the pronoun refers to something other than Allah, and this was transmitted from a group of scholars who are known to have knowledge and to follow the Sunnah in most of their affairs, such as Abu Thawr, Ibn Khuzaymah, Abul-Shaykh al-Asfahaani and others. Hence they were denounced by the imams of Islam and other Sunni scholars.
Naqd al-Tasees, 3/202
Ibn Qutaybah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: That Allah should have an image is no stranger than His having two hands, fingers or eyes. Rather those are readily accepted because they are mentioned in the Quraan, but this idea (image or form) is regarded as strange because it is not mentioned in the Quraan. But we believe in them all, but we do not discuss how any of them are.
Taweel Mukhtalif al-Hadeeth, p. 221
Shaykh al-Ghunaymaan said: Thus it is clear that the form or image is like all the other divine attributes. Any attribute which Allah has affirmed in the Revelation, we must affirm it and believe in it.
It is He Who begins (the process of) creation; then repeats it; and for Him it is most easy. To Him belongs the loftiest similitude (we can think of) in the heavens and the earth: for He is Exalted in Might, full of wisdom. (30.27) (16.60)
So according to Holy Quran Allah has a form whcih is Absolute, Spiritual, infallible, most beautiful and transcendental to all kind of material conceptions, free from even a tinge of material contamination. This is the form which possess light. And this is the person who knows the deepest secrets of our hearts.
Although Holy Quran just gives an idea that God ultimately possesses a form but the Vedic literature just gives more details of this form giving the specific information.
Krishna who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes. (Brahma Samhita 1)
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati a great devotee and spiritual master write in purport to this verse-Krishna is the exalted Supreme entity having His eternal name, eternal form, eternal attribution and eternal pastimes. The very name Krishna implies His love-attracting designation, expressing by His eternal nomenclature the acme of entity. His eternal beautiful heavenly blue-tinged body glowing with the intensity of ever-existing knowledge has a nude in both His hands. As His inconceivable spiritual energy is all-extending, still He maintains His all-charming medium size by His qualifying spiritual instrumentals. His all-accommodating supreme subjectivity is nicely manifested in His eternal form. The concentrated all time presence, uncovered knowledge and inebriating felicity have their beauty in Him. The mundane manifestive portion of His own Self is known as all-pervading Paramatma, Isvara (Superior Lord) or Vishnu (All-fostering). Hence it is evident that Krishna is sole Supreme Godhead. His unrivaled or unique spiritual body of super excellent charm is eternally unveiled with innumerable spiritual instrumentals (senses) and unreckonable attributes keeping their signifying location properly, adjusting at the same time by His inconceivable conciliative powers. This beautiful spiritual figure is identical with Krishna and the spiritual entity of Krishna is identical with His own figure.
I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is adept in playing on His flute, with blooming eyes like lotus petals with head decked with peacocks feather, with the figure of beauty tinged with the hue of blue clouds, and His unique loveliness charming millions of Cupids. (BS 30)
I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, round whose neck is swinging a garland of flowers beautified with the moon-locket, whose two hands are adorned with the flute and jeweled ornaments, who always revels in pastimes of Lowe, whose graceful threefold-bending form of Syamasundara is eternally manifest. (BS 31)
I worship Govinda, the primeval Lords whose transcendental form is full of bliss, truth, substantiality and is thus full of the most dazzling splendor. Each of the limbs of that transcendental figure possesses in Himself, the full-fledged functions of all the organs, and eternally sees, maintains and manifests the infinite universes, both spiritual and mundane. (BS 32)
I worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda [Krsna], who is the original personabsolute, infallible, without beginning. Although expanded into unlimited forms, still the same original, the oldest, and the person always appearing as a fresh youth. Such eternal, blissful, all-knowing forms of the Lord are usually understood by the best Vedic scholars, but they are always manifest to pure, unalloyed devotees. (BS 33)
He is an undifferentiated entity as there is no distinction between potency and the possessor thereof. In His work of creation of millions of worlds, His potency remains inseparable. All the universes exist in Him and He is present in His fullness in every one of the atoms that are scattered throughout the universe, at one and the same time. Such is the primeval Lord whom I adore. (BS 35)
I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is the absolute substantive principle being the ultimate entity in the form of the support of all existence whose external potency embodies the thr eefold mundane qualities, viz., sattva, rajas and tamas and diffuses the Vedic knowledge regarding the mundane world. (BS 41)
The Supreme Lord is the controller of all other controllers, and He is the greatest of all the diverse planetary leaders. Everyone is under His control. All entities are delegated with particular power only by the Supreme Lord; they are not supreme themselves. He is also worshipable by all demigods and is the supreme director of all directors. Therefore, He is transcendental to all kinds of material leaders and controllers and is worshipable by all. There is no one greater than Him, and He is the supreme cause of all causes.
He does not possess bodily form like that of an ordinary living entity. There is no difference between His body and His soul. He is absolute. All His senses are transcendental. Any one of His senses can perform the action of any other sense. Therefore, no one is greater than Him or equal to Him. His potencies are multifarious, and thus His deeds are automatically performed as a natural sequence. (Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.7-8)
Again the Svetasvatra Upanisad states:
In the material world Brahma, the primeval living entity within the universe, is understood to be the supreme amongst the demigods, human beings and lower animals. But beyond Brahma there is the Transcendence who has no material form and is free from all material contaminations. Anyone who can know Him also becomes transcendental, but those who do not know Him suffer the miseries of the material world.
I know that Supreme Personality of Godhead who is transcendental to all material conceptions of darkness. Only he who knows Him can transcend the bonds of birth and death. There is no way for liberation other than this knowledge of that Supreme Person.
There is no truth superior to that Supreme Person because He is the supermost. He is smaller than the smallest, and He is greater than the greatest. He is situated as a silent tree, and He illumines the transcendental sky, and as a tree spreads its roots, He spreads His extensive energies. Svetasvatara Upanisad(3.8-9)
I offer my respectful obeisances to Sri Krishna, whose form is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss, who is the rescuer from distress, who is understood by Vedanta, who is the supreme spiritual master, and who is the witness in everyones heart.(Gopal Tapani Upanisad 1.1)
One should meditate upon the Supreme Person as the one who knows everything, as He who is the oldest, who is the controller, who is smaller than the smallest, who is the maintainer of everything, who is beyond all material conception, who is inconceivable, and who is always a person. He is luminous like the sun and, being transcendental, is beyond this material nature. (BG 8.9)
From Visnu Purana (1.9.69):
Whoever comes before You, be he a demigod, is created by You, O Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Although fixed in His abode, the Personality of Godhead is swifter than the mind and can overcome all others running. The powerful demigods cannot approach Him. Although in one place, He controls those who supply the air and rain. He surpasses all in excellence. (Isopanisad 4)
The Supreme Lord walks and does not walk. He is far away, but He is very near as well. He is within everything, and yet He is outside of everything.(Isopanisad 5)
Such a person must factually know the greatest of all, the Personality of Godhead, who is unembodied, omniscient, beyond reproach, without veins, pure and uncontaminated, the self-sufficient philosopher who has been fulfilling everyones desire since time immemorial.
Here is a description of the transcendental and eternal form of the Absolute
Personality of Godhead.
Srila Prabhupada writes in His purport to verse 8 of Sri Isopanisad:
The Supreme Lord is not formless. He has His own transcendental form, which is not at all similar to the forms of the mundane world. The forms of the living entities in this world are embodied in material nature, and they work like any material machine. The anatomy of a material body must have a mechanical construction with veins and so forth, but the transcendental body of the Supreme Lord has nothing like veins. It is clearly stated here that He is un-embodied, which means that there is no difference between His body and His soul. Nor is He forced to accept a body according to the laws of nature, as we are. In materially conditioned life, the soul is different from the gross embodiment and subtle mind. For the Supreme Lord, however, there is never any such difference between Him and His body and mind. He is the Complete Whole, and His mind, body and He Himself are all one and the same.
These are the few verses from the Vedic literature that describes the Transcendental form of Person of God.
So we see that Al-quran tells that Allah is light and Vedic literature confirms this as well. Then we see that Al-Quran says Allah possesses light. Similarly Vedic scripture says:
And I am the basis of the impersonal Brahman, which is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness, and which is immortal, imperishable and eternal. (BG 14.27)
Here Lord Krishna says that the all pervading dazzling impersonal spiritual effulgence is nothing but glow of Transcendental Personality. So Allah or Krishnas Transcendental Personalitys glow constitutes impersonal Brahman.
This is further verified in Brahma Samhita:
I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, whose effulgence is the source of the nondifferentiated Brahman mentioned in the Upanisads, being differentiated from the infinity of glories of the mundane universe appears as the indivisible, infinite, limitless, truth.(Text 40)
O my Lord, sustainer of all that lives, Your real face is covered by Your dazzling effulgence. Kindly remove that covering and exhibit Yourself to Your pure devotee. (Isopanisad 15)
In the prayers of Kunti in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.8.18) it is said that the Lord is covered by the curtain of yoga-maya and thus ordinary people cannot understand Him. Kunti prays: O my Lord, You are the maintainer of the entire universe, and devotional service to You is the highest religious principle. Therefore, I pray that You will also maintain me. Your transcendental form is covered by the yoga-maya. The brahmajyoti is the covering of the internal potency. May You kindly remove this glowing effulgence that impedes my seeing Your sac-cid-ananda-vigraha, Your eternal form of bliss and knowledge.
As Allahs Nur is the light of all luminaries similarly it has been stated by Vedic literature that Krishnas effulgence is light of all lights as verified in the verses from upanisads and Gita stated above.
So now we can safely conclude that God is a Person, Supreme Person possesing transcendental body which is knowledge absolute, never subjected to decay, always youthful. This body is absolute as there is no difference between the mind, body and spirit. Everything in connection with Him is Absolute spirit.
Now lets consider Parmatma. Although Al-Quran states that this very same transcendental form is present in everyones heart as the Supersoul Vedic literature talks about this Supersoul as the plenary expansion of the Transcendental personality of Supreme which dwells in all living entities.
In the Narada-pancaratra this is confirmed in this way:
By concentrating ones attention on the transcendental form of Krsna, who is all-pervading and beyond time and space, one becomes absorbed in thinking of Krsna and then attains the happy state of transcendental association with Him.
Krsna consciousness is the highest stage of trance in yoga practice. This very understanding that Krsna is present as Paramatma in everyones heart makes the yogi faultless. The Vedas confirm this inconceivable potency of the Lord as follows:
Visnu is one, and yet He is certainly all-pervading. By His inconceivable potency, in spite of His one form, He is present everywhere. As the sun, He appears in many places at once.
So although being one without a second the very same transcendental personality appears in the innumerable hearts as many just as one sun appears in many places at once. He is able to do this by dint of His inconcievable potency and since His personality is beyond space and time He can expand Himself into another form and yet remain the same person manifested differently in various forms:
Although Al-Quran covers information regarding God but the Vedas go into Details explaining that very same personality of Godhead has expanded Himself into infinite number of forms:
The one Supreme Personality of Godhead is eternally engaged in many, many transcendental forms in relationships with His unalloyed devotees. (Puruso-bodhini upanisad)
The light of one candle being communicated to other candles, although it burns separately in them, is the same in its quality. I adore the primeval Lord Govinda who exhibits Himself equally in the same mobile manner in His various manifestations.(Brahma Samhita text 46)
One must understand that Personality of Supreme who is known as Krishna, Allah
is beyond space and time, uncontaminated, self-effulgent and absolute. When He
exhibits Himself in innumerable forms then it is not that He has divided His one
form into infinite pieces but each and every form is that same absolute truth
Himself. They are all one and same. The example of vaidurya stone is given in
this regards. This stone remains the same yet changes its color. Hence Personality
of God remains the same yet manifests infinitely different appearnces. This It
is not that one form is a seperate person than other; they are all one and the
same Supreme Personality just differently manifested. For us due to our conditioned
existence it is very difficult to understand that how can God who is one without
a second remain same absolute while simultaneously exhibit infinte number of other
divine forms. The answer is that He has inconcievable transcendental energy through
which He expands Himself [His person] into different forms yet remain the same.
Note: He has expanded Himself into innumerable forms and not divided Himself into innumerable forms. Therefore He is God Himself in any of His form. Logically thinking since Supreme is an unlimited Person therefore it is sensible to accept that He possesses infinite number of forms. There is no limit to Him in any respect. Just as He has inifinite number of names He possesses infinite forms. Supreme Lord Krishna states this as follows:
Lord Krishna says: There are others, who are purified and cultured souls, who by understanding my different forms as myself, as one personality in various forms and features, worship me according to their spiritual understanding and convictions following the rules of worship as given in the Vedas.
But originally the form of God is that which resembles Lord Krishna transcendental triple bending form. These forms of one and same Supreme Lord Krishna are identical with person of Lord Rama, Lord Vishnu. Not Lord Shiva or Lord Brahma.
One more point which the Holy Qur'an mentions is that Allah is the best among personalities. When the Holy Qur'an compares Allah to other persons it is logical to say that Allah is also a person. However, He is a spiritual person. Such verses leave no doubt that Allah is the best person among all persons.
For instance, the Holy Qur'an says:
Wallahu Khayrul-makirim: "Allah is the best of plotters." (8.30) and Wa innallaha la-huwa Khayrur- raziqin: "Verily Allah, One Who is best of all who make provision." (22.58)
It is mentioned in the Holy Qur'an that Allah is Khayrul-makilim and Khayrur-raziqin, or "Allah is best of all who plot" and "best of all who makes provision". In this way the Holy Qur'an compares Allah with other persons who make plots and persons who make provisions. But we can compare only comparable things. We can compare a person with a person but we cannot compare a person with an impersonal energy. When the Holy Qur'an compares Allah with persons this clearly indicates that Allah is not an impersonal energy but also must be a person. Otherwise how can an impersonal energy be best among personalities? Such statements make no sense. Therefore, from above mentioned ayats we can understand that among all persons who plot Allah is the best Person and among all persons who make provisions Allah is again the best Person.
The personal nature of Allah is revealed through seven isma-e-hasna (excellent names), or attributes. Four are called Sifat-e-Lazmi fit zal-e-Allah, or "Attributes essential in the being of Allah" and three are called Sifat-e-Sabuti fil zat-e-Allah, or "Attributes substantiating the being of Allah". The first four are Haiyat (Life), Ilm (Knowledge), Qudrat (Power) and Iradah (Will).
The first isma-e-hasna (excellent name) is Haiyat (Life). Allah is not an abstract being, but living God. He is not as most people are led to believe, simply a Supreme Light, a Supreme Power, an impersonal energy. Allah is all these but He is overwhelmingly a lot more.
The second isma-e-hasna is Ilm (Knowledge) which reveals Allah as a knowing being. Allah is Alim (Knower). He knows Himself and all His creation perfectly. This means Allah is the living being not an abstract energy. He has absolute total knowledge of every single aspect of His own unlimited individual identity. This is a definition of individuality. Allah is individuality with individual attributes, knowledge and consciousness.
The third isma-e-hasna is Qudrat (Power), which reveals Allah as Qadar (Almighty).
The fourth isma-e-hasna is Iradah (Will). Allah has individual will power. Thus Allah is the Supreme Person Who knows Himself and His position perfectly: Who is the supreme eternal living One Who has unlimited knowledge, power and will, Who makes Himself known through his kalam (speech).
The next three are Samaa (Hearing), Basar (Seeing) and Kalam (Speaking). These three isma-e-hasna (excellent names) - Kalam, Samaa, Basar - confirm the being of Allah as a Person. For it is a person who speaks, hears and sees as a living being. These three names are called isma-e-sabuti bil zat-e-Allah (names proving the being of Allah).
Therefore, Allah is one; but richly so. His oneness is enriched with isma-e-hasna (excellent names), which reveal His nature as a living personal God Who is inconceivable and unknowable by such limited beings as us.
By summarizing all the above mentioned points we can assert that Allah, as revealed in the Qur'an, is not an abstract being but a being who has haiyat (life), ilm (knowledge), qudrat (power), iradah (will) and who is able to kalam (speak), basar (see) and samaa (hear).
Saying that Allah cannot be a person is offensive since it is tantamount to calling Him deaf, dumb, blind etc. Moreover, it contradicts the Qur'anic statements. Actually He has life which is eternal, knowledge which embraces everything, power which is unexcelled, will which determines everything and He is able to speak with the entire universe, to see and hear everything with no effort. These attributes clearly indicate that Allah is not a person in the ordinary material sense. Considering Allah an ordinary mundane person is a severe limitation of His personality. He is an unlimited Supreme Transcendental Person beyond our imagination and perception of our mundane limited senses.
So any sincere reader of the holy Quran, studying the personal characteristics of Allah, must ultimately come to the conclusion, that Allah, the Supreme Person, has a beautiful form.
God is not only a beautiful person but He also possesses a wonderful form. Srimad Bhagavatam reveals God has an eternal spiritual body that is full of knowledge and bliss (satcitananda). Gods body is different from what we possess in this material world- namely a material body composed of stool, urine, puss, mucus and bile. But God Krishna has a spiritual form, which is of a beautiful blackish complexion like a monsoon cloud.
This is also hinted in the Quran - the sura "Al-Baqarah" or "The Cow" of the Holy Qur'an, there is a specific verse which hints at this: Sibgatallah wa man 'ah - sanu minallahi sibgah: " (We take our colour from Allah and who is better than Allah at colouring?" (2.138) The word sibgat is significant in this verse. The root meaning of this word is colour.
In this verse it is explained that none can surpass Allah in lending colour to this universe. There is no colour that Allah doesn't have, and none that He is not adorned by. Had He not been so adorned, then He will be less than His creation. The very thought of such offensive minimization of Allah is wholly unacceptable by anyone who professes to be a true Muslim. This is because no Muslim will dare contradict the Qur'anic statement: 'Allahu Akbar'(Allah is Great). Since Allah is the greatest, how can the Great Allah be colourless, or a mere abstraction? The answer ist hat Allah is colourfully beautiful. Allah is the most beautiful Person.
Prophet Muhammad said: "My Lord came to me in the most beautiful image"
Al-Tirmidhi (3234) narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “My Lord came to me in the most beautiful image and said, ‘O Muhammad.’ I said, ‘Here I am at Your service, my Lord.’ He said, ‘What are the chiefs (angels) on high disputing about…’” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
Prophet Muhammad said to his asabas [associates]: "We take our colour from Allah."
This means that the colour of the Arabs analogously resembled Allah's colour. From the representation of Allah's complexion by the Arabs, we can safely conclude that Allah is of a beautiful dark complexion.
Of course, this colour of God is not material but spiritual. When Prophet Muhammad met Allah (Vishnu or Krishna), he saw dazzling effulgence emanating from God. Therefore, Allah has a dazzling dark colour-contradictory to mundane senses but transcendentally beautiful.
According to recognized Vedic scriptures, Allah or Krishna has a spiritual, dazzling, dark colour, beyond the perception of the material senses and the imagination of the mundane mind.
(We take our) Color from Allah. Who is better than Allah at coloring? (2.138)
Sibgat the root meaning of this word is color. Allah possesses beautiful dark color.
Actually Allah being the source of everything it is no wonder that some color of this material world should resemble His, although His color is not material.
From the above verse if Arabs analogously resembles the color of God then we can safely conclude that color of God is a beautiful dark complexion. But God has been described as full of dazzling effulgence and no dark color in this world is dazzling. This seems contradictory. Actually there is no contradiction if we realize that this dark color of Allah is spiritual but not material. Being a spiritual color it is transcendental to perception and mind and can afford to throw out flashing effulgence. Similarly Krishna is famous as syamsundara or one whose complexion is darkish but at the same time is full of most dazzling splendor. See this verse:
I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is Syamasundara, Krishna Himself with inconceivable innumerable attributes, whom the pure devotees see in their heart of hearts with the eye of devotion tinged with the salve of love. (Brahma Samhita 38)
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta saraswati writes in the purport to this verse-
The Syamasundara form of Krishna is His inconceivable simultaneous personal and impersonal self-contradictory form. True devotees see the form in their purified hearts under the influence of devotional trance. The form Syama is not the blue color visible in the mundane world but is the transcendental variegated color affording eternal bliss, and is not visible to the mortal eye. On a consideration of the trance of Vyasadeva as in the sloka, bhakti-yogena manasi etc., it will be clear that the form of Sri Krishna is the full Personality of Godhead and can only be visible in the heart of a true devotee, which is the only true seat in the state of trance under the influence of devotion. When Krishna manifested Himself in Vraja, both the devotees and non- devotees saw Him with this very eye; but only the devotees cherished Him, eternally present in Vraja, as the priceless jewel of their heart. Nowadays also the devotees see Him in Vraja in their hearts, saturated with devotion although they do not see Him with their eyes. The eye of devotion is nothing but the eye of the pure unalloyed spiritual self of the Jiva. The form of Krishna is visible to that eye in proportion to its purification by the practice of devotion. When the devotion of the neophyte practitioner reaches the stage of bhava-bhakti the pure eye of that devotee is tinged with the salve of love by the grace of Krishna, which enables him to see Krishna face to face. The phrase in their hearts means Krishna is visible in proportion as their hearts are purified by the practice of devotion. The sum and substance of this sloka is that the form of Krishna, who is Syamasundara, Natavara (Best Dancer), Muralidhara (Holder of the Flutes) and Tribhanga (Triple-bending), is not a mental concoction but is transcendental, and is visible with the eye of the soul of the devotee under trance.
Hence the Brahman just being the transcendental effulgence of spiritual body of Lord represents Absolute Truth partially. Parmatma being plenary expansion of the very spiritual absolute form of Lord is a partial representation of Supreme Personality situated in everyones heart. Highest conception therefore of Absolute truth is Supreme Person who contains the infinite formless magnitude in His form as His own spiritual energy and expands Himself as Superself in everyone. So it is the Personality of Godhead who makes Himself partially represented by all pervading effulgence being rays of His spiritual body and hence nondifferent from His very person just like Sun rays being emanation from sun are nondifferent from the sun planet itself. Then this same person makes Himself partially present in everyones heart as the supersoul.
So it is the Bhagavan who is both origin of brahman and Parmatma who is to be worhsipped. One should not think here that Absolute truth is has equally divided itself in the form of Brahman,parmatma and bhagavan. But rather Absolute truth is only Bhagavan Himself. Parmatma on virtue of being partial representation of that Absolute truth Bhagavan is partial representation of Absolute truth and similarly the dazzling effulgence being a spiritual energy of Absolute truth is a partial representation of it only. Only Bhagavan who is Absolute Truth itself is the complete perfection and complete manifestation of Absolute Truth possessing superexcellently beautiful form. Since this form is unrivaled and incomparable and other than whom no truth exists is called Allah due to this reason. Because this very form of the Supreme Person is full in all opulences unto infinite degree it is called Krishna meaning the All-attractive one. Vedas further argue that anyname to belong to Supreme Lord must be indicated by the word Krishna otheriwse it doesnt belongs to the absolute truth. The reason is that since the word krishna means all-attractive one and any name of God irrespective of the language, culture etc.. always attracts in one or the other way. The basic nature of each and every name of God is that it attracts one or in other word that it is indicated by krishna.
God or the Absolute Truth is one, but He is realized by different persons differently. Bhagavan is thus the personal God aspired to and worshiped differently by the devotees of monotheistic religions like Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism.
So one has to learn the art of seeing the Absolute Truth in three features — as Bhagavān, as Paramātmā and as impersonal Brahman. That prescription is given here. Tac chraddadhānā munayah. The ordinary person not. Munayah. Those who are very much advanced in the process of thinking, munayah, or great saintly persons... Tac chraddadhānā munayo jnāna-vairāgya-yuktayā [SB 1.2.12].
Jnāna and vairāgya — these two things are required. First of all, one must have sufficient knowledge and vairāgya, renunciation, detachment. Then he can see what is Bhagavān, what is Paramātmā, and what is impersonal Brahman.
Krishna means 'All attractive'. A person is attractive if He possesses unlimited beauty, knowledge, strength, fame, riches or renunciation. Generally, an ordinary person of this world may possess any one of these six opulence’s, and even that is limited and subject to destruction by the force of time. Krishna alone possesses not only all the six opulence’s but He has unlimited abundance. Thus Krishna, who is known to Muslims as Allah, or to the Christians as the Almighty father Christ, or as Jehovah or Yahweh to many, is the most complete and attractive understanding of God.
O my Lord, sustainer of all that lives, Your real face is covered by Your dazzling effulgence. Kindly remove that covering and exhibit Yourself to Your pure devotee.
PURPORT BY SRILA PRABHUPADA
In the Bhagavad-gita (14.27), the Lord explains His personal rays (brahmajyoti), the dazzling effulgence of His personal form, in this way:
brahmano hi pratisthaham / amrtasyavyayasya ca
sasvatasya ca dharmasya / sukhasyaikantikasya ca
I am the basis of the impersonal Brahman, which is immortal, imperishable and eternal and is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness. Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan are three aspects of the same Absolute Truth. Brahman is the aspect most easily perceived by the beginner; Paramatma, the Supersoul, is realized by those who have further progressed; and Bhagavan realization is the ultimate realization of the Absolute Truth.
This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita (7.7), where Lord Krishna says that He is the ultimate concept of the Absolute Truth: mattah parataram nanyat. Therefore Krishna is the source of the brahmajyoti as well as the all-pervading Paramatma. Later in the Bhagavad-gita (10.42) KrishnaKrishna further explains:
atha va bahunaitena / kim jnatena tavarjuna
vistabhyaham idam krtsnam / ekamsena sthito jagat
But what need is there, Arjuna, for all this detailed knowledge? With a single fragment of Myself I pervade and support this entire universe. Thus by His one plenary expansion, the all-pervading Paramatma, the Lord maintains the complete material cosmic creation. He also maintains all manifestations in the spiritual world. Therefore in this sruti-mantra of Sri Isopanisad, the Lord is addressed as pusan, the ultimate maintainer.
The Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, is always filled with transcendental bliss (ananda-mayo bhyasat). When He was present at Vrndavana in India five thousand years ago, He always remained in transcendental bliss, even from the beginning of His childhood pastimes. The killings of various demonssuch as Agha, Baka, Putana and Pralambawere but pleasure excursions for Him. In His village of Vrndavana He enjoyed Himself with His mother, brother and friends, and when He played the role of a naughty butter thief, all His associates enjoyed celestial bliss by His stealing.
The Lords fame as a butter thief is not reproachable, for by stealing butter the Lord gave pleasure to His pure devotees. Everything the Lord did in Vrndavana was for the pleasure of His associates there. The Lord created these pastimes to attract the dry speculators and the acrobats of the so-called hatha-yoga system who wish to find the Absolute Truth.
Of the childhood play between the Lord and His playmates, the cowherd boys, Sukadeva Gosvami says in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.12.11):
ittham satam brahma-sukhanubhutya / dasyam gatanam para-daivatena
mayasritanam nara-darakena / sakam vijahruh krta-punya-punjah
The Personality of Godhead, who is perceived as the impersonal, blissful Brahman by the jnanis, who is worshiped as the Supreme Lord by devotees in the mood of servitorship, and who is considered an ordinary human being by mundane people, played with the cowherd boys, who had attained their position after accumulating many pious activities.
Thus the Lord is always engaged in transcendental loving activities with His spiritual associates in the various relationships of santa (neutrality), dasya (servitorship), sakhya (friendship), vatsalya (parental affection) and madhurya (conjugal love).
Since it is said that Lord Krishna never leaves Vrndavana-dhama, one may ask how He manages the affairs of the creation. This is answered in the Bhagavad-gita (13.1418): The Lord pervades the entire material creation by His plenary part known as the Paramatma, or Supersoul. Although the Lord personally has nothing to do with material creation, maintenance and destruction, He causes all these things to be done by His plenary expansion, the Paramatma. Every living entity is known as atma, soul, and the principal atma who controls them all is Paramatma, the Supersoul.
This system of God realization is a great science. The materialistic sankhya-yogis can only analyze and meditate on the twenty-four factors of the material creation, for they have very little information of the purusa, the Lord. And the impersonal transcendentalists are simply bewildered by the glaring effulgence of the brahmajyoti. If one wants to see the Absolute Truth in full, one has to penetrate beyond the twenty-four material elements and the glaring effulgence as well.
Sri Isopanisad points toward this direction, praying for the removal of the hiranmaya-patra, the dazzling covering of the Lord. Unless this covering is removed so one can perceive the real face of the Personality of Godhead, factual realization of the Absolute Truth can never be achieved.
The Paramatma feature of the Personality of Godhead is one of three plenary expansions, or vishnu-tattvas, collectively known as the purusa-avataras. One of these vishnu-tattvas who is within the universe is known as Ksirodakasayi Vishnu. He is the Vishnu among the three principal deitiesBrahma, Vishnu and Shivaand He is the all-pervading Paramatma in each and every individual living entity.
The second vishnu-tattva within the universe is Garbhodakasayi Vishnu, the collective Supersoul of all living entities. Beyond these two is Karanodakasayi Vishnu, who lies in the Causal Ocean.
He is the creator of all universes. The yoga system teaches the serious student to meet the vishnu-tattvas after going beyond the twenty-four material elements of the cosmic creation. The culture of empiric philosophy helps one realize the impersonal brahmajyoti, which is the glaring effulgence of the transcendental body of Lord Sri Krishna. That the brahmajyoti is Krishnas effulgence is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita (14.27) as well as the Brahma-samhita (5.40):
yasya prabha-prabhavato jagad-anda-koti- / kotisv asesa-vasudhadi vibhuti-bhinnam
tad brahma niskalam anantam asesa-bhutam / govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
In the millions and millions of universes there are innumerable planets, and each and every one of them is different from the others by its cosmic constitution. All of these planets are situated in a corner of the brahmajyoti. This brahmajyoti is but the personal rays of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda, whom I worship.
This mantra from the Brahma-samhita is spoken from the platform of factual realization of the Absolute Truth, and the sruti-mantra of Sri Isopanisad under discussion confirms this mantra as a process of realization. The Isopanisad mantra is a simple prayer to the Lord to remove the brahmajyoti so that one can see His real face. This brahmajyoti effulgence is described in detail in several mantras of the Mundaka Upanisad (2.2.1012):
hiranmaye pare kose / virajam brahma niskalam
tac chubhram jyotisam jyotis / tad yad atma-vido viduh
na tatra suryo bhati na candra-tarakam / nema vidyuto bhanti kuto yam
tam eva bhantam anu bhati sarvam / tasya bhasa sarvam idam vibhati
brahmaivedam amrtam purastad brahma / pascad brahma daksinatas cottarena
adhas cordhvam ca prasrtam brahmai- / vedam visvam idam varistham
|Lord Vishnu (as Supersoul) exist in the spaces between atoms and also within each atom.|
In the spiritual realm, beyond the material covering, is the unlimited Brahman effulgence, which is free from material contamination.
That effulgent white light is understood by transcendentalists to be the light of all lights. In that realm there is no need of sunshine, moonshine, fire or electricity for illumination.
Indeed, whatever illumination appears in the material world is only a reflection of that supreme illumination. That Brahman is in front and in back, in the north, south, east and west, and also overhead and below. In other words, that supreme Brahman effulgence spreads throughout both the material and spiritual skies.
Perfect knowledge means knowing Krishna as the root of this Brahman effulgence. This knowledge can be gained from such scriptures as Srimad-Bhagavatam, which perfectly elaborates the science of Krishna. In Srimad-Bhagavatam, the author, Srila Vyasadeva, has established that one will describe the Supreme Truth as Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavan according to ones realization of Him.
Srila Vyasadeva never states that the Supreme Truth is a jiva, an ordinary living entity. The living entity should never be considered the all-powerful Supreme Truth. If he were the Supreme, he would not need to pray to the Lord to remove His dazzling cover so that the living entity could see His real face.
The conclusion is that one who has no knowledge of the potencies of the Supreme Truth will realize the impersonal Brahman. Similarly, when one realizes the material potencies of the Lord but has little or no information of the spiritual potencies, he attains Paramatma realization. Thus both Brahman and Paramatma realization of the Absolute Truth are partial realizations.
However, when one realizes the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, in full potency after the removal of the hiranmaya-patra, one realizes vasudevah sarvam iti: [Bg. 7.19] Lord Sri Krishna, who is known as Vasudeva, is everythingBrahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan. He is Bhagavan, the root, and Brahman and Paramatma are His branches.
In the Bhagavad-gita (6.4647) there is a comparative analysis of the three types of transcendentaliststhe worshipers of the impersonal Brahman (jnanis), the worshipers of the Paramatma feature (yogis) and the devotees of Lord Sri Krishna (bhaktas). It is stated there that the jnanis, those who have cultivated Vedic knowledge, are better than ordinary fruitive workers, that the yogis are still greater than the jnanis, and that among all yogis, those who constantly serve the Lord with all their energies are the topmost.
In summary, a philosopher is better than a laboring man, a mystic is superior to a philosopher, and of all the mystic yogis, he who follows bhakti-yoga, constantly engaging in the service of the Lord, is the highest. Sri Isopanisad directs us toward this perfection.
(1) Brahman – The impersonal Spiritual Energy
This stage is the first step on the Spiritual Path, achievable through the process of Jnana Yoga/Karma yoga ( renunciation & cultivation of Transcendental knowledge.) This is described in the Vedas as the dazzling effulgence emanating from the Spiritual world, from the spiritual body of the Lord.
(2) Param Atma – The Supersoul
This is the second stage, achievable by attaining perfection in the meditation process as described in chapter 6 of the gita.
Within our bodies there exists the soul, and also the supersoul. The supersoul is common within all living entities, it is the knower of all bodies whereas the individual soul (the living entity) knows only his own body. The individual soul is subordinate to the supersoul. The supersoul is described [Ch 13, Verse 23] as:
• upadrasta (overseer)
• anumanta (permitter)
• bharta (master, proprietor)
• bhokta (supreme enjoyer)
• parah (transcendental)
I am seated in everyone's heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. (Bhagavad-Gita chapter 15 mantra 15)
The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy. (Bhagavad-Gita chapter 18 mantra 61)
(3) Bhagavan – The Supreme Personality of Godhead
The topmost platform of self realization wherein one achieves complete spiritual perfection. This stage is only achievable by pure, unalloyed Bhakti Yoga (divine love & devotion to the Lord)
"One can understand me as I am, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, only by devotional service (bhakti). And when one is in full consciousness of Me by such devotion, he can enter into the Kingdom of God." (Bhagavad-Gita, chapter 18, mantra 55)
The source of all material & spiritual worlds
Of all that is material and all that is spiritual in this world, know for certain that I am both the origin and the dissolution. (Bhagavad-Gita chapter 7 mantra 6)
I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who perfectly know this engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts. (Bhagavad-Gita chapter 10 mantra 8)
No truth superior
O conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread. (Bhagavad-Gita chapter 7 mantra 7)
Not under the modes of material nature
Deluded by the three modes of material nature [goodness, passion and ignorance], the whole world does not know Me, who am above the modes and inexhaustible. (Gita chapter 7 mantra 13)
The Supreme Truth Is A Person.
A Lecture By Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada On The Bhagavad-gita Chapter 13 Text 16
"The first realization is impersonal Brahman. Then still further, advanced realization is localized Paramatma, and still further, advanced realization is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate." Srila Prabhupada
"Some Yogies try to realise the impersonal brahman and others try to realise the Paramatma in the heart, but a devotee of Krishna does not try to experience the first two stages, because one can easily become very attached and completely miss the chance to go back home to Goloka Vrindavan. The above does not at all mean one has to try and experience the impersonal Brahman and Paramatma, instead we simply serve Bhagavan Sri Krishna via the spiritual master and chant Hare Krishna"
"The self is not formless. The physical body has a form because it is a covering for the individual self the indestructable blemishless and completely anti material soul, also known as atma or spirit, which is the original driving force of a physical form. That is also the reason, why every single body is separate from another. I am not my body, but I am that what animates my body, the inner Self." Aham Brahmasmi: (Sanskrit: अहं ब्रह्मास्मि aham brahmāsmi) - I am Spirit Soul and I am part and parcel of the Supreme Soul.