Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Why is Krishna Called the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

My Spiritual Master referred to God or Krishna as the "Supreme Personality of Godhead."  For years, I didn't think much about it, as we often don't really look at things or analyze them much. We just grab onto a concept and repeat it. It becomes one more 'meme' in our lives.  (btw  -  if you don't know what a meme is, look it up. Or ask me about it. They are a fascinating subject and explain much of who we are.)

Anyway, as the years passed on, and various phases of the journey were gone through, it sort of arose, "Exactly what does that mean?"  After all, it seems very one-sided or "Only Way-ish" if you know what I mean. Like accept Krishna or you go to hell!!!!

But if you analyze it, it actually makes a HUGE amount of sense. So let's take a look at the actual words involved in 'Supreme Personality of Godhead':

Supreme - Pretty obvious. Topmost, best, ultimate, nothing higher, final, Greatest in power, authority, or rank, etc.

Personality - Ahhh!  here's the keyword.  What is a personality?  As we have spoken of many times, we ourselves are personalities. Personality or Per-sona, refers to that through which (PER)  sound (SONA) comes. So Per-sona means "Sound Through" and goes back to the masks worn by actors in the ancient Greek plays.  They wore the mask in front of their faces and their voices (or sound - sona) were heard through (per) the mask.  So one individual  may have many per-sonalities. You are your parents child, your children's parent, your siblings' brother or sister, your boss's employee, your husband or wife's spouse, and so on. Most often each of these is slightly different, but the same consciousness or individual is behind each one.  Each personality is responsible, so to speak, for a certain aspect of your life; a way of expressing a particular aspect which would be, perhaps, inappropriate in another context.  For instance, you probably wouldn't ask your boss if they wanted to make love tonight, or ask your spouse for a raise. (well maybe!)

Of -  It's a preposition, DUH!

Godhead - Here are the two primary definitions that kept coming up: 1. Divinity; godhood, 2. The essential and divine nature of God, regarded abstractly.   Here's a few more:  the essential being of god; the Supreme Being;  Almighty, Creator, Divine, God Almighty, Jehovah.  Anyway, you should get the picture. Although most of these suggest personhood or individuality, it is not exclusive. In other words, it is the Absolute - personal or impersonal, in form or formless, etc. All of it!

Krishna - The word Krishna has a number of meanings:  The root is krs (pronounced krsh) a verbal root which means: to lead, to attract, to draw out or draw to oneself, to take away, to pull to and fro; to torment (all from Monier Williams Sanskrit English Dictionary, Digital Edition)  When you add the suffix 'na' it is like the English 'er'  attract(er), draw-to-oneself-(er), etc. even torment(er). More importantly, though, is Who Krishna is in terms of Who and What He is and does. Most often, when we consider God, we (in the West) conceive of the Ancient, white robed, bearded God of Abraham...fierce, angry, jealous, and so forth. Even within Hinduism, the various Gods and Goddesses all have various functions or characteristics for which they are known or responsible. What does Krishna do or represent?  LOVE!  That's it. Krishna does not create, maintain or destroy. He is not known for removing obstacles. He doesn't manifest this or that universe. He LOVES. He represents LOVE FOR THE SAKE OF LOVE. He is the embodiment of Love. He dances in the beautiful forests of Vrndavana, playing His flute, attracting all living entities and dancing with the Gopi milk maids.  Oh sure, occasionally he kills the odd demon or two,  but don't we all do that?  Even if you consider the term Krishna as Tormentor, who hasn't been tormented from time to time by a lover.  In fact, the highest form of Love is  considered to be parakiya rasa, the ecstasy/torment of Love in Separation! There are many stories of a devotee being granted a glimpse of Krishna (or some other 'form' of God) and then spending the remainder of their life in ecstatic seeking of that Beatific Vision/Experience.

Put it all together and what do you get:

Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead can be 'translated as' something like....

Krishna = Love; Supreme = Ultimate;  Personality = Expression; Godhead = Divine Essence.

LOVE is the Ultimate Expression of  THE Divine Essence. 

So, there you go. It's not so much a one-view, particular religion, dogmatic form as it is a well established sense within everyone. What is higher than Love. What did Jesus teach? Love. What makes you feel better than anything else? Love. What's at the end of the yellow brick road? Oz, I mean Love.
-------------------------------------


When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. - Jimi Hendrix

Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence. - Eric Fromm


True surrender is the love of God for the sake of love and nothing else, not even for the sake of salvation. Love Him unconditionally. - Ramana Maharshi


Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. - Rumi


The day will come when, after harnessing the winds, the tides and gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of Love. And on that day, for the second time in the History of the world, man will have discovered Fire. - Teilhard de Chardin


7 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  2. totally incorrect, it states clearly in vedic texts that krishna creates destroys and maintains.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. agree .... Krishna is the creator, maintainer and also the destroyer. Lord brahma himself testifies to this that only those who dont know this truth think of brahma the creator, vishnu the maintainer and shiva the destroyer. In actuality krishna himself is the supreme god of all demigods.

      Delete
  3. Godhead is ALL...

    ReplyDelete
  4. "Love is the opening door
    Love is what we came here for
    No one could offer you more
    Do you know what I mean
    Have your eyes really seen?"

    ReplyDelete