Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 12 Aug 2019

     

Incarnations Hide Their Divinity

Shri Bharat Krishna asked: Namah Shivaya Swamiji! I have some questions in my mind, which I will try to explain below. I request you to kindly clarify my confusion. After reading many of your discourses, I have understood that God is totally unimaginable. There are two components in the Human Incarnation: an ordinary soul who is an extraordinary devotee of God and God Himself. You have also mentioned many times that you are such a devotee of the unimaginable God who exists in yourself. Since God is unimaginable, even you cannot see him or imagine him. But you do pray to God, right? Even you have to pray to some form, after all, and that form is again yourself. All the four associated properties of God are exhibited by you, which means you are God. You have also mentioned that you just act as God wants you to act. But how will God order you? God can order me through you, but how can God order you? With all these thoughts, I feel that you are God Himself but you are just behaving like an ordinary soul and you have also mentioned that in your discourses.

You have also mentioned that the complete truth has been revealed only now because we humans have developed an intellect which can analyze and understand that truth. But it does not mean we have overcome our ego and jealousy towards God. I feel that because of this reason, even though you are God, you are not behaving like God. Otherwise, you would not even have to mention that you are an ordinary soul, right? Swamiji, I am very sorry that I am not able to explain my question properly. You have explained that we recognize a Human Incarnation of God on the basis of the four associated properties of God exhibited by Him.

Paraṣurāma was also a Human Incarnation of God, at least for sometime. During that time, he must have exhibited all those four divine qualities too. At least, I believe so. So, his devotees would have recognized him to be God. But later, he could not control his ego and hence, God left his body. But his devotees would still continue to think that he is God, right? You have very clearly mentioned in your discourses that once we recognize the Human Incarnation of God, and are totally convinced about it, we must stick to that conviction and constantly serve God. God might behave in a way that we do not like, in order to test us, but our faith should not be disturbed. This statement gives the sense that God merges with the human medium throughout his or her life. This is in contradiction with Paraṣurāma's case. Did Paraṣurāma also exhibit all the four associated properties of God, especially prajñānam? If God is always in that selected human soul, throughout that Incarnation’s life, then what is the need to differentiate between God and soul in the Incarnation? The only reason it is necessary to differentiate is that we still have ego and jealousy. Otherwise, God can freely declare himself to be God. So, according to me, you are God Himself. Kindly clarify this confusion of mine, Swami. Padābhivandanam Swamiji.

A Complicated Analysis

Swami replied: The concept of Human Incarnation is very very complicated because you are dealing with a two-component system appearing as a single phase, like an alloy of two metals. The alloy appears to be a single metal unless you observe it through a powerful microscope when you find out that there are two separate components at the atomic level. You can understand this clearly. But when you take the Human Incarnation, only one component is imaginable and visible. The other component is invisible and unimaginable. The unimaginable God cannot be seen by any instrument. It cannot even be theoretically analyzed or imagined by the brain. I can take a piece of a gold-copper alloy and say that it is an alloy of gold and copper. Using microscopes and instruments, I can show you the two separate components, gold and copper, at the atomic level. But if I take the Human Incarnation and say that the Human Incarnation is a homogeneous mixture of God and a soul, I cannot show you both God and the soul separately using any microscope. God is not only invisible, but He can never even be imagined. Hence, proving the existence of the God-component becomes extremely difficult. Neither can God be percieved by our senses nor can He be perceived by our intelligence. Our inability to even perceive God by our intelligence means that God is totally unimaginable.

Only inference can give us the proof of God’s existence. Here too, it is only God’s existence that is inferred, His nature is never inferred or known by any means. Since the nature of God is unimaginable, only the nature of the soul can be understood, in the cases of both the human being as well as the Human Incarnation. Whatever you can know about a human being is also what you will know about the Human Incarnation. The extra factor that exists in the Human Incarnation is the unimaginable nature of God exhibited by Him. But this extra factor is unimaginable. Hence, whatever is understood about the Human Incarnation is only the imaginable nature of the human being. What is understood about Krishna and what is understood about an ordinary human being, is nothing but the imaginable knowledge about a human being. Since the extra factor exhibited by the Human Incarnation, which is God’s unimaginable nature, is not understood at all, no extra knowledge is gained in the case of the Human Incarnation. It is like showing you two copper coins and saying that one coin is made of pure copper while the second is an alloy of copper and gold, in which the gold is invisible even through the most powerful microscope. The two coins are like the ordinary human being and the Human Incarnation. One is purely a human being whereas the other is a human being with whom the unimaginable God has merged. But it does not mean that there is no difference between the two.

Revealing Divinity While Preaching

The first human being does not compose the Gita whereas the second human being (Incarnation) composes the Gita. Based on the Gita composed by the second person, we have to infer that the unimaginable God must be existing in him. Pauṇḍraka Vāsudeva claimed to be an Incarnation of God without composing the excellent Gita. He was a fraud human incarnation. The existence of God cannot be inferred in him. Vāsudeva Krishna, claimed to be God while preaching the Gita orally to Arjuna. This excellent knowledge in the form of the Gita was actually composed by the unimaginable God (Parabrahman) present in Krishna. But of course, no one can even imagine that unimaginable God. Arjuna could have thought that it was only Krishna who was composing the Gita. In that case, the Gita would have been called Krishna Gita (the Song of Krishna). But it is called the Bhagavad Gita, which means the song of God. Bhagavān means the unimaginable God or more precisely, Lord Datta, who is the first Energetic Incarnation of the unimaginable God. This Datta had merged with Krishna and it was He, who was singing the Gita spontaneously through the mouth of Krishna. Since God is invisible and in fact, unimaginable, any observer might think that it is Krishna, who is composing and singing the Gita. That, of course, is not correct and hence, the Gita was named as the Bhagavad Gita and not Krishna Gita. It means that Bhagavan or God composed and sang the Gita through the mouth of Krishna.

In this context, Krishna must say that He (Krishna) is God and not a human being. This is exactly what Krishna said throughout the Gita. He declared that He was God in human form. If Krishna had not declared that He was God, it would have meant that Krishna himself had composed and sung the Gita. Krishna’s declaration of being God implies that Krishna is attributing the authorship of the Gita to God and not to himself. By claiming to be God, Krishna was saying that the Gita was told by God and this indicates the lack of ego in Krishna. Had Krishna said that He was not God, it would have indirectly meant that He was claiming to be the composer and singer of the the Gita, instead of God. It would have indicated the presence of ego in Krishna. Pauṇḍraka Vāsudeva did not compose or sing the Gita. Yet, he claimed to be God, which indicates the climax of ego. Any Human Incarnation, while preaching excellent spiritual knowledge (prajñānam) says that He is God. It means that he, as a human being, is not preaching it, but that God is preaching it. If he preaches that excellent spiritual knowledge and says that he has composed and preached it, it means that he is attributing the authorship of that knowledge to himself instead of God, the real author due to ego.

Paraśurāma, Rāma and Krishna

Generally, the Human Incarnation hides Himself, as far as possible. Even if somebody recognizes Him as an Incarnation, He will deny it. When sages praised Rāma as God, Rāma denied it saying that He is not God, but only a man, who is the son of king Daśaratha. Even without being praised in this manner by anyone, Paraśurāma developed an ego. Since He had single-handedly killed all the wicked kings on Earth, He thought that He was God since only God can kill so many kings. As a result, Paraśurāma got insulted at the hands of Rāma. Paraśurāma lost God due to ego and remained only as a sage. Rāma had conquered His ego and hence, He denied being God even though others were praising Him as God. Paraśurāma could not maintain God in him due to ego whereas Rāma maintained God in Him throughout His life due to the lack of ego.

Opponent: Like Paraśurāma, Krishna also claimed to be God. So, can it not be said that Krishna also lost God?

Swami: Krishna never said that He was God at any point in His entire life except while preaching the excellent knowledge in the form of the Gita. In that context, it was necessary for Him to say that He was God because the actual speaker speaking that knowledge was the unimaginable God and not the human being, Krishna. In that context, if Krishna had not said that He was God, it would have meant that he himself was preaching the Gita and not God. To confirm that the original author of the Gita was God, Krishna refused to preach the Gita once again to Arjuna at the end of the war. Arjuna wanted to hear the Gita from Him again but Krishna said he could not preach it again since he was not in the state of Yogeśvara any more. The state of Yogeśvara refers to the earlier state in which God had merged with him and preached the Gita. In that state, the Human Incarnation must say that He is God to indicate that it is God, who is preaching and not he as a human being. Krishna’s declaration of being the absolute unimaginable God, Parabrahman, was inevitable since He was compelled by the situation. It should not be misunderstood to be the ego of the human being-component of the Human Incarnation.

Opponent: Rāma also preached the path of living as an ideal human being to humanity. He too was preaching to humanity but He preached through the practical example of His life. He never had to claim that he was God even though He was preaching.

Swami: Rāma is said to be an Ādarśa Mānuṣāvatāra. It means that He was an Incarnation, who was behaving like an ideal human being. He was preaching to humanity, the path of correct worldly life (pravṛtti), through His own example. The path of pravṛtti need not be preached by God Himself. It can even be preached by an ideal human being. Perfect pravṛtti, of course, can only be practiced by God and not by any human being. But if it had been made clear that Rāma was God, then people would have said that He is able to follow pravṛtti perfectly only because He is God. They would have taken it as an excuse to say that they can never follow His example in pursuing the path of worldly justice (pravṛtti). Hence, Rāma was extremely careful in not expressing His divine nature as an Incarnation of God.

Krishna was a Līlā Mānuṣāvatāra, which is a Human Incarnation of God, who is involved in divine play. He preached nivṛtti, which is the spiritual path of devotion to God, along with the basic pravṛtti, which is the worldly path of justice. Nivṛtti is based on pravṛtti. While preaching nivṛtti along with pravṛtti, Krishna had to express His divine nature frequently. Through the cosmic vision (Viśvarūpa) given to Arjuna, He even clearly revealed that He was God Himself, who is the Creator, Controller and Destroyer of the cosmos. It is the unique characteristic of God as told by the Veda since no one other than God can create, rule or destroy the cosmos. However, this knowledge and vision was given only to Arjuna, who was deserving to receive it.

Identifying Marks of the Incarnation

Out of all identifying marks of God, knowledge is extremely important because it alone guides the devotee on the correct path. The identifying characteristics of the Human Incarnation of God also indicate the three steps that an aspirant must take on the spiritual path. The excellent spiritual knowledge given by God (Prajñānam Brahma) indicates the first step of knowledge, which is called jñāna yoga. God’s love for His devotees (Raso vai saḥ) indicates the second step of devotion, which is called bhakti yoga. God’s miraculous deeds (Satyakāmaḥ…) indicate the final step of service and sacrifice, which is called karma yoga. The cosmic vision given proves the Vedic definition of God, which is that God alone creates, controls and destroys the cosmos (Yato vā imāni…). Out of all these identifying characteristics, knowledge is the topmost because it alone guides the devotees on correct path, whether the devotee is pursuing pravṛtti or nivṛtti.

Every Human Incarnation makes a lot of effort to hide His divinity. If some person recognizes His divinity, the Incarnation tries to mislead the person by showing some negative qualities. But those devotees, who are fully deserving to worship and serve that God-in-human-form, will certainly recognize Him. Their aspiration to see God, to talk to Him, to touch Him and to live with Him is certainly fulfilled by God. Actually, He has come only for these few deserving devotees, who had prayed to Him with a lot of devotion. For such devotees, He need not preach any spiritual knowledge since they have already reached the third step of service. They have already crossed the second step of devotion and the first step of knowledge. Actually, while preaching knowledge, the divinity of the preacher must be totally hidden. Only then will devotees will ask all types of questions with full freedom.

Impossibility of Imagining the Unimaginable

The human being-component in an Incarnation also cannot imagine the unimaginable God. This is the safest way of avoiding any further complication. When the unimaginable God merges with the imaginable selected human-being component, there is no difference between God and the merged devotee. The full status of God comes to the merged devotee too. The Human Incarnation has self-awareness or self-knowledge just as the unimaginable God has. Here, the point is not the inability of God to explain His unimaginable nature to the devotee. If He were to prove His nature as imaginable, He would not be called unimaginable any more! The point, here, is that due to the limits of the devotee’s brain, his or her imagination can never touch the unimaginable God. If this point is revealed to devotees, they will pester the Human Incarnation for preaching about the unimaginable nature of the unimaginable God. But even if God were to preach a million times, the human being would never be able to understand it under any circumstances. It is not incapability of God to preach about the inherent nature of the unimaginable God. It is the incapability of the soul’s imagination.

The unimaginable God is beyond space and unless you are able to understand the state of the absence of space, God can never be described to you. First, I must explain to you about the residence of God. Only then can I describe the God residing in it. The state of the absence of space is like the residence of God. You are unable to understand even that residence of God. So, He is totally unimaginable. To whom is God unimaginable? God is not unimaginable to Himself. He is only unimaginable to the human being or any soul in creation. If you want to know God’s nature, you must first reach His residence. If you manage to reach His residence, I will show God to you in His residence. Unfortunately, you are unable to even reach the external compound wall of His divine residence. Then, how can I show God to you in that residence? When space disappears, spatial dimensions also disappear. God has no volume since He is beyond space. An item having no volume is beyond space and can never be touched by your imagination.

Parashurama prajnanam Vasudeva Vaasudeva Rama Raama Dasaradha Yogeshawara Yogesvara pravrutti nivrutti Manushavatara Maanushaavatara Adarsha Satyakamah Satyakaamah Yatovaimani Yatovaaimaani