The Concept of the Personal Absolute

God-dess has no second. God-dess is the only reality. God-dess’ form is pure self-luminous consciousness. God-dess is the eternal principle, the highest good and the highest bliss.

God-dess is an essential unity above categorical difference. There is no other being with the same nature as God-dess. The Absolute is one, but different religions call God-dess by different names. Judaism, Christianity and Islam “aim at the same eternal, indivisible, immutable and perfect Being, which is immanent in the hearts of all, but describe it differently in respect of its name, form and attributes.” (90)

The phenomenal world is categorically different from God-dess, but it is not self-existent. It depends on God-dess for its existence. God-dess is the cause of his-her own existence and everything else.

God-dess’ body and its owner are not two different principles, like the difference between body and soul of living entities in the physical world. God-dess’ body and its owner are both constituted of consciousness and bliss. God-dess’ name, attributes, activities and abode are all manifestations of the same eternal spiritual principle. God-dess “is devoid of all kinds of difference whether external or internal.” (91)

God-dess has the inconceivable power to manifest in different forms without losing his-her oneness. God-dess is one and indivisible yet has innumerable forms and manifests in infinite ways to devotees according to their different capacities and the different means of realization adopted by them.

God-dess manifests in three clear levels, as Undifferentiated Oneness, Cosmic Consciousness and personal God-dess according to the three paths of approach: knowledge, meditation and devotion. Of these three forms, each succeeding one supersedes and includes the preceding. God-dess, the highest manifestation, supersedes and includes Undifferentiated Oneness and Cosmic Consciousness.

God-dess is identified with the supreme personalities, Radha Krishna, the source of all incarnations, the ultimate ground of all that exists, and in whom are centered infinite grandeur, infinite powers and infinite modes of divine bliss. All scriptures, explicitly or implicitly, speak of God-dess as the Ultimate Reality. God-dess is the only reality that exists without change before, during and after the end of creation.

God-dess, the highest being, perfectly manifests all auspicious qualities. The incomplete manifestation of God-dess, Undifferentiated Oneness is that “in whom all the divine attributes and potencies lie in a dormant state. It is primordial sameness, but not a barren stillness; it is indeterminateness, but not an indeterminateness that totally denies distinctions and definiteness; it has distinctions, but the distinctions are not clearly brought out; it is a creative potentiality, but a potentiality that is eternally actualized in its most perfect state as” God-dess. (92) God-dess’ attributes and potencies inhere in him-her essentially and eternally and are not unreal or superimposed. God-dess and God-dess’ attributes or energies are inseparable.

God-dess indulges in spiritual pastimes eternally. God-dess has a spiritual body, an eternal abode and eternal companions. God-dess’ body is real and consists of eternal consciousness and bliss. God-dess’ highest and most perfect form can only be realized through devotion. Those who follow the path of knowledge realize Undifferentiated Oneness, which is the outward glow or divine luster of God-dess’ spiritual body.

God-dess has six majestic qualities: the power of supporting and protecting the universe, unfolding and sustaining the natural function of devotion in devotees, leading devotees to the attainment of the transcendental realm, all beings lie within God-dess and God-dess lies within them.

Cosmic Consciousness is a step higher than Undifferentiated Oneness in the hierarchy of manifestations of the absolute, personal God-dess. Undifferentiated Oneness is the basic reality underlying all concrete formations. Cosmic Consciousness is the basic principle controlling and regulating concrete formations. Cosmic Consciousness implies a differentiated and qualified state of God-dess. Cosmic Consciousness is qualified in a limited sense and is a partial manifestation of God-dess who is qualified in endless ways. Cosmic Consciousness is immanent in the living beings and material nature and is “the conscious regulative principle of all beings.” (94)

Cosmic Consciousness is God-dess in relation to living beings and nature. God-dess creates the world and enters into it as Cosmic Consciousness. Cosmic Consciousness is perfect God-dess pervading, sustaining and regulating the living entities and the entire universe collectively and individually.

God-dess has infinite energies, but the most important are the spiritual energy, material energy and the living entities. They are inherent in the nature of God-dess. The spiritual energy constitutes the essence or intrinsic self of God-dess and is the substratum of the entire transcendental world in which the transcendental activities of God-dess are displayed. The material energy is externally related to God-dess and is the cause of the material world. It is related to God-dess in the sense that all energies must ultimately inhere in God-dess. God-dess’ intrinsic and perfect selfhood transcends it and is totally free of its influence.

Material energy does not appear where God-dess is, but appears where God-dess is not. It appears out of God-dess, but not without God-dess, “like the reflection of the sun, which appears in the pond on the earth, away from the sun, but not without the sun, which is its cause. Just as the reflection of the sun does not touch the sun, even though it cannot exist without it.” (95) Material energy does not touch God-dess, even though it cannot exist without God-dess.

God-dess regulates and controls material energy from outside. Material energy, being unconscious, cannot function by itself. The three modes of material energy, goodness, passion and ignorance, are in a state of equilibrium before creation. God-dess starts the process of creation by glancing at material nature, which disturbs its equilibrium and energizes it. This deludes the living entities averse to service of God-dess, but it is powerless over the living entities devoted to God-dess. God-dess rules material nature, but the weak living entities are subject to its control and service. The material creation is neither eternal nor unreal. It is real but subject to change and annihilation, unlike the transcendental abode of God-dess.

The living entities manifest on the borderline between the material and spiritual energies and are related to both. Thus, the living entities have the choice of either serving God-dess and dwelling in the spiritual world or dwelling in the material world and enjoying it.

The spiritual energy is subdivided into three other energies corresponding to existence, consciousness and bliss. By the existential energy, God-dess maintains his-her own existence and the existence of other beings. By means of this energy, God-dess exists as an independent substance and forms the ground or support of all other things, which derive their existence from God-dess. The conscious energy makes God-dess omniscient and enables God-dess to impart knowledge to others.

The blissful energy allows God-dess to enjoy bliss and infuses bliss into the hearts of devotees. The essence of the blissful energy is divine love. The fullest manifestation of divine love is Radha, the divine consort or counter-whole of Krishna, the personal absolute. Just as Krishna possesses infinite divine energies in their highest perfection, Radha embodies those divine energies in their most developed form.

“Krishna is the ultimate source of the infinite parti
al manifestations of the divine personality and Radha is the ultimate source of the endless divine energies of…Krishna. The relationship between Krishna and Radha is that of inconceivable identity in difference. They are, in essence, one and the same entity, which assumes two different forms to enjoy the bliss of divine sports…The body of Radha, like that of Krishna, is made of bliss and consciousness and the love between the two is spiritual.” (98) To maximize Krishna’s bliss, Radha expands into innumerable partial manifestations as her confidants, the sensuous women of the spiritual abode, who join in Radha Krishna’s amorous pastimes increasing their bliss unlimitedly.

The blissful energy is above all others and is identified with the intrinsic and perfect self of God-dess. The other energies are regarded as subservient to it and are associated with the partial aspects of God-dess. The conscious energy is identified with Cosmic Consciousness and the existential energy with Undifferentiated Oneness. The gradation of energies closely corresponds with the gradation of the three aspects of God-dess. Just as God-dess is the highest manifestation of the Absolute and includes Cosmic Consciousness, and Cosmic Consciousness includes Undifferentiated Oneness, the blissful energy, which is the highest and most perfect energy, includes the conscious energy, and the conscious energy includes the existential energy.

The supreme bliss of the divine sports of Radha Krishna attracts even liberated souls. The highest form of bliss known as “the sweet taste” is enjoyed only by the women of Braj, Radha Krishna’s transcendental abode. They engage in the most confidential, loving service of Radha Krishna. Indeed, the sweet taste is the very essence of Radha Krishna.

Universalist Radha Krishnaism is based on a dynamic conception of reality, which is why I described it in terms of process theology in a previous essay. Since the energies are related either externally or internally to God-dess, God-dess is essentially creative on both the material and spiritual planes. The spiritual energy manifests the eternal sport of God-dess. The eternal sport “is the movement of the absolute spirit within itself. It supersedes the order of values in transcendent beauty and sublimity of spiritual life, in beatitude and in the ease and grace of movement.” (99)

“Since there is no movement, which is not related directly or indirectly to the integrating centre, this introduction of dynamism in the absolute calls for a reorientation of the entire view of life. It leads to an aesthetico-teleological conception of reality, which makes our knowledge and experience concrete and meaningful at every stage.” (100)

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