The personified Vedas therefore concluded, “O Lord, You are the unlimited eternal (dhruva), and the living entities are the limited eternals.” The form of the unlimited eternal is sometimes conceived as the universal form, and in the Vedic literatures like the Upaniṣads the form of the limited eternal is vividly described. It is said therein that the original, spiritual form of the living entity is one ten-thousandth the size of the tip of a hair. It is also stated that spirit is greater than the greatest and smaller than the smallest. The individual living entities, who are eternally part and parcel of God, are smaller than the smallest. With our material senses we can perceive neither the Supreme, who is greater than the greatest, nor the individual soul, who is smaller than the smallest. We have to understand both Him who is greater than the greatest and him who is smaller than the smallest from the authoritative sources of Vedic literature. The Vedic literature states that the Supersoul is sitting within the heart of every living entity’s body and is as big as a thumb. Therefore the argument may be put forward, How can something the size of a thumb be accommodated within the heart of an ant? The answer is that this thumb measurement of the Supersoul is imagined in proportion to the body of the living entity. In no circumstance, therefore, can the Supersoul and the individual living entity be taken as one, although both of them enter within the material body of a living entity. The Supersoul lives within the heart to direct or control the individual living entity. Although both are dhruva, or eternal, the living entity is always under the direction of the Supreme.
It may be argued that because the living entities are born of the material nature they are all equal and independent. In the Vedic literature, however, it is said that the Supreme Personality of Godhead impregnates the material nature with the living entities and then they come out. Therefore, the appearance of the individual living entities is not factually due to material nature alone, just as a child produced by a woman is not her independent production. A woman is first impregnated by a man, and then a child is produced. As such, the child produced by the woman is part and parcel of the man. Similarly, the living entities are apparently produced by the material nature, but not independently. It is due to the impregnation of the material nature by the supreme father that the living entities are present. Therefore the argument that the individual living entities are not parts and parcels of the Supreme cannot stand. For example, the different parts of the body cannot be taken as equal to the whole; rather, the whole body is the controller of the different limbs. Similarly, the parts and parcels of the supreme whole are always dependent and are always controlled by the source of the parts and parcels. It is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā that the living entities are parts and parcels of Kṛṣṇa: mamaivāṁśaḥ. No sane man, therefore, will accept the theory that the Supersoul and the individual soul are of the same category. They are equal in quality, but quantitatively the Supersoul is always the Supreme, and the individual soul is always subordinate to the Supersoul. That is the conclusion of the Vedas.
The significant word used in this connection is yan-maya, or cin-maya. In Sanskrit grammar, the word mayaṭ is used in the sense of “transformation,” and also in the sense of “sufficiency.” The Māyāvādī philosophers interpret that the word yan-maya, or cin-maya, indicates that the living entity is always equal to the Supreme. But one has to consider whether this affix, mayaṭ, is used for “sufficiency” or for “transformation.” The living entity never possesses anything exactly in the same proportion as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, this mayaṭ affix cannot be used to mean that the individual living entity is sufficient. The individual living entity never has sufficient knowledge; otherwise, how could he have come under the control of māyā, or the material energy? The word “sufficient” can be accepted, therefore, only in proportion to the magnitude of the living entity. The spiritual oneness of the Supreme Lord and the living entities is never to be accepted as homogeneity. Each and every living entity is individual. If homogeneous oneness is accepted, then by the liberation of one individual soul, all other individual souls would have been liberated immediately. But the fact is that every individual soul is differently enjoying and suffering in the material world.