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Brahma, it is I, the Personality of Godhead, who was existing before the creation, when there was nothing but Myself. Nor was there the material nature, the cause of this creation

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Expressions researched:
"Brahmā, it is I, the Personality of Godhead, who was existing before the creation, when there was nothing but Myself. Nor was there the material nature, the cause of this creation"

Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 2

Brahmā, it is I, the Personality of Godhead, who was existing before the creation, when there was nothing but Myself. Nor was there the material nature, the cause of this creation. That which you see now is also I, the Personality of Godhead, and after annihilation what remains will also be I, the Personality of Godhead.

Brahmā, it is I, the Personality of Godhead, who was existing before the creation, when there was nothing but Myself. Nor was there the material nature, the cause of this creation. That which you see now is also I, the Personality of Godhead, and after annihilation what remains will also be I, the Personality of Godhead.

We should note very carefully that the Personality of Godhead is addressing Lord Brahmā and specifying with great emphasis Himself, pointing out that it is He, the Personality of Godhead, who existed before the creation, it is He only who maintains the creation, and it is He only who remains after the annihilation of the creation. Brahmā is also a creation of the Supreme Lord. The impersonalist puts forth the theory of oneness in the sense that Brahmā, also being the same principle of "I" because he is an emanation from the I, the Absolute Truth, is identical with the Lord, the principle of I, and that there is thus nothing more than the principle of I, as explained in this verse. Accepting the argument of the impersonalist, it is to be admitted that the Lord is the creator I and that the Brahmā is the created I. Therefore there is a difference between the two "I's," namely the predominator I and the predominated I. Therefore there are still two I's, even accepting the argument of the impersonalist. But we must note carefully that these two I's are accepted in the Vedic literature (Kaṭhopaniṣad) in the sense of quality. The Kaṭhopaniṣad says:

nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām
eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān

The creator "I" and the created "I" are both accepted in the Vedas as qualitatively one because both of them are nityas and cetanas. But the singular "I" is the creator "I," and the created "I's" are of plural number because there are many "I's" like Brahmā and those generated by Brahmā. It is the simple truth. The father creates or begets a son, and the son also creates many other sons, and all of them may be one as human beings, but at the same time from the father, the son and the grandsons are all different. The son cannot take the place of the father, nor can the grandsons. Simultaneously the father, the son and the grandson are one and different also. As human beings they are one, but as relativities they are different. Therefore the relativities of the creator and the created or the predominator and the predominated have been differentiated in the Vedas by saying that the predominator "I" is the feeder of the predominated "I's," and thus there is a vast difference between the two principles of "I."