Since Dr. Radhakrishnan implies that the impersonal Brahman alone possesses such transcendental qualities as being inexhaustible, imperishable, and unborn, we must turn to the Gītā for a proper reply. In truth, all the divine expansions of the nondual Supreme Being are endowed with these same superexcellent qualities. As Arjuna declares in the Bhagavad-gītā (11.18),
- tvam akṣaraṁ paramaṁ veditavyaṁ
- tvam asya viśvasya paraṁ nidhānam
- tvam avyayaḥ śāśvata-dharma-goptā
- sanātanas tvaṁ puruṣo mato me
You are the supreme primeval objective. You are the ultimate resting place of all this universe. You are inexhaustible, and You are the oldest. You are the maintainer of the eternal religion, the Personality of Godhead. This is my opinion.
We should understand that those passages in the Gītā which describe Para-brahman as akṣara ("indestructible") are references to Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Controller Godhead. Not once is Lord Kṛṣṇa equated with the kṣara, the conditioned jīvas. Not only big philosophers like Dr. Radhakrishnan, but even mighty demigods like Lord Brahmā and Lord Indra are in the category of kṣara. The Lord maintains the entire cosmic manifestation merely by His separated energy. Just as fire, though situated in one place, spreads its light and heat in all directions, so the unborn Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa, while maintaining His full personality, eternality, and imperishability, expands Himself into countless Viṣṇu forms, jīvas, and internal and external potencies. Expanding Himself in this way never diminishes or in any way affects His status as the Absolute Whole. As the Īśopaniṣad, Invocation declares, pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate:
Whatever is produced of the complete whole is also complete in itself. Because He is the complete whole, even though so many complete units emanate from Him, He remains the complete balance.
The Lord is the eternal Supreme Person, and therefore His name, form, qualities, pastimes, and so on are all eternal. The Sanskrit word puruṣa means "enjoyer." An enjoyer can never be a formless, impersonal, impotent being. Certainly Lord Kṛṣṇa is without material qualities, yet He is the enjoyer and possessor of all spiritual qualities.
In the Bhagavad-gītā, Arjuna glorifies Lord Kṛṣṇa as akṣara, Para-brahman, and ādi-deva (the original Personality of Godhead). Dr. Radhakrishnan writes that the term akṣara, "inexhaustible," is synonymous with the word avyaya, "without deterioration." Therefore why does he conclude that Lord Kṛṣṇa and His body are different? This we fail to understand. On page 275, Dr. Radhakrishnan admits that Arjuna says Lord Kṛṣṇa is Para-brahman, Bhagavān, the Absolute Truth. In the same book and on the same page he writes something quite incoherent and fictitious and attributes it to Arjuna: "Arjuna states that the Supreme (Śrī Kṛṣṇa) is both Brahman and Īśvara, Absolute and God." If Dr. Radhakrishnan possesses such a sketchy and incorrect perception of the Gītā that he thinks Bhagavān is different from Brahman then how can he claim to have read the Gītā? He argues that Bhagavān and Supersoul Kṛṣṇa are products of māyā, while Brahman is not! Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī has severely criticized such speculative philosophy. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta he writes, "Not knowing that Brahman, Paramātmā, and Bhagavān are all features of Kṛṣṇa, foolish scholars speculate in various ways."
We accept both Arjuna and Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī as greater authorities than Dr. Radhakrishnan. Arjuna directly heard the Bhagavad-gītā, and the President of India, Dr. Rajendraprasad, has accepted Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta as an authentic and authoritative scripture. Those who try to understand the Bhagavad-gītā by receiving it from one in the disciplic succession coming down from Arjuna can actually understand its esoteric knowledge; others fail miserably. It is imperative that one attentively hear what the Bhagavad-gītā and other authorized scriptures have to say about the impersonal Brahman. The scriptures amply prove that the impersonal Brahman is the Supreme Lord's bodily effulgence, just as sunshine is the brilliant emanation from the sun. Furthermore, as the sun's rays are dependent on and subservient to the sun, so the impersonal brahma-jyotir effulgence, Lord Kṛṣṇa's bodily luster, is dependent on and subservient to the Lord. In the Gītā (14.27) He says,
- brahmano hi pratiṣṭāham
- amṛtasyāvyayasya ca
- śāśvatasya ca dharmasya
- sukhasyaikāntikasya ca
And I am the basis of the impersonal Brahman, which is immortal, imperishable, and eternal and is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness.
The Lord's statements in the Gītā concerning the impersonal Brahman are unequivocal, yet Dr. Radhakrishnan seems unsatisfied with them. He grudgingly translates Text 27 of the Fourteenth Chapter, "For I am the abode of Brahman, the Immortal and the Imperishable, of eternal law and of absolute bliss." Since Lord Kṛṣṇa is the basis of the impersonal, formless Brahman, He is certainly far superior it. The mosquito net is inside the house, not the other way around; the ink-pot is on the table, not vice versa. Even a small boy can grasp this. Then why does Dr. Radhakrishnan hesitate to accept this truth? There are countless proofs in the scripture of Lord Kṛṣṇa's supreme absolute personality, but Dr. Radhakrishnan is like an owl in the daylight of truths. He tries to cover the sun of truth by creating a dark cloud of word jugglery. Thus instead of truth and knowledge, confusion is paraded before the world. We strongly condemn this sort of activity. Whether directly or indirectly, Dr. Radhakrishnan has tried to circumvent the truth—that Lord Kṛṣṇa is the basis of Brahman—and in the process he has been defeated. If Dr. Radhakrishnan really accepts Lord Kṛṣṇa as the absolute God, then what inspired him to see another being within Kṛṣṇa and to write, "It is not the personal Kṛṣṇa to whom we have to give ourselves up..."?
The truth is that only those who have been blessed by the Lord can fathom the spiritual science dealing with God. Dr. Radhakrishnan's book irrefutably proves this. The Māyāvādī philosophers are big offenders to the Supreme Lord, and therefore He never manifests Himself to them. As the Lord Himself declares in the Gītā (7.25), nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya yoga-māyā samāvṛtaḥ muḍhaḥ: "I am never manifest to the foolish and unintelligent. For them I am covered by my internal potency..." All previous spiritual authorities have condemned the Māyāvādīs, but Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu has directly censured them, calling them the greatest offenders against the Supreme Lord. He said that if a person simply hears philosophy from a Māyāvādī, his spiritual life is in jeopardy. As quoted in the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya 17.129-132 and 134-135), the Lord speaks about the Māyāvādīs in this way:
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied, 'Māyāvādī impersonalists are great offenders unto Lord Kṛṣṇa; therefore they simply utter the words brahman, ātmā, and caitanya. The holy name of Kṛṣṇa is not manifest in their mouths because they are offenders unto Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is identical with His holy name. The Lord's holy name, His form, and His personality are all one and the same. There is no difference between them. Since all of them are absolute, they are transcendentally blissful. There is no difference between Kṛṣṇa's body and Himself or between His name and Himself. As far as the conditioned soul is concerned, everything is different. One's name is different from the body, from one's original form and so on. The holy name of Kṛṣṇa, His body, and His pastimes cannot be understood by blunt material senses. They are manifest independently. The holy name of Kṛṣṇa, His transcendental qualities and pastimes, as well as Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself are all equal. They are all spiritual and full of bliss.
The Māyāvādīs try to imitate Śrīpād Śaṅkarācārya. Pretending to be orthodox, they reject the truth that the jīva is part and parcel of Para-brahman, the Supreme Lord. They also deny the fact that it is only the part and parcel aspect of Para-brahman (the jīva) and not Para-brahman Himself who falls under the spell of māyā. And worst of all, they deny that Para-brahman is none other than the Supreme Personality of Godhead. According to their lop-sided argument, when the jīva attains mukti (liberation) he merges into the impersonal Brahman and loses his individual identity. By this logic, when the Supreme Lord, the Para-brahman, incarnates in this material world or appears in the Deity form, He becomes an ordinary jīva. Thus the foolish Māyāvādīs draw a distinction between the Lord and His form, and in this way they commit great offences against Him.
So, by knocking a wedge between Lord Kṛṣṇa and His form, Dr. Radhakrishnan has demonstrated his lack of intelligence; indeed, māyā has robbed him of intelligence, and according to Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu he is the worst offender. In the Bhagavad-gītā the Lord describes such offenders as mūḍhās because they ascribe human frailties and faults to the Supreme Lord. Today the world has become a hell because of an excess of atheists, and this is due only to the preaching of Māyāvāda philosophy by enemies of the Supreme Lord. Lord Caitanya's mission is to save the jīvas from the clutches of these offenders. Those who are unconcerned about this mission commit offences against Lord Caitanya.
The Māyāvādīs try hard to look like spiritualists, but in fact they are gross materialists. They may be able to confuse and mesmerize the public with word jugglery, but in truth their so-called renunciation is as false as the monkeys', for they have become mere beggars looking for distinction, adoration, position, and wealth. They are busy only with worldly progress; forgotten are the spiritual message and spiritual goals and ideals. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.1.2) has defined such showbottle religion as kaitava-dharma, "cheating religion." Those who are attracted to such cheating religious groups are themselves deceitful. Their show of spirituality is abominable; they have no desire for either liberation or devotion and surrender. They are addicted to speculation and can never understand Kṛṣṇa.
When the Māyāvādīs pretend to perform kīrtana or hold discourses on the Bhāgavatam for personal name and fame, they may sing and talk about Brahman, Caitanya, and Paramātmā, but they cannot utter Lord Kṛṣṇa's name. Although the words śrī bhagavān uvāca ("the Supreme Personality of Godhead said") appear throughout the Bhagavad-gītā, the Māyāvādīs are prepared to say everything else except the name of Kṛṣṇa. It is a well known scriptural truth that the words Brahman and Paramātmā refer ultimately to Lord Kṛṣṇa and that Kṛṣṇa is the principle name of the Supreme Absolute Person. But even when the Māyāvādīs chant such names of God as Kṛṣṇa, Govinda, or Hari, they do so not with the understanding and faith that these names are God's principal names and that they are nondifferent from the Supreme Lord, but rather with the idea that chanting them is a temporary means of sādhana, or spiritual practice. They also do not admit that such chanting of the holy name is an offence. Of course, their biggest offence is to distinguish between Lord Kṛṣṇa and His form. Thus in the Gītā (9.11), Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself condemns these offenders:
- avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā
- mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam
- paraṁ bhāvam ajānanto
- mama bhūta-maheśvaram
Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature as the Supreme Lord of all that be.
Let us study how Dr. Radhakrishnan has translated this verse, which appears on page 242 of his book: "The deluded despise Me clad in human body, not knowing My higher nature as Lord of all existences." In other words, when the person who is "Lord of all existences" is "clad in human body," those who see from a materialistic perspective take Him for an ordinary mortal, while those who see from a spiritual perspective understand that He is the Supreme Being, the cause of all causes. So if it is the deluded who despise Lord Kṛṣṇa, then is it not time for Dr. Radhakrishnan himself to admit that he is guilty of this crime? Let him realize how he has abused the "Lord of all existences," equating Him with a mere mortal. When we see how such big scholars are inimical toward Lord Kṛṣṇa, we can conclude, following the Gītā, that their intelligence has been stolen by māyā.
All the previous spiritual authorities have accepted Lord Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Even Śrīpāda Śaṅkarācārya has accepted this truth. Yet Dr. Radhakrishnan is so deluded that he considers Lord Kṛṣṇa an ordinary jīva, or perhaps an extraordinary one.
There is no one who possesses more knowledge than Lord Caitanya. The knowledge of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, which is logical and scientific, must be received from Lord Caitanya. Has Dr. Radhakrishnan anywhere discussed Lord Kṛṣṇa on the basis of the precepts of Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, who is in the direct spiritual line of Lord Caitanya? We request Dr. Radhakrishnan to study the Ṣaṭ-sandarbha of Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī. He was especially empowered by his spiritual masters to direct his writings toward the scholars and philosophers and make them understand this esoteric knowledge. Another philosopher of his stature is yet to be born; in fact, no one in the future will be able to surpass him in erudition. We hope that since Dr. Radhakrishnan is a philosopher, he will not reject Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī's precepts.
From the writings of Dr. Radhakrishnan one can easily prove how he is perplexed in trying to fathom the science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He tries to present Lord Kṛṣṇa as an extraordinary human being and a historical figure of India, but the Bhagavad-gītā makes such a task impossible. In his "Introductory Essay" (page 30) he writes:
In the Gītā Kṛṣṇa is identified with the Supreme Lord, the unity that lies behind the manifold universes, the changeless truth behind all appearances, transcendent over all and immanent in all. He is the manifested Lord, making it easy for mortals to know, for those who seek the Imperishable Brahman reach Him no doubt but after great toil. He is called Paramātmān.
How can we identify a historical individual with the Supreme God? The representation of an individual as identical with the universal Self is familiar to Hindu thought. In the Upaniṣads, we are informed that the fully awakened soul, which apprehends the true relation to the Absolute, sees that it is essentially one with the latter and declares itself to be so.
But the jīva's becoming "essentially one" with the Lord is not the last word in spiritual life. Of course, Śrīpāda Śaṅkarācārya propagated this idea so that atheists could at least come to this level of realization. But beyond this is the realm of the Supreme Absolute Personality of Godhead. Having entered the sphere of transcendence, if one does not perceive the supreme transcendental personality, one's spiritual practice remains incomplete due to contaminated intelligence, and one has to return to the realm of materialism. Though claiming that the world is an illusion—jagan mithyā—such an unsuccessful transcendentalist then becomes entangled in political, social, and altruistic affairs.
Dr. Radhakrishnan has never directly perceived the supreme transcendental personality, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Although Lord Kṛṣṇa is right in front of him, he cannot see Him, and thus out of delusion he calls Him a historical person. Genuine Indian religious philosophy teaches that there are both oneness with God and difference from Him. This concept of simultaneous oneness and difference has been termed viśiṣṭādvaita, dvaitādvaita, śuddhādvaita, and acintya-bhedābheda-tattva. If this esoteric concept were false, then Kṛṣṇa would not be worshiped throughout India, practically in every home. He is worshiped not as a historical figure but as the Supreme Lord. Kṛṣṇa's position as the Supreme Godhead is firmly established by the authoritative text Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, which is the natural commentary on and essence of the Vedānta-sūtra and the Gāyatrī mantra. Many scholarly Māyāvādīs far more erudite than Dr. Radhakrishnan have tried to shake the faith of the general populace, but since time immemorial Kṛṣṇa temples have mushroomed by the millions—a slap in the face for the Māyāvādīs and atheists, who claim the Lord Kṛṣṇa is an ordinary mortal. In the future also, more Kṛṣṇa temples will be built to frustrate the agnostics and nonbelievers. All Viṣṇu temples are authorized by the scriptures and ācāryas. It hardly seems likely that, just for the sake of Dr. Radhakrishnan, the entire Indian population is going to strike a compromise with Māyāvāda philosophy.
Indian history is filled with accounts of many brilliant heroes who lit up the heavens with their fame. Why have the many sages and philosophers left aside these brilliant suns and chosen only Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Śrī Rāma, and Their expansions to worship as the Supreme Godhead? The spiritual preceptors who have delved into the scriptures to make an unbiased study of this phenomenon are scholars far more advanced than Dr. Radhakrishnan. Yet it is quite understandable that an ordinary mortal like Dr. Radhakrishnan is illusioned about Lord Kṛṣṇa, since even the residents of the heavenly planets are illusioned about Him. As stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.1.2), muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ: "By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion." The earth planet is way down in the seventh position among the fourteen planets in this cosmic system, so its residents are endowed only with meagre potency.
Among the countries of this meagre planet earth, Bhārata-varṣa, or India, is the best because since the dawn of creation Indian sages have exhibited the most exceptional skill in pursuing the esoteric spiritual science. In days of yore, these sages could communicate with the higher planetary systems. But today India is in such a bad condition that we are not willing to follow the instructions of previous sages. We are willing to accept Kṛṣṇa as a historical figure, but by devious means we try distort His instructions with confusing philosophical jargon. This is proof of India's undesirable state. India now has become eager to do away with the real God and replace Him with many fake Gods. This is the greatest misfortune for India.