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Isvara means controller. So anyone controls, he can be called isvara. But there are isvaras over isvaras. You go on searching, isvara over isvara over isvara. When you come to the point there is no more other isvara, then He's God. That is definition

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"Isvara means controller. So anyone controls, he can be called isvara. But there are isvaras over isvaras. You go on searching, isvara over isvara over isvara. When you come to the point there is no more other isvara, then He's God. That is definition. That is Krsna"

Lectures

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures

Īśvara means controller. So anyone controls, he can be called īśvara. But there are īśvaras over īśvaras. You go on searching, īśvara over īśvara over īśvara. When you come to the point there is no more other īśvara, then He's God. That is definition. That is Kṛṣṇa. You go on searching out, searching out.
Lecture on CC Adi-lila 1.12 -- Mayapur, April 5, 1975:

So actually the original person for material creation, Mahā-Viṣṇu, through the agency of māyā, He has created. Māyayā sṛjaty adaḥ. All this cosmic manifestation is created in that way. Those who are not devotee, they cannot see that over the chunk, total material energy, there is the vision of Mahā-Viṣṇu. That they cannot see. Just like you'll find on the ground, so many flowers and grasses are coming up. How? By the sunrise, the glance of the sun. Where there is no sunshine, there the vegetables do not grow. We have got practical experience. Similar... Therefore the field or the earth is not exploding with the vegetation. It is due to the sunshine. Therefore it is coming out. It is the real cause. Similarly, accepting that chunk, the total material energy, it is agitated by the glance of Mahā-Viṣṇu. Then it explodes and things are coming out. We can accept that in that way, but not that automatically there was explosion. That is not fact. Therefore to the foolish person, the power behind the explosion is not visible. Nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya yoga-māyā-samāvṛtaḥ (BG 7.25). Therefore Kṛṣṇa says that "I am not visible to everyone, they being covered by the curtain of yoga-māyā." Mūḍhāḥ nābhijānāti mām ebhyaḥ param avyayam. Tribhir guṇamayir bhavair mohitaḥ.

So this is our position. We do not know who is the actual architect behind all this nice material creation. That is Mahā-Viṣṇu, and His incarnation is Advaita Prabhu. Caitanya Mahāprabhu is directly Kṛṣṇa, or Kṛṣṇa's incarnation. Nityānanda Prabhu is directly incarnation of Baladeva, and similarly, Śrī Advaita Prabhu is incarnation of Mahā-Viṣṇu. So all of Them are on the equal footing. Śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu-nityānanda, śrī-advaita. They are on the same equal level. And then śakti-tattva, Śrī-Gadādhara and Śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda. Gadādhara is the internal energy, and Śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda, they are marginal energy. So Īśvara-tattva and śakti-tattva. So within this group, there is no this material energy because in the spiritual world there is no action of material energy, only spiritual energy. In the material world there is action of material energy. In the spiritual world there is no material energy. Therefore, in this Pañca-tattva, there is no mention of material energy because in the spiritual world there is no material energy. Māyā-gandha-hīna.

So Advaita, Advaitācārya, is Īśvara, but there are many īśvaras. Even in this material world there are īśvaras, innumerable. But the śāstra has analyzed that the supreme īśvara is Kṛṣṇa. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ (Bs. 5.1): "There is no more higher īśvara than Kṛṣṇa." Kṛṣṇa also says, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat: (BG 7.7) "There is no more. This is the end." You go on finding out īśvaras that... In material world, every one of us, īśvara. Īśvara means controller. So anyone controls, he can be called īśvara. But there are īśvaras over īśvaras. You go on searching, īśvara over īśvara over īśvara. When you come to the point there is no more other īśvara, then He's God. That is definition. That is Kṛṣṇa. You go on searching out, searching out. Just like... Generally, you know, Brahmā is the cre... He's also īśvara. He has created this universe. But he's not the supreme īśvara. He's created by Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. He's also Īśvara, but He is expansion of Mahā-Viṣṇu. Then He is also Īśvara. Then He's also expansion of Sankarsana. Then Saṅkarṣaṇa is expansion of Nārāyaṇa. In this way, you go on, go on, go on, searching out. When you come to the point that no more īśvara-īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha, anādi... (Bs. 5.1). So He has no ādi. Anādir ādiḥ: "He is the beginning of everything, but He has no beginning." How it is, that? He has no...? So many īśvaras have beginning. And why? Now, svarāṭ. That is the dis... Svarāṭ, completely independent. Janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). This is the Vedānta-sūtra. And it is explained by the Vedānta-sūtra-bhāṣya, janmādy asya yataḥ anvayāt itarataś ca artheṣu abhijñaḥ svarāṭ (SB 1.1.1). Svarāṭ—that is īśvara; that is supreme īśvara. He has no īśvara. Everyone has got īśvara over, but Kṛṣṇa has no over-īśvara. He is the ultimate, Supreme. Therefore śāstra says, īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda vigrahaḥ (Bs. 5.1). Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam: (SB 1.3.28) "All of them are Bhagavān, but the original Bhagavān, real Bhagavān, is Kṛṣṇa." Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam. So everyone is under Kṛṣṇa. Therefore Caitanya-caritāmṛta Kar says, ekale īśvara kṛṣṇa āra saba bhṛtya (CC Adi 5.142). Āra saba bhṛtya, servant. Even īśvara-tattva, viṣṇu-tattva, they are also working as servant of Kṛṣṇa. Advaita Ācāryas, just like He's Īśvara, but He's serving as servant of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Therefore ekale īśvara... Na kṛṣṇāt caitanyāt para-tattvam param iha. They're... Above Kṛṣṇa, above Caitanya Mahāprabhu, there is no more para-tattva. Param iha. It is the Supreme.

So in this way we have to study īśvara-tattva, then śakti-tattva, jīva-tattva. That is knowledge; that is education. Not whimsically suggesting something and talking foolishly and... Athāpi te deva padāmbuja-dvaya-prasāda-leśānugṛhīta eva hi jānāti tattvam (SB 10.14.29). If you want to know the truth, then you have to follow these principles, how to know īśvara-tattva. And how to know? Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). Then you have to go, approach the bona fide guru. He will let you know. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā (BG 4.34). No challenge. That is foolishness. No challenge. Praṇipātena. First of all surrender. You don't surrender to a foolish man, but you have to surrender. Now it is your business to find out where to surrender. But you have to surrender. This is the process. Without surrender, you cannot understand the truth as it is. That is the instruction of Vedas everywhere. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam: (SB 11.3.21) "One has to surrender to guru." Why? Jijñāsu: "If you are inquisitive to know the Absolute Truth." And if you want to know something which is flickering, relative truth, that is another thing. But if you want to know the Absolute Truth, śreyaḥ uttamam... Absolute Truth means ultimate benefit, śreya. Ultimate... Yes, exactly the word, benefit. If you want ultimate benefit, then guruṁ prapadyeta. Who is guru? Śābde pare ca niṣṇātaṁ brahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam: one who is expert in understanding the Vedic literature, śābde pare ca, especially transcendental.

So we have to go through like that. As Caitanya-caritāmṛta Kar is explaining, we have to follow this principle. Then if you are really inquisitive to learn the Absolute Truth, they will explain, as here it is explained that here Advaita Ācārya is īśvara, He's incarnation of Mahā-Viṣṇu. Sometimes Advaita Ācārya is called Sadāśiva avatāra. The Sadāśiva is also expansion of Mahā-Viṣṇu. So either way you say, incarnation of Sadāśiva or Mahā-Viṣṇu, it doesn't matter. But Advaita Ācārya is īśvara-tattva. He's not śakti-tattva. He's īśvara-tattva. And we are all śakti-tattva; therefore there is difference. Śakti-śaktimān. Although there is no difference abhinna, but still, śakti-tattva is superior, er, śaktimān tattva is superior than śakti-tattva. So in this way try to understand Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Nityānanda Prabhu, Advaita Prabhu, and Gadādhara and Śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda. And... But they are so kind because they have come to deliver the fallen souls. If you sincerely chant their name, śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu-nityānanda...

Devotees: ...śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda.

Prabhupāda: ...they'll be very, very kind to reveal themselves to you, and your path for liberation will be open.

Thank you very much.