One may be very great in the estimation of our knowledge, but nobody can be equal with God. God is great. That is the real version

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"One may be very great in the estimation of our knowledge, but nobody can be equal with God. God is great. That is the real version"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Asama means nobody is equal with God, and ūrdhva, nobody is greater than Him. That means everybody is lower than Him. One may be very great in the estimation of our knowledge, but nobody can be equal with God. God is great. That is the real version, "God is great." And nobody can be greater. Then he is not God. If somebody becomes greater than God, then what kind of God He is? God is great.
Lecture on BG 4.1-6 -- Los Angeles, January 3, 1969:

Madhudviṣa: "The Blessed Lord said: Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy."

Prabhupāda: Yes. The difference is that Arjuna, being constant companion of Kṛṣṇa, he was also present when Kṛṣṇa said to sun-god, but he has forgotten. But Kṛṣṇa, being the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he has not forgotten. Just like a, my child. I say, "My dear child, twenty-five years ago you fell down and you were hurt in this way." Although the child has forgotten, but the incident is fact. The father knows. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa, the supreme father, He knows everything, and Arjuna might have forgotten. Because one has forgotten, one cannot give details. Just like we had many, many births before this form of body, but we have forgotten that. That does not mean that it did not take place. We had to pass through millions and millions of births. The other day I was explaining. Jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati. Simply we had to live in the water to pass through 900,000 species of life. Two millions species of life, plant and trees. In this way we have passed through. So we might have forgotten, but that does not mean it did not take place. Go on.

Madhudviṣa: Purport: "In the Brahma-saṁhitā we have information of many, many incarnations of the Lord. It is stated there, 'I worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda, Kṛṣṇa, who is the original person, absolute, infallible, without beginning, although expanded into unlimited forms, still the same original, the oldest, and the person always appearing as a fresh youth. Such eternal, blissful, all-knowing forms of the Lord are usually understood by the best Vedic scholars, but they are always manifest to pure, unalloyed devotees.'

It is also stated in the same scripture, 'I worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda, Kṛṣṇa, who is always situated in various incarnations, such as Rāma, Nṛsiṁha, and many subincarnations as well, but who is the original Personality of Godhead known as Kṛṣṇa, and who incarnates personally also.'

In the Vedas too it is said that the Lord, although He is one without a second nevertheless manifests Himself in innumerable forms. He is like the vaidurya stone, which changes colors variously yet still is one, although His multiforms are understood..."

Prabhupāda: There is a valuable jewel stone. If you turn, you will find many colorful manifestations, although that stone is one. Similarly, although God is one, He can manifest Himself in many forms. That is the prerogative of God. Goloka eva nivasaty akhilātma-bhūtaḥ (Bs. 5.37). He can expand Himself in millions and trillions of forms; still, He is one. The same example: that vaidurya stone, jewel, although one, but you will find it in many colors at the same time. So this example is very nice. Go on.

Madhudviṣa: "...although His multiforms are understood by the pure unalloyed devotees but not by the simple study of the Vedas. Devotees like Arjuna are constant companions of the Lord, and whenever the Lord incarnates, the associate devotees also incarnate in order to serve the Lord in different capacities. Arjuna is one of these devotees, and in this verse it is understood that when Lord Kṛṣṇa spoke the Bhagavad-gītā to the sun-god Vivasvān, Arjuna in a different capacity was also present there some millions of years before. But the difference between the Lord and Arjuna is that the Lord remembered the incident whereas Arjuna could not remember. That is the difference between the part and parcel living entity and the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

Prabhupāda: Yes. Here is... Nowadays there are many gods. Especially anyone comes from India in the name of so many saintly persons, and they claim that they are gods. Everyone says, "I am God." Or somebody says that "Everyone is God." But here is the difference between God and ordinary living entity. What is that? God does not forget and we forget.

If I ask you just exactly at this time what you were doing last evening, you will have to remember. You have forgotten. And what to speak of one week ago or one year ago? That is our nature, forgetfulness.

So here Arjuna and Kṛṣṇa, although they are on the level of friendship, one is God and another is ordinary living entity. God does not forget; living entity forgets. That is the distinction. How you can say that you are God? You are so forgetful that you cannot say what you were doing a few hours before, and you claiming that you are God? They have made God as very cheap thing. Everyone is claiming, "I am God." They do not know what is God.

Now, here try to understand what is the difference between God and dog. A dog forgets. A dog comes to your place to eat something. You give it a slap. He goes away, again comes. He forgets that slapping. You see? That is the dog's nature. And God's nature is different.

So if we increase our memory, then we approach godly nature. In this age we are decreasing our memory. Formerly, when this Bhagavad-gītā was written by Vyāsadeva, before that, people were so sharp in their memory that there was no need of publication of books. As soon as one hears from the spiritual master of any instruction, they remember for life. Now, gradually, that memory is decreasing. That means we are not advancing. We are decreasing in our duration of life. We are decreasing in our memory. We are decreasing in our prosperity.

There are eight kinds of decreasing process in this age. Out of that, this memory will be decreased more and more, and the duration of life also will be decreased. Now, you can take history of the past years. Your forefathers were living eighty years, ninety years, hundred years. Now, generally, they live sixty years, seventy years. And gradually it will decrease so much that—these are all statement of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam—that if a man lives for twenty to thirty years, he will be considered a grand old man. You see? That time also will come very soon. So we are not improving actually. We are not improving. We are decreasing in every respect, and we are proud of advancement of civilization. Go on.

Madhudviṣa: "Arjuna is addressed herein as a mighty hero who could subdue the enemy. At the same time, he is unable to recall what has happened in his various past births."

Prabhupāda: Yes. We are addressed as Dr., Ph.D., D.A.C., but if you ask him, a Ph.D., D.A.C., "My dear sir, what you are? Wherefrom you have come? Where you are going next?" oh, he cannot answer. Similarly, Arjuna is addressed here as the most powerful, but he cannot remember. Go on.

Madhudviṣa: "Therefore a living entity, however great he may be in material estimation, can never equal the Supreme Lord."

Prabhupāda: Yes. They cannot be. Nobody can be equal with God. God's another name is asamaurdhva. Sanskrit name is. Asama means nobody is equal with God, and ūrdhva, nobody is greater than Him. That means everybody is lower than Him. One may be very great in the estimation of our knowledge, but nobody can be equal with God. God is great. That is the real version, "God is great." And nobody can be greater. Then he is not God. If somebody becomes greater than God, then what kind of God He is? God is great. Yes. Go on.