Jan 01, 2018 FRANCE (SUN)
The conversation between Srila Prabhupada and Vipina in The Impossible Alternative is very interesting, for it draws the attention directly on the Person of Krsna. And so, as well, on what He also is: God, the Absolute Truth, the Origin of everything, the Source of all beauty, ananda, knowledge, etc., etc. And also drives this attention on a possibly valid question about Krsna: His possible (or much more surely not possible) limits.
The way Vipina asks her questions, answers to Srila Prabhupada and insists can appear a little subversive, mostly because it suggests that Krsna has limits for He does not really satisfy the desire to be totally happy of someone who wants to be independent from Him. In other words, Krsna does not let someone become fully satisfied with Maya. In fact, Vipina's insistence is legitimate, intelligent and raises an interesting subject: is Krsna limited because He does not (or cannot) let and allow jivas to be completely happy in the situation where they are not directly and voluntary fully serving Him and His associates? So, to be very clear: to be really happy in Maya.
We will see that, in all cases, Krsna is never limited.
It is a fact that a question which can easily come to our mind is: why both uses of our free-will can not give us complete happiness if Krsna is not an ordinary despot? After all, everyone could be free to choose to be completely happy with Krsna or without Him. Why is it not possible? The usual answer to this point is generally that things work in one way and not in another way. And CANNOT work in another way. Krsna is Krsna forever, the jivas are also jivas forever, and all that cannot be changed. And a special relation exists eternally and irrevocably between those jivas and Krsna. It is impossible to change that. Even maybe for Krsna Himself. If we stop our thinking at this point, all that can appear as a Krsna's limit. And in the future, for very sure (if it did not already happen), intelligent materialists will raise this contradiction. If God cannot do something or cannot afford to do something, that defines inevitably some limits. And God cannot be God if He has limits. Consequently, your God, Krsna, is not really God! Victory! Glory day for us! We got it! Veni, vidi, vici. Good-bye! See you later when you will bring us a real true actual God... Not this limited one! Sorry but we are a little bit more demanding than that...
Yes sir! But we have, first, to define together the frame on which we base our speaking. Our discussion must have a basis like any serious discussion has. Without it, it is useless to start anything. This basis must be something which is essential, shared by and common to all living beings. Because you and me, the protagonists of this discussion and those who hear it, are precisely living beings. The tables and the chairs are absolutely not interested in this debate. That will give the maximal wingspan to this talk. And we speak about God! It is acknowledged by everyone to be a big subject. So we must obligatorily put ourselves in this very wide dimension which suits to this matter. Therefore, what is most common and essential to all living beings? Except the desire for pleasure and satisfaction. We live, eat, sleep, mate and defend ourselves for that. And to take this frame for our debate is quite good because it is precisely part of the original question which opened this discussion.
So, even auto-destructive or masochist people are looking for some pleasure through their negative behaviours. Even self-annihilation or Voidism or Nihilism are associated with the notion of relief, which itself is related to the idea of some kind of happiness. And anyway, the true concept of happiness is somehow the suppression of material pains and in fact to keep only joys, iron them out and make them become a permanent state where they become spiritual. We are not asked to keep our diseases, old age, scoliosis, osteoarthritis, back problems, painful death, heavy skin burns, personal tortures, etc., and to make them become transcendental. That is absolutely not necessary. But our love, friendship, fun, humour, intellectual appetite, our sane pleasures can be kept but must just become spiritual. Therefore, globally, good-bye "matra sparsas tu Kaunteya..." Arriverderci... Vislat...
One of Krsna's characteristics described in the Nectar of devotion is that He is always joyful. Always and eternally submerged in joy (bliss). But this joy is not at all material. That can be reached for us only through fully adopting Krsna's pure devotional service. But that is another subject.
Therefore, the most interesting common point to all living entities is this research of satisfaction or pleasure. Happiness is just the expression of the fullness, permanence and perfection of the achievement of this research. Consequently, if we want to speak about the subject of God, in order to give to our discussion the very wide wingspan which suits to this big subject, we must choose this frame and base our conversation on this point. Meaning on this natural tendency of everyone to look for this happiness, just because it is the most essential thing shared by everyone
in the world.
Consequently, we must also consider God Himself on this basis because everyone, theists or atheists, agree that if God exists, He is de facto the Father and so, is responsible for the whole Creation and of all the living beings. And consequently, responsible for what appears to be the most important for them and the most common wished for element among them: their happiness. At least, if those living beings act properly.
We very often hear and see that this concept of God's responsibility upon the living beings is expressed by everyone. Does not matter those persons believe in God or not. This concept of God's responsibility upon His whole creation appears to be natural to both camps. Consequently, again, in our case, when we accept that the most common thing among living beings is this research of pleasure or, in its widest expression, happiness, we also accept, de facto, that God is responsible for the pleasure or happiness of the living entities. Both things are naturally associated.
By defining ourselves a frame based on something which is a common and essential thing to all living entities, never mind they accept God or not, or believe or not in Him, we also automatically define ourselves an Absolute in which both suras and asuras are. That is pretty good, because God is precisely always also defined by the notion of Absolute. The dog caught his tail! And by defining this thing which is common and essential to all living beings, we have also created the evidence of the non-necessity and even the absurdity to try to put those beings out of this Absolute for any reason which can exist. Why any necessity would exist to put or even imagine the living beings out of the Absolute they are themselves all naturally in and looking for? Therefore, we have even less good reasons to try to put or to imagine God Himself out of this Absolute and (or) trying Himself to put jivas out of this Absolute when He is precisely generally defined by everyone, by nature, as this Absolute Himself. And as the Origin of what is the Absolute for the living beings.
Even the persons who don't believe in the existence of God consider that if He would exist, by definition, He would be the original Absolute. If not, He would not be God. Somehow, we come back, in one sense, close to the beginning of this discussion. We definitively associate Krsna with the notion of happiness and certainly not with its contrary. Things are clear. And therefore, the Absolute of God and the one wished by the jivas appear to have the same nature.
Therefore, why should we whimsically try to put one Absolute (the one looked for by the living beings) out of the other Absolute (God's) when obviously, their nature are the same? Why should anyone have to artificially build an Absolute out of the Supreme Absolute when there is no fundamental contradiction between those two Absolutes? When Krsna (or God) is defined by everyone as necessarily the expression of the Absolute, and when we also define for ourselves the research of happiness as our Absolute, it does not matter if one accepts or not the existence of God. Why should Krsna have Himself to create or let be created an Absolute out of His Absolute, when both have the same nature and are the result of the same desire? Why should we require Krsna to do that? Why would Krsna be asked, in order not to be considered as limited, to act out of His Absolute when there is no dichotomy between His Absolute and the desired one of the jivas? Why would Krsna be considered as limited because He does not accept to do such a ridiculous thing, which is absolutely completely not useful and would create a useless, unpleasant and detrimental schism in His Creation? Why would Krsna be limited because He does not want to act under the normal and natural level of His own intelligence?
Even in this world, there is not one single sane person who considers him (her) self (or others!) as limited because he is intelligent and cannot or does not want to be stupid. Because he is generous, and cannot or does not want to be stingy and selfish. Because he is open-minded and cannot or does not want to be narrow-minded. Nobody ever regrets that! That can not be considered as limits. Even a psychopath or a serial-killer does not consider his non-tendency or "incapacity" to miss his human targets or to be caught by the police as personal limits. Even in his demoniac logic, he will much more consider its contrary as his personal limits. Therefore, this reasoning is obviously universal. Why should Krsna, who is the most intelligent and the sanest of all living beings, be different?
Anyway, even if we forget all of what was just said in this paper, Krsna's nature Itself makes the idea of God having limits non-valid. If Krsna, the Spiritual World and the ananda related to them were static, the impossibility for the jiva to be perfectly happy independently from Krsna could eventually be received as God's and God Creation's defect and limit.
But the reality is that Krsna, the Spiritual World and the ananda experienced both by Krsna and the other living beings in It are not static, but exponential. So, eternally and always increasing. This unbelievable and marvelous characteristic is sufficient by itself to completely counter the fact that a jiva can not be fully satisfied without Krsna. It is just up to every jiva to be clever enough to make the good choice. As far as Krsna is concerned, He already made everything perfect. There is no question of limits in Him.
Happy New Year to all!