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"God is not an artificial imposition on
the mind: God
is personal."

Saturday, December 6th, 2003

Izhevsk, Russia

Personal Answers

To impersonal questions

At two o' clock in the afternoon I give a lecture in the Izhevsk Library Reading Room to about forty-five guests — mostly Buddhist and Impersonalists, judging by their questions, so I speak very forcefully about the Personality of God, emphasizing His pastimes and the different loving relationships that we can have with Him.

"So it is important to you to personalize God?" says a middle-aged lady.

"No. It is not important to me," I say. "God is not an artificial imposition on the mind: God is personal. We cannot arbitrarily decide that God is personal or impersonal, male or female, young or old. God is not like that; He is not a concept that we artificially impose on our minds. We have to take our authority from the scriptures, and the Vedas say, krsnas tu bhagavan svayam — Krishna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself."

An elderly gentleman says: "I think that Krishna is one aspect of the Supreme Absolute Truth, and that the path of bhakti, personal devotion, and the relationships that you describe are merely one of the many paths to realizing that God is ultimately Brahman — all-pervading, and formless."

"Huh?" I retort, incredulously. "Think about what you are saying. We are finite and God is infinite. Do you agree?"


"Then how can the finite be greater than the infinite? If God is Brahman — formless, impersonal — then ultimately He has no feelings. If we have feelings and emotions that God does not have, that would mean that we are greater than God. But we are not greater than God! We are part and parcel of God — and the part can never be greater than the whole."

The gentleman nods. These are unsophisticated people, really. They have read many books on Indian and Vedic culture, so they have many misconceptions, but they are open to suggestion. I stress the importance of studying the Vedas under the guidance of a genuine guru.

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