The Lord’s Omnipotency; Vaibhava-Prakasa

rasa dance

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Here is a new word for your Vaisnava Vocabulary; vaibhava-prakāśa. As I was reading the Krsna Book the other day this word vaibhava-prakāśa just jumped out from the pages, and I was reminded again of the Lord’s omnipotency.

“The Lord’s omnipotency is displayed by His simultaneous presence in every place. He is present always in His eternal abode Goloka Vṛndāvana, and still He is present in everyone’s heart and even within every invisible atom.” (SB 1.9.10 purport)

“The personal form of Kṛṣṇa can be divided into two: svayam-rūpa and svayam-prakāśa. As far as His svayam-rūpa (or pastime form) is concerned, it is in that form that He remains always in Vṛndāvana with the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana. This personal form (svayam-rūpa) can be further divided into the prābhava and vaibhava forms. For instance, Kṛṣṇa expanded Himself in multiple forms during the rāsa dance in order to dance with each and every gopī who took part in forms in order to accommodate His 16,108 wives.

… As far as Kṛṣṇa is concerned, when He manifested Himself in different forms, each and every one of them was a separate individual. When Nārada Muni visited Kṛṣṇa at different palaces at Dvārakā, he was astonished at this,…He wondered how the Lord was present with His queens in each and every one of His 16,108 palaces. With each queen, Kṛṣṇa Himself was in a different form, and He was acting in different ways. In one form He was engaged in playing with His children, and in yet another form He was performing some household work. These different activities are conducted by the Lord when He is in His “emotional” forms, which are known as vaibhava-prakāśa expansions. Similarly, there are other unlimited expansions of the forms of Kṛṣṇa, but even when they are divided or expanded without limit, they are still one and the same. There is no difference between one form and another. That is the absolute nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” ( Teachings of Lord Chaitanya)

In our previous post we were reading…

…With folded hands, King Bahulāśva and the brāhmaṇa each simultaneously invited Lord Kṛṣṇa and all the sages to his home. In order to please both of them, Lord Kṛṣṇa expanded Himself into two and went to the houses of each one of them; yet neither the King nor the brāhmaṇa could understand that the Lord had gone to the house of the other. Both thought that the Lord had gone only to his own house. That He and His companions were present in both houses, although both the brāhmaṇa and the King thought He was present in his house only, is another opulence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This opulence is described in the revealed scriptures as vaibhava-prakāśa. Similarly, when Lord Kṛṣṇa married sixteen thousand wives, He also expanded Himself into sixteen thousand forms, each one of them as powerful as He Himself. Similarly, in Vṛndāvana, when Brahmā stole away Kṛṣṇa’s cows, calves and cowherd boys, Kṛṣṇa expanded Himself into many new cows, calves and cowherd boys.(KRSNA, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol.2, Chapter 31, “The Kidnapping of Subhadrā and Lord Kṛṣṇa’s Visiting Śrutadeva and Bahulāśva”)

His Forms Are One and the Same

By devotional service one can understand that Kṛṣṇa first of all manifests Himself as svayam-rūpa, His personal form, then as tadekātma-rūpa, and then as āveśa-rūpa. It is in these three features that He manifests Himself in His transcendental form. The feature of svayam-rūpa is the form by which Kṛṣṇa can be understood by one who may not understand His other features. In other words, the form by which Kṛṣṇa is directly understood is called svayam-rūpa, or His personal form. The tadekātma-rūpa is that form which most resembles the svayam-rūpa, but there are some differences in the bodily features. The tadekātma-rūpa is divided into two manifestations-the personal expansion (svāṁśa) and the pastime expansion (vilāsa). As far as the āveśa-rūpa is concerned, when Kṛṣṇa empowers some suitable living entity to represent Him, that living entity is called āveśa-rūpa, or śaktyāveśa-avatāra.

The personal form of Kṛṣṇa can be divided into two: svayam-rūpa and svayam-prakāśa. As far as His svayam-rūpa (or pastime form) is concerned, it is in that form that He remains always in Vṛndāvana with the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana. This personal form (svayam-rūpa) can be further divided into the prābhava and vaibhava forms. For instance, Kṛṣṇa expanded Himself in multiple forms during the rāsa dance in order to dance with each and every gopī who took part in forms in order to accommodate His 16,108 wives. There are some instances of great mystics’ also expanding their bodily features in different ways, but Kṛṣṇa did not expand Himself by any yoga process. Each expansion of Kṛṣṇa was a separate individual. In Vedic history, Saubhari Ṛṣi, a sage, expanded himself into eight forms by the yoga process, but Saubhari Ṛṣi remained one. As far as Kṛṣṇa is concerned, when He manifested Himself in different forms, each and every one of them was a separate individual. When Nārada Muni visited Kṛṣṇa at different palaces at Dvārakā, he was astonished at this, and yet Nārada is never astonished to see expansions of a yogī’s body, since he knows the trick himself. Yet in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is stated that Nārada was actually astonished to see the expansions of Kṛṣṇa. He wondered how the Lord was present with His queens in each and every one of His 16,108 palaces. With each queen, Kṛṣṇa Himself was in a different form, and He was acting in different ways. In one form He was engaged in playing with His children, and in yet another form He was performing some household work. These different activities are conducted by the Lord when He is in His “emotional” forms, which are known as vaibhava-prakāśa expansions. Similarly, there are other unlimited expansions of the forms of Kṛṣṇa, but even when they are divided or expanded without limit, they are still one and the same. There is no difference between one form and another. That is the absolute nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

In His vaibhava-prakāśa feature, the Lord manifests Himself as Balarāma. The Balarāma feature is as good as Kṛṣṇa Himself, the only difference being that the bodily hue of Kṛṣṇa is dark and that of Balarāma is fair. The vaibhava-prakāśa form was also displayed when Kṛṣṇa appeared before His Mother Devakī in the four-handed form of Nārāyaṇa, just when He entered the world. At the request of His parents, however, He transformed Himself into a two-handed form. Thus He sometimes manifests four hands and sometimes two. The two-handed form is actually vaibhava-prakāśa, and the four-handed form is prābhava-prakāśa. In His personal form, Kṛṣṇa is just like a cowherd boy, and He thinks of Himself in that way. But when He is in the Vāsudeva form, He thinks of Himself as the son of a kṣatriya and acts as a princely administrator.

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