Question: In Western theology there’s a prominent concept that God is almighty and can do anything. I think that’s not exactly wrong, but a mis-focus, or mis-stress, or out of context statement. I think there are certain things that even God can’t do. Not because there is some authority outside or above him, but because he establishes authority himself and cannot transgress it.
Am I wrong? Does Eastern theology (especially ours) give the same stress to God’s being All-mighty? If so, is there a clear statement from Śāstra to the effect that there is nothing the All-mighty cannot do – a statement which is literal and not inspirational?
For example, there is a fundamental principle, नासातो विद्यते भावो, नाभावो विद्यते सतः – I don’t think that even God can contradict this principle, not because he lacks in potency, but because he is full in potency and his potency establishes the principle.
To resolve the issue, perhaps it is his will to abide by the all-powerful principles he has established, because those principles facilitate his aim: rasa / ānanda?
Answer: God is almighty but not whimsical or crazy. Nor he has any need to prove to a layman that he can do anything. He has made certain rules and he abides by them even if he is capable of jumping them. You might have heard this brainteaser – can God make a stone heavy enough which he cannot lift? Yes, He can do so and yet remain almighty. No, He cannot make such a stone and yet remain all potent.
The point is that he does not have to prove himself to non-believers so that non-believers continue not to believe. He is the ashraya for all.
Union of Radha and Krishna
Question: The union of Radha and Krishna serves as a model for devotion, divine love. It seems no matter how exalted, pure, transcendental it can be conceived and reinterpreted – it is fundamentally rooted in the physical level, in biological nature, in those more primitive brain regions and is connected to the hormone system, autonomic nervous system, etc. At the basis it is the union of man and woman.
Does not holding this imagery (especially given its erotic coloring in the scriptures) central in one’s conception of relation to God and being a celibate at the same time create basic tension and longing that at the root cannot be resolved and thus can feed on itself and grow indefinitely, as one fuels desire and at the same time accepts total impossibility to resolve this desire on the material plane?
Answer: 200% WRONG!! But do not be disheartened. Most people have this misconception. This is one thing no human mind can understand by one’s effort. One is lucky if one can get it even after hearing thousand times from a person who knows it. This is the greatest mystery of Vedic culture, I would say.
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Daily Bhakti Byte
You should have one desire, and that is that you want prema. Then you should work to fulfill that desire, no matter what obstacle comes your way. Stay focused and fixed on this goal. Make this your resolve. Every morning take a deep breath in, and then push all of the air out out of your lungs. And just when you feel like you are about to die, resolve mentally, ‘I want Krishna prema – nothing else.’ Do this five times each morning and also five times at night before sleeping.