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The conception of God and the conception of Absolute Truth are not on the same level. The Srimad-Bhagavatam hits on the target of the Absolute Truth. The conception of God indicates the controller, whereas the conception of the Absolute Truth indicates the summum bonum or the ultimate source of all energies. There is no difference of opinion about the personal feature of God as the controller because a controller cannot be impersonal. Of course modern government, especially democratic government, is impersonal to some extent, but ultimately the chief executive head is a person, and the impersonal feature of government is subordinate to the personal feature. So without a doubt whenever we refer to control over others we must admit the existence of a personal feature. Because there are different controllers for different managerial positions, there may be many small gods. According to the Bhagavad-gita any controller who has some specific extraordinary power is called a vibhutimat sattva, or controller empowered by the Lord. There are many vibhutimat sattvas, controllers or gods with various specific powers, but the Absolute Truth is one without a second. This Srimad-Bhagavatam designates the Absolute Truth or the summum bonum as the param satyam.
The author of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Srila Vyasadeva, first offers his respectful obeisances unto the param satyam (Absolute Truth), and because the param satyam is the ultimate source of all energies, the param satyam is the Supreme Person. The gods or the controllers are undoubtedly persons, but the param satyam from whom the gods derive powers of control is the Supreme Person. The Sanskrit word isvara (controller) conveys the import of God, but the Supreme Person is called the paramesvara, or the supreme isvara. The Supreme Person, or paramesvara, is the supreme conscious personality, and because He does not derive any power from any other source, He is supremely independent. In the Vedic literatures Brahma is described as the supreme god or the head of all other gods like Indra, Candra and Varuna, but the Srimad-Bhagavatam confirms that even Brahma is not independent as far as his power and knowledge are concerned. He received knowledge in the form of the Vedas from the Supreme Person who resides within the heart of every living being. That Supreme Personality knows everything directly and indirectly. Individual infinitesimal persons, who are parts and parcels of the Supreme Personality, may know directly and indirectly everything about their bodies or external features, but the Supreme Personality knows everything about both His external and internal features.
The words janmady asya [SB 1.1.1] suggest that the source of all production, maintenance or destruction is the same supreme conscious person. Even in our present experience we can know that nothing is generated from inert matter, but inert matter can be generated from the living entity. For instance, by contact with the living entity, the material body develops into a working machine. Men with a poor fund of knowledge mistake the bodily machinery to be the living being, but the fact is that the living being is the basis of the bodily machine. The bodily machine is useless as soon as the living spark is away from it. Similarly, the original source of all material energy is the Supreme Person. This fact is expressed in all the Vedic literatures, and all the exponents of spiritual science have accepted this truth. The living force is called Brahman, and one of the greatest acaryas (teachers), namely Sripada Sankaracarya, has preached that Brahman is substance whereas the cosmic world is category. The original source of all energies is the living force, and He is logically accepted as the Supreme Person. He is therefore conscious of everything past, present and future, and also of each and every corner of His manifestations, both material and spiritual. An imperfect living being does not even know what is happening within his own personal body. He eats his food but does not know how this food is transformed into energy or how it sustains his body. When a living being is perfect, he is aware of everything that happens, and since the Supreme Person is all-perfect, it is quite natural that He knows everything in all detail. Consequently the perfect personality is addressed in the Srimad-Bhagavatam as Vasudeva, or one who lives everywhere in full consciousness and in full possession of His complete energy. All of this is clearly explained in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, and the reader has ample opportunity to study this critically.
In the modern age Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu preached the Srimad-Bhagavatam by practical demonstration. It is easier to penetrate into the topics of the Srimad-Bhagavatam through the medium of Sri Caitanya’s causeless mercy. Therefore a short sketch of His life and precepts is inserted herein to help the reader understand the real merit of Srimad-Bhagavatam.
It is imperative that one learn the Srimad-Bhagavatam from the person Bhagavatam. The person Bhagavatam is one whose very life is Srimad-Bhagavatam in practice. Since Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the Absolute Personality of Godhead, He is both Bhagavan and Bhagavatam in person and in sound. Therefore His process of approaching the Srimad-Bhagavatam is practical for all people of the world. It was His wish that the Srimad-Bhagavatam be preached in every nook and corner of the world by those who happened to take their birth in India.
The Srimad-Bhagavatam is the science of Krsna, the Absolute Personality of Godhead of whom we have preliminary information from the text of the Bhagavad-gita. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has said that anyone, regardless of what he is, who is well versed in the science of Krsna (Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita) can become an authorized preacher or preceptor in the science of Krsna.
There is a need for the science of Krsna in human society for the good of all suffering humanity of the world, and we simply request the leaders of all nations to pick up this science of Krsna for their own good, for the good of society and for the good of all the world’s people.