Chaitanya, The Golden Avatar
Page 9 of 103

The Lord makes Himself the guide of the servants of God. He personally instructs his sincere devotees, so that they will make sure progress on the path of love and devotion to the Lord and attain the kingdom of God. The Lord is also the receptacle of all the adoration offered to him by his devotees, for whom he embodies the goal, the ultimate objective. For them, the Lord creates a situation favorable to the development of a feeling of transcendent love towards him. For this, He sometimes forcibly withdraws them from all their material attachments and makes all their means of material protection useless.

Nothing directly links the Lord to the creation, maintenance and destruction of the material universe, for He eternally tastes the transcendent joy that comes to Him by the deployment of his internal power. Nevertheless, in order to set in motion the material and marginal energies (constituted by the distinct beings), He takes the form of Supreme Avatars, endowed with powers similar to His own. These Supreme Avatars also belong to the order of divine manifestations, since none differ from the original form of the Supreme Lord. The distinct beings (the distinct individual souls of God that each of us is) on the other hand, are tiny fragments of his person and are not qualitatively different from him. They are directed to the material universe in order to satisfy their desires for independence through the pleasures of this world, but they nevertheless remain subject to the supreme will of the Lord, which itself takes the form of the Supreme Soul, in order to supervise the fulfillment of their desires for material enjoyment. No doubt they are an integral part of the Supreme Lord, from whom they do not differ qualitatively, but they are eternally subordinate to him. They never equal him, and neither do they form with God a single Being. This manifestation of the Lord who accompanies the distinct being is called the Supreme Soul. No one, therefore, should place the infinitesimal soul and the Supreme Being on the same equal footing.

In the Lord rests the entire cosmic manifestation, the animate as well as the inanimate. The being has two types of material body, one subtle, ethereal, formed of mind, intelligence and false ego, and the other coarse, of dense material, formed of the five fundamental elements; earth, water, air, fire, ether, so it evolves on three planes, gross or material, subtle or ethereal, and spiritual. But he is first and foremost a spiritual soul.

The Lord thus explains that from the myriads of beings who wander in this material world, very rare and fortunate is the one who, by the grace of Krishna and the spiritual master, receives the seed of devotion. The man of piety or religion is generally inclined to venerate different gods in different temples; now, if by good fortune, and even without knowing it, he offers his homage to Lord Visnu and wins the favor of a devotee of the Lord, he immediately qualifies himself to approach the Supreme Being, God. This clearly emerges from the life of the great sage Narada, which the Srimad-Bhagavatam recounts. Having served devotees during his previous life, Narada was blessed by these devotees of the Lord and acquired great wisdom, as his name of Narada Muni (Muni means the sage) now attests.

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