|Chapter 2||The Eternal Reality of the Soul's Immortality||Verse 25|
Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Analysing the subject further it is known as avyaktah or unmanifest not being able to be perceived by the eye or any other of the senses, acintyah or inconceivable not being able to be perceived by the mind. The word avikaryah meaning unchangeable is in the sense of not being modifiable by any of the organs of action. The word ucyate meaning it is said thus indicates that authoritative testimony corroborates the validity of the immortal soul being eternal and everlasting as given in the previous verse. The word tasmat means therefore and by its use it is shown that this is a concluding statement.
Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:
The Supreme Lord is verily the manifestation of the inconceivable Himself.
Now begins the summation.
It might be questioned that if the Supreme Lord is all pervading why is He not visible? The reason is because He is inconceivable. It may be further queried how does He appear so endowed? Because of His power of remaining unthinkable; but this power does not come from any outside source but is contained solely within Himself. Whatever forms He exhibits in all these He alone manifests fully. To emphasise words like enam and ayam indicating the eternal soul are used in different contexts. In the case of the living entities it is to show that their eternal soul has qualitatively the same essence and attributes as the Supreme Lord but infinitesimal quantitatively. This is further confirmed in various Vedic scriptures.
In the Paingi Struti it is stated:
The physical body, pleasures and fragrances, light of wisdom, impeccable bravery; these things reflect the best of all wisdom, the best of all pleasures and bravery which find their source within the Ultimate Supreme Personality the Supreme Lord Krishna.
In the Parama Sruti it is stated:
The Supreme Lord Krishna is known to be both possessing a body and devoid of body. This is because He possesses a spiritual transcendental body but he is not possessing a physical body. Because His body is not constituted from the elements of material nature it is said to be a-dehah. The head, the feet, the arms and other parts of this spiritual, transcendental body are made up of the Supreme Lord Himself. There exists nothing which is distinctive from this spiritual, transcendental nature which can be called His body therefore He is called a-dehah without body. He Himself is His form and this spiritual, transcendental form is eternally existing beyond the scope of material existence.
Other than the Supreme Lord Krishna, none else is competent to comprehend this form. There is never for the Supreme Lord the creation or separation or destruction of His spiritual, transcendental body. He and His body are one and the same spiritual, transcendental essence. All of His beauty and all of His wonderful and phenomenal attributes are recorded only to understand that He is the source, the original repository of all attributes. The awareness that I am this physical body is an experience common to all living entities. Even though such a distinct awareness is normal it is perceived as special. Even though it is special, one does not perceive it as being separate from one's own individual consciousness. So how can there ever be a manifestation of the resplendent Supreme Lord for one who cannot even first perceive their own individual consciousness within themselves?
Although attributes may which appear contradictory in normal, mundane human behaviour, it should be understood without a doubt that no such discrepancy ever exists in regard to the Supreme Lord when spoken of in various scriptures. Discrepancies imagined during reflection or speculated due to non-reflection are all a product of ignorance. They do not exist as a reality. These attributes are self revealed.
In the Suparna section of the Rig Veda it is stated:
The one only, without a second, before which there was nothing else whatsoever. Death was enveloped by death. Nothing else was visible. Like the waters which emanate from the mountains flow down in various rivers, whoever sees the attributes of the Supreme Lord in various manifested forms loses merit. Whoever sees even the slightest difference in the descents of the Supreme Lord Krishna's multifarious and variegated incarnations such as Narasingha, Kurma and others from His attributes and actions and also a difference in these manifestations will go to the world of nescience. Therefore living entities who desire to learn about the Supreme Lord should start by knowing Him as indivisible.
Even if there appears to be some special difference it should be understood to be so due to time and circumstance. For example there is no difference between His special attributes and His special strength. There is as well no factual difference whatsoever between any special attribute and any of His special incarnation and His supreme distinctive and indivisible aspect. There is complete and absolute continuity and similarity in all respects in His original two armed form as the Supreme Lord Krishna and all of His unlimited incarnations and expansions.
There are six categories of incarnations of the Supreme Lord Krishna. The Four Kumaras, Hamsa, Varaha, Narada, Nara-Narayana, Kapila, Yagna, Dattatreya, Hayagriva, Prsnigarbha, Rsabha, Prithu, Matsya, Kurma, Dhanvantari, Mohini, Narasimha, Vamana, Parasurama, Vyasa, Rama, Balarama, Buddha and Kalki are known as Lila Avatars. The three manifestations of Visnu are known as Purusa Avataras of the Supreme Lord Krishna. Brahma and Shiva are known as Guna Avatars, incarnations such as Hari and Ajita are known as Manvantara Avatars, incarnations such as Anantadeva and Sesha Naga are known as Saktyavesa Avatars and incarnations such as Sukla, Rakta, Shyama and Pita are known as Yuga Avatars.
In the Varaha Purana it is stated:
All these avatars are bonafide incarnations of the Supreme Lord Krishna and then there are still all of His numerous, authorised expansions and His unlimited associates who descend to a material world with Him to assist in His pastimes. Those who have been blessed to know the Supreme Lord in this manner, onto them is the love of the Supreme Lord Krishna bestowed. Those who think otherwise due to misguided false conceptions, lack of opportunity for learning the Ultimate Truth or the inherent limitations of their own mind will fall permanently into the worlds of nescience.
Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:
The word avyaktah means invisible or imperceivable this is because the eternal soul being totally transcendental to the material existence cannot be practically examined as can objects which possess qualities of a physical nature.
The word acintyah means inconceivable because the eternal soul is impossible to perceive by the mind and the senses being in every way transcendental to the material substratum which is what the consciousness of the living entities base their understanding on. The eternal soul differs from all other existences and levels of existence is in transcendence. Therefore it is avikaryah unchangeable and immutable. The Supreme Lord Krishna instructs that by knowing the eternal soul to be immortal there is no cause for grief.
Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:
In this verse Lord Krishna gives additional reasons why one should never grieve for the soul. Because the soul is unmanifest it is not able to be cut or burned like objects which are manifest in this world and being unmanifest it is inconceivable as it is not possible to equate it with the form or nature of anything that one could imagine in the material existence. Being unable to imagine the constitution of the soul indicates it is immutable because it is devoid of any process of modification for example milk transforming to youghurt. Therfore comprehending the nature and quality of the soul as enunciated above one should not be under the delusion of lamentation.