Am I God?
[We are qualitatively one with God. However, we are not quantitatively equal to God. According to the Vaisnava Vedic teachings the soul is smaller than the atom that we know of in modern science. I have collected some passages from the Vaisnava teachings provided by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and his followers. ]
[The whole Vedic philosophy of life is that one should get rid of the material encagement of gross and subtle bodies, which only cause one to continue in a condemned life of miseries. This material body continues as long as one is not detached from the false conception of lording it over material nature. The impetus for lording it over material nature is the sense of “mine” and “I.” “I am the lord of all that I survey. So many things I possess, and I shall possess more and more. Who can be richer than I in wealth and education? I am the master, and I am God. Who else is there but me?” All these ideas reflect the philosophy of aham mama, the conception that “I am everything.” Persons conducted by such a conception of life can never get liberation from material bondage. But even a person perpetually condemned to the miseries of material existence can get relief from bondage if he simply agrees to hear only krsna-katha. In this age of Kali, the process of hearing krsna-katha is the most effective means to gain release from unwanted family affection and thus find permanent freedom in life. The age of Kali is full of sinful reactions, and people are more and more addicted to the qualities of this age, but simply by hearing and chanting of krsna-katha one is sure to go back to Godhead. Therefore, people should be trained to hear only krsna-katha — by all means — in order to get relief from all miseries.]
>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 3.5.44
[Please note that the Srimad Bhagavatam is advanced studies in Vaisnavism. In ancient times the sannyasa asrama was much more strict that we commonly know in these modern times.]
[In Bhagavad-gita (15.7) Lord Krsna clearly says, mamaivamso jiva-loke jiva-bhutah: “All the living entities are part of Me.” Therefore the living entities are qualitatively the same as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the leader, the Supreme among all the living entities. In the Vedas it is said, nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam (Katha Upanisad 2.2.13): the Lord is the chief individual living entity, the leader of the subordinate living entities. Because the living entities are parts or samples of God, their qualities are not different from those of the Supreme Lord. The living entities have the same qualities as the Lord, just as a drop of sea water is composed of the same chemicals as the great sea itself. Thus there is oneness in quality but a difference in quantity. One can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead by understanding the sample, the living entity, because all the qualities of God exist in a minute quantity in the living entities. There is oneness, but God is great whereas the living entities are extremely small. Anor aniyan mahato mahiyan (Katha Upanisad 1.2.20). The living entities are smaller than the atom, but God is greater than the greatest. Our conception of greatness may be represented by the sky because we think of the sky as being unlimitedly big, but God is bigger than the sky. Similarly, we have knowledge that the living entities are smaller than atoms, being one ten-thousandth the size of the tip of a hair, yet the quality of being the supreme cause of all causes exists in the living entity as well as in the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Indeed, it is due to the presence of the living entity that the body exists and bodily changes take place. Similarly, it is because the Supreme Lord is within this universe that the changes dictated by the material laws occur.]
>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 7.7.19, SB 7.7.20, SB 7.7.19-20
CC Madhya 19.139 — “The length and breadth of the living entity is described as one ten-thousandth part of the tip of a hair. This is the original subtle nature of the living entity.
CC Madhya 19.140 — “ ‘If we divide the tip of a hair into a hundred parts and then take one of these parts and divide it again into a hundred parts, that very fine division is the size of but one of the numberless living entities. They are all cit-kaṇa, particles of spirit, not matter.’
CC Madhya 19.141 — “ ‘If we divide the tip of a hair into one hundred parts and then take one part and divide this into another one hundred parts, that ten-thousandth part is the dimension of the living entity. This is the verdict of the chief Vedic mantras.’
[The Lord then explained that within this brahmanda, or universe, there are innumerable living entities who, according to their own fruitive activities, are transmigrating from one species of life to another and from one planet to another. In this way their encagement in material existence has been continuing since time immemorial. In actuality, these living entities are atomic parts and parcels of the supreme spirit. It is said in the Srimad-Bhagavatam that the length and breadth of the individual soul is approximately 1/10,000th part of the tip of a hair — in other words, it is so small that it is invisible. This is also confirmed in the Svetasvatara Upanisad. In the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, one of the four Kumaras, known as Sanandana, gave the following speech upon performing a great sacrifice: “O Supreme Truth! If the living entities were not infinitesimal sparks of the supreme spirit, each minute spark would be all-pervading and would not be controlled by a superior power. But if the living entity is accepted as a minute part and parcel of the Supreme Lord he automatically becomes controlled by a supreme energy or power. The latter is his actual constitutional position, and if he remains in this position he can attain full freedom.” (SB 10.87.30) If one mistakenly considers his position to be equal to that of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he becomes contaminated by the doctrine of nonduality, and his efforts in transcendental life are rendered ineffective.]
>>> Ref. VedaBase => TLC 1: Teachings to Rupa Gosvami
[This universe (jagat) is situated on the strength of one part of Krsna’s yogic powers. In this way we must understand the greatness of God and our own identity as minute particles. It is stated in the puranas that the individual soul is one ten-thousandth part of the tip of a hair. If we could somehow divide the tip of a hair into ten thousand parts, we might begin to understand how the soul is invisible. Self-realization means knowing our identity as small particles. The small particle of spirit soul is within every one of us, but it is not possible to see with material eyes. There is no instrument existing in the material universe by which one can actually see the soul. Because of our inability to perceive the soul, we say it is nirakara, formless. We cannot even calculate its dimension (akara). Although we cannot calculate it, it is there nonetheless. The living entity has full form. There are small microbes and insects we can barely see, but they have an anatomy consisting of many working parts. Within a small insect there is also the spirit soul, and that spirit soul also exists within the elephant and other big animals.]
>>> Ref. VedaBase => TLK Vs 17
[Two words in this verse are to be particularly noted. One is nirantaram, which means “nondifferent” or “of the same quality.” The individual soul is also expressed here as animanam. Animanam means “infinitesimal.” The Supreme Spirit is all-pervading, but the very small spirit is the individual soul. Akhanditam means not exactly “fragmented” but “constitutionally always infinitesimal.” No one can separate the molecular parts of the sunshine from the sun, but at the same time the molecular part of the sunshine is not as expansive as the sun itself. Similarly, the living entity, by his constitutional position, is qualitatively the same as the Supreme Spirit, but he is infinitesimal.]
>>> Ref. VedaBase => TLK Vs 17
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