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Bhagavan Appears As Both Personal And Impersonal

Vedanta teaches about God Personal and God Impersonal; God manifest and God Unmanifest; God Absolute and God relative; God the Father, God the Mother and God beyond both. And it is always the one and the same God. ‘That which exists is One, sages call it by various names.’ Bhagavan reveals Himself to His devotees as both Personal and Impersonal.

Let us examine some utterances of Sri Ramakrishna:

The jnani seeks to realize Brahman. But the ideal of the bhakta is the Personal God — a God endowed with omnipotence and with the six treasures. Yet Brahman and Shakti are, in fact, not different. That which is the Blissful Mother is, again, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute. They are like the gem and its lustre. When one speaks of the luster of the gem, one thinks of the gem; and again, when one speaks of the gem, one refers to its luster. One cannot conceive of the luster of the gem without thinking of the gem, and one cannot conceive of the gem without thinking of its lustre.

As long as one has not realized God, one should renounce the world, following the process of ‘Neti, neti’. But he who has attained God knows that it is God who has become all this. Then he sees that God, maya, living beings, and the universe form one whole. God includes the universe and its living beings. …

It is the process of evolution and involution. The world, after its dissolution, remains involved in God; and God, at the time of creation, evolves as the world. Butter goes with buttermilk, and buttermilk goes with butter. If there is a thing called buttermilk, then butter also exists; and if there is a thing called butter, then buttermilk also exists. If the Self exists, then the non-Self must also exist.

The phenomenal world belongs to that very Reality to which the Absolute belongs; again, the Absolute belongs to that very Reality to which the phenomenal world belongs. He who is realized as God has also become the universe and its living beings. One who knows the Truth knows that it is He alone who has become father and mother, child and neighbour, man and animal, good and bad, holy and unholy, and so forth.

This vision realized by Sri Ramakrishna is the highest, perfect vision. God is seen in both His aspects, His inferior and superior nature.

Source - Prabuddha Bharata Magazine December 2004 issue