God: Personal or Impersonal?


Vedanta says that there is Consciousness and on that the prana (energy) started to vibrate. Out of this, the "pancha bhoothas" (five fundamental elements) originated. Out of this, all the substances including this universe originated. From all these factors, the consciousness is all-knowing all-pervading ...etc. and can be considered as the Supreme God. Then how can be a God personified?

—Raju, India


Dear Friend,

As God is consciousness and we are conscious, then we are a part of God. As God is infinite, so God is also infinitessimal.

Arjuna asks Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, what is the better to way to approach God: through the impersonal or personal form? Krishna replies that for embodied beings, it is easier to approach God in the personal form.

It is difficult to love an abstraction. It is difficult to have a personal relationship with the impersonal. As we are manifestations of Consciousness and are personal, so too we can say that God is personal in and through us.

The scriptures speak also of Consciousness becoming individualized: ahamkara (there are other Sanskrit terms as well). Therefore, do not limit God to the impersonal form – feel that Divine presence in your own body, feelings, and consciousness.

The greatest gift is a true guru, God who has become fully realized in human form: a promise for each of us and our ultimate destiny.

Krishna also says, “To find salvation worship Me in all things.”

So, God is personified in each of us, but God has also taken the forms of the deities and other subtle powers and beings which transmit divine consciousness through various functions and states of consciousness.

In the end, however, Krishna says, “In whatever form the devotee seeks Me, I will come!”

Nayaswami Hriman