Śrīkṛṣṇa as the Ultimate and Supreme Reality of Godhead
The one whom the upaniṣada address as ‘Brahman’ ‘Parabrahman’ ‘ātmā’ ‘Satya’ ‘Rasa’ ‘ānanda’ ‘ananta’ ‘bhūmā’ and ‘nārāyaṇa’ is śrī kṛṣṇa only. They are multiple facets of the same personality who is the supreme one. Similarly, it is also śrī kṛṣṇa whom purāṇa call ‘Bhagavān’ and smṛti call ‘puruṣottama’ ‘paramātmā’ and ‘parameśvara’. Hence, all the above said divine attributes are the attributes of the supreme Brahman śrī kṛṣṇa.
Śrīkṛṣṇa often quoted the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Being that is all-pervading as Brahman, represents very being as conscience, paramātmā, and contains everything in the ultimate degree. Śrīkṛṣṇa is the Supreme Reality, the source of all other Personalities of Godhead that are merely the expansion of this Ultimate Truth.
This article will explain Parabrahman Śrīkṛṣṇa's transcendental names, forms, qualities, and activities through the verses, as available, in the Vedic texts - the Upaniṣadas, smr̥ti texts, and purāṇas.
Definition of Kṛṣṇa
In Bhagavad Gītā, Kṛṣṇa describes himself as the para-brahman (the Supreme Reality) (Ref. यस्मात् क्षरमतितोहम् अक्षरादपि चोत्तम... (भ. गीता).
Srī Vallabhācārya also defines Kṛṣṇa as "the Supreme and infinite blissful being who descends upon the Universe for the sake of his devotees with his full manifestation of all the qualities" (Ref: स एव परमकाष्ठापन्नः कदाचिद् जगदुद्धरार्थम् अखण्डः पूर्ण एव प्रार्दुर्भुतः कृष्णः ((त. दीप. नि. शास्त्रार्थ प्र. 1)
Bhāgavata Purāṇa describes Kṛṣṇa as the supreme ultimate reality as per Bhāgavata Purāṇa (1:3:28) - ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ, kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam.
Kṛṣṇa in Gopala Tapiniya Upanishad is described as Infinite conscious being with infinite bliss. (Ref. कृषिर्भूवाचकः शब्दो णश्च निर्वृत्तिवाचकः तयोरैक्यं परं ब्रह्म कृष्ण इति).
In the Gopālapūrvatāpinyupaniṣad, the definition is revealed in the beginning verse that starts with a question kṛṣṇaḥ kasmā, the meaning of who is kṛṣṇaḥ?
‘kṛṣṇaḥ kasmā' ditipraśnamupakṣipya, krṣir bhu-vācakaḥ śabdo naś ca nirvṛtivācakah ।
tayor aikyam param brahma kṛṣṇa ity abhidhiyate ॥
saccidānandarūpāya kṛṣṇāyākliṣṭakarmaṇe। namo vedāntavedyāya gurave buddhisākṣiṇe॥'
Answering this question in the following verses that state: krṣir bhu-vācakaḥ śabdo naś ca nirvṛtivācakah ।
Here it is revealed that the krṣi in Kṛṣṇa is bhūvācakaḥ śabdo in paniniya sutra, where bhū indicates bhū- sattāyām, that is the one that exists / great power for all the Existence. And Ṇaḥ in Kṛṣṇaḥ means nirvṛti, that is Infinite Blissfulness. Here combining the two, it stands for tayor aikyam parabrahma kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa, which means infinite conscience being/supreme ultimate reality, i.e., Parabrahman Kṛṣṇa.
Parabrahman Kṛṣṇa with Divine qualities
Although some may consider Parabrahman Kṛṣṇa to be without any qualities or as formless, however, it is not a reality as the following revealed by the following verses from the Gopālapūrvatāpinyupaniṣad, that state saccidānandarūpāya kṛṣṇāyākliṣṭakarmaṇe.
Here it is described that Kṛṣṇa is the form of truth and bliss, whose actions are effortless, and the name and state/form is divine with celestial features and functions, which is why it is called saccidānandarūpāya kṛṣṇāyākliṣṭakarmaṇe.
The answer to who is the Supreme Reality or Supreme God is also found in the Gopālapūrvatāpinyupaniṣad scripture. In this Upaniṣad, the sages (muni) have raised some questions to Brahma as follows:
Questions asked to Brahma
kaḥ paramo devaḥ - Who is the Supreme God?
kuto mṛtyurvibheti - From whom even the death fears?
kasya vijñānenākhilaṃ vijñātaṃ bhavati - By whose knowledge one can know everything?
kenedaṃ saṃsarati iti - by whose knowledge can one transcend from the world saṃsāra bhavasāgara becomes liberated?
śrīkṛṣṇo vai paramaṃ daivataṃ - Śrīkṛṣṇa is the ultimate God.
govindānmṛtyu bibheti - God of death fears Goviṃda bhagavāna.
gopījanavallabhajñānenaitadakhilaṃ jñātaṃ bhavati - By knowing Gopījana vallabha we can understand everything.
svāhetyanenedaṃ saṃsaratī - And through him, only one can sail through the saṃsāra bhavasāgara becomes liberated.
Śrīkṛṣṇa, Goviṃda and Gopījana Vallabha: Different names of the same ultimate supreme reality
In the Gopālapūrvatāpinyupaniṣad scripture, you will get this clarification, Brahma describes the sages similar question on whether that Śrīkṛṣṇa, Goviṃda and Gopījana Vallabha are different names of the same ultimate supreme reality Śrīkṛṣṇa Param Devā, in the following verses:
gopadaṃ ca bhūvācakaṃ vedākhyavāgvācakaṃ cābhipretya dito lokavedaprasiddhaḥ puruṣottamo govinda
The word Goviṃda starts with go that has multiple meanings: iṃdriyāṃ [senses], bhu that is entire sṛṣṭī (world), bhū- sattāyām that is the Existence and go also means vedavānī. Combining the meaning of all these, it is lokavedaprasiddhaḥ that represents the entire vedavānī as Goviṃda.
In the Krishnopanisad, gopyo gāva ṛca' itikṛṣṇopani further defines Gopijanavallabha as He who charms the Gopis, as the infinite supreme personality, referring to all three names Śrīkṛṣṇa, Goviṃda and Gopījanavallabha are the same.
Characteristics of Śrīkṛṣṇa
To know the characteristic of Śrīkṛṣṇa, again refer to Gopālapūrvatāpinyupaniṣad, where Brahma describes Kṛṣṇa as below:
taduhovāca hairaṇyo gopaveśabhrāmaṃ taruṇaṃ kalpadru māśritaṃ tadiha ślokā bhavanti, satpuṇḍarīkanayanaṃ meghābhaṃ vaidyutāmbaram। dvibhujaṃ maunamudrāḍhyaṃ vanamālinamīśvaram । gopagopāṅganāvītaṃ suradrumatalāśrayam । divyā laṅkaraṇopetaṃ ratnapaṅkajamadhyagam kālindījalakallola saṅgimārutasevitam । cinta ya~ścetasā kṛṣṇaṃ muktī bhavati saṃsṛte ritīti svarūpamuktvā, 'tasya puna' rityādinā rasanaṃ bhaktirasya bhajanaṃtasya ca svarūpamuvāca tataḥ 'kṛṣṇaṃ santa' mati mantradvaye nānekadhā yajanādyuktvā, anyacca tatpraśnānusāreṇa sādhanāntarādikamuktvā, upa saṃhāre 'iti hovāca hairaṇya iti munibrahmasaṃvādaṃ samāpya, 'amuṃ pañcapadmāvarta yedyaḥ sa yātyanāyāsataḥ kevalaṃ tat ।
In the Gopālapūrvatāpinyupaniṣad, Śrīkṛṣṇa is described as the one that looks like a cowherd boy, with dark monsoon cloud-like complexion and lotus flower-like eyes, resting under Kalpa tree. The one with two arms adorns a garland of forest flowers, is surrounded by Gopas, Gopis, and Surabhi cows, and is the supreme controller with supreme transcendental knowledge.
In another definition, Kṛṣṇa is defined as the ultimate force [kṛṣṇa is karṣatīti kṛṣṇaḥ], referring to the one that pulls everyone towards itself, attracting everybody.
Moreover, the following verses below represent Śrīkṛṣṇa as one that is mentioned in the entire Vedas and is worshipped by all as the ultimate Supreme Reality. He who dwells in every being, forms and functions. He who knows all beings and lies, and one who becomes your master.
ayaṃ hi kṛṣṇo yo'yaṃ pṛṣṭa ityādinā 'yau'sau sarveṣu vedeṣu tiṣṭhati, yo'sau sarvervedayate, yo'sau sarveṣu bhūteṣvāviśya tiṣṭhati, nṛtāni vidyāti, sa vo hi svāmī bhavatītyantena svaṇḍatrayeṇa bhagavataḥ sākṣitvaṃ, abhoktṛtvaṃ, jñānātmakatvaṃ, niṣkāmatvaṃ, kūṭasthasvaṃ, sarvāntaryāmitvaṃ sarvavedge patvaṃ, sarvabhūtavidhātṛtvaṃ ca vajastrīsadgatasyaiva pratipāditam ।
Now in the writings of the second chapter of the Agastya Samhita, it is stated: 'strī punnapuṃsakākārarahitaḥ puru ṣottamaḥ’. That is purusottama cannot be bound in any gender as Supreme Personality of Godhead cannot be classified as masculine or feminine forms.
ata evāgastya saṃhitāyāṃ dvitīyādhyāye 'strī punnapuṃsakākārarahitaḥ puru ṣottamaḥ । sarveśvaraḥ sarvarūpaḥ sarvadevamayo hariḥ । satyajñānamayo'nantānādirā nanda ucyate' iti svarūpamuktvā, tṛtīye'dhyāye 'sarveśvaraḥ sarvamayaḥ sarvabhūta hite rataḥ । sarveṣāmupakārāya sākāro'bhṛnnirākṛti' riti tadākāragopanamucyate । laukikākārahitaḥ puruṣottamaḥ pūrvoktaḥ laukikākāro'bhūditi ।
It is further explained here that He is the Lord of all, the form of all, and the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
After explaining the nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is full of truth and knowledge, He is called Nanda, the beginning of infinity. For the benefit of all, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is transcendental and devoid of worldly forms, which became the worldly form mentioned earlier.
There is also a description in Brahma-vaivarta-purāṇa that brāhmaṇa, Kṛṣṇa is Supreme Being in the verses:
tmakaṃ 'brahmavidāpnoti para' mitivākyoktamakṣarādapyuttamaṃ brahma kṛṣṇa ityarthaḥ । idamupavṛdditaṃ brahmavaivarte śrīkṛṣṇajanmakhaṇḍatrayodaśādhyāyagargoktau ' kṛṣṇavarṇaḥ kalau śrīmāṃstejasāṃ rāśireva ca । paripūrṇatamaṃ brahma tena kṛṣṇa iti smṛtaḥ । brahmaṇo vācakaḥ ko'yamṛkāro'nantavācakaḥ । śivasya vācakaḥ ṣaśca nakāro dharma eva ca । akāro viṣṇorvacanaḥ śvetadvīpanivāsinaḥ
Sage Garga explained in the brahma-vaivarta's thirteenth chapter of the Birth of Bhagavāna Kṛṣṇa that the Supreme Reality Brahman is Kṛṣṇa.
The self, as stated in the phrase 'Brahmavidāpnoti param' ‘the knower of the Brahman attains the other’, meaning the Brahmaṇ, Kṛṣṇa, who is Supreme than Akṣara.
The syllable ṣa in the word Kṛṣṇa indicates Lord Śiva, and the syllable na in the word Kṛṣṇa represents dharma. akār in the word Kṛṣṇa is the for bhagavāna viṣṇu, who is the inhabitant of the śvetadvīpanivāsinaḥ. He is the basis of all and the seed of all; therefore, He is known as Kṛṣṇa.
Śrīkṛṣṇa as puruṣottama
Śrīkṛṣṇa as loka-vedatitā puruṣottama
The supreme and ultimate Godhead (puruṣottama), as per the Vedic scriptures, is Śrīkṛṣṇa. Several pieces of evidence from the different Vedic works of literature are already cited above in the article.
His creation is his wilfull sport manifested out of infinite bliss, which is termed as līlā by Śrī Vallabhācārya.
Śrīkṛṣṇa neither has any worldly purpose nor any other purpose that might arise due to lack of anything in creating the jagata. The creation is manifested within him, out of him and by him in a pure sportive mood.
Śrīviṭṭhalanāthajī, thus, describes the nature of Śrīkṛṣṇa as someone who is not bound to any rites, rituals, upasana, sadhana, knowledge, actions but is only bound by the pure love the devotees have. This facet of Śrīkṛṣṇa is termed Loka-vedatitā puruṣottama.
This facet/part of him is the fullest manifestation of infinite bliss, which is sought after by the chosen devotees following the path of nirguṇa Puṣṭi Bhakti Mārga.
This facet is described in “nahama vedaihi...” and “nayamātmā cā...”. As this facet is governed by Devotees, “yādayāda thiyāta..”, his form is not easily revealed and describable by Scriptures and is fully manifested based on the divine desires and bhavas of Devotees. He manifests in a form as desired by these devotees in their purest devotional climax state called “sarvātmābhava”.
Śrīkṛṣṇa as loka-veda-prathiṭha puruṣottama
This is another facet of Śrīkṛṣṇa, which is prominently described in Vedic scriptures, including in bhagavad gītā - यस्मात् क्षरमतितोहम् अक्षरादपि चोत्तम. This facet is also the infinite blissful form.
The verses state that Kṛṣṇa declares himself as the Supreme Personality. Śrīkṛṣṇa is neither the conditioned soul nor the liberated soul but he is the Absolute Greatest Being.
Śrīkṛṣṇa as nārāyaṇa/paramātmā
The third facet of Śrīkṛṣṇa is nārāyaṇa, who takes the responsibility of manifesting, sustaining and dissolution of the cosmos. He is the form from which all rest of the avatāras manifest and descend upon the earth. Thus, this form is also known as “sarva-avarata-nidhana” from which several avatāras manifests, including his first avatāra called puruṣa, which is described in puruṣa sūktama. He is the one who takes the form of aṃtaryāmī and enters into the creation and controls/inspires it from within (yāha ātmāni...). This form is also infinite blissful.
Śrīkṛṣṇa and Nārāyaṇ
There is a declaration of the supremeness of Śrīkṛṣṇa in the ātharva-veda, Gopala-tapani Upanishad verses, yo brahmāṇaṁ vidadhāti: pūrvaṁ yo vai vedāṁś ca gāpayati sma kṛṣṇaḥ. It states that Kṛṣṇa first and foremost instructed Brahmā in Vedic knowledge and who disseminated Vedic knowledge in the past.
In the verses of the Kṛṣṇopaniṣad: ata evaṃ kṛṣṇopanipadi 'yo nandaḥ paramānando yaśodā muktigehinī, it is stated that Nandarāyajī appeared as the divine manifestation of the blissful part (paramānand aṃśa rūpa) of the Kṛṣṇa. Yaśodājī is the personification of the Goddess of liberation (sākṣāt muktidevī). Śrīkṛṣṇa's parents are the divine manifestation of the blissfulness of Bhagavān and the Goddess of liberation.
Next referring to the words in Śrī Brahma-Saṁhitā 5.1: īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ, sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ anādir ādir govindaḥ sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam. These verses declare Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Being, also known as Govinda. He is with the attributes of eternal Existence (infinite/boundless), Consciousness, and Blissful spiritual form. Govinda has no beginning or end and is the prime cause of all causes.
Now to review the mention of Nārāyaṇ, the following verse: durvāsā nārāyaṇasyai vaiko hi vai nārāyaṇo deva, expresses that there is one dev who is Nārāyaṇ.
The verses atha puruṣo ha vai nārāyaṇo kāmayata prajāḥ sṛjeya ity upakramya in the Nārāyaṇōpaniṣat, has declared that Nārāyaṇa desired to create living entities.
Further this upaniṣad stated that nārāyaṇād brahmā jāyate, nārāyaṇād prajāpatiḥ prajāyate, nārāyaṇād indro jāyate, nārāyaṇād aṣṭau vasavo jāyante, nārāyaṇād ekādaśa rudrā jāyante, nārāyaṇād dvādaśādityāḥ.
Here it is described that at the beginning of the creation, there was only the supreme personality Nārāyaṇa, who is the expansion of Kṛṣṇa. It is from Nārāyaṇa that Brahmā, the Patriarchs, Indra, eight Vasus, the eleven Rudras and the Ādityas are born.
|श्रीकृष्ण (कृष्णस्तु भगवान स्वयं)||श्रीनारायण (पुरुषो ह वै नारायण)|
|पूर्ण रसात्मकता||किञ्चित् रसात्मकता|
|परब्रह्म रुपता||परब्रह्म रुपता|
|ऋग्वेद विष्णुसूक्त प्रतिपाद्य
उपनिषद् प्रतिपाद्य (कृषिर्भूवाचकः शब्दो णश्च निर्वृत्तिवाचकः तयोरैक्यं परं ब्रह्म कृष्ण इति)
|श्रीमद भागवत पुराण प्रतिपाद्य -
जग्रहे पौरुषं रूपं भगवान..
भगवानपि विश्वात्मा विदित्वा कंस..
एते च अंश कला पुंसा ...कृष्णस्तु भगवान स्वयं
अण्वपि कृष्ण यशोदा क्रोडे स्थितोऽपि सकल जगदाधरो भवति (सुबो.)
|एते च अंश कला पुंसा ...कृष्णस्तु भगवान स्वयं
पुरैव पुंसावधृत धराज्वरो (भागवत पुराण)
|श्रीमद् वल्लभाचार्य प्रतिपाद्य -
पुरुषोत्तमस्तु नन्दगृहे मायया सह जाताः (सुबो.)
‘कृष्ण’ शब्देन परं वस्तु उच्यते तदेव कदाचित् ‘परमसौन्दर्यं स्वागतं प्रकटिकरिष्यामि’ इति इच्छया प्रार्दुर्भुतं सत् श्रीकृष्णः इति (त. दी. नि. 3|1|1)
स एव परमकाष्ठापन्नः कदाचिद् जगदुद्धरार्थम् अखण्डः पूर्ण एव प्रार्दुर्भुतः कृष्णः ((त. दीप. नि. शास्त्रार्थ प्र. 1
अण्वपि कृष्ण यशोदा क्रोडे स्थितोऽपि सकल जगदाधरो भवति (सुबो.)
(यस्मात् क्षरमतितोऽहं अक्षरादपि चोत्तमः अतोSस्मि लोके वेदे च प्रथितः पुरुषोत्तमः)
Śrīkṛṣṇa as Supreme Being by various ācāryas
The verses 1:3:28 of the Bhāgavata Purāṇa by Śrī Vyāsa illustrate transcendental knowledge of the Absolute Truth, describing the manifestations, forms and qualities of the Supreme Personality as below:
ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ, kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam
These verses declare that in every kalpa in this sṛṣṭī, when people get disturbed by the tyranny of the demons, the Supreme Personality Parabrahma Kṛṣṇa manifests and descends from His transcendental abode to protect them and make them happy.
The description goes further to explain that Supreme Personality takes different forms (avatāras) as a partial manifestation (amsa) or manifests with a few kala (divine attributes) of the Absolute Reality.
These manifestations are great and powerful at different levels of competency needed to perform some particular functions. Some descend as only part manifestation, or they appear with only a few of the 16 kalā (divine arts, virtues and attributes) and some of the sadh guṇas (six qualities) of the Supreme Reality.
For instance, Supreme Personality manifested as Śrī Rāma with 14 kalā (divine attributes), Dattātreya, Matsya, Kumāra, and Kapilā presented His transcendental knowledge. In contrast, Nara and Nārāyaṇa ṛṣi showed His renunciation and so on.
Only Śrīkṛṣṇa is acclaimed as the complete manifestation or pūrṇa avatāra, who manifests with all 16 kalās and six qualities of all total abundance. These six are aiśvaryā (beauty), śrī (opulence), yaśa (fame), vīrya (prowess), vairāgya (renunciation) and jñāna (knowledge). Thus, Śrīkṛṣṇa is Pūrṇa Puruṣottama Avatārī Śrīkṛṣṇa Himself, who is the origin of all other forms. This is clearly expressed as kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam.
Śrīmad Vallabhācārya has provided his commentary on the Bhāgavata Purāṇa in Subodhinīvyākhyā - verses 1:3:28 described as below:
sarveṣāṃ sāmānyataḥ svarūpaṃ prakṛtiphalaṃ cāha ṛṣaya iti dvābhyām । ṛṣayaḥ aryamādayaḥ manavaḥ svāyaṃbhuvādayo devāḥ vasvādayaḥ manuputrāḥ priyavratādayaḥ mahaujasaḥ anyedhvativīryavaṃtaḥ ete sarve sattvamūrttarbhagavato viṣṇo rirakṣiṣoḥ kalādharmāveśina iti arthaḥ । prajāpatayo marīcyādayaḥ cakāreṇānyasaṃbaṃdhaṃ vārayati smṛtā iti । pramāṇaṃ pūrvoktāḥ kumārādayastu kecana aṃśāḥ kecana kalāḥ te cāvatārāveśabhedena nirūpitāḥ, cakārādanuktā api puṃso nārāyaṇasya brahmāṃḍamūrtteḥ aṃśāḥ kalāñca । kṛṣṇeti tathātvaṃ sāmānyataḥ prāptaṃ tuśabdena vyāvarttayati yasyāṃśāḥ puruṣādayaḥ sa bhagavān kṛṣṇa ityarthaḥ । sāmānyataḥ prayojanamāha indreti । iṃdrārayo daityāḥ tairvyākulaṃ jaganmṛḍayaṃti sukhayaṃti pratiyugaṃ caite'vatārāḥ pratikalpaṃ caturddaśamantraṃtarāṇīva asaṃkhyātānāmuktatvāt yathāprayojanaṃ sarvatrāvatāra iti boddhavyam ।। 27-28 ।।
Here Śrīmad Vallabhācārya has mentioned that the sages and manus like Svayaṃbhū, the demigods like Vasus, the sons of Manu like Priyavrata and others, are all very powerful yet manifested as a partial personification or with partial powers or kalās of Supreme Personality Parabrahman Puruṣa Lord Kṛṣṇa.
Śrīmad Vallabhācārya explained that the Kumāras and other sages are manifested as a partial manifestation (some are aṃśās and some kalās). However, here, the word tu reverses the typically accepted similarity of Kṛṣṇa with the other embodiment, confirming Him as the Parabrahma Puruṣa.
Many other learned scholars have praised and recognized Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead in their respective essays on Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam shloka: ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ, kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam.
Citing verses in Subodhinīprakāśaḥ by Śrīmad Gosvāmi Śrī Puruṣottamacaraṇaviracitaḥ, "athāsāvityatra । ādikūrmasyeti । 'vilokya vighneśavidhiṃ tadeśvaro durantavīryo vitathābhisandhiḥ । kṛtvā vapuḥ kācchapa madbhutaṃ mahatpraviśya toyaṃ girimujjahāre'tyaṣṭame puruṣottamasyoktaḥ, tathāpi bhaktidānādyabhāvādādikūrmasyeti, sa tu pañcame'ṣṭādaśe 'hiraṇmaye'pi bhagavānnivasati kūrmatanuṃ vibhrāṇa' ityādinā stutosti । viṣṇoriti । āyurvedapraṇetṛtvena pālakatvādviṣṇorityarthaḥ । evamagrepi
Now view this in the words of Śrī Giridharakṛtā bālaprabodhinī:
evamavatārāṇāṃ madhye sāmānyato gaṇanāt śrīkṛṣṇasyāpyavatārā ntaratulyatvaṃ prāptamatastatra viśeṣamāha - eta iti । ete pūrvoktāḥ- cakārādanuktā api puṃso nārāyaṇasya kecidaṃśāḥ keciñca kalāḥ । kṛṣṇastu bhagavān aiśvaryādipaṅguṇapūrṇā nārāyaṇaḥ svayameva । pūrṇatvaṃ nānāvirbhūtasarvaśaktitvam । aṃśakalātvaṃ ca tattajjīvapraveśena tatkāryānurūpāvirbhūtajñānakriyāśaktitvam । tatrāpi praviṣṭasya mahāśaktyāvirbhāveṃ'śatvavyavahāraḥ । alpaśaktyāvirbhāve tu kalāvi bhūtiriti vyavahāraḥ । tathā coktaṃ pādme- 'āviṣṭo'bhūtkumāreṣu nārade ca harirvibhuḥ । āviveśa pṛthuṃ devaḥ śaṅkhī cakrī caturbhujaḥ ।। etatte kathitaṃ devi jāmadagnermahātmanaḥ । śaktyāṃveśāvatārasya caritaṃ śārṅgiṇaḥ prabhoḥ ॥ kalerante ca samprāpte kalkinaṃ brahmavādinam || anupraviśya kurute vāsudevo jagatsthitim' iti । anyathā vibhāgarūpāṃśatve tu acyutatvāvikāritvākāritvādipratipādakaśāstra virodhāpatteḥ । sarvāvatārāṇāṃ sādhāraṇaṃ prayojanamāha-indreti । indrāribhidaityairvyākulamupadrutaṃ lokaṃ yuge yuge pratiyugaṃ tattadavasare'ba tārā mṛḍayanti sukhinaṃ kurvantītyarthaḥ
In the above verses, Śrī Giridhara declared that even though Kṛṣṇa is commonly counted among the incarnations and considered equal to the other embodiments. However, all others are the parts and partial kalās and partial forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead - Kṛṣṇa. They are the power of knowledge and action and appear based on function by entering that living entity. Even there, the behavior of being a part of the appearance of the great power that has entered it. In the absence of low energy, however, the behavior is called Kalāvibhūti.
He further expressed that Kṛṣṇa is Himself Nārāyaṇa, full of opulence and other attributes. Perfection is the omnipotence of various manifestations.
A look at writings of Śrīdharasvāmiviracitā bhāvārthadīpikā:
tatra viśeṣamāha । ete ceti । puṃsaḥ parameśvarasya kecidaśāḥ kecitkalā vibhūtayatra tatra matsyādīnāmavatāratvena sarvaśatva sarvaśaktimasve'pi yathopa yogameva jñānakriyāśatayāviṣkaraṇam । kumāranāradādiṣvādhikārikeṣu yathopayogamaṃśakalā veśaḥ, tatra kumārādiṣu jñānāveśaḥ । kṛṣṇastu bhagavān nārāyaṇa evaṃ āviṣkṛtasarvaśaktitvāt sarveṣāṃ prayojanamāha iṃdrārayo daityāstairyāmupadbhutaṃ lokaṃ mṛḍayaṃti mukhinaṃ kurvati ॥
Here Śrīdharasvāmi described that certain forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are of His arts and glories or incarnate in the form of fish and other beings. In the authorities like Kumāra, Nārada and others, He appears as an art form, same as in the case of Kumāra and others, He manifests as a knowledge form. Since Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, thus discovered His omnipotence, He explained the purpose of all living entities.
The essay of Śrīvaṃśīdhara in Bhāvārthadīpikā prakāśa :
atra viśeṣajijñāsāyāṃ kṛṣṇasaṃdarbhā dṛśyaḥ atra viśvāmaḥ । nanyeṣāṃ sarveṣāṃ tulyatvamevāsi vā tāratamyamityapekṣā yā māha-pate ceti । ete pūrvokāḥ pādanukā puṃsaḥ prathamanirdiṣṭasya puruṣasyāṃśakalāḥ । kecidaṃśā matsya kūrmavarāhāyāḥ kecitkakhāḥ kumāranāradācāḥ āveśāḥ । tadukaṃ bhāgavatāmṛte "jñānaśaktyādikalayā satrāviṣṭo janārdanā । ta āveśā nigadhante jīvā evaṃ mahattamāḥ ॥ vaikuṃṭhe'pi yathā śeṣo nāradaḥ sanakādayaḥ।।”
tathā pādme “āviṣṭabhūtkumāreṣu nārade ca harirvibhuḥ ।" tathā tatraiva "āviveśa pṛthuṃ devaḥ śaṃstrīcakrī caturbhujaḥ” iti । “etatte kathitaṃ devi jāmadagnermahātmanaḥ । śaktyādeśāvatārasya caritaṃ śārṅgiṇaḥ prabhoḥ" iti । "kalerante ca saṃprāpte kalphinaṃ śrahmavādinam । anupraviśya kurute vāsudevo jagatthitam" iti। atra kumāranāradādiṣu jñānamaktiśātayaṃśāveśaḥ । pṛthyāviṣu kriyāśaktayaṃśāveśaḥ । te cāyaśā mahāśakyā'spaśacyā ceti dvividhāḥ । prathamāḥ kumāranāradāyā avatāraśabīno dvitīyā marīcimanyādyā vibhūtiśabdeneti bhedo śeyaḥ ।
iha yo viṃśatitamāvatāratvena kavitaḥ sa kṛṣṇastu bhagavānna tvaṃśo na cāṃśī puruṣaḥ ki tu bhagavān। "jagṛhe pauruṣaṃ rūpaṃ bhagavānmahadādibhiḥ" iti pathokto yaḥ puruṣasyāvatārī bhagavānsa evetyarthaḥ। "anuvāda manuṣyeva na vidheyamudīrayet" iti darśanātkṛṣṇasyaiva bhagavatakṣaṇo dharmaḥ sādhyate । na tu bhagavataḥ kṛṣṇatvaṃ tena kṛṣṇa eva bhagavānmūla bhūta iti tadeva punaḥ spaṣṭīkurvannāha-svayamiti । tena puruṣāvatāriṇo bhagavato mahānārāyaṇādapi kṛṣṇasyotkarṣaḥ sādhitaḥ ।
Śrīvaṃśīdhara has referred to Kṛṣṇa here as viśvāmaḥ. He explained that the previously mentioned incarnations are parts of the Supreme Personality Puruṣa like the fish, the tortoise and the boar, and Nārada. However, that is not true of the devotees. "When lord Janārdana enters the sacrificial fire with His knowledge, energy and other elements, the greatest living beings, like the Nāradas, Sanakas and others, dissolve their attachments in Vaikuṇṭha."
Similarly, in Padma, “bhagavāna hari entered the Kumāroṃ and Nārada.” At the same place, “the four-armed Bhagavāna Hari entered Pṛthu.” Here, in Kumāroṃ, Nārada and others, knowledge is incorporated into the hundredth part of the power of action. “O Goddess, this is what I have told you about the great ṛṣi Jamadagni. The character of Bhagavāna Sāriga embodies the command of shakti.”
The verses clarify Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead who is above Bhagavāna Mahā-Nārāyaṇa, the incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality, not a part, but the same as the path.
ata eva chāndogye paṃcamaprapāṭhake “jyāyāṃsa puruṣaḥ sarva khalvidaṃ brahma yatprāṇā ādityāḥ" ityāyuktvā paścādupasaṃhṛtaṃ "kṛṣṇāya devakīputrāya" ityādinā । tenātra puruṣādibhyopi śreo devakīputra evaṃ jñeyaḥ । tadapyavatāramadhye tasya gaṇanaṃ tu bhūrlokasthamathurādi dhāmavilāsitvānnīlatvātprāpaṃcikalokeṣu karuṇādhikyādāvirbhāvatirobhāvābhyāntra |
Śrīvaṃśīdhara commentary further cited the fifth chapter of the chāndogya, that said, “jyāyansa puruṣaḥ sarva khalvidam brahmaḥ yatpraṇa adityaḥ” and later concludes with the words “to Kṛṣṇa, the son of devakī”.
Śrīvaṃśīdhara explained here that the son of Devakī should be understood and taken as He is better than men and others. Even amid the incarnations, his counting is done by illustrating his luxury in the abodes of Mathura and others in the earthly world, his blueness, appearance and disappearance in the worlds and his greatness of compassion.
gopālatānītiḥ "sahovācābjayoniravatārāṇāṃ madhye śreṣṭho'vatāraḥ ko bhavitā yena lokāstuṣyaṃti devāstuṣṭā mati smṛtvā guktā asmātsaṃsārādbhavanti" iti ।
"tatrāṃśenāvatīrṇasya viṣṇorvīryāṇi iti । diṣṭayāṃca te kukṣigataḥ paraḥ pumānaṃśena sākṣādbhagavānbhavāyanaḥ" iti "tābimā~ ve bhagavato hareraṃśāvihāgatī" ityādibahuvākyavirodha "kṛṣṇastu bhagavānsvayam” ityekenaiva vākyena kṛṣṇasya pūrṇatvaṃ kathaṃ vyavatiṣṭhatām ?
atrocyate । śrībhāgavataśāstrāraṃbha janmaguhyā dhyāyoyaṃ sarvabhagavadavatāra vākyānāṃ sūcakatvātsūtram । tatra ca “ete cāṃśakalāḥ puṃsaḥ kṛṣṇastu bhagavānsvayam" iti paribhāṣāsūtram yatra yatrāvatārāḥ bhūyante tatrānyānpuruṣāṃśatvena jānīyāt । kṛṣṇastu svayaṃ bhagavattveneti pratijñārūpamidaṃ sarvatropatiṣṭhata ।
Śrīvaṃśīdhara commentary also mentioned the Gopalata Niti that said, "Who is the best among the incarnations of the lotus womb of Sahovacha, by which the worlds are satisfied, and the gods, remembering their satisfied mind, are freed from this world?"
"There are the powers of Vishnu who descended in part. Fortunately, the other man in your womb is Lord Narayana Himself in part."
It is said here that the beginning of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the mystery of birth and meditation. There, too, the definition thread, “These are the parts of the man, and Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself,” appears everywhere in the form of a promise that wherever there are incarnations, one should know others as parts of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
śrībhāgavataśāstrārabhe janmaguhyā dhyāyoyaṃ sarvabhagavadavatāra vākyānāṃ sūcakatvātsūtram । tatra ca “ete cāṃśakalāḥ puṃsaḥ kṛṣṇastu bhagavānsvayam” iti paribhāṣāsūtram । yatra yatrāvatārāḥ śrūyante tatrānyānpuruṣāṃśatvena jānīyāt kṛṣṇastu svayaṃ bhagavattveneti pratijñārūpamidaṃ sarvatropatiṣṭeta ।
The commentary continued by stating that at the beginning of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the mystery of birth is meditated upon. There is also a definition formula: “These are the parts of the man, and Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself.” Wherever one hears of the incarnations, one should know others as parts of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Kṛṣṇa Himself as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
taduktaṃ mahāvārāhe "sarve nityāḥ śāśvatāya dehāstasya parātmanaḥ hānopādānarahitā naiva prakṛtijāḥ kacit ॥ paramānandasaṃdohājjñānamātrāya sarvataḥ sarve sarvaguṇe: pūrṇāḥ sarve doṣavivarjitāḥ" iti । satyam, tadapi tasya mādhuryeśvarya kāruṇyādiśaktiprākaṭavatāratamya naivāṃśatvapūrṇatvavyavasthā āvirbhāvitapūrṇasarvaśaktitvaṃ pūrṇatvam āvirbhāvita yathāprayojanālpa śaktitvamaṃśatvam।
The piece further described the writings in the Mahavārāha that all the bodies of the Supreme Soul are eternally self-sufficient. His physical body is always free from all evils, the manifest incarnation of His powers of sweetness, divinity, compassion and others, not the system of partial perfection, but the revealed perfect omnipotence, the perfection, the revealed perfection of little power, the partiality of power as required.
The works of Śrīrādhāramaṇadāsagokhā miviracitā dīpinīvyākhyā state: ete cāṃśakalā iti । tathā ca brahmasaṃhitāyām- 'rāmādimūrttiṣu kalā niyamena tiṣṭhan nānāvatāramakarot bhuvaneṣu kintu । kṛṣṇaḥ svayaṃ samabhavat paramaḥ pumān yo govindamādipuruṣaṃ tamahaṃ bhajāmi ।' iti vyākhyāleśaḥ ॥
Quoting Brahmasaṃhitāyām, Śrīrādhāramaṇadāsagokhā said Kalā created various incarnations in the world, but by regulation, living in the forms of Rāmā and others. However, Śrīkṛṣṇa himself appeared as the Lord, and I worship Him, the original Personality of Godhead, Govind."
The Śrīmadvīrāghavavyākhyā stated that:
etadvacanārthamevāha eta iti । ete ṛṣiprabhṛtayastu puṃso'niruddhākhyasyāṃ śakalāḥ aṃśāṃśasaṃbhūtāḥ kṛṣṇastu bhagavānsvayamiti śrīkṛṣṇasya pūrṇāvatāratvamuktam । udāhṛtabhagavadvacanena vibhūtyādimatāṃ jaṃtūnāṃ mamatvena nirdiṣṭaśrīkṛṣṇasya tejoṃśasaṃbhavatvaṃ śrīkṛṣṇasya pūrṇatvaṃ sthāpitam । atrāpi bhagavānityanena pūrṇaṣāḍguṇyatvamavagatam । yadvā atraitadityanena pūrvokteṣu hiraṇyagarbhasanakādiṣu keṣāṃcidvarāhanārā yaṇamatsyakūrma mohinī nṛsiṃhavāmana śrīrāmāvatārāṇāṃ pūrṇānāṃ satvepi dvitrinyāyena sarvepyavatārāḥ parāmṛśyate । tatra pūrṇatvaṃ nāma pāḍaguṇyapūrṇatvena rūpeṇa sākṣādavatīrṇatvam। aṃśāṃśasaṃbhūtatvaṃ nāma tattatrī bāṃtarātmatayāvasthitasya ṣāḍguṇyapūrṇasya bhagavataḥ kenāyyaiśvaryavīryādiguṇaleśena jīvadvārāvibhū tena viśiṣṭatayā saṃjātatvaṃ, niraṃśasya brahmasvarūpasyaikadeśabhedenāvirbhāvāsaṃbhavāt । nanu dharmisvarūpaikadeśavācinoṃśaśabdasya kathaṃ guṇaparatvamiti cenna, apṛthaka siddhaviśeṇasyā vyaṃśaśabdavācyatvādviśiṣṭavastvekadeśatvasyaivāṃśapada pravṛttinimittatvādviśiṣṭavastvekadeśatvasyaivāṃśapada pravṛttinimittatvādviśiṣṭavastveka - deśatvaṃ ca viśeṣaṇaviśeṣyayorekadeśatayā dvayorapya viśiṣṭaṃ bārāhādyavatārāṇāṃ pūrṇatvaṃ tu tattatpurāṇādibhya evāvagaṃtavyaṃ, sarvāvatārasādhāraṇaṃ prayojanamupasaṃharati iṃdreti iṃdrāribhira surādibhirvyākulamupadrutaṃ lokaṃ yuge yuge pratiyugaṃ mṛḍayanti ।।
The commentary in the Śrīmadvīrāghavavyākhyā described the sages and others as the parts of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, known as Aniruddha and Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, the complete incarnation of Kṛṣṇa. The above words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead have established the perfection and brilliance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Here also, the Kṛṣṇa is considered complete with sixfold gunas/qualities.
In other words, although some of the above incarnations of Hiraṇyagarbha, Sanakā and others, such as Varāhanā, Narayana, Yaṇa, Matsya, Kūrma, Mohinī, Nṛsiṃha, Vāmana, and ŚrīRāmā are complete, all these incarnations are classified with two-and-three gunas/qualities. Perfection is a direct manifestation of all qualities, which are all six qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, which is born from the Supreme Personality Himself.
The essay of Śrīmadbhiśvanāthacakavatikṛtā sārārthadarśinī, goes as follows: nanveṣāṃ sarveṣāṃ tvameva vā asti vā tāratamyamityapekṣāyāmāha ete ceti । pate pūrvottāḥ caśabdādanuktā puṃsaḥ prathamanirdiṣṭasya puruṣasya aṃśakalāḥ। kecidaṃśāḥ matsyakṛrmmavarāhāyāḥ । kecit kalāḥ kumāranāradādayā āveśāḥ । yadukta bhāgavatāmṛte-"jñānaśayādikalayā yatrāvidyo
Here, reviewing the Śrīmadbhiśvanāthacakavatikṛtā sārārthadarśinī text, it revealed that the preceding parts of the Supreme Personality puruṣ, not mentioned by the word cha, in the fall. They are only parts that manifested as the fish, boar etc., and the arts charge some incarnations as in Kkumāra, Nāradāda and others.
The works of Śrīmacchukadevakṛtaḥ siddhāntapradīpaḥ stated:
ete puṃsaḥ puruṣāvatārasya aṃśakalāḥ chatriṇo yāṃtīti nyāyena kecidaṃśāḥ keci tkalāḥ kecidvibhūtayaḥ kecitsvarūpāvatārā iti bodhyam । kṛṣṇastu bhagavān svayamityanvayaḥ । jagṛhe pauruṣaṃ rūpaṃ bhagavāniti prāgukto yasya puruṣodhyavatāraḥ sa bhagavān śrīkṛṣṇa ityarthaḥ । mahatsraṣṭurapi puruṣasya śrīkṛṣṇāvatāratvaṃ 'tvattaḥ pumānsamadhigamyasya yayāsyacīyaṃ dhatte mahāṃtamiva garbhamamoghavīryaḥ । soyaṃ tayānugata ātmana āṃḍakośaṃ haimaṃ sasarja bahirāvaraṇairupetamityekādaśe prasiddhameva “śuddhe mahāvibhūtyākhye parabrahmaṇi varttate । maitreya bhagavacchandaḥ sarvakāraṇakāraṇe ॥" ityevaṃ śrī parāśarādibhirvyākhyātaḥ svayaṃ bhagavān vinikhilebhyaḥ paraḥ brahmanārāyaṇavāsudevādiśabdābhiveyaḥ śrīkṛṣṇa iti bhāvaḥ । 'mattaḥ parataraṃ nānyaditi śrīmukhokteśca । sarveṣāṃ prayojanamāha mṛḍayaṃtīti sukhinaṃ kurvaṃti
In the above verses of Śrīmacchukadeva's writings in Siddhāntapradīpaḥ, it is further asserted that all incarnations are the parts and arts of the Supreme Personality of Puruṣa. However, Śrīkṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality Himself, who manifests taking the form of a human being as Puruṣodhya.
Śrīkṛṣṇa and the Creation
Supreme being Para-brahman Lord Śrīkṛṣṇa is the original cause, and the universe is the kārya- effect. Between the Supreme Brahman and the universe lies a chain with various steps of causes and kārya – effects.
When you know this knowledge of creation, you will understand by what process the universe emerged from Brahman. The supreme Brahman creates the universe from Akṣara Brahman.
When the supreme Brahman desired to manifest the creation, first of all, the phase of akṣara Brahman was activated. All the three attributes of sat, cit and ānanda. Existence, consciousness and bliss are present in akṣara Brahman. By the will of the supreme Brahman this akṣara Brahman itself manifests as the insentient and the sentient universe. Hence, the cause of all causes held by the supreme Brahman to manifest the creation is addressed as ‘akṣara Brahman’.
The relation of akṣara Brahman with the Supreme Brahman
Akṣara Brahman is the dharma and power of the supreme Brahman and also the abode - the residential place(dhāma) of the supreme Brahman. So, the distinct relation that exists between akṣara Brahman and the supreme Brahman is that of dharma and dharmī as well as dhāma and dhāmī.
Dharma always dwells in dharmī. For example: The flower is dharmī and the fragrance that dwells in it is the dharma of the flower. The sun is dharmī and the light that remains in the sun is its dharma. Similarly, akṣara Brahman is the dharma or power of the supreme Brahman. Hence, when it is considered from the point of view of the dharma, akṣara Brahman, like the light of the sun, is found to have been residing in the supreme Brahman.
The owner of the house is called ‘dhāmī’, while the house is called ‘dhāma’. dhāmī resides in dhāma. akṣara Brahman is dhāma– the abode of the supreme Brahman. Now, if it is seen from the viewpoint of ‘dhāma, the supreme Brahman will be found residing in akṣara Brahman. akṣara Brahman, in the supreme Brahman and the supreme Brahman in akṣara Brahman. A man with his limited petty intellect will not be able to understand this relation. To him it will seem quiet impossible relation, but the resort of contradictory attributes as it is nothing is impossible for the supreme Brahman, the distinct relation that exists between akṣara Brahman and the supreme Brahman can be understood to some extent by the an-along of the cloth and (fibers) threads. If a ready-made piece of cloth is seen as an avayavī, the threads of which it is woven will be found as its avayava – limbs – parts. From this point of view the cloth can be called “dharmī” and threads “dharma” or we can say that “threads reside in the cloth”. If we consider this example from another view point, the cloth is made by weaving the threads, hence threads are the ‘upādāna’ and ‘samavāyi’ cause by which the kārya – effect is produced, the cloth that is produced by threads is called ‘kārya’- the effect. ‘The kārya - effect’ always resides in the upādāna cause, as the pot remains in the earth, ornaments remain in gold and silver. The cause is called dharmī while the kārya- effect is called dharma. There it will seem that the cloth resides in threads. The above example shows us that when the viewpoint changes, dharma and dharmī mutually undergo a charge, similarly when we see akṣara Brahman from another viewpoint sometimes akṣara Brahman will come before us as dharma and sometimes as dharmī.
If parabrahman is taken as a flower, akṣara Brahman is its fragrance. When it is spread, the fragrance is not so intense as the fragrance that lies in the flower is. Similarly, the bliss that remains in akṣara Brahman is not so much as there is in the supreme Brahman. akṣara Brahman does not contain so much bliss as the supreme Brahman contains. For this reason, akṣara Brahman is called ‘gaṇitānanda’ – the one who possesses limited bliss. Here, we should keep in our mind that all the above outer worldly divine attributes of the supreme Brahman such as aiśvarya, vīrya, yaśa, śrī, jñāna, vairāgya, Omnipotent etc., are known by the word ‘ānanda’ – the bliss.
The sun is sākāra but its light that is spread in all the four directions is pervading, i.e. nirākāra. Similarly, the supreme Brahman is sākāra, while akṣara Brahman being pervading is nirākāra Brahman can be obtained through the path of knowledge , while the supreme Brahman śrī kṛṣṇa can be obtained only through devotion.
Process of creation
At the beginning of the creation, ‘kāla-time’, ‘karma-action’, ‘svabhāva – disposition’, ‘prakṛti’ and ‘puruṣa’ are the elements that are produced at first.
To erect a house, cement, bricks, stones, lime, iron, etc., are used. Similarly, kāla-karma-svabhāva: - Time, action, disposition etc. should be taken as lime, stones etc, for creating the universe.
Akṣara Brahman being the form of sat-cit-ānanda, the elements of time, action, disposition (svabhāva), prakṛti and puruṣa, are produced from its attributes of sat and cit, whereas from the attribute of ānanda, vyaṣṭi – antaryāmi is originated.
From prakṛti, which is born as the particle of the sat attribute, consisting of the characteristics of sattva, rajasa and tāmasa mahat tattva, ahaṃkāra, five tanmātrā (word, touch, form, taste and smell) five mahābhūta (space, air, light, water and earth), five organs of knowledge (eyes, nose, ears, tongue, and skin), five physical organs (hands, legs, words, rectal and genital); and mind – these 23 elements are produced.
From the puruṣa born from the cit particle, innumerable individual beings are created. From the ānanda particle of the Akṣara Brahman, numerous forms of vyaṣṭi – antaryāmi are produced. Antaryāmi resides in every individual being and controls it and is the particle of samaṣṭi-antaryāmi.
How vyaṣṭi – antaryāmi manifests from Akṣara Brahman, the same way the Supreme Brahman itself also becomes samaṣṭi-antaryāmi for controlling (managing) the creation and for performing deeds at the time of taking incarnations.
The other names samaṣṭi-antaryāmi are referred as include ‘virāṭa puruṣa’, ‘samaṣṭi puruṣa’, ‘brahmānḍa mūrti’, ‘paramātmā’, ‘narāyaṇa’, ‘ādyāvatara’ and ’sakalāvatāvatārī’. The supreme Brahman becomes sarvopādāna as Akṣara Brahman and as samaṣṭi-antaryāmi if he becomes the controller – īśvara of all remaining present in every object and being.
The ghaṭā–ghaṭāmā as Akṣara Brahman, the Supreme Brahman is worshipped by the jñanī, and as antaryāmi it is worshipped by the devotees of the maryādā mārga. Guṇāvatāra devatā (Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva), who controls the sattva, rajas and tāmas attributes of the prakṛti, are also manifested from samaṣṭi-antaryāmi Śrīkṛṣṇa. In the same way, līlāvatāra like matsya, varāha etc have also been manifested.
The below-provided graph will be very useful for understanding the entire narration in a single frame.
Note: The Slanted Lines in the graph denote different facets of the same object, while straight lines denote the different svarupas with cause-effect relation.