Impersonalists think the highest conception of God is an all-pervading impersonal spirit and that our spiritual perfection is to merge into this one spirit after death. They compare this to bubbles of ocean water merging into the ocean. They think that if God had a form, it would limit Him, as our bodies limit us.
Personalists say that the highest conception of God is a supreme person, with an eternal spiritual body and with whom we can have loving exchanges in our eternal spiritual body in the spiritual world.
Both claim their view is supported by scriptural evidence, but in India’s most famous scripture, Bhagavad-gita, Krishna says that the impersonal manifestation of God is subordinate to His personal form (Bg. 14.27). Krishna also says that He Himself is “the source of all spiritual and material worlds,” and “everything emanates from Me” (Bg. 10.8), not the impersonal spirit. He also declares, “There is no truth superior to Me.” (Bg. 7.7)
In Chapter 12, Arjuna asks which is best, worship of Him or worship of the impersonal, unmanifest form of the supreme. Krishna replies that worship of His personal form is best. Worship of the unmanifest is fruitful only after much difficulty, He says, and in the end it brings one to worship of the Supreme Person. In addition Krishna says that He considers less intelligent those who think He was unmanifest before and assumed the personality of Krishna (Bg. 7.24).
So even though both impersonal and personal aspects of God exist and are transcendental to this material world, Krishna, the authority, recommends worship of His personal form, the source of the all-pervading, impersonal spirit, which is merely the effulgence of His body.
Tags: Krishnaism Religion