by purujit dasa
THE PART IS CIT (FULL OF KNOWLEDGE)
Along with oneness however, the parts are simultaneously different from the Whole. the difference is that the Whole is wholesome(great) and the part is fragmental(minute). Krsna confirms this in the Bhagavad-gita:
“The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.”
This is quite a controversial point and someone might ask how can there be anything different from the whole if the whole is complete? is the whole incomplete? no, the fact that complete whole contains a difference from it does not interfere with its completeness. quite the opposite, that is the meaning of completeness -it is not limited by itself. I would compare it to someone who has an image of a very serious person, but yet at the same time he’s able to make fun of himself. To put it simply, the Complete Whole is not boring. Although the minute part of the Complete Whole is different from the Whole, the Whole is not different from the part. The Whole is part, but the part is not the whole. The sun is sunshine, but sunshine is not the sun. Therefore the Complete Whole is simultaneously one and different from the part and this is the full conception of the Absolute.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Sunshine is the energy of the sun. But because the sunshine enters your room, you cannot say that the sun has entered. If the sun enters your room, then your room and yourself—everything—will be finished. Immediately. You will not have the leisure to understand that the sun has entered. Is it not?
Bob: It is so.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: But you cannot say that sunshine is not the sun. Without the sun, where is the sunshine? So you cannot say that sunshine is not the sun. But at the same time, it is not the sun. It is the sun and not the sun—both. That is our philosophy. Acintya-bhedābheda—inconceivable. In the material sense, you cannot conceive that a thing is simultaneously positive and negative. That you cannot think of. That is inconceivable energy.
PQPA 1: Kṛṣṇa, the All-Attractive
The acintya potency however can be observed here in this world. Prabhupada explains this point in a book called Life Comes From Life:
Brahmānanda Swami. Some scientists don't accept God or acintya-śakti.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: That is their rascaldom. God exists, and His acintya-śakti also exists. Where does a bird's power to fly come from? Both you and the bird are living entities, but the bird can fly because of its acintya-śakti, and you cannot. To give another example, semen is produced from blood. A man has mystic power in his body so that because he is sexually inclined, blood is transformed into semen. How is this done unless there is some mystic power involved? There are many mystic powers in the living entities. The cow eats grass and produces milk. Everyone knows this, but can you take some grass and produce milk? Can you? Therefore there is mystic power within the cow. As soon as the cow eats grass, she can transform it into milk. Men and women are basically the same, but as a man you cannot eat food and produce milk, although a woman can. These are mystic powers.
Dr. Singh. Scientists would say that there are different enzymes or chemicals inside different types of bodies and that these account for the cow's producing milk.
Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, but who produced those enzymes and that arrangement? That was done by mystic power. You cannot make these enzymes or that arrangement. You cannot produce milk from dry grass in your laboratory. Within your body, by mystic power, you can transform food into blood and tissue, but in your laboratory, without mystic power, you cannot even transform grass into milk. Therefore you must accept the existence of mystic power.
(Life Comes From Life: Chemicals from Mystic Power)
Just as the Complete Whole is able to produce innumerable emanations and yet remain complete, similarly a minute portion of the complete whole in the shape of a living seed has an inconceivable potency(acintya sakti) which enables it to produce innumerable trees. The seed has a potency to grow into a tree and that tree will have so many seeds, from which innumerable number of trees can be grown, etc. As soon as the seed is burned though, no matter how hard a scientist tries, no combination of material chemicals added into it can bring that potency back into the seed again. This is because the living principle(the acintya part of the Complete Whole) is not inside anymore.
As we mentioned before, the Complete Whole’s expansion into parts does not depend on anything else than Itself. But whereas the Complete whole is svarat -fully independent, the seed depends on many other factors such as watering, sunlight, etc in order to grow. As parts and parcels we, in our original state, are also complete in knowledge(cit) of our constitutional position, but just as the seed is depending on watering and sunlight to acquire the essential nutrition for its growth, while acquiring knowledge in the material conditioning we also depend on external sources to reawaken that knowledge.
Another important information is that due to our eternal minuteness, it is not possible for the part to have complete knowledge of the Complete whole at any point.
"Individual parts and parcels of the potencies of the Lord, although having all the symptoms of the Lord Himself, have limited spheres of activities, and therefore are all limited. The parts and parcels are never equal to the whole. Therefore the parts and parcels cannot appreciate the full potency of the Lord."
(Iso Mantra 4 purport)
This might seem bewildering, especially when you read the following purport Srila Prabhupada gives on the Invocation mantra:
There is complete facility for the small complete units, namely the living beings, to realize the Complete; and all forms of incompleteness are experienced only on account of incomplete knowledge of the Complete.
(Iso Invocation purport)
How can our understanding of Vedic knowledge be complete if we can never understand the Complete Whole in full?
To answer this, let’s analyze the following portion of the Invocation Mantra of the Sri Isopanisad again:
Whatever is produced of the complete whole is also complete by itself.
The “complete by itself” means that besides eternity, we share yet another quality with the Complete Whole and that is knowledge. This knowledge though is of minute completeness as opposed to the full knowledge the Complete Whole Himself has. It is for this reason the knowledge of the part is subjected to forgetfulness. It is just like a fire and sparks. As long as the sparks are within fire they burn nicely, but as soon as they jump off, they are extinguished. Similarly as soon as we want to come out of the Whole(which is impossible), the Whole out of His own potency covers us with ignorance of His existence and thus our original knowledge of the Complete Whole is forgotten.
In illusion, our dependence on external sources to tell us about things beyond our experience is actually very strong. Although we do have a choice of different sources of information(internet, mum, school, wikipedia) we can’t choose what sources of information are available to us. To put it simply -it’s like the present political elections. You can make a vote, but you cannot choose the candidates themselves. Similarly, you are meeting with different sources of knowledge and are choosing to accept or reject one or the other, but which sources of knowledge you are exposed to is completely beyond your control. We don’t decide where we take our birth, but that decides many things: the language we speak, we’ll pick up many of the viewpoints and also biases of our parents, nationality, culture. Based on these, we are choosing to accept or reject different sources as reliable or nonreliable and thus a never ending chain pursues. It’s like the internet. You start on one page, then find a link to another one, that puts you somewhere else, etc. So in order to independently determine whether a particular auhority is perfect or not, you would have to be also in charge of what authorities you yourself are exposed to since the beginning of your life, (in other words completely unconditioned) which is not the case. So it is a useless labor. We simply have to accept and we cant do anything about it.