Crossing the Border of Impersonalism

By Abhaya Mudra Dasi

The meanings of personalism and impersonalism may seem clear when the subject is discussed in theory, but in practice these two understandings of eternal existence seem to intertwine and confound the inexperienced spiritual practitioner. The answer lies in how we approach the Supreme Absolute Truth. While espousing the cause of a personal Godhead, neophytes are often seen to behave in a way that reveals longstanding impersonal roots. To understand the highest concept of personalism, let us see how Shrila Prabhupada describes the relationship of Krishna’s foremost devotees, the gopis of Vrindavana, to the Supreme Lord. And then let us consider how these compare with the relationships between materialistic women and men. Understanding this comparison is essential for realizing the difference between the ultimate reality of personalism and the utterly materialistic falsehood of impersonalism.