Prabhupada 0342 - We are All Individual Persons, and Krsna is Also Individual Person
Every one of us living entities, we are all individual persons, and Kṛṣṇa is also individual person. This is knowledge. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). Kṛṣṇa, or God, He's also nitya, eternal. We are also nitya, eternal. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). We do not die. That is the preliminary knowledge of spiritual understanding, that "I am not this body, I am spirit soul, ahaṁ brahmāsmi, but I am individual." Nityo nityānām. Kṛṣṇa is individual person; I am also individual person. When Kṛṣṇa says that sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66), it does not mean that I become one with Kṛṣṇa or merge into the existence of Kṛṣṇa. I keep my individuality, Kṛṣṇa keeps His individuality, but I agree to abide by His order. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā to Arjuna that "I have spoken to you everything. Now what is your decision?" Individual. It is not that Kṛṣṇa is forcing Arjuna. Yathecchasi tathā kuru: (BG 18.63) "Now whatever you like, can do." That is individuality.
So this is the ultimate knowledge, that, this Māyāvāda philosophy, that to become one, merge into the existence, merge into the existence means we merge into the order of Kṛṣṇa. Our individuality at the present moment is māyā, because we are planning so many things. Therefore your individuality and my individuality clashes. But when there will be no more clashing—we shall agree, "Central point is Kṛṣṇa"—that is oneness, not that we lose our individuality. So as it is stated in all Vedic literature and spoken by Kṛṣṇa, we are all individual, all individual. Svayaṁ bhagavān ekale īśvara. But the difference is that He is the supreme ruler, īśvara. Īśvara. Īśvara means ruler. Actually He is ruler, and we are also ruler, but we are subordinate ruler . Therefore He is ekale īśvara, one ruler. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇa, in the Brahma-saṁhitā. Ekale īśvara. Īśvara cannot be many. That is not īśvara. The Māyāvāda philosophy that everyone is God, that is not very right conclusion. That is rascaldom. Kṛṣṇa says, mūḍha. Na māṁ prapadyante mūḍhāḥ (BG 7.15). One who does not submit to the supreme īśvara, the Supreme Lord, you should know it perfectly well that "Here is a mūḍha, rascal," because it is not that everyone, we can become īśvara. That is not possible. There is then no meaning of īśvara. Īśvara means the ruler. Suppose we are in a group, this, our International Society. If everyone becomes ruler or ācārya, then how it can be managed? No. There must be some head. That is the principle in our practical life. We follow our political leaders. We cannot say that "I belong to this party" unless I follow a leader. That is natural.
So that is the Vedic statement, nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). There must be one leader, the leader of the same quality, nitya. I am nitya, Kṛṣṇa is nitya. Kṛṣṇa is also living entity; I am also living entity. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām. So what is the difference between Kṛṣṇa and me? The difference is that there are two nityas or two cetanaś. One is described as singular number, and the other is described as plural number. Nityo nityānām. This nityānām is plural number, and nitya is singular number. So God is nitya, one, singular number, and we, we are being ruled. We are plural number. This is the difference. And how He is ruling the plural number? Because eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān. He's supplying all the necessities of life of all these plural number; therefore He's īśvara, He's Kṛṣṇa, He's God. One who provides all the necessities of life, He's īśvara, He's Kṛṣṇa, He's God. So we can very well understand that we are being maintained by Kṛṣṇa, and why we should not be ruled by Him? This is a fact.