This is in reference to Text 11 of Chapter 9 from Bhagavad Gita. I have 'Bhagavad Gita As It is'. I often come across this term 'supreme personality of godhead'and Lord Krishna is associated with this term. I often think of a person when I come across the term "supreme personality of god head".


My question is not about "what is Param Bhramha". My question relates to the usage of specific term in a book and how should it be interpreted.

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    You can see this answer hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/6691/3500
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 7:12
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    Possible duplicate of What is Param Brahma?
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 10:05
  • Yes basically Supreme Personality of Godhead refers to the Supreme God. According to ISKCON the Supreme being is Lord Krishna. According to Vaishnavas the Supreme Being is Lord Vishnu. According to Shaivites the supreme Being is Lord Shiva. According to Advaita, the term Supreme Being implies duality, for the notion of Supreme only arises when there is more than one. However according to Advaita, there is only one, and it is called Brahman. He takes up different attributes due to the Maya/Avidya of the devotee, thus the devotee calls Him Shiva, Vishnu or God as per his own inclinations. :)
    – Sai
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 14:10

1 Answer 1


The Bhagavad Gita As It Is is a translation by a dualist commentator who believes that the highest form of God is a Person. Other translators, notably qualified non-dualists and non-dualists, do a slightly different translation of this verse. Swami Gambhirananda translates the verse in the following manner:

Not knowing My supreme nature as the Lord of all beings, foolish people disregard Me who have taken a human body.

and Swami Nikhilananda:

Fools disregard Me when I assume a human form; for they are unaware of My higher nature as the Supreme Lord of all beings.

It is best to reference several translations and see which you are most comfortable with.

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    Actually Prabhupada isn't a pure dualist, he believes in Achintya Bheda Abheda, simultaneous oneness and difference. But yeah, he does believe the supreme being is a person. He thinks Bhagavan is superior to Paramatma, which is superior to Brahman. Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 12:19
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    Ignoring the ISKON interpretation, I have always found Achintya Bheda Abedha very close to Advaita. In fact, in my personal view, the name itself is trying to capture the Truth from Paramarthika dasa as well as from Vyavaharika. Therefore, ideally, there should not be any dispute between them and Advaita! :-) Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 17:31
  • @NithinSridhar If you go beyond the name and look at Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's philosophy of Achintya Bheda Abheda, you'll find that it's like half-way in between Ramanujacharya's Visistadvaita and Madhvacharya's Dvaita. The philosophy is strongly opposed to Adi Shankaracharya's Advaita philosophy. Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 4:34
  • @NithinSridhar In any case, a lot of names of Vedantic philosophies are misleading. Like Vallabhacharya's philosophy is called "Shuddhadvaita" or pure non-dualism, but non-dualism wouldn't be a very good term to describe it. Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 4:39
  • Yet, the basic premise of Achintya Bheda Abheda that the ultimate reality is Abheda yet it itself manifests as Bheda and this whole thing is beyond empirical analysis- Achintya. This premise is not very different from Advaita, though differences exist in other aspects like Advaita believes in Vivaranavada, where as others believe in Parinama etc. Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 4:47

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