“Although the material and spiritual energies both belong to the Lord, He is impossible to understand as long as we are in the material energy. And when we come to the spiritual energy, He is very easy to know.”
This is from the Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.1.13
[This chapter of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled “The Manus, Administrators of the Universe,” gives a list of ancient dynastic histories, and the highly placed persons responsible for universal administration. One such personality, Svayambhuva Manu, speaks today’s verse.]
The entire cosmic manifestation is the body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth, who has millions of names and unlimited potencies. He is self-effulgent, unborn and changeless. He is the beginning of everything, but He has no beginning. Because He has created this cosmic manifestation by His external energy, the universe appears to be created, maintained and annihilated by Him. Nonetheless, He remains inactive in His spiritual energy and is untouched by the activities of the material energy.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu says in His Siksastaka, namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-saktih: the Supreme Personality of Godhead has many names, which are all nondifferent from the Supreme Person. This is spiritual existence. By chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, consisting of names of the Supreme Lord, we find that the name has all the potencies of the person.
The Lord’s activities are many, and according to His activities He has many names. He appeared as the son of mother Yasoda, and also as the son of mother Devaki, and therefore He is named Devaki-nandana and Yasoda-nandana.
Parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate: the Lord has a multitude of energies, and therefore He acts in multifarious ways. Yet He has a particular name. The shastras recommend which names we should chant, such as Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare. It is not that we have to search for some name or manufacture one. Rather, we must follow the saintly persons and the shastras in chanting His holy name.
Although the material and spiritual energies both belong to the Lord, He is impossible to understand as long as we are in the material energy. And when we come to the spiritual energy, He is very easy to know. As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.7.23): mayam vyudasya cic-chaktya kaivalye sthita atmani. Although the external energy belongs to the Lord, when one is in the external energy (mama maya duratyaya) He is very difficult to understand. However, when one comes to the spiritual energy, one can understand Him.
Therefore in Bhagavad-gita (18.55) it is said, bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah: one who wants to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead in reality must take to the platform of bhakti, or Krishna consciousness. This bhakti consists of various activities (sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam/ arcanam vandanam dasyam sakhyam atma-nivedanam), and to understand the Lord one must take to this path of devotional service.
Even though the people of the world have forgotten God and may say that God is dead, this is not a fact. One can understand God when one takes to the Krishna consciousness movement, and thus one can be happy.