Can Sri Krishna be called ‘a person’?


This is how Krishnaprem, (, the renowned siddha Gaudiya Vaishnava saint sees the topic.He clearly answers in the negative and writes

Nor Krishna is man at all, but a great Power which, by its presence, though unknown, unseen, lightens the bitter sorrows of the world.

The gives the relevant meanings of 'Purusha' as

The soul; द्वाविमौ पुरुषौ लोके क्षरश्चाक्षर एव च Bg.15.16 &c. -7 The Supreme Being, God (soul of the universe); पुरातनं त्वां पुरुषं पुराविदः (विदुः) Śi.1.33; R.13.6.

It is obvious that here 'Purusha' can NOT mean person ('Vyakti') -- because three types of 'Purusha' are mentioned in the chapter 15 of the Gita: kshara, Akshara and Purusha-Uttama. If all three are translated as persons, that would be the most misleading!

in His 'The Yoga of the Bhagavad-Gita'. First Sri Krishnaprem clarifies:

To anyone who has eyes to see, Gita is based on direct knowledge of Reality, and the Path that leads to that Reality..Those eternal realities are the same now as they were thousand of years ago, and the text of Gita should be interpreted in words that refer to these realities here and now.

He explains the verse that contains the word 'Purusha' in chapter 15, sloka 4 of the Gita as

Detaching himself from  the union with the objects of both outer and inner senses, detaching himself in fact from all from whatsoever, the disciple must soar upon the trackless path of light towards the Primal Consciousness from which ages past the Cosmic Energied steamed forth. (verse 4).That Consciousness however being Absolute, is far beyond all that we know as such.Knower and Known exist in one as it is, in another way, they are not one in absolute matter.It is in fact no consciousness for us, being beyond the Fire of manifested life, the Moon of Mula-prakriti, the Sun of the unmanifested Atman.It is the Void; It is also the Full.Having gone thither, none can return again.That, Krishna says, is His Supreme Abode.That is the Goal; That is final bliss.

Krushnaprem is a foremost intellectual, a greatest Siddha Vaishnava and a top-class writer. So I lay most importance to His translation and interpretation.Those who know a minimum of both Sanskrit and English will understand that the word 'Purusha' can never be satisfactorily translated as 'Person', because The one Who lying in the 'Pura' is 'Purusha'. Sri Krishnprem translates 'Purusha' as 'The Spirit or Consciousness'. The entire book is available for download online in pdf format.

The translations like 'Person' or 'The Supreme Personality of Godhead' are very very close to the Christan Theological meaning and the farthest from what the Gita and the Acharyas try to imply.


There are different meanings of the word 'Purusha' in the dictionary.One crude meaning is a 'Male Person'.But in the Vedanta Literature, that is NOT acceptable. The Upanishad says : 'Purusha' of a size of a thumb always resides in the heart of every human being. The Gita says: There are two types of 'Purusha' --khsara and akshara,metc etc. There is the famous 'Purusha-Sukta' in the Vedas also.So it becomes clear that in the Vedanta Literature that includes the Gita, the translation of 'Purusha' can never be 'Person'.

Also, Srimad-Bhagavatam mentions that Mother Yashoda wrongly took her lad as a person and did bind with rope and Sri Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita quotes this sloka(Madhya, chapter 19):

tam matvA Atmajam avyaktam martyalingam adokhsajam/gopika udukhale dAmna vavandha prAkritam yathA// (9/12/30)

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