“God is energy.”
OK, yes. But God is also the source of energy! “God” is both the energy of existence and the source of that energy.
“God is one.”
Yes, but in perfect unity there is diversity. Within the oneness of God there are two distinct natures: (1) The possessor and originator of energy, and (2) The energy itself.
The first aspect of God – the possessor of energy – has unlimited nature, but also has an original state. The original, most complete state is denoted by the name “Kṛṣṇa” – because this name indicates the origin point who possesses all energies.
The second aspect of God – the energy – also has unlimited nature, and also has an original pristine state. The original state is the Goddess “Rādhā.” This name itself indicates that she is the energy which functions on Kṛṣṇa’s behalf.
To summarize what we have said so far: “God” is a single entity with two natures, the potency – Rādhā, and the potent – Kṛṣṇa. God is neither Kṛṣṇa nor Rādhā, but is both: Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa.
How does divine energy (Rādhā) function?
God’s energy (“shakti”) is one, but again in perfect unity there is diversity. Rādhā, the energy of God, is one unified being but functions in a plurality of ways. Those who are intimately conversant with God’s energy explain this plurality as an expansion of triplicates.
The first triplicate is Her division into:
1. “Internal Energy” (antar-anga shakti)
2. “External Energy” (bahir-anga shakti)
3. “Borderline Energy” (tathastha shakti)
The Internal Shakti of Rādhā is the main branch of divine energy. This shakti creates the main part of existence – the blissful, eternal, exciting world of the “internal affairs” in the “spiritual world” of the divine. The External Shakti is a mirror image of the Internal Energy. Mirrors replicate the external image but lack substance and depth. This energy manifests the “material world.” The Borderline Shakti is an atomic fragment of the internal energy. Being on the border between the two other energies, it can place itself into contact with either. This energy creates the “soul” – all the living beings in this world.
Each one of these triplicate divisions of divine energy itself also has a triplicate subdivision.
1. The experiential energy
2. The “verb” energy
3. The “noun” energy
The Internal Energy
Let’s first consider how this triplicate subdivision operates in the first triplicate division – the Internal Shakti, the spiritual world.
1. Bliss (hlādinī śakti)
2. Relationships (samvit śakti)
3. Beings (sandhinī śakti)
As we previously noted, the main portion of divine energy goes into the Internal Shakti which creates the intimate spiritual reality of the divine. Within that, the main subportion goes into the shakti that creates the experience of bliss. Being that the bliss of the internal energy is therefore the most major portion of divine energy, Śrīmatī Rādhā takes personal charge of this shakti. In truth, She is the origin and substance of every manifestation of divine energy – but she particularly and personally takes charge of this portion of divine energy. To operate in her other roles, she expands into other Goddesses.
The energy of being (sandinī) manifests all the “nouns” of the internal spiritual world – all the persons, places and things. The energy of relationships (samvit) manifests all the “verbs” of the internal spiritual world – all the interactions and relationships between the nouns. The energy of bliss (hlādinī) manifests the result of the spiritual nouns interaction via spiritual verbs: the bliss of divine love.
The Borderline Energy
In the borderline energy, which is all of us – our “souls” – the triplicate subdivision is:
1. Spiritual bliss (ānanda)
2. Spiritual awareness (cit)
3. Spiritual existence (sat)
Our essential being, or “soul,” eternally exists as a noun – this is the function of the sat shakti. We also have the inherent capacity to be fully aware of our essential eternal being and to function in that eternal role. This is the “verb” of our being, and it is the function of the cit shakti. When our essential being operates in its eternal function, we realize our inherent potential to experience infinite spiritual bliss. That is the function of the ānanda shakti.
The External Energy
The external energy creates the mirror image of the spiritual reality. It’s triplicate subdivision is:
1. Temporary pleasures (nirānanda)
2. Knowledge of the temporary self and world (acit)
3. Temporary material persons and objects (asat)
If the borderline energy of the soul chooses to contact the external energy it develops a temporary reflection of itself, this is the ego, mind, and body that we currently inhabit and is created by the asat shakti. We act to understand and express that temporary self in relation to the other temporary persons and objects in its temporary world. This verb is the function of the acit shakti. The result of our temporary being interacting with temporary sensory objects is that we experience temporary pleasures. These manifest from the nirananda shakti.
Who is Śrī Rādhā
Śrī Rādhā is, along with Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Godhead. Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the potent, and Śrī Rādhā is the potency. Everything that exists is Śrī Rādhā, the source of everything that exists is Śrī Kṛṣṇa.
Existence has three features, and each feature has three subfeatures. We have made an endeavor to understand and express those here. Doubtlessly this is not the reality itself, but an attempt to describe the reality in words via limited capacity to understand and express. Since this follows the manner in which the self-realized souls since time immemorial have expressed and explained the subject, I am very confident in its value and profundity.