Therefore, when Srila Prabhupada used to present his teachings he did not use the expression just ‘God’, he used the expression ‘The Supreme Personality of Godhead.’ The Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the definition of Supreme is, that there is no one equal to Him and no one is superior to Him. So He is the Supreme. He is one without a second. That is the Vedic presentation. Ekam eva advitiyah paramah purusah. The identity of God is, He is ekam, He is one. Eva advitiyah, there is no one equal to Him. And paramah purusah, the Supreme Personality. So when we approach different religions in a proper way, in an appropriate way, under the guidance of qualified teachers then we get the same message everywhere; God is one without a second.
Now, often a misunderstanding prevails that Hinduism is a polytheistic religion, but actually that’s not true. Hinduism has two concepts. One is devas, devatas, and the other is Bhagavan. Devatas are actually the different controllers of different departments of the universal affairs. Like, there is a controller of the fire department. There is a controller of the water department. There is a controller of the wind department. There is a controller of education department. There is a responsible controller of the finance department. Now, those personalities are devas and devis, but Bhagavan, bhaga asti iti bhagavan, that Personality is one without a second.
That’s the difference. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krishnas tu bhagavan svayam [SB 1.3.28], whereas there is Indra, Chandra, Varuna, Pavana etcetera. Pavana Deva is the controller of the wind department, Varuna Deva the controller of the water department, Agni Deva the controller of the fire department, Lakshmi Devi controller of the finance department, Sarasvati the controller of the education department. So these are the different controllers of different affairs of the universe, but Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krishna is not a deva. Krishna is Bhagavan. Then again, the expression ‘Bhagavan’ has been identified or defined. Bhaga asti iti bhagavan. And most of you are coming from Indian background so you know this expression ‘van.’ The suffix ‘van’ indicates one who possesses. Like, for example, one who has wealth, which is dhana, one who has dhana he is dhanavan. One who has bala, he is balavan. One who has guna, he is gunavan, and so forth.
Now, similarly, one who has bhaga, he is bhagavan. Now what’s the definition, what’s the meaning of the word bhaga? Bhaga has been defined as
aisvaryasya samagrasya viryasya yasasah sriyah jnana-vairagyayos caiva sannam bhaga itingana [Vishnu Purana 6.5.47]
Definition of bhaga is complete wealth, aisvarya samagrasya, samagra means complete, one who possesses complete wealth, one who possesses virya (the strength, power), one who possesses sri, (the beauty), fame (yasa), jnana (knowledge) and vairagya (renunciation). The one who possesses the six opulences, wealth, strength, beauty, fame, knowledge and renunciation to an absolute extent he is Bhagavan. In the material nature we never come across a personality like that who can claim that he possesses all the wealth, he possesses all the strength and so forth. But the Vedas are indicating, no, there is a person who possesses all of this. He is one without a second. He is ekam eva advitiyah paramah purusah and that personality is identified according to His different qualities and different activities. He is identified by different names.
For example Krishna, the word Krishna means all-attractive. Because He possesses all these qualities He is all-attractive. He is the giver of the supreme pleasure and He is the Supreme Enjoyer, therefore He is Rama. Ramate iti ramah. He is the source and shelter of every living entity, therefore He is Narayana. He is the cause of entire creation, therefore He is Vishnu. And that same personality appeared as the son of Nanda Maharaja, therefore He is Nandanandana. Yashoda’s son, Yashodanandana. He is very dear to the gopis, therefore He is Gopinatha, Gopijanavallabha. He performed His wonderful pastimes in various ways, therefore He is Lila Purushottama. He resides in Vrindavana, therefore He is Vrindavaneshvara. So in this way all the names that He is identified by are nothing but the indication of His different qualities. He has innumerable qualities, therefore He has innumerable names. He has unlimited pastimes, therefore according to that He has innumerable names.