(Vintage painting of Lord Krishna)
"As it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā,
hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati
Īśvara, the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa. Īśvara means the Supreme, īśvara means controller. But the supreme controller is Kṛṣṇa. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ (Bs 5.1). Control everyone of us, we are controller. We control our family, our society, our business, our factory. There are different kinds of controller. So in that sense everyone is īśvara, but different types of īśvara. But the supreme īśvara.... Supreme means nobody controls Him, but He controls everyone. That is Supreme. Here we are controller, but we are also controlled, somebody else, superior than me. Therefore we cannot be called supreme controller. Supreme controller is Kṛṣṇa.
When Kṛṣṇa was present on this planet, nobody could control Kṛṣṇa, but He controlled everyone. Nobody could control Kṛṣṇa. So therefore the great saintly persons, even Brahmā, they have decided, that īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ: (Bs 5.1) 'The Supreme controller is Kṛṣṇa.' He controls even Brahmā, ādi-kavaye. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said, tene brahma hṛdā ādi-kavaye (SB 1.1.1). Tene, He instructed Brahmā śabda-brahma, Vedic knowledge, hṛdā, through heart. That is Hṛṣīkeśa. You can argue that 'Brahmā was the first creature within this universe. So how he could be instructed by somebody else?' No. The somebody else is always there within the heart, Hṛṣīkeśa. Hṛṣīkeśa means controller. Sarvasya cāham... Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, sarvasya, in the fifteenth chapter, sarvasya ca ahaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ: 'I am sitting in everyone's heart.' Mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca: (BG 15.15) 'From Me, one remembers and one forgets also.' Forgets also. If you want to forget Kṛṣṇa, so Kṛṣṇa will give you such intelligence that you will forget Him forever. Ye yathā māṁ prapadyante tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham (BG 4.11).
So the atheist class, demon class, they want to forget Kṛṣṇa. So Kṛṣṇa gives him such intelligence that he can speak of atheism so many volumes. But he is getting that intelligence from Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa gives everyone the chance that 'Whatever you want to do, you can do. I will give you intelligence. So if you want to become atheist, then I will give you intelligence how to become first-class atheist, like Hiraṇyakaśipu, Rāvaṇa, Kaṁsa. And if you want to become devotee, then I will give you intelligence also in that way.' Buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi taṁ yena mām upayānti te. Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam (BG 10.10). Anyone who is engaged in His service with love and affection, teṣām, not all, not all... Because not all, not everyone wants to serve Him. Everyone wants to become God, imitator. Imitation. Therefore they say, 'Why Kṛṣṇa shall be alone God? I am God.' You are God. That's all right. But you are not the Supreme God. Why you forget that? You may be a God at home of your wife, but when you go to your office, you are not god; your master is god. He directs you to do something; you have to do it.
So we may claim that 'Every one of us, we are God,' but nobody can claim that 'We are supreme; I am Supreme God.' That is not possible. That can, Kṛṣṇa can claim only. Mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya: (BG. 7.7) 'My dear Dhanañjaya, there is no more superior personality than Me.' And He proved it. So God cannot be manufactured. God is God. Kṛṣṇa, when He was three months old on the lap of His mother, still, He was God. He could kill the Pūtanā. So God cannot be manufactured by so-called meditation and mystic power. You can get some of the insignificant powers of God, but simply, but you do not know how much powerful is God. That you do not know. Therefore when a person gets little power, he thinks that he has become God. He does not know how much powerful God is.
So therefore śāstra says that 'You may be god in your own atmosphere, in your own jurisdiction. You may think that you are God.' And everyone thinks like that. 'But the Supreme God is Kṛṣṇa.' Eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān. In the Upaniṣads it is said that God is also a person like me, you. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). But His personality is different from your personality, from my personality. What is that difference? Eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān: 'He supplies all the necessities of all other personalities.' That is the difference. God is supplying us food. This conception is there in the Bible, 'God, give us our daily bread.' This is nice. Accepting that you are getting all supplies from God, this is sukṛti, this is puṇyavat.
If one, anyone says, 'Oh, what God? We are creating our own food.' Just like the Communist says. They are duṣkṛtina, rascals. But if anyone even goes to the church and temple for asking something to God, he is pious. At least, he has approached God. So one day when he will be advanced devotee, he will not ask any more. He knows that 'Why shall I bother God? He is supplying everyone food, so why shall I ask Him food? My food is also there. Let me serve Him.' That is his higher intelligence. That is higher intelligence, that 'Why shall I ask food from God? God is supplying food to the cats, dogs, ants, elephants, and I want little food, he will not supply me? And especially when I engage myself in His service? Ordinary man pays to his servant, and I shall starve if I am engaged in the service of God?' This is intelligence. This is intelligence. 'Why shall I bother God? If He likes, I will starve. That doesn't matter. But I must engage myself in the service of the Lord.' This is intelligence. Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate (BG 7.19). This intelligence comes after many, many births of endeavoring for self-realization. It is not easily comes."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, London, July 15, 1973)