Who is Bhagavan?

Sree Sree Guru Gaurangau Jayatah!

What is the interpretation of the word `Bhagawan’ (God)? We find words in the Gita— `Bhagavan uvaca’ (Supreme Lord said). The Gita indicates that Supreme Lord is speaking. Sri Krishna is referred to as Bhagavan in the Gita. The inner significance of the word Bhagavan— “Bhaga means opulences, and van means one who possesses. We have some conception of God, but in the Vedic literature there are definite descriptions and definitions of what is meant by God, and what is meant is described in one word—Bhagavan. Bhagavan possesses all opulences, the totality of knowledge, wealth, power, beauty, fame and renunciation. When we find someone who possesses these opulences in full, we are to know that he is God. There are many rich, wise, famous, beautiful and powerful men, but no one man can claim to possess all of these opulences. Only Krishna claims to possess them in totality. Another interpretation of Bhagavan is `Bhaga’ signifies `shakti’ (potency). Interpretation of Bhagavan is `Sarvashaktiman’— One who possesses infinite opulences.

— Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaj


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