Unity of Life by Veeraswamy Krishnaraj, M.D; F.R.C.P (Canada)
Science offers proof that all living entities share common genes and qualities. Genetic studies prove this unity in existence. Bacterium and man share genes. This is called horizontal transfer of genes to man from bacteria. Scientists say that the bacterial genes came into the human cell and set up housekeeping chores outside the nucleus of the cell. These bacterial genes came to be known as Mitochondria. The human cell nucleus found uses (symbiosis) for these bacterial mitochondrial genes and incorporated some into human cells. There is an exchange of genes between species. mtDNA is used to trace motherhood of all people to the African Eve. The points of coalescence for all humans are the African Adam with the Y chromosome and African Eve with X Chromosome and mtDNA. They are our great, great, great...grandparents, as Paramataman is the point of coalescence for all bodies, souls, and matter in this universe. Each one of us is a fragment of Paramatman (flesh and blood of Adam and Eve) . As we trace our lineage backward in our genetic paths, we have encountered our cousins in animals, ultimately ending in a microbe, the common ancestor of all living things, which traces its existence to Aksaram, the Imperishable. "The repetitive sequences in the human genome provide fossil record dating back to 800 million years. All races and ethnic groups share "identical genes in the amount of 99.9%; "0.1% constitutes" various genes and genetic markers specific for different races." This little difference portraying the color of the skin and the eyes, facial and racial features partly... is a significant cause of discrimination, conflict, wars, violence...
Published: August 22, 2006
James Gorman in his NYTimes article puts it humorously the following tidbit.
"I’m delighted to be related to flies, yeast, frogs, chimps and blue-green algae. I find the serenity of algae restful and the ambition of yeast admirable. Frogs are great jumpers. Chimps have hands at the end of their feet, sort of. And fruit flies, well, I never met a fruit fly that I was ashamed to share genes with, and I certainly can’t say that about human beings."

Human Insulin gene introduced in bacteria produces human insulin that we use every day. By extension, those bacteria have the potential to become a human. According to Richard Dawkins in his book The Ancestor's Tale, page 13, our history is evolutionary, and all living creatures are cousins. Humans and bacteria have DNA sequences so similar that whole paragraphs are word-for-word identical (Page 24). (As we look at the Grand Tree of Life, we see Origin, Grand Confluence, Trunk, Primary branching points, secondary branches, rendezvous points at many branching Vs., terminal branches and the rest, we trace life back to a repository of DNA of all life, the Stem Substance, Avyaktam (the Unmanifest) and Aksaram (the Indestructible).

This is the message of Hinduism. If bacteria have the potential to become a human, the latter should have the potential to become a god. This means that a human can become more sattvic (virtue, goodness) than he is now. Man is incarnate of God in a limited and restricted sense. All beings from plants to bacteria to animals to man have sentience, which the plants and the bacteria have in the least amount, the animals have in a small amount and man has the most. That sentience is the basis for nonviolence to any, or at the most as slight (violence) as possible.
What is the purpose of all these beings from bacteria, through plants through animals to humans? It is the evolution of the soul, and it has a cosmic compulsion in it: All souls have this compulsion to excel. The mouse becomes a man by moving up the soul's evolutionary ladder; it is the soul's ascent, and the body can range from that of an ameba to man. The chimp in its cosmic compulsion to excel loses its tail, walks on two feet, struts along, and becomes a champion of a human. On the same cosmic compulsive trait, man becomes a god. Our lower traits recede, and the higher traits emerge, evolve or take hold. We left our tail, we left our jungle habitats, we are now humans, and we are on our way up the ladder. In pursuing higher transcendental consciousness, the yogis, the Rishis, and the Munis are the trailblazers: Krishna, Buddha, and Jesus.

A walking fish has genome 10 times more than the genome of a human. Walking fish's genome encodes 23251 proteins, while human genome encodes 20,000 proteins. They can regrow body parts. We are incapable of regeneration. Scientists study the Walking Fish for clues.
CRSPR: Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats.Gene-editing technology. This tool helps change the DNA of living things in such ways, you can keep a mushroom from going brown, and make crops resist insect infestation.
CRSPR can be used to create 'Designer Babies.' A Chinese scientist applied CRSPR to edit the DNA of the fertilized eggs of twin girls to induce resistance to HIV.
It is 'Cut and Paste' of DNA. Cut the DNA you don't want and paste the DNA you want and make the Brown eyes Blue. There are CRSPR gene-editing kits.
You can apply CRSPR to living humans. Take Sickle Cell Anemia in children, These red cells are shaped like sickles, unlike the normal biconcave red cells. Normal red cells roll along happily in the minute capillaries, having plasticity to bend around the corners. Sickle cells get stuck causing pain. Researchers fixed the defect in the bone marrow, and bingo, the bone marrow manufactured the biconcave discs.
Scientists are reluctant to mess around editing the embryos growing into designer babies.

Ethical questions arise, applying CRSPR to human embryos, sperm, and eggs.

Let me explain the incongruities in the presentation as far as the evolution of the soul, and the body containing the soul. The soul is essential here; the body is secondary, and the latter is only a vessel holding the individual soul. The individual soul can ascend or descend up and down the ladder of flora and fauna, depending on its Prārabda karma. When I say we left our tail and that we are humans now, it means the individual soul cast off the body of the chimp or the members of the kingdom of flora and fauna and now has taken up residence in the human body. It is the soul's journey through the plant, animal, and human bodies until it reaches the Greater Soul.
While a roundworm and a fruit fly have 19K and 13K genes respectively, a human has only about 30K active genes. This number changes with each refinement. Take a flowering plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. The common name for this weed belonging to the mustard family and containing 25k genes is mouse-ear cress. How is it that a human is so much more complicated, and yet has only twice the number of genes as a roundworm or a fruit fly and that he is only 5K genes above a flowering plant? So much for our pride and ego. The man has all the genes that a mouse has; our 300 genes only are unique to humans: Genetically speaking we are mouse first and human later. Even worse and humbling: we share genes with roundworm. Chimps and humans share 99% of the genes; Twenty-five percent of human genes are shared with banana. If you see someone going bananas, you know why. We share many genes with the cow.
The truth is our origins are lowly, and we try to rise and blossom like a lotus flower whose origin and roots are in the slimy mud. "Human genes make more proteins per gene (three on average) than many other organisms. Human proteins are more complex than those of many other organisms."
Every step or rung of the spiral DNA ladder that is new and advanced and that we climb, we become that much more complicated. The coding regions, namely the exons, join (splice) together in different sequences, or one or more exons dropped, or new ones added, to produce cascades resulting in new proteins. Man’s DNA structure and proteins are the most complicated and highly evolved in the animal kingdom. Man's genes undergo mutation twice as fast as the woman’s do. It can spearhead an evolutionary process or produce maimed bodies or minds. This goes to back the Christian view of Adam and Eve, and the Hindu view of Prajapati splitting into two parts, resulting in two beings, a man and woman.
There is a commonality of DNA among all members of flora and fauna; that DNA is the basis for the physical body. Those DNA strands are interchangeable between animals and plants. There is a soul in all sentient beings and insentient objects. This individual soul in every member of these two kingdoms is the same, but its distance from an awareness of the Greater Soul makes the difference between the men and mice. We share DNA and soul in varying degrees of sophistication from ameba to man; the body and soul come from the Lord who pervades the whole universe. That is why the Lord’s other name is “All Pervader,” Vishnu.
The gene machine that makes proteins in our body is similar to the gene machine in animals. The insulin we produce in our body is no different–with minor variations– from the insulin, which pigs or other mammals make. You see the biological connection here.
The Lord appeared in this world in many forms. The Avatars in chronological order were Varaha, Narasimha, Kurma, Matsya, Vamana, Parasurama, Rama, Krishna, and Buddha. Kalkin the future Avatar will come in a Brahmana or a warrior riding on a white horse. A reference to the ocean as the source of life occurs in Text 12 of Brahmasamhita. The sea sprang from Lord Narāyana, who is the resting-place of the sea. Nara: the waters of the causal ocean. Ayana: the resting-place.

1. Matsya (Fish)
2. Vamana (Dwarf)
3. Narasimha (Man-Lion, Chimera)
4. Kalkin (Yet to incarnate)

Kurma is tortoise; Matsya is fish; Varaha is boar; Narasimha is man-lion: the upper part is a lion, and the lower part is human. Narasimha, the man-lion, is a chimera (a composite) in a subtle and gross sense, a transitional being between animal and man with no dilution of the efficacy of the avatar. Narasimha Avatar indicates that Bhagavan exists in animals, human and insentient objects, the last because he emerged from a palace pillar to save His devotee, Prahalada from his own father's cruelty. Vamana is a human dwarf. Parasurama, Rama, and Krishna are the other human avatars (incarnations). It is my understanding that any sensed evolutionary model in these incarnations, in consideration of chronological aberration, does not hold water, though the existence of the evolutionary concept in the incarnations cannot be ruled out. Fish, Tortoise, Boar, Man-Lion, and Dwarf incarnations suggest an evolutionary thread in that fish with rudimentary limbs and a mobile neck from the sea came on land, morphed into a land animal, later to a chimera of animal and man through very many links, and still later a dwarf (the first men were dwarfs compared to us). The recent discovery of a fossil (Tiktaalik, 2004 Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada) of (a four to) nine-foot long flat fish (that lived 375 million years ago) with a rudimentary neck and limb-like fins that could propel it from out of water to land is widely acclaimed as the missing link of evolution coming out of the seas.
It is said by the devotees of Krishna that sterile writings of historians depict Krishna as a composite and a conflation of four personalities: Cowherd, Casanova, Machiavelli, and Yogi of Yogis. To the devotees, he is an Avatar and a conflation of Sat, Chit, and Ananda.
The Ten Avatars of Vishnu (Dasavatara): 1. Fish, 2. Tortoise, 3. Boar, 4. Narasimha, 5. Vamana, 6. Parasurama, 7. Ramachandra, 8. Krishna, 9. Buddha, 10. Kalki.

A battle rages between creationists and evolutionists. There is a new entrant in the fray. His advocacy of “Intelligent Designer Theory” rests on the belief that certain complexities in proteins cannot explain simple evolutionary theory. The Designer Theorists believe there is an Intelligent Being designing the complexities and putting them into biological processes. Some denounce "intelligent design as a religious belief masquerading as a secular idea."

The ISMS and more:
Theism, Atheism, Polytheism, Monism, Omnism, Agnosticism, Agnostic atheism, Secularism, Deist, Unitarians…
Vedas and Upanishads, the foundation of Sanatana Dharma, existed even before the concept of religion came into human consciousness. Hinduism had no name until the foreigners gave one to it. Sanatana Dharma (Eternal settled order) was its descriptive name and an afterthought. No one in ancient India said he was a follower of Sanatana Dharma. The foreigners called the ancient people of India Hindus, who lived there long ago. It grew like a multi-millennial tree with concentric rings of new thoughts, ideas, human aspirations, and values. Religion is not the only part of Hinduism. There is more. It takes several lifetimes to explore the whole of it, and still, you find something left unexplored. You find all ISMs (the present, the past and the future), embedded in it: From Monotheism to Polytheism and everything before, after and in-between. Hinduism did not take shape because of one saint, sage or geographic peculiarity, which caused great religions. Hinduism grew in the fertile riverine soil, in the forests, deserts, hills, snow-clad mountains and under all conditions and climes. If you are familiar with its wide-ranging sacred, secular, scientific, mathematical and other disciplines, you see a universal appeal.
There was no religion to speak of those days. The riverine Indus people had a belief system and a way of living, which went through an evolutionary change called Sanatana Dharma (Eternal Values) later, and Hinduism by the foreigners. What is unique about Hinduism is, it is the panoply of all existing belief systems, not found as a whole in other religions. Hinduism encompasses and embraces all 'ISMs' of the present in their essence, and I confidently say the future 'ISMs' yet to be founded by a prophet or a sage. It is no exaggeration to say that Hinduism is a original hodgepodge of ideas, values and beliefs of all religions that exist now and may come later. No thought was unexplored by Hindu thinkers over millennia. Other religions are fragments of Hinduism, though to them, each a origingal in the exploration of human mind.

Brahman. We have not seen the end of this pursuit yet. The Brahman is too complicated for the human mind to grasp. However, every step is in the right direction towards Truth, which reveals itself more with each step. Upanishads still lead in revealing “Truth.” Could it be possible that “Intelligent Designer” is another name for Brahman?
A common question faced by Hindus is why Hindus worship so many gods and goddesses. I suppose they mean that one generic god should be good enough. A reasonable question. Yes, Hindus do have a generic God (Pure Consciousness), namely Nirguna Brahman, a nameless, formless God or Entity without attributes, which do not connote a moral or human dimension. It means the human mind is so limited to fathom the breadth, depth, and form of the God that Nigruna Brahman is without attributes.
All Hindu Gods are names and forms of this Nirguna Brahman. Generics are as good as patents. However, who is listening? A car with four wheels, a roof, an engine, and a steering wheel takes you where you want to go. Why do people go shopping and test-driving different makes and models of cars? You like one car and not the other. Hindus call this liking, “Ishta.” Hindus go shopping for their Ishta-Devata, meaning a god of their liking or a cherished god. When it comes to gods, we can make a choice: true democratic values. It is all about choices. Particular Ishta Devata fits well with the needs and the psychological makeup of the votary. Joseph Campbell observes, "The Indians speak of one's "chosen" deity; one's own peculiar psychology is what determines the image that will speak to one most eloquently and carry one onto the higher planes." In the west, one is a beleiver or a non-beleiver. There are others too.
Hindus know that God takes a person from this material world to a spiritual world or heaven, as a car takes a person from one place to another place. Hindus would rather have a reliable, patented, certified, documented, tested, and true God loaded with options (choices). Saguna Brahman is loaded with all options. The brand name Gods come in different colors, shapes, power, options, and warranties. Periodic maintenance includes festivals, fasts, yogas, prayers, and pilgrimages. We believe in one God, but give Him many names, forms, and attributes.
Nirguna Brahman manifests as Isvara who sports many aliases: that is his Maya. People of different religions are deluded (by his Maya) into thinking that alias Krishna, Siva, Allah or The Lord differs from that Universal God or Isvara, whom I call the Polynomial God – a Sum of gods, each god has a variable raised to a power and multiplied by a coefficient.
When was the last time you thought of your father or mother as a vague, abstract idea? A form and a name help connect a name to a form. It is difficult to imagine God or Goddess as formless and nameless, though He or She is such. The mental image of a form and a name helps the mind anchor and focus on God. According to Sankara, who believes in a formless and nameless Brahman, image worship, chanting of mantras, meditation, and contemplation on one's own self, which are the many means towards realization; sequentially, the latter is better than the former, and the last is the best and the highest form of worship. When realization sets in, the means mean nothing and fall by the wayside.
Do you want to worship a God who sits in His impersonal glory in the heavenly palace up in a deep freeze, out of reach, looking down, dispensing justice, and not caring? I do not think so. You want somebody who is personable, friendly, close and understanding, but not awe-inspiring, forbidding, formidable, jealous, and punishing. He wants to be kind, loving, caring, and helpful. He invites attachment, love, friendship, Vatsalya (mother-child relationship), and devotion. He does not even mind hatred, fear and the other myriad feelings towards Him. He seems to say, "Love Me once, you are free (liberation/moksa); hate Me once, you are free; ignore Me once, you will fry in hell. The Gopis attained liberation (moksa) by love, Kamsa by fear, Sisupala by hatred, Pandavas by friendship, Yadhavas by attachment, Narada by devotion. The key is thinking and remembering the Lord in love, fear, hate, friendship, attachment, devotion or any one of myriad feelings. The Lord seems to say, "Ignore me at your own peril." That is why Hindus have given names, forms, and attributes to God for them to worship. 09-325-BGALLBW.pdf

Nirguna Brahman is the origin of personal gods with unique individual qualities. Carbon is the origin of graphite, graphene, diamond, soot, charcoal, nanotubes, nanofoam, and buckyballs (Buckminster Fullerines). Each entity differs in its configuration, unique quality and utility. Same is true of gold. An aggregate of 20 gold atoms make a pyramid; 16 atoms make a cage. This is true of different gods, and yet they came from Nirguna Brahman.
Hindus worship gods ranging from wind, earth, fire, to Nirguna Brahman. Would you like to explain the intricacies of Dvaita and Advaita philosophies to a snake worshipper? I do not think so. However, such a supposition runs counter to the notion we are all equal in the eyes of God. God by His nature and qualities must be an egalitarian. Ecclesiastic and scriptural elitism must rise above sophistry, and nourish the devotees with sops worthy of easy digestion and understanding. Should the scripturally naive worry about superimposition, sublation, time, space, and causation? One sees the all-powerful God in the snake (The Nagas), and the other sees God in Nirguna Brahman. Their love for God is equal, and the Love that God has for both is equal. The love and devotion matter, not the “object” one worships.
The Self is the same in the snake worshipper and the yogi practicing Jnāna yoga. The Self at both ends of the spectrum and in-between sees unequalness only in the excellence of the mind, yet all have the potential for eventual moksa (liberation).
If one wants to worship an egg as God, one should have that freedom and choice. Hinduism has a god for everyone ranging from an atheist and animal worshipper to a monist. That an atheist denies the existence of God is a declaration he is God Himself. The great Vāc (Great Saying) “Tat Tvam Asi,” “That Thou art” stands witness to his stance.
The Lord is Sarvatma (Atma or Soul of all beings); therefore, He is Jivatma and Paramatma (the individual soul and Supreme Soul); there is no difference between Jivatma and Paramatma; Jivatma is another name for Paramatma from whom Jivatma came. This is meant by Tat tvam asi, --That thou art.

Hindus face this question every day: Why do Hindu Gods have extra body parts?
Let me tell you right off that God did not ask for any appendages or body parts. The man realized the limits of his own body and body parts, and the omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence of God. How is the man going to translate these remarkable qualities of God in physical and mental terms? The man knows well those body parts he owns himself.
According to Sruti mantras, God has none of the anthropomorphic features or human body parts. He is Consciousness; He has no hands but accepts any devotional offerings; He has no feet, but can go anywhere; He has no physical eyes but can see all. Brahma-Samhita says that each of the special senses of God and other organs is omniscient, omnipotent and “omnifunctional,” meaning that His eye can see, hear, eat, taste and grasp. He fertilizes by His glance. There is a condition in humans known as synesthesia, by which a synesthete (the person) tastes shapes, feels colors, sees sounds; and perceives sounds, letters, and numbers as colors. There must be something in the wiring of the brain which facilitates sound perceived as color. If a man has this ability, it is easy to imagine that God can do all functions with one or no organ.

He is the undeclared and the Real Father of all living beings; we share His DNA base by base; He is the soul in each one of us. You have heard the term MRCA, Most Recent Common Ancestor, in DNA studies; the African Adam and Eve are our physical ancestors according to geneticists. Since we all have a fragment (Amsa) of the Lord in all of us, we all can trace our lineage back to the confluence with the Lord. Our descent from the Lord is older than Adam and Eve.
God and Symbolism
God's surplus body parts are symbols of extraordinarily divine qualities. The gods also hold their body parts in certain unique ways to tell a meaning or Truth, and this is Mudra or symbol. Let me explain a common symbol or mudra we use every day. When you oppose the thumb with the forefinger at their tips to form a circle with the other three fingers extended, we mean that everything is perfect or the intended goal is in sight. This mudra, called Bhadra Mudra, symbolizes silence. A Guru, seated in front of his disciples, in Bhadra Mudra pose, is telling the pupils that reflection on a Truth in silence is more revealing than much verbiage. It also means the union of the individual soul with the Highest Soul, namely Paramatman.
Vishnu holds the discus, the lotus flower, the conch, and the club by the right upper, the right lower, the left upper, and the left lower hands respectively. The conch represents the origin of primal sound OM, and the call Vishnu makes to draw the attention of man to His Higher Self. The club represents His power to inflict punishment or subdue; the discus represents the time (wheel of Time) that remains in Him, and it stands for mind, concentration, and control of the body. The lotus flower is the symbol of purity and peace. The bloomed lotus also represents blossoming Vijnāna, intuitive divine wisdom in a man who turned a leaf and became a yogi. This carrot-and-stick approach (the lotus flower and the club) helps the soul go forward to its destination: moksa, gathering no karma on its long march.
Brahma, the God of creation, has four heads and four hands, all for good reasons: each head represents one Veda, book of revelation. Since he is the creator, his hands symbolize the evolving constituents of Prakriti namely the mind, the intellect, the ego, and the consciousness. He sits on a lotus flower, which represents unfolding of the universe and wisdom. Lord Vishnu created Brahma, who by His portfolio had to be skillful, both in cerebral and physical ways. Imagine that each head is an independent processor or thinking apparatus. All four heads or processors put together have much brainpower: you may call it one-god, one-person think tank or super computer. He creates, and so needs that redundant brainpower.
Siva has a vertical third eye (with upper eyelashes to his right) in His forehead; it has diverse roles; it is the high point of divine vision and wisdom, and when it opens, it is the annihilator of the universe with the dissolution of duality, forms, and names. The third eye is also the destroyer of darkness (Tamas), and the epicenter of wisdom (Jnāna), and that glabellar meditative locus is a plane in Kundalini Yoga.
Ganesa, the elephant-faced God, can create and remove obstacles for man and gods. Lord Ganesa was all ears when He learned Vedanta, and that is why He has large ears. He is a good listener; He has the memory of an elephant; once He hears, He never forgets. That is why Sage Vyasa dictated Mahabharata to Lord Ganesa. His Vāhana (vehicle of transport), the mouse, stands for the desire that eats (expunges) all demerits and therefore man should control the desire in him, and attain liberation.
His trunk is so versatile that it has the delicacy and the sensitivity to pick up a blade of grass and the strength to lift heavy objects; further, it symbolizes his highly evolved intellect, discriminative wisdom, and unparalleled awareness of the inner workings of gunas– Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas. His two tusks represent the dualities, such as pleasure and pain, love and hate, good and evil, right and wrong; the trunk between these two tusks symbolizes the discriminate choice he makes between the two components of each duality, and the broken tusk symbolizes transcendence of the dualities. His extraordinary and humongous appetite symbolizes the zest for life under all conditions. His grace helps roast the karmic seeds easing the passage of the soul into moksa.
There are goddesses in the Hindu pantheon. Mahalakshmi, Sarasvati, and Durga are known and worshipped all over India. There are many others, some of local fame.
Mahalakshmi, commonly known as Lakshmi, is the primary and first consort of Visnu. Her other names are Sri, Padma, Kamala, Cancala, and Ashtalakshmis. She came out of the milk ocean with a lotus in her hand and was taken as a consort by Visnu according to her wish and by choice of the Lord himself. She is Sakti of Visnu or Narayana. She is the primary goddess from whom all other goddesses emanated, and so, is the Mother Goddess. When Lakshmi emerged from the milk ocean, she had four arms (like Vishnu) with conch, disc, and lotus. She is amsa of Vishnu, having emerged from Vishnu in Srikalpa. Does it not remind you of Eve coming out of Adam (Adam's rib)? She is the resident Goddess for creation, sustenance, and destruction of the universe. She is a form of Brahman.
She is endowed with Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas, manifesting each as the occasion and the role demand. Visnu Purana eulogizes her in the eighth chapter. She is eternal, imperishable, all-pervading, and omnipresent. She is the mediator between the devotees of Visnu and Visnu. Her role concerning Visnu is complementary, though Visnu by himself needs no compliment from anyone. While Visnu is meaning, Sri is speech. When Visnu takes on the role of Siva, she becomes Gauri, the consort of Siva. Sri is the heavens, and Visnu is the space. She is the light, and he is the moon. Sometimes the role is reversed. Lakshmi is the light and Hari (Visnu) is the lamp. He is Yama, and she is his spouse, Dhumorna. Visnu is the tree, and Sri is the vine. He is all that is male, and she is all that is female.
Whatever form Visnu takes in the universe, Sri is always his consort. Their names change, but they are always with each other from beginningless time till eternity. There are many associations of Lakshmi with many gods. According to BG10.41, whatever being has vitality, splendor, and power, know that to be a manifestation of a fragment of my splendor. In whoever you find that fragment of the Lord, one sees Lakshmi there too, because they are inseparable.
At sublation, she plays the role of Mahakali, also known as Durga, with ten emanations of her own: Durga; Simhavahini, the rider of the lion; Mahasuramardini, the killer of Mahisa; Jagaddhatri, slayer of giants; Kali, the killer of giant Raktavija; Muktakesi, the killer of more giants; Tara, the killer of Sumbha; Chinnamasta, slayer of Nisumba; and Jagadgauri, the protector and deliverer of gods from demons. As Parvati, she is the consort of Siva.
Mahalakshmi’s emanation, Mahasarasvati, is the goddess of learning, arts, and music. Sattva guna (virtue) is the dominant mode in Sarasvati, whose powers are Sraddha, faith; Rddhi, prosperity; Kala, arts; Medha, intelligence; Tushti, satisfaction; Pushti, prosperity; Prabha, radiance; and Mati, judgment. A river was named after her, which is only a dry riverbed now. Because she is the goddess of learning, the image of her carrying the Vedas and a Vina, the stringed musical instrument, is hung in the libraries and worshipped with flowers.
Some students of Hindu mythology believe that Laksmi represented certain desirable qualities for king and those qualities assumed an ontological form. The qualities are power, radiance, fortune, beauty, spirituality, and auspiciousness. Her depiction with elephants and lotus flower represents divinity, fertility, wealth, and spirituality.
Mahalakshmi is Yoganidra in Visnu. (Yoganidra is personified as Mahalakshmi.) When the creative process is about to happen, Yoganidra power in Vishnu jumps out of slumber in the form of Mahalakshmi who fulfills the function of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva.
Lakshmi is worshipped and celebrated during Deepavali festival for prosperity in one’s chosen field. It is a festival of lights, which drives away Lakshmi’s sister Alakshmi who is an embodiment of poverty, hunger, and want.
Krishna Lila titillates the prurient fancy of many in the West, India, and the rest of the world. The scenario depicts eight Gopis in various poses and stages of undress in the lake and Krishna sitting on a tree by the lakeside with their clothes. This is the explanation. The eight gopis or milkmaids are the personification of eight bonds; the stolen clothes represent the inauspicious qualities that mislead the Jiva (soul) into Samsara with no possibility of escape. When the qualities are removed, and the jiva is separated from the bonds, Jiva attains liberation from Samsara (metempsychosis, birth, and rebirth).

◄►To the Western, Indian Religion generally seems a "jungle" of contradictory beliefs amidst which he is lost. Only those who have understood its main principles can show them the path.
For the Hindu, the Agama contains forms of discipline which his race has evolved and are therefore prima facie suitable for him. Not that these forms are unalterable or acceptable to all. Others will adopt other forms of Sadhana suitable for them. Thus, amongst Christians, the Catholic Church prescribes a full and powerful Sadhana in its Sacraments (Samskara) and Worship (Puja, Upasana), Meditation (Dhyana), Rosary (Japa) and the like. But any system to be fruitful must experiment to gain experience, The significance of the Tantra Shastra lies in this that it claims to afford a means available to all, of whatever caste and of either sex, whereby the truths taught may be practically realized.
◄► Sir John Woodroffe, 1918.

I am One, and many are my forms.
Students familiar with various Hindu religious sects read self-description of major gods he or she is the Primary God. Some of the following self-descriptive statements bear this out. I am Brahman; I am second to none; if you remember me at the time of death, you will attain liberation and be free of miseries of the world and samsara. If you worship other gods, you are worshipping me alone, because I received all sacrifices.
Mother Goddess (there are several--Devi, Mahalakshmi, Sarasvati, Mahakali and more), Siva and Vishnu (Krishna) make the same statements. It goes to confirm that they are the same and their manifestations are many to benefit the devotees. The Mother Goddess claims she gave birth to the three gods: Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesvara (Siva). Do not let that confuse you. Mother Goddess is Sakti; with Siva she is Siva-Sakti. How could she be a Mother while she is also a consort of Siva? This is where the concept of "One is many" comes in. The Cosmic show is a one-person act; One player takes many rolls. He or She can take forms any way that will bring benefit to the devotee. Let me elaborate on the Mother aspect of manifest Brahman. This subject needs more attention and study. Mother claims status of the Primal One and the First Goddess excluding all genders (male and neuter). I am Brahman; I assume the role of the female form. I give birth to the universe. I am Sakti; Purusa joins me and becomes Sakti-Siva, which everyone should worship to attain enjoyment and liberation.
I provide Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksa to all beings including Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesvara. I am Isvari. I am the source of Maya, which is the material cause of the universe and yet I am far away from it (meaning she is transcendent and Pure Consciousness and is immune to her own Exomaya, which afflicts Jiva.) In my unmanifest form of Brahman (Daksinakalika), I have no attributes; Maya-created Jiva cannot perceive me because I am so far away from and beyond the reach of Maya. My body is made of Mantras and Tantras, and all Sastras proceed from me. I am Mahakala (The Great Time); at the time of dissolution, I swallow and destroy the universe. Often these self-descriptions come in the form of eulogy from Siva.

Thomas Carlyle says, "If a book comes (sic) from the heart, it will contrive to reach other hearts; all craft and authorcraft are of small amount to that."
Sankaracharya says in Bajagovindam, "Adore Govinda (the Lord), O fool, rules of grammar will not save you when you have a tryst with Time (Death). The purport is that Apara Vidya (arts and sciences), inferior knowledge, will not help you at the time of death; Para Vidya (knowledge of the Supreme) will take you home when Time calls on you.