METATRON AND MAHAVISNU
RABBI: It is said that a personality named Metatron cooperates with God to teach the young. While God devotes the last three hours of the day to this work, Metatron is in charge during the remainder of the day. (A.Z. 3b) [Everyman's Talmud, II, III] Do the Vedas give any information about such a personality?
DEVOTEE: The Vedas inform us of one plenary expansion of Lord Krsna named Mahä-Vishnu. In the creative process, it is from Mahä-Vishnu that all of the universes emanate, and within those universes that the living entities, like us, are struggling for existence. The purpose of this world is ultimately to help the envious living entities to become detached from the desire for material enjoyment and to revive their love for God. Through His creative functions, Mahä-Vishnu actually teaches the "young" detachment from material life and attachment towards the Lord's loving devotional service.
RABBI: I do not understand. According to the Vedas, can you explain further how exactly is it that Mahä-Vishnu is cooperating with God to teach the young?
DEVOTEE: As we had discussed before, the Vedas clearly teach that we are not the material body but the soul within. Young and old in this connection have nothing to do with the age of the body, because the soul is eternal and unchanging. "The young" refers to almost all living entities in the material world in any species of life. We are considered young in realization of God until we have developed love for God. Mahä-Vishnu helps to teach the "young" to become detached from the desire to enjoy this world separately from the Lord's service, and to simultaneously help them to revive their love for Lord Krsna. He does this by creating all the material universes, within which the living entities are struggling hard for material existence. As we struggle in ignorance to find some enjoyment, we gradually become frustrated. In our frustration we naturally become a little detached from material existence, and the Lord in the heart, an expansion of Mahä-Vishnu known as Ksirodakasayi Vishnu, directs us from within to search out a bona fide guru. The guru then teaches his submissive disciples the spiritual process to revive their natural love for God. In this way, Mahä-Vishnu cooperates with the God (Lord Krsna) to teach the young.
Actually, Mahä-Vishnu is another form of God, but whereas the original personality of Godhead, Lord Krsna, spends His time enjoying with His pure devotees in the spiritual world, so His expansions like Mahä-Vishnu, work directly to help the living entities to develop detachment from material enjoyment and attachment to Lord Krsna. Those forms of Vishnu known as the Prarusha incarnations, namely Mahä-Visnu, Garbhodakasayi Vishnu, and Ksirodakasayi Vishnu, all function within this world to teach the young and spiritually immature to mature in their realization of God. There is really no difference between these three forms of Vishnu except the functions they perform and the way that they may change Their forms to perform those functions.
RABBI: Your explanation of Mahä-Vishnu and His expansions is interesting. This seems to corroborate a statement found about Metatron in Origins of the Kabbalah where it is said, "Metatron is therefore not a proper name at all but a designation for the whole category of celestial powers performing a mission."[Origins of the Kabbalah, III, 6]
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