Below are questions posed by a devotee friend and my following answers.
From what I understand, Krishna is a person, meaning he is personal. What are the impersonal aspects he is referring to?
You are correct Krishna is a person with likes and dislikes except He is the Supreme Person. The impersonal aspect of Krishna is His bodily effulgence or nirguna nirakar Brahman and then His energy upon which this material creation rests. This material world in which we are currently occupying is an expansion of Krishna but without Krishna directly in it so in that sense it is impersonal. The Brahman effulgence (the universal light) which yogis meditate upon is also a manifestation of Krishna (which is impersonal as it has no character or guna).
Does the personal triumph over the impersonal?
I am not exactly sure what you mean by triumph but from a spiritual perspective, impersonal and personal are same but the difference is in complete versus incomplete. Brahman manifestation is an incomplete realization of God. Realizing Bhagavan is a complete realization of God so one can say in that sense personal is superior to impersonal due to the degree of completeness. If you want to give a crude example, we can establish a relationship with a person by email and or also by person. Both are valid but talking to a person directly reveals more about the individual than just email. Similarly meditating on Brahman reveals certain aspects of God but meditating directly on God reveals Him completely.
I absolutely believe that one has to treat God like a family member to establish that relationship of Love with him. Unless one can think of him that way, it will be difficult as you said to continuously think of him. Correct me if I am wrong, the best way to develop this Love would be to read and hear about his stories, his past times.
Yes you are correct. Just one additional point, you have to hear not just from anyone but from His pure devotee only and not anyone else because Krishna as we discussed earlier reveals His confidential secrets only to His pure bhaktas (not gnanis or yogis). Why…you may ask that is because love is personal and confidential as we discussed earlier and gnanis want knowledge and yogis want siddhis, only bhaktas want to love God…so therefore if we also want to develop love for Krishna, then we must hear from a lover of God – His pure devotee or suddha bhakta.
When we say he is a person, are we not limiting his existence to a body and form? What of the space outside of his body and form? How should we understand it?
This is good question. To understand this fully requires deeper realization. For my part I can share the theory. Our mundane experience so far has taught us to see body as limited…why…because our body is made of flesh and blood bound by space and time. According to great saints like Sukadev Goswami, Mahamuni Vyas etc and according to Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam, we understand that Krishna’s body is not made of flesh and blood. You can get an indication of this in verse BG 4.6. Please read that for clarification. In other words, even when Krishna appeared 5000 years ago, His body was not material but fully spiritual. His atma and His body are the same unlike in our case, the atma is inside the physical body. Therefore the entire body of Krishna is spiritual and in our case our atma or spirit is a tiny size (1/10,000 tip of a hair strand) located in the heart region of our body. The rest of our body is made of flesh and blood. So Krishna is not bound by laws of nature like we are bound. Believe it or not…all the 33 crore demigods (except Lord Siva) also have a physical body like us and an atma residing within. However, the physical bodies of demigods are very powerful. Krishna’s body however is completely spiritual and hence He is categorically superior from all living beings and demigods including Sivaji and Brahmaji. This is why Krishna is Swayam Bhagavan.
The space outside of Krishna’s body is both outside and inside of His body. This is not possible for us to understand as we live in a three dimensional world. For example, mother Yasoda asked to see Krishna’s mouth, she saw the entire creation plus herself in it which means Krishna was inside and outside His creation simultaneously. Because Krishna is the Supreme creator, His entire creation is inside and outside of Him. So in one sense all space is contained within Him and outside Him simultaneously. So Krishna is everywhere and in one place simultaneously. Because we live a three dimensional world, it appears to us that Krishna came to earth 5000 year ago, did some lila, lived in Vrindavan, Mathura and left the planet. People with material understanding like scholars and material sadhus narrate Krishna’s stories in this way. But actually, Krishna never leaves Vrindavan and at the same time all pervading. We cannot perceive this reality till our heart is cleansed of our attachment to our bodily identity and completely immersed in service to Krishna. This will take time but for now in theory, we can understand that because Krishna’s body is not made of material elements, is all pervading (i.e all space is within Him) and at the same time localized (i.e. space is outside of Him) simultaneously. There are two narrations to illustrate this conundrum, one story of Markendeya muni and the other of Dhurvasa muni. Both experience Krishna inside and out.