Question: I read that we are here (in the material world) because we desired to enjoy independent of the Lord. Who gives us the desire to enjoy independently of Lord Krishna and why ? It is confirmed in vedas that without Krishna’s will nothing will happen. At the same time, it is said that all the misery we are experiencing is due to our own desires. What is the basic source of these desires? Is it possible to desire or execute our desires without Lord Krishna’s will?

Nothing can happen without the will of Lord Krishna. His will is the sanction for us to do as we desire. Even to forget the Lord it requires Krishna’s will to empower us. Krishna says:

sarvasya caham hridi sannivishto
mattah smritir jnanam apohanam ca

“I am situated in the hearts of all living entities, and from Me comes knowledge, remembrance and forgetfulness.”

Our forgetfulness (apohanam) of the Lord is given by Lord Krishna Himself. Even to reject Him we require His sanction and mercy. But why does He will for us to forget Him? It is because we ourselves have desired it. The Lord has given us freewill, or an independent will from His own, but to accomplish it requires the will of the Lord. That we have an independent will, or a freedom of choice, is itself the will of the Lord.

Question: Are we eternal entities, originally from the the spiritual world; or is it that Krishna created us?

There is no creation of the living entity. We are eternal entities, separated expansions of the Lord. From the angle of the Lord, He is everything, including us. From the angle of the separated expansion we are different from the Lord. Thus there is oneness and difference based on the angle of vision of the perceiver.

Lord Krishna explains the eternality of the soul as follows in the Gita:

na jayate mriyate va kadacin
nayam bhutva bhavita va na bhuyah
ajo nityah shashvato ‘yam purano
na hanyate hanyamane sharire

“For the soul there is neither birth nor death at any time. He has not come into being, does not come into being, and will not come into being. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.”

This same verse is also found in the Katha upanishad. There it is further elaborated as follows:

nityo nityanam cetanash cetananam
eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman

“Among all the eternal entities, there is one supreme eternal entity. Among all the conscious beings, there is one supreme conscious being. That one, the supreme, is fulfilling the desires of everyone.”

The supreme among the many is described in great detail in the Vedanta-sutras. Therein it is stated:

janmady asya yathah

“The Supreme is He from whom everything emanates.”

As the foundation of everything, Brahman is considered the source of all, though there is no limiting time to produce a point of creation. Source, according to the Upanishads, refers to the shelter or controller of everything. Krishna, being the controllor and shelter of everything is the source of everything:

aham sarvasya prabhavo
mattah sarvam pravartate

“I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me.”

mattah parataram nanyat
kincid asti dhananjaya
mayi sarvam idam protam
sutre mani-gana iva

“There is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.”

It is for this reason that the Srimad Bhagavatam declares Krishna to be the “ashraya” or supreme shelter of everything.