“The highly renowned Rama rages into a fury against those who dare brave against Him. He is extremely powerful, for He can completely stop the onset of a pulsing river simply by using His arrows. Shriman Rama can bring down all the stars, planets, and the sky itself by use of His arrows. He is even capable of saving the earth if it should collapse. The illustrious Rama, if He wanted to, could deluge the whole world by breaking apart the shorelines of the seas. With His arrows, He can resist the onset of the oceans and the wind. After withdrawing the whole world into Himself, that highly renowned best of mnn, by virtue of His powers, is capable of again creating the whole world with all its creatures.” (Akampana speaking to Ravana, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 31.23-26)
During every election cycle in America, and especially when the presidency is up for grabs, we see politicians make many promises on how they will fix the problems that exist in a particular city, state, or country. Voters like to hear such things because they inherently know that people are suffering in the world and that they need to be helped. Some politicians make more grandiose promises than others, but the themes are generally the same. “I will end your suffering. I will bring jobs back. I will end war. I will clean up the environment.” They are essentially saying that they will make people happy. Sadly, the policies instituted by these politicians rarely succeed, for if they did, there would be no need to keep making new promises.
Followers of the Vedas, the ancient scriptures of India, know that the underlying problem for man is his forgetfulness of God. Not only should we understand who God is, but we should then use that knowledge to love Him and take to His service. This simple shift in mindset leads to a trickle-down effect whereby everyone in society can be happy. Yet we see that the solutions proposed by politicians never have anything to do with God. In fact, if politicians mention religion at all, they get criticized for imposing their values upon others. People generally take religion to be a kind of faith, something that is not universal to everyone. For this reason, they choose to elect leaders who avoid the issue of faith completely and who look for other ways to solve problems.
One of the more notable issues in the news lately is climate change. Scientists for centuries have made wild predictions about the future of the earth, and the situation is no different today. No less than thirty years ago, the scientific consensus was that the earth was headed for a major cooling period. People were worried if we would have enough food to sustain the population going forward. Only a few years later, these predictions reversed to the point where scientists began claiming there was global warming, which was caused primarily by human activity. Politicians love hearing these predictions because it means they can impose policies that restrict human activity. In essence, they get to form their own religion, anointing themselves as God. Many politicians today openly declare that they will stop the oceans from rising and the temperatures from increasing.
In previous ages, such claims would get you labeled as insane. How can a human being control the weather? If anything, the climate is the one thing that even staunch atheists never thought man could control. Sadly, that is not the case today. The theory of man-made global warming is just that, a theory. There is no scientific evidence to support it. The proponents point to the fact that a consensus of scientists now believes in man-made global warming. Yet this is not how science is supposed to work. It is never meant to be put up to a vote. It was also recently discovered through leaked emails that some of the leading scientists in favor of the global warming theory were lying and hiding their scientific data from the general public. The computer models used by these scientists were also leaked, and as a result, many computer scientists have scrutinized them to find out that the models were flawed. In many instances, the models themselves were bound to the raw data that was inputted; i.e. constant values were hard-coded into the programming routines. This actually violates the central rule when writing computer programs that do modeling. The data and the model itself must be completely isolated; otherwise the conclusions start to favor the data that is inputted. In essence, these scientists were fudging their data in hopes of reaching the conclusions they wanted.
“The whole cosmic order is under Me. By My will it is manifested again and again, and by My will it is annihilated at the end.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.8)
Such revelations are not very surprising to devotees of God. The scriptures tell us that God is the Creator, meaning He creates, maintains, and destroys all by Himself. The Vedas give us even more detail regarding creation. Lord Vishnu, the chief expansion of Lord Krishna, simply breathes out once and innumerable universes are created. When He breathes in, the same universes are destroyed. Within each creation, there are other expansions of God which manage the affairs of the world. Krishna’s three guna-avataras, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, are in charge of the material creation in each universe. Brahma creates, Vishnu maintains, and Shiva destroys.
“O son of Kunti, at the end of the millennium every material manifestation enters into My nature, and at the beginning of another millennium, by My potency I again create.” (Lord Krishna, Bg., 9.7)
These facts are all very simple to understand, but atheists don’t believe in the authoritative statements of the Vedas. Since they have never seen anyone with the power to create in person, they believe that the world was created through a combination of chemicals. If so, where did these chemicals come from? This they can’t answer. Dismissing the Vedas as mere mythology, scientists and politicians take up the quest to figure out how to understand and control nature. This kind of thinking represents the biggest hurdle to spiritual advancement. In fact, it is the main reason for our being in this material world. Thinking ourselves to be God, the Lord allowed us to take birth here, where we could play all day and pretend to be God. Of course we can never become God, even though many pseudo-religionists claim that they are already God. No amount of meditation, renunciation, or fruitive activity can make us the richest, wisest, most beautiful, most famous, most renounced, and strongest person. These attributes can only simultaneously be possessed by Krishna, or God. Therefore He is also known as Bhagavan.
The only possible way a person could believe that man can control the weather is if they don’t believe in God. Religion and atheistic science are diametrically opposed. As mentioned before, God creates everything. One simply has to accept the authoritative statements of Vedas and the great acharyas who follow its teachings. But breaking free of our desire to be like God is not easy. Therefore the Lord personally descends to earth from time to time to remind us of His greatness. This was the case during the Treta Yuga, the second time period of creation. As Lord Rama, God appeared in the guise of a kshatriya prince, famous throughout the world for His dedication to dharma and His fighting ability.
While staying in the forest of Janasthana with His brother, Lakshmana, and His wife, Sita Devi, Rama was attacked by 14,000 Rakshasas sent by their leader Ravana. The Lord single-handedly killed all of them. Akampana, one of the Rakshasas, managed to escape alive. He returned to Lanka and described the events to Ravana. Ravana was a committed atheist who believed that he was the strongest person in the world. Having defeated all the demigods, Ravana thought there was no one in the world who could conquer him. In essence, he thought he was God. Upon hearing what had happened in Janasthana, Ravana couldn’t believe it. He thought for sure that Rama must have had people helping him. Akampana made it emphatically clear that Rama had no help, for Lakshmana was away guarding Sita.
Ravana wanted to retaliate and attack Rama himself. In the above referenced statement, Akampana is trying to discourage Ravana from doing so. “Rama will easily kill you. No one can defeat Him in battle. In fact, He is not human at all.” The descriptions given by Akampana also serve as a way of revealing Rama’s divinity. The scriptures give us vivid descriptions of the Lord’s various incarnations, but God Himself doesn’t disclose His identity to everyone. There would be no purpose to this, for He doesn’t want people to be devoted to Him out of fear. The Lord knows full well that we would be happier serving Him, but He never gets in the way of our independence and free will. Just as we can never force another man or woman to love us, the choice is ours as to whether or not we want to love God.
Akampana clearly states that Rama could easily destroy the entire world and then immediately recreate it. This power belongs exclusively to God. We shouldn’t try to be like Ravana and fight God. That will only lead to our demise. Instead, if we sincerely take up devotional service to the Lord, we can have all the peace and prosperity that the politicians always promise. We don’t need higher taxes, more government regulations, or scientific computer models to make us happy, just more sincere devotion to God.