“Transcendental knowledge of Shri Krishna is deeper than the impersonal knowledge of Brahman, for it includes knowledge of not only His form and personality but also everything else related to Him. There is nothing in existence not related to Shri Krishna.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi 1.51 Purport)
Whenever we know a group of people based only on a certain subject matter, we tend to think that they are narrow-minded. After all, if all they are consumed with is that one kind of behavior, wherein they make it their life from morning until night, then what are we left to think? “The human being has an advanced intelligence, so it should broaden its horizons. It should explore the world, taking in new experiences. It should meet new people, find new adventures, and in that way become more knowledgeable.” For one group in particular, however, since their focus is on the origin of matter and spirit, they automatically become knowledgeable of everything else.
Their study is of Krishna, which is a Sanskrit word for the Almighty. The word means “all-attractive” and also “blackish,” both of which apply to a specific personality. That personality is a male, is all-pervading, lives in a spiritual abode, has an enchanting smile, surrounds Himself with the best people in the world, and gives an open invitation for any living being to come and play with Him.
Since He lives forever, He can be studied forever. Since He is the origin of everything, He created every single field of study. He might not have done it on purpose and He might not have visibly ignited the first spark of innovation, but if you trace things back far enough you reach Him. For instance, Krishna did not directly create the guidebook on how to succeed in a specific video game. He also did not create the manual for the automobile that you drive. He did, however, create the field of activity that is the material world. That field consists of earth, water, fire, air and ether.
“Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego – altogether these eight comprise My separated material energies.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.4)
The body of the living entity is also a kind of field created by Him. The same five elements combine to create the bodies of the various species, and then there are three subtle elements as well: mind, intelligence and ego. The player on the field is the spirit soul, who is the individual. He originally comes from Krishna too. The player then finds ways to manipulate things on the field for his personal enjoyment, finding any way possible to ignore God’s presence. But without the field and without the player, there would be no question of studying anything. Therefore the owner of the field is ultimately credited, and that owner is Krishna.
These facts all come from studying Krishna. The apparently narrow-minded person accepts a perspective not found in any other endeavor. The world traveler would never stumble upon these facts. Neither would the person who studied all the historic literatures ever assembled. Indeed, even if you happened to stumble upon works that contain Krishna’s direct words, like the Bhagavad-gita and Shrimad Bhagavatam, you may not realize these facts. The proof is that so many famous personalities of the past have studied the Bhagavad-gita and yet never came to know that Krishna is the origin of everything.
The devotional life is the only way to know. The same study of the Gita, but done under the guidance of someone who actually knows Krishna, uncovers the higher intelligence. In addition to learning of the field and the player, the devotee is apprised of the various desires in life. Every tendency is then derived from there. Every type of behavior is easily predicted, or at least understood, when the desires are known. In this way psychology is accounted for. The same goes for anthropology. Biology, physics and chemistry are also well-represented in Krishna’s works. They are not provided in the detail of the material level, as that level isn’t considered to be so important. The animals don’t know biology, physics or chemistry and their basic needs are acquired just fine. The human being’s advanced intelligence is earmarked for understanding God. Topics like metaphysics are presented to help one understand God. There is no other purpose to such knowledge.
The Bhagavad-gita discusses the highest philosophy, a philosophy which is almost accidentally understood by one who studies Krishna. Philosophy is meant to guide behavior, and since the best behavior is devotional service, naturally its subject matter would constitute the highest philosophy. Since devotional service, also known as bhakti-yoga, is difficult to practice due to so many distractions, the philosophy describing it is very comprehensive. It also expands constantly, just like Krishna. Today we have a definition of God, but there is still the future to consider. In the future so many more things will happen, and since they will all ultimately be attributed to God, His definition will continue to expand. In that expansion, the study of serving Him also increases.
Government, economics, philanthropy, wealth management, and all other topics are included in study of Krishna. The Gosvamis of Vrindavana wrote so much literature during their time about Krishna and devotion to Him. And know that whatever they produced, it could have been so much more were it not for the circumstances of the time. These saints didn’t have laptop computers, blogs, digital printing presses and the like. And still they left so much valuable literature that one would have to spend an entire lifetime just trying to consume it all.
Know that although the devotee’s primary engagement is the chanting of the holy names, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare,” they are still the most broad-minded person. They understand that devotion is the birthright of every single creature, not just the humans or those born in India. They know that the Vedas present real knowledge that is applicable to every single person. They know to accept those things which are favorable for devotional service and reject those which aren’t. Best of all, they know Krishna, who is the only person worth studying lifetime after lifetime.
With such a narrow focus to choose,
In knowledge devotee nothing to lose.
How God played a hand in all to see,
Purpose of any philosophy should be.
Though repeating mantra always the same,
So much potency through just the holy name.
Understand so much of the nature around you,
When studying Krishna of complexion dark blue.