“The Supreme Lord, Purushottama, or Shri Krishna, is the maintainer of all, in both the transcendental and material worlds. He is the life and friend of all because there is eternally natural affection and love between the living entities and the Lord. He is the one friend and well-wisher for all, and He is one without a second. The Lord maintains all the living entities everywhere by His six transcendental opulences, for which He is known as bhagavan, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 3.9.22 Purport)
Comparatively speaking, the ant doesn’t stand a chance for survival. It is much smaller than other insects and animals, especially the human being. Without even trying, the human being can kill the ant. When we walk on the sidewalk or sit down on a park bench, there is every chance of squashing the poor little creature. The ant doesn’t know any better, however. It doesn’t know what large and small is. It has no idea of the force that a human foot can apply when it hits the ground.
The ant also doesn’t know about starving to death. It simply looks for food when it needs it. It doesn’t have an elaborate scheme to make sure there is enough food to allow for retirement. Indeed, the concept of retirement is absent in the animal community. They aren’t very intelligent; otherwise they would make schemes to provide for their necessities without working so hard. Despite their lack of intelligence, they are still able to survive. How is this so?
They are maintained by the maintainer of all. Not surprisingly, that maintainer is God. We think that the animals are supported by nature, but there is intelligence to what we take for granted. The sun, the moon, the stars, the rivers, the oceans, and the earth have scientific properties that we have discerned through experiment and observation. Funny thing is that these properties were always there, long before any person discovered them. They operate without deviation, indicating that there is intelligence in the background. Indeed, the intelligence is perfect, unlike that which we apply to our technological advancements.
The smartphone can do amazing things, but it is not perfect. Though the apps load up fairly quickly, suddenly it could take a long time to pull up my music library. I can be browsing a web page and suddenly the browser app crashes. The programmers then get to work on fixing the problem, eventually releasing an update to the operating system. Then there is the newer smartphone that will eventually be released. This means that despite the initial intelligence that went into the creation of the smartphone, there were defects. The intelligence wasn’t perfect.
There isn’t a new sun, though. There are no updates required to make sure we continue to get sunlight. Huge oil tankers are not travelling to the sun to make sure it is full of energy. There are no scientific studies necessary to see how the sun is changing, because it isn’t. It is just as potent today as it was thousands of years ago. The same goes for the rain, the earth, and the moonlight. The maintenance provided by nature is thus without flaw. The animals rely on it without questioning it. Lacking intelligence they are more or less helpless, though they are helped anyway.
The human beings are maintained by the same nature, though through a little personal effort they think themselves to be independent. The human being can work hard in the factory to produce fancy cars and technological gadgets, but none of these objects can prolong life. The farmer at least produces food to be consumed, but without the land, the sun, and water there is no question of eating. These are provided by nature, which is guided by intelligence. The maintainer of all is that intelligence.
From this study we get one way to understand His position. Since He maintains everyone, He is automatically due respect from everyone. Only a miser would continue to take and take without giving some thanks for what they have. After all, none of us have created land. Though we may purchase some land and therefore take ownership, that land was there before we arrived. It will continue to remain after we have left this earth, so who are we to falsely claim full ownership over everything?
The maintainer of all has kindly provided enough for everyone to live comfortably. Without elaborate schemes the animals find what they need. They don’t have to rely on a redistribution of wealth plan, philanthropic endowments, or charity fundraisers. If a human being were to live like them, they would be considered poor, but at the same time all the needs of life would still be provided.
If even the animals are maintained by the maintainer of all, there must be a higher purpose to fulfill for the human being. Why frantically chase after something that is distributed by a higher power? Why not find out more about that higher power first? From knowing Him, one sees that the view of Him as the maintainer of all is only a preliminary understanding. He is much more than a maintainer. He is the best friend of every living entity, for everyone naturally holds affection for Him.
He maintains specifically using His six opulences. Through wealth He is able to give anything to anyone. Through strength He can give protection to anyone who is surrendered to Him. Through fame He can be known by any person, regardless of where they were born. Through renunciation He can accept service from any person, regardless of what they may or may not have in their possession. Through knowledge He can be understood by any man, transforming the unintelligent into intelligent in an instant.
Through beauty He can give satisfaction to any person. We all appreciate beauty, whether we see it in a wonderful view from a mountaintop or hear it from a well-composed song. The maintainer of all is the most beautiful. This is one aspect to His overall attractiveness that makes Him worthy of the name Krishna. Since He is all-attractive, His beauty is not limited to His personal form. His name is just as beautiful, and so are the mantras that contain those names. Therefore His beauty naturally extends to the maha-mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. This is the mantra that maintains the bhaktas, who taste the mature fruit that an existence has to offer.
So tiny and powerless is the ant,
To make elaborate schemes it can’t.
Human being with hand can brush,
And by taking inadvertent step can crush.
Why then the less powerful to imitate,
Why not on higher power to concentrate?
Maintains all through His opulences six,
On any of His features your consciousness fix.