“When a cloud rests on the peak of a great mountain, it appears to be sustained by the mountain, and at the same time it looks very beautiful. Similarly, the Lord has no need to sustain the earth on His tusks, but when He does so the world becomes beautiful, just as the Lord becomes more beautiful because of His pure devotees on the earth.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 3.13.41 Purport)
Though the human species is gifted with a higher potential for intelligence, it can still never truly understand God. Not that it is worthless to try to know Him, for otherwise one will miss out on the greatest gain in life, but simply based on the way things are it is impossible to know Him completely. From the time factor alone, His glories continue to increase. One aspect of His glories is His beauty, and so one can take continuous comfort in that ever-expanding beauty.
To understand the role the time element plays, consider a person who you think is great. They can be of any walk of life; they don’t have to be a family member or friend. They can be a politician, an athlete, a movie star, a teacher, and so forth. The greatness is obviously derived from that person’s activities. They did something in that past that has earned them the lofty stature. When you think of such person’s greatness, you immediately remember their activities. If there is a ceremony to honor this person, the guests invited to speak will surely go over these various activities.
At the retirement ceremony of such person, the glories end. What else can that person do after they have retired from the field in which they are famous? The athlete no longer will take the field. The movie star will not appear in films anymore. The teacher will no longer have students to save from the abyss of ignorance. Take the same principle and apply it to all admired individuals and we see that everyone is limited by the time factor. There is a beginning and end to their manifest lives, and so the scope of glorification is thereby limited.
With the Supreme Lord, there is no difference between body and spirit. He does not take birth. He does not die. We see that He appears and disappears from time to time, but this is strictly for our mercy’s sake. He is always around to some degree; we just have a difficult time noticing Him. Similar to how we think the sun is not out when there is a cloud cover, without seeing an extraordinarily beautiful body that takes to divine activities, we think that God is not within the present vicinity at the moment.
Though the Lord is already all-attractive, and thus addressed as Krishna in the Vedic texts, He still periodically takes to manifest activities, which serve to further enhance His beauty. A long time back He descended as a boar to rescue the earth from a devastating flood. The globe had sunken underwater, and so in the form of a giant boar, the Supreme Lord held it aloft with His tusks. He didn’t need to do this. He could have deputed one of His many energies to handle the chore. Indeed, without the elements of nature He creates, the earth never could have found such a predicament.
And yet from that incident, the devoted souls have another way to appreciate God’s beauty. They have another name to include in their worship: Varahadeva. In the Shrimad Bhagavatam the comparison is made to the clouds that cover mountain peaks. The clouds are independent. The mountains are not responsible for their movement. And yet when the clouds hover above a mountain peak, it appears as if the mountain is sustaining the cloud. Thus both end up looking more beautiful.
Varahadeva doesn’t need to hold the earth up, but when He does He looks more beautiful to the devotee. And that beauty continues to increase through the efforts of said devotees. Their work in spreading the holy names throughout the world, turning people of the worst habits into first-class citizens, reflects well on the person whom they worship. When miracles occur in the lives of the devotees, attesting to the protection of the Divine bestowed upon the surrendered souls, again the Supreme Lord’s glories increase.
A long time back a young child named Prahlada remained staunch in his devotion, despite the verbal and physical assaults instigated by his father. Despite the odds against him, Prahlada survived, while his attackers did not. In more recent times, Haridasa Thakura faced similar persecution for his devotion. Despite being whipped many times by an envious government, Haridasa survived, with his devotion thriving further afterwards. Today, the maha-mantra, "Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare," is known throughout the world due to the tireless efforts of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, his disciples and his well-wishers.
All such triumphs are due to the grace of God, and since those triumphs continue to arrive with the passage of time, the beauty of God continues to increase. The material is fixed and limited, while the spiritual breaks through the tight bounds of time and space. The Supreme Lord is neti neti, which means “not this and not that.” Never will His glories be fixed, and this absence of limitation is the greatest gift for the surrendered souls, who never wish to give up service to Him, either in this life or the next.
His elements nature’s work to feed,
So to rescue earth He doesn’t need.
Still, descends as avatara to come,
Comparable to His beauty there are none.
His glories on and on to sing,
The devotees to life His beauty bring.
Prahlada, Haridasa and guru not afraid,
Their perseverance to God highest honor paid.