“Perhaps since I always think of this and it is my desire, it has appeared so. I also ascertain the same using my intelligence. But the desire within the mind does not have form, and the person addressing me has a well-manifested form. What is the reason?” (Sita Devi, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 32.13)
mano rathaḥ syāt iti cintayāmi |
tathā api buddhyā ca vitarkayāmi |
kim kāraṇam tasya hi na asti rūpam |
suvyakta rūpaḥ ca vadati ayam mām ||
“How do you know that God is real? How do you know that what you’ve heard about Him is true? Isn’t it possible that it is all just a figment of the imagination? I mean talking monkeys, kids holding up hills as if they were umbrellas, demons changing their shapes at will – do you really think this stuff happened? Isn’t it possible that it’s all imagination and myth? Isn’t it possible that it’s all just in your head, meant to keep you from going crazy? Perhaps since you want God to exist so bad, you have made it so.”
One of the definitions of God is that He is beginningless. The Brahma-samhita says that He is anadi. There is always a beginning to a beginning. Scientists speculate that at the dawn of the creation there was only a chunk of matter. Or perhaps there were just chemicals which then randomly collided to create the universe as we know it. With the time factor, however, we know that there is a beginning to that origin. The beginning of all beginnings is God. That is one way to define Him.
If He is infinite in the backwards direction, the same would hold true of the forwards direction. In either way, we can’t know for sure that He exists. Even if He comes before us, how are we to believe that He lived before? In the Bhagavad-gita He tells Arjuna that He was there at the beginning of the creation and spoke the same words of wisdom to the sun-god Vivasvan. Arjuna had trouble believing this, thinking that there was no way that his good friend Krishna could have been alive so long ago.
arjuna uvācaaparaṁ bhavato janmaparaṁ janma vivasvataḥkatham etad vijānīyāṁtvam ādau proktavān iti
“Arjuna said: The sun-god Vivasvan is senior by birth to You. How am I to understand that in the beginning You instructed this science to him?” (Bhagavad-gita, 4.4)
In response, Krishna explained that both He and Arjuna had appeared many times on earth previously. Whereas Arjuna could not remember those previous births, Krishna could. This is firsthand information of a supreme controller coming to Arjuna. Yet due to the defect of memory in ordinary souls, there is no way to get tangible proof that Krishna is telling the truth.
So if God comes up to you today and reveals Himself, how are you going to prove that He will exist forever? If you must die yourself at some point, how are you going to know what happens after you leave? Since you won’t be able to perceive what happens after you are gone, the belief in God seems to lack a tangible form. From the verse quoted above from the Ramayana, we get an easy way to know for sure.
This verse assures us that God does exist. The person speaking here sincerely desires to be with God again. Her specific form of choice is Shri Ramachandra. This form is not created by anyone. It always exists. There is only one Rama, the husband of Sita. No one can become Him. No meditation or renunciation can transform a person into the highest personality that exists.
The distressed princess, Sita, thinks that since she wants to be with Rama so badly her thoughts have created an illusion. She is hearing about Rama, but perhaps it’s only due to her desire. She reaches this conclusion using her intelligence. At the same time, however, she notes that desire does not have form. Think about it. If you want to eat ice cream, what does the “want” look like? Can you show me your thoughts? Of course not; you can only speak about them to me.
Sita saw something that has a very-well manifested form. It belonged to Shri Hanuman. He spoke words that described Rama, Sita’s husband. His words, having a form, also delivered a message from Rama. Thus through sound coming from a well-manifested form, we can believe in the existence of God. The same message comes today, though through a different messenger. Sita too is a kind of messenger, with her words of wisdom documented in the Ramayana. Those words are like sound preserved on a recording of tangible form. That sound came from somewhere. The music playing in the car did not just appear randomly from nowhere. Someone had to produce it, record it, and then distribute it.
So the message of God travels the same way. Though we think that maybe He doesn’t exist since we can’t see Him presently, in fact He lives on through the visible forms that we encounter all the time. Life itself is evidence of His existence. There cannot be life without Him; He is the life of everything that lives.
puṇyo gandhaḥ pṛthivyāṁ catejaś cāsmi vibhāvasaujīvanaṁ sarva-bhūteṣutapaś cāsmi tapasviṣu
“I am the original fragrance of the earth, and I am the heat in fire. I am the life of all that lives, and I am the penances of all ascetics.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.9)
Rama’s form does not have to be imagined. People saw Him previously, and they kindly shared what they saw with others. Just as Hanuman shared what he heard, others have also since passed on the message of God, leading up to the present time. Those messengers today advise that the best way to believe in God and to see Him is to have faith in the sound that is the holy name: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
If from death not always to be,
How God’s eternal existence to see?
Better if to rely on sound,
Like in Ramayana’s pages found.
Desire without form existing in the mind,
Still Rama’s association Sita to find.
From words of Hanuman this came,
Today through holy name arriving the same.
Categories: spotting hanuman