“Everywhere are His hands and legs, His eyes and faces, and He hears everything. In this way the Supersoul exists.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 13.14)
You did it. Actually, your wife did it, but you were there to coach her along. The due date was more than a week into the future, but no one can truly predict these things. It was a struggle, for sure. So many unexpected twists and turns. So much pain and suffering. Intense worry over everything turning out alright.
In the end, the only way to describe it is a miracle. Out of nowhere a brand new person. Helpless and innocent, and at the same time drawing the attention of everyone. Cute and smiling, the newborn has many servants. All it takes is the slightest hint of crying and people jump into service.
After this experience you wonder how any person can be strongly against the idea of God. He must exist; otherwise how did what just happened happen? Nevertheless, it is not difficult to find people who are strongly against the idea. They raise contentious questions, but thanks to parampara delivering the wisdom of the ages, there are answers which are straightforward, honest, accurate, and effective in removing doubts.
1. Where is He?
Alright, so you believe in God. Great. You say that His presence is especially evident during the amazing events of birth and death. Coming and going. In one case new life appearing and in the other leaving. If God is so important, where is He? Why can’t I see Him right now?
The answer from the Vedas, the world’s oldest scriptural tradition, whose very name means “knowledge,” is that God is everywhere. He is omnipresent. There is not one place where He does not exist. The question about the tree making a sound when falling in a forest devoid of witnesses is not valid. This is because the all-pervading witness is everywhere.
This is His feature of the Supersoul, known as Paramatma. The individual soul is atma. Birth is the event where the individual soul appears in the world inside of a particular body. Death is when that same soul exits the body, in favor of a new one. In between changes take place constantly. The person who is dhira, sober, is not bewildered by such changes.
“As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.13)
There is the philosophical explanation and then there is also historical evidence. A powerful king named Hiranyakashipu once taunted his son on this issue. The father sarcastically asked if God were in the nearby pillar, since the son claimed that God was everywhere. Sure enough, an amazing form of the Almighty soon appeared. Narasimhadeva was there all along, but He manifested in that special circumstance to show the world that the boy Prahlada’s words were true.
2. Does He exist?
Of course He exists. The very existence of life proves it. Not a blade of grass moves without His sanction. Indeed, the living entity is not the doer of actions. The modes of nature must first cooperate.
“The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities, which are in actuality carried out by nature.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 3.27)
The living entity acts, but the outcomes are not guaranteed. This limitation means they are not God, and at the same time any ability they have is due to Him. It is like talent on loan from high above.
“O son of Kunti [Arjuna], I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.8)
A person goes outside and sees the situation in the sky. Partly cloudy, with the sun shining bright at times. They go back inside and record their observations. That weather report is accurate and valid at the present time, one day into the future, one week, and even one thousand years. The amount of time elapsing from the original event has no bearing on the validity of the testimony.
In the same way, so many people from the past have interacted directly with Bhagavan. Some of them saw the virata-rupa, which is the image of everything. All the planets, stars, controlling deities, rivers, mountains, population – everything put into a single vision. This usually suffices as evidence for the non-believers, while the devotees don’t require such a vision.
Moreover, even if God were to appear directly in front of someone today, there is no way to prove one important property: deathlessness. That is because eventually the individual must move on to another body. How, then, can they prove that God will never have to quit His body? As with so many other aspects of life, the information has to be acknowledged on faith in the beginning, with the conviction strengthened through further practice in the science of self-realization.
3. Why isn’t He here right now?
Hiranyakashipu asked a similar question. Not only is the existence questioned, but a particular vision is demanded on the spot. The question itself is invalid, since God is indeed everywhere. He is past, present and future.
He never had to become God, nor does He ever cease to be. He is within the heart as the Supersoul. He is seen in the abstract through the singular energy pervading the entire creation. This is the spiritual energy and it is known as Brahman. For those advancing further He is seen as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has a transcendental form that is eternal and full of bliss and knowledge.
4. Does He hear our prayers?
Not only can He hear prayers, but there are no bandwidth issues. A server hosting a website starts to slow down if it receives too much traffic. The internet service provider might begin to throttle for customers using too much data.
With Bhagavan there is simultaneous worship occurring throughout the world. When He descends from the spiritual world, it is not like a post becomes vacant somewhere else. He defies the limits of time and space. In the spiritual world one minus one can actually equal one.
He hears sincere prayers, and He especially takes note of devotion practiced in His honor. Therefore when there is chanting of the holy names, auspiciousness abounds, in the immediate space and also reaching to other realms: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
“Show up, why not come near?
Our prayers does He hear?
Existence understood not clear,
Or God just concept for fear?”
Doubts in man surely to exist,
But from Vedas not to persist.
As Supersoul everywhere already,
Revealed to those of devotion steady.
Categories: the four