“The whole universe is maintained by the integrating power of the Supreme Lord, who is known in that capacity by the name Sankarshana. The material scientists may have discovered the law of gravity, which maintains the integration of objects within the material energy, yet the master of all integration can create devastation by the disintegrating blazing fire emanating from His mouth.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 4.24.35 Purport)
The sun, the moon, the stars, the planets, the oceans, the mountains, the rivers, the hills, the valleys, the sand, the forests, the trees – so much variety and nuance to the material creation. Including the population of creatures inhabiting the different areas, intelligence is all around.
Nowhere do we have evidence of intelligence resulting from nothing. At the same time, it is difficult to imagine a single person responsible for such amazing variety, which has properties that continue to be discovered by what is known as science.
Throughout the centuries different intelligent minds have added to the knowledgebase, moving forward in what is described as progress. What is more amazing is that these properties existed all along. A discovery can never be more important than the actual engineering. In that sense the single source has several responsibilities associated with the material world that can never be matched.
As already mentioned, the intelligence had to come from somewhere. There is speculation that a bang of chemicals occurred, but nowhere has the process been repeated. There is no experiment that can take one or many chemicals and then have a collision that creates something like the sun. Just one planet, floating in the air on its own, not needing refueling or other human intervention – a single instance would go a long way towards proving the theory.
The Vedas attribute creation to God. If that word is not preferred, then Almighty will do. In Sanskrit there are many names for the one who can never be pinned down to a single description. In this respect He can be understood as the original creator, the single source responsible for everything we see.
He has the ability to create because He is the source of all energies. There is the unmanifest material substance, known as pradhana. He glances over it and then expands to be the soul of every incarnation and iteration. He is the purusha to the prakriti, spirit to matter. We are also purusha at the individual level, in the local sphere, but the original purusha is also with us in the expansion form known as Supersoul. Without His presence nothing could exist.
God is also known as Sankarshana, in which role He uses the integrating power to maintain everything that is created. The sun has been around since before anyone can remember. There is no recorded history of the sun’s creation; at least with respect to modern science. Theories abound, but there is no documented evidence.
The planets are similarly there, and they stay in place. The earth doesn’t suddenly fall out of orbit. In material science there is the law of gravity. Certainly a wonderful and important discovery, but again someone had to make it for it to be discovered. God is gravity and more.
What gets created and then subsequently maintained can also be destroyed. We see small instances of this disintegrative power through the influence of time. Known as kala in Sanskrit, time is also death. It destroys the body gradually, eventually leading to the exit of the individual soul, who travels to another body to take birth again. The sober person is not bewildered by these changes.
The disintegration reaches full potency at the time of dissolution. The entire universe gets destroyed. It is like the energy is withdrawn, going back to the source. One way this is described in Vedic literature is breathing. When God exhales, the universes and their component planets come into existence. When He subsequently inhales everything gets destroyed. The time in between is for maintaining.
Such knowledge is presented so that valuable time is not wasted in trying to discover things that already exist. We know that creation, maintenance and destruction take place. There is no great mystery. The question is how to make use of the valuable human birth. What is the real purpose?
A simple solution is to better know the original source. Find out who He is, where He lives, what He likes, and what can be done to please Him. Since He survives through the changes brought on by time, He can bring the same power to those who serve Him. After all, the living entities are expansions coming from Him, but instead of being part of the destructible material energy, they are part of the eternal spiritual energy.
The spiritual eternals have a corresponding eternal engagement, one that doesn’t involve chasing money, fame, wealth, power, influence or notoriety. It doesn’t involve sleeping day after day or being lost in depression. The eternal occupation has fulfilling and rewarding activities, which bring inexhaustible bliss, to last beyond this lifetime and others. The spiritual beings get a taste of that bliss through the chanting of the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
First creating by one,
Maintenance also done.
Then everything dissolved at end,
Devastating fire and rain to send.
Through God, as Sankarshana also known,
Integrating and destructive power shown.
Better than to waste valuable time,
His location and true nature to find.
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