“When Narada came to see the activities of the Lord at Dvaraka and he saw that Krishna was present within every palace in the same body and was engaged in different activities, he was struck with wonder. This is one of the examples of astonishment in devotional service by direct perception.” (The Nectar of Devotion, Ch 46)
Friend1: Have you ever wondered how God can handle every request made of Him?
Friend2: Are you implying that He should be overwhelmed? Sort of like that movie they made where if the Almighty were to check His email in the morning, it would have an infinite number of messages.
Friend1: Think about it. Celebrities receive so much fan mail. It’s impossible to give a reply to each one. These are people with significant resources. They could pay someone to read the messages if they wanted to.
Friend2: I know what you are saying, but the Supreme Lord is so much greater than any human being in ability. The quality is the same on the inside, that of spirit, but the exercise of ability is to such a high level that it is impossible to conceive.
Friend1: Yes, yes, and hence the name Adhokshaja. God the person has features which don’t register on any instrument.
Friend2: Put Him on a scale, and no measurement would result.
Friend1: Ask Him to lift a mountain, and He can do so.
Friend2: Holding it on His pinky finger afterwards.
Friend1: Even that is not enough. Put ten more mountains on top of that one and there still wouldn’t be an issue. Unlimited strength, balam.
Friend2: Seems like you already know the answers. What is the issue, then?
Friend1: An interesting concept, that’s all. The ability to discern multiple voices at a single time. You enter a sports arena and you know that so many people are talking. Yet you can’t make out a single conversation. The distinct words are muffled; you only get sound.
Friend2: But as Krishna states in the Bhagavad-gita, everywhere are His eyes, ears, etc. The Supreme Lord accomplishes omnipresence through the expansion known as Supersoul.
सर्वतः पाणिपादं तत्सर्वतोऽक्षिशिरोमुखम्।
सर्वतः श्रुतिमल्लोके सर्वमावृत्य तिष्ठति।।
sarvataḥ pāṇipādaṃ tatsarvato’kṣiśiromukham।
sarvataḥ śrutimalloke sarvamāvṛtya tiṣṭhati।।
“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)
Friend1: I get it, but the Supersoul is unseen. He is within the heart. We know of its presence based on external factors. It’s something like the nirguna version of the Divine.
Friend2: Okay, but our perception, or lack thereof, makes no difference on the reality.
Friend1: But is there a way to get further confidence in the matter? Is there something from the saguna form that proves the ability?
Friend2: You know that every one of Shri Krishna’s pastimes on earth is both factual and symbolic.
Friend1: The Puranas are not made up stories. They are recorded observations of real-life events, but not necessarily presented in chronological order. Some have yet to take place, but blessed with Divine vision the rishis of the past could see the future. Sort of like how Valmiki composed the Ramayana before the advent of Shri Rama on earth.
Friend2: The Bhagavata Purana has a story that might be of interest to you. The traveler of the three-worlds, Narada Muni, once visited Shri Krishna in Dvaraka.
Friend1: This is the city that Bhagavan had created in the water, surrounded by gates. This was during the stage of adulthood from His time on this earth some five thousand years ago.
Friend2: Yes, and Krishna had over sixteen-thousand queens. There is a story to that, also, but for today’s discussion it’s not necessary to go into detail. Narada visited Dvaraka and met Krishna. This was in one of the palaces.
Friend1: The obvious question is which Krishna? Didn’t the Supreme Lord expand Himself to live with so many queens?
Friend2: Exactly. Narada went from palace to palace and saw the same Supreme Lord doing the same kind of work. Narada was astonished by this. He knows very well the presence of the Supersoul. He has a firm understanding of Bhagavan’s all-knowing ability. Yet even he was surprised in witnessing the reality. If Krishna can simultaneously live in sixteen thousand palaces, He can also live within the hearts of countless souls, taking pleasure in their chanting of His holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
With many simultaneous prayers to hear,
How Supreme Lord for focus can clear?
Concept of Supersoul in Gita explained,
How through expansion omnipresence gained.
Visual evidence from Narada Muni get,
Who astonished when in Dvaraka set.
The same Krishna in many palaces so,
Identical activity wherever saint to go.