“O Arjuna, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, I know everything that has happened in the past, all that is happening in the present, and all things that are yet to come. I also know all living entities; but Me no one knows.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.26)
भविष्याणि च भूतानि
मां तु वेद न कश्चन
bhaviṣyāṇi ca bhūtāni
māṁ tu veda na kaścana
I was not around to witness everything firsthand. I can only be in one place at a time. The Supersoul is different. Paramatma is everywhere simultaneously, and His potency is not diminished through this amazing outreach. It is not like being weighed down through carrying several objects in each hand. It is not like getting stressed from the pressure of having to complete multiple tasks of high urgency with the same anticipated completion date.
Statistics are a method of reporting what happened. They can point to the recent past, such as mere seconds ago, or give a broader perspective utilizing data from months and years. Even if a person did experience everything personally, they may not remember. They are not familiar with processing and computing for the purpose of explaining to others who were occupied in their own experiences at the time.
One issue is that none of the statistical methods can accurately predict the future. Moreover, there may be an anomaly or two that causes the number to appear the way it does.
We can use professional sports as an example. They say that the average salary of a particular kind of athlete is such and such. The method of computation is rather straightforward. First take a tally; get the salary of each individual and then aggregate. This is your total salaries.
You also have the total number of players. Divide the first by the second and you get an average. A person may be quite astonished to see just how much a professional athlete can earn in a given year. Perhaps that is the field of endeavor for which to strive.
At the same time, the average could be misleading. One player might have recently signed a rather large contract. A single value skews the final number, since it inflates the total value. In fact, a player is likely to earn a much lesser salary than the average calculation.
One way to mitigate the issue of anomalies is to use median instead of average. Here the number of players becomes important. Instead of totaling the salaries and then dividing, first get an ordered list of the salaries. Take each player and their salary and generate an order based on the salary number.
Using the total number of players, find the point in the table that is exactly in the middle. For instance, if one hundred and one players were ordered, then the point of reference is player number fifty-one in the ordered ranking. The corresponding salary would be the median.
The real-world translation is that there is an equal number of salaries above that number and also below it. This helps to understand where the random player might end up in terms of salary, with a significantly low or high value not factoring into the result.
Here we order the numbers and find any that repeat. For the salary example, this value wouldn’t be that helpful. As contracts are negotiated individually and every year some players have expiring contracts, it is highly unlikely for two players to have the exact same salary value.
In other areas mode can be helpful, since it shows the likelihood of a particular number appearing. The value that occurs the most number of times within a set becomes the mode. If you had a cube with a number written on each side, if one number happened to be written more times than the other, the mode value will immediately discover the trend.
These are statistics based on easily identifiable values, but what if we want to study trends? Here big data analysis and advanced computation get used. The end result is similar; some kind of report from which to hopefully get an accurate idea on the situation.
In truth, even with the numbers overwhelmingly providing a specific forecast, the future can break the trend. In sports there are some players who have never lost an important game while playing in their home field. This pattern is established over many years and a variety of situations. The signs point to the player emerging victorious in the upcoming match.
And yet the opposite takes place. Everyone is surprised. The analysts remind the viewers of the saying, “That is why you play the games.” On paper everything can point in a certain direction, but this world is unpredictable. Even the seasons have variety to them. In a particular area a certain amount of snow falls on average in the month of January, but this year there was not a drop of snow. The temperatures were also warmer than normal.
Only the Supreme Personality of Godhead truly knows. As explained in the Bhagavad-gita, He is the beginning, middle and end of an existence. He is omnipresent through the Supersoul expansion. No matter how much effort may go into influencing the future, man is more or less helpless. The comparison is to being seated on a machine. I can steer the car in this direction and that, but unless someone properly constructed the machine and the individual parts remain in a useable state, my desires will not manifest.
Bearing this in mind, the promises of the original engineer having the greatest creative ability should hold more weight. That is to say the predictions coming from Shri Krishna, who is the only person who can properly analyze previous data and even turn it on its head, mean the most. When He says, for instance, that the soul continues to live on, through the final bodily change known as death, His word should be accepted.
वासांसि जीर्णानि यथा विहाय
नवानि गृह्णाति नरो ऽपराणि
तथा शरीराणि विहाय जीर्णान्य्
अन्यानि संयाति नवानि देही
vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya
navāni gṛhṇāti naro ‘parāṇi
tathā śarīrāṇi vihāya jīrṇāny
anyāni saṁyāti navāni dehī
“As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, similarly, the soul accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.22)
When He says that the consciousness while quitting the body determines the next kind of existence, the response should be to try to influence that consciousness in the best possible way. When He says that one who thinks of Him at the time of death never has to take birth again, the wise person uses that as impetus to always stay connected to Him, especially through chanting the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
The average value taking,
For statistical analysis making.
Or median for better understanding,
Mode with most frequent landing.
Despite efforts made the best,
Models failing future’s test.
Only Shri Krishna everything to know,
Aware next of where soul to go.
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