“It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kunti, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 14.4)
मूर्तयः सम्भवन्ति याः
तासां ब्रह्म महद् योनिर्
अहं बीज-प्रदः पिता
mūrtayaḥ sambhavanti yāḥ
tāsāṁ brahma mahad yonir
ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā
A child is known for not being afraid to ask tough questions. They don’t have to worry about looking foolish. There is genuine inquisitiveness. Whatever may come to mind they are likely to vocalize.
On the other side, the adults typically don’t mind. They understand the mentality. They appreciate that someone is not yet jaded from life experiences. The children are not held back by awkward interaction with strangers. They are not as self-conscious; which is a good thing.
In comparison, the children see the adults as authority figures. The Sanskrit word is guru. One literal translation is heavy. The guru carries weight; they have gravitas.
Guru also refers to a personality who is generally respected. The first gurus are the parents. Mother and father. There is the seed-giver and the field on which that seed grows through proper nurturing and protection.
From the Bhagavad-gita we learn that Shri Krishna is the original seed-giver. He is the father and material nature the mother. It is in this area that the child one day poses a difficult question. They acknowledge the existence of a creator. They attribute that amazing and visionary task to a single person.
In summary, the child believes in God, but they want more details. Despite being so young, at the very least they fall into the category of “inquisitive” that is mentioned by Krishna.
चतुर्-विधा भजन्ते मां
जनाः सुकृतिनो ऽर्जुन
आर्तो जिज्ञासुर् अर्थार्थी
ज्ञानी च भरतर्षभ
catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ
janāḥ sukṛtino ‘rjuna
ārto jijñāsur arthārthī
jñānī ca bharatarṣabha
“O best among the Bharatas [Arjuna], four kinds of pious men render devotional service unto Me—the distressed, the desirer of wealth, the inquisitive, and he who is searching for knowledge of the Absolute.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.16)
The child wants the adult to explain what exactly God was doing prior to the creation. Such a beautiful question since it incorporates the infinite nature of time. Prior to the beginning there had to be something. After the end existence will continue.
भूत-ग्रामः स एवायं
भूत्वा भूत्वा प्रलीयते
रात्र्य्-आगमे ऽवशः पार्थ
bhūta-grāmaḥ sa evāyaṁ
bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate
rātry-āgame ‘vaśaḥ pārtha
“Again and again the day comes, and this host of beings is active; and again the night falls, O Partha, and they are helplessly dissolved.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 8.19)
Depending on the particular faith followed by the person receiving the question, a satisfactory answer may not be forthcoming. The Vedic tradition, which passes off something like a science and not mere blind faith, has the authority of God’s direct words as support.
Krishna explains that time continues in both directions. Prior to the creation there was annihilation. At the end of the present cycle, a new one will begin; just as how death merely signals the beginning of a new life for the spirit soul.
But there is more. God is not an abstract. He is not a basic emotion, like love. He is a distinct individual, purusha. As the supreme proprietor He has nothing to do, and yet He is always doing something. He is also omnipresent, so He does many things simultaneously.
In the Vaikuntha realm Bhagavan is lying in rest with His close associates nearby. With every exhaling breath He creates universes. Every inhalation destroys the same. This means that the most amazing work gets accomplished through something considered involuntary or effortless.
In Goloka Vrindavana God is enjoying as Shri Krishna. No responsibilities. No strict attention to dharma. No punishing the sinners. Simply playing all the time with His friends.
In the material world He expands as the Supersoul in the heart. Through that feature He witnesses everything that is going on. The boon of the human birth is the opportunity to share in these activities. Enjoy with Him. You might even get a chance to witness a creation like Brahma did or a destruction like Markandeya Rishi did. If you are thinking of Krishna at the time of death, you go to His realm, where He is always enjoying.
To the creation attributed for,
But what God was doing before?
From faith-based idea unclear,
Since to infinite time looking rear.
Vedas with explanation the best,
That as Narayana lying in rest.
Cycle in both ways to move,
Through Him doubts to remove.