“Not only is the Supreme Personality of Godhead present as the Supersoul of all living entities; at the same time, He pervades everything in the entire creation. He exists in all circumstances and at all times.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.6.20-23 Purport)
Nostalgia is for the people who experienced the situation from the past. In the moment they did not think they were part of a bygone era. They were not anticipating revisiting the time through pictures and video recordings, wondering why everything looked different.
Something like nostalgia is available for those who weren’t around in that time period. Prior to my birth, what was the situation in the world? How did the cars look? Were the homes decorated differently? How did people consume news?
The questions are many because the situation is always changing. That is the meaning to the material, prakriti, which is an energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna. While mentally travelling back in time we may find certain people and objects missing, with Krishna that is never the case. He can be located not only in every sphere, but every time period.
1. The past
If I travel back a thousand years, I can still find God. It is not that He somehow goes missing. Even if the sacred text that I hold so dear today wasn’t yet produced, the existence is not determined by observation. That is to say someone seeing Krishna or not seeing Him makes no difference on existence itself.
He can be found in any time of the past. One day ago. One hundred years. Millions, in fact. As much as the mind can comprehend with the amazing concept of infinity, the existence persists. This is confirmed to the disciple Arjuna.
बहूनि मे व्यतीतानि
जन्मानि तव चार्जुन
तान्य् अहं वेद सर्वाणि
न त्वं वेत्थ परन्तप
bahūni me vyatītāni
janmāni tava cārjuna
tāny ahaṁ veda sarvāṇi
na tvaṁ vettha parantapa
“The Blessed Lord said: Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy!” (Bhagavad-gita, 4.5)
2. The present
This is the objective of the human birth. Athato brahma-jijnasa. Make the inquiry into spiritual matters. Rather than focus only on what needs to be accomplished at work, think long-term. The seasons come and go, as do the champions and athletes on the playing field, but what is the meaning to it all?
I can actually locate Bhagavan today. Right now. In a second, in fact. Goswami Tulsidas makes the complex understandable. Chant the holy name and renounce bad association. The mistakes of the past get erased, and there are the welcoming arms of sharanagati.
बिगरी जनम अनेक की सुधरै अबहीं आजु |
होहि राम को नाम जपु तुलसी तजि कुसमाजु ||
bigarī janama aneka kī sudharai abahīṃ āju |
hohi rāma ko nāma japu tulasī taji kusamāju ||
“The many past births you spoiled can be rectified right now, today, if you start chanting Shri Rama’s holy name and renounce bad association, says Tulsi.” (Dohavali, 22)
3. The future
Religion as a faith typically carries this promise. Be good today. Follow pious behavior. Voluntarily impose restrictions. Stay within proper boundaries of behavior. The reward will be ascension to heaven. The leaders usually stop there; no further details forthcoming. The followers are left to speculate as to what exactly eternal life is.
The genuine religion, dharma, is sanatana. It has no beginning and no end. You can find Krishna today, for sure. You can do so easily by chanting His holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
The process by which you find Him today can be replicated at any time in the future. If there is concern over death, from quitting the body and being thrown into new circumstances upon the subsequent birth, there is the assurance that one with the proper consciousness reaches the appropriate destination.
Thus every time period is covered. There is no need to lament if circumstances are unfavorable today. However bad things may get, there is always the chance to find the one who is above everything. He pervades the entire space, and at the same time He is neither part of it nor affected by it. He accomplishes the work of the world without effort, and He is what the soul has been seeking since time immemorial.
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