“Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the cause of all causes, the primeval Lord Govinda. Ishvarah paramah krishnah sach-chid-ananda-vigrahah anadir adir govindah sarva-karana-karanam.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 7.3 Purport)
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada glorifies shastra, revealed scripture, by highlighting the truth that just one shloka can complete billions of years of hard labor in mental speculation.
A shloka is a verse, a series of words, a couplet in the Sanskrit language. Shastra is composed of shlokas. Not that there is a governing body which must first give the stamp of approval. Shastra descending through the ages is unchanged. No one can trace the origin of Vedic literature with any degree of certainty, and the number of volumes is not fixed.
In keeping with the tradition, a person can add their own thoughts, recollections and experiences. They can glorify Bhagavan in their own way, and that can become shastra, as well. Examples in this line are the known published works of saints from the medieval period in India. Some of those are composed in the native languages of the time, such as Bengali and Hindi, which have Sanskrit as the highest ancestor.
1. Who built this train system?
“Isn’t it amazing how everything just comes together? So many travelers on a given day. Thousands upon thousands. They know exactly where to go. They expect to reach the desired destination at a specific point in time. For the most part, their expectations are met.
“The truth is, this underground train system did not exist a few hundred years ago. The same plot of land. The same area. The same desire to sustain life in the population. But the people travelled differently. I would imagine that in a bygone era having just a single train line would have made a significant impact.
“How did this all come together? Who was the designer? I know it didn’t occur randomly. How did they dig into the ground? How did they create sufficient space for travel? How did they know the effort would be successful and sustainable for many years to come?
2. Who built this city?
“It is amazing how many people live in this city. Millions, they say. In a small area, with high-rise buildings to accommodate residential and office space. Sufficient food to sustain life. Ports of entry for importing and exporting vital necessities. An air travel system for expedited entry and exit.
“Did someone plan this entire thing? I’m sure this city wasn’t always like this. There was the time prior to electricity. Skyscrapers are a modern invention; at least I think they are. What are the origins of this city? Has it always been this densely populated?”
3. Who built this universe?
If we go back in time, if we consult the history books, we can probably get an idea on the first two questions. Builders in the modern day can provide some insight on what goes into planning a city or an elaborate train system. Then the same was likely the process in the past.
What about the entire universe? The same factor of time must apply. That is to say there had to be a time when things weren’t as they are today. There must be an origin to the planet earth. Who or what placed this massive body of land in a specific area of space, at a specific distance away from the sun? Who created the concept of seasons? Why are the other planets different?
In this way there can be millions of years spent in mental labor. Shrila Prabhupada says that from a single verse in scripture we can save all of that valuable time. Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is sarva-karana-karanam. He is the cause of all causes.
In fact, this is one way to understand God. Explain the concept to someone who is unfamiliar. Perhaps a child inquiring into the religious practices of the elders. One way they can know is to understand the concept of an origin. A beginning to a beginning. Climb up the ladder of ancestry and the person at the top will be Shri Krishna, the ever-youthful and all-attractive one.
One after another the train,
Daily relying on the same.
Intricate web the paths spanned,
Who this amazing city planned?
Same inquiry to universe apply,
Many years of effort to try.
Whereas from one shastra verse getting,
Firm idea of origin setting.
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