“My Lord, who are never conquered by anyone, I am certainly not afraid of Your ferocious mouth and tongue, Your eyes bright like the sun or Your frowning eyebrows. I do not fear Your sharp, pinching teeth, Your garland of intestines, Your mane soaked with blood, or Your high, wedgelike ears. Nor do I fear Your tumultuous roaring, which makes elephants flee to distant places, or Your nails, which are meant to kill Your enemies.” (Prahlada Maharaja, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.9.15)
नाहं बिभेम्य् अजित ते ’तिभयानकास्य-
nāhaṁ bibhemy ajita te ’tibhayānakāsya-
“I really like your response to the people who demand to see God as a means of evidence. Never mind that they don’t require sight for validation in other areas. The pizza is known by the taste. The flower by the smell. The music by the sound. Why, for someone who is the greatest in everything, is a single vision the only way to validate presence?
“The response is that a person sees God everywhere. He is always around. At every moment. My ability to read or hear these published words proves that He exists. He is like the electricity powering the house. He is the sun fueling the universe. Without His prior sanction, no result would manifest; we are not the doer.
गुणैः कर्माणि सर्वशः
कर्ताहम् इति मन्यते
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
kartāham iti manyate
“The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities, which are in actuality carried out by nature.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 3.27)
“The thing is, how do we get people to notice? How do we get them to believe you can see God in an instant, without waiting until the afterlife? It seems like this would be a key negotiating point in our favor, for bringing them to the side of dharma.”
The immediate proof is time. Known as kala in Sanskrit, it is the great-devourer. The living entity is jiva, which is spirit soul of a certain category. Jiva has the vulnerability to associate with prakriti, which is matter. The further specification of prakriti is guna, which is a grade of material quality. Guna-sangasya, when the jiva associates with guna it receives a certain type of body.
पुरुषः प्रकृति-स्थो हि
भुङ्क्ते प्रकृति-जान् गुणान्
कारणं गुण-सङ्गो ऽस्य
puruṣaḥ prakṛti-stho hi
bhuṅkte prakṛti-jān guṇān
kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo ‘sya
“The living entity in material nature thus follows the ways of life, enjoying the three modes of nature. This is due to his association with that material nature. Thus he meets with good and evil amongst various species.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 13.22)
Everything we know around us is this combination, jiva and prakriti. The beings are living when jiva is present, and the result is action. That action has consequence, the sequence of events being known as karma.
Kala works in conjunction with these aspects of the material world. Time is what delivers the consequences, which in turn manifest changes to prakriti. The jiva is not actually affected, though he thinks that he is.
Kala is equivalent with God. He is the actual agent of change. Since kala works at every moment, there is already sufficient evidence of the Almighty’s presence. We don’t have to wait to see kala; the effect is everywhere.
If we remain ignorant of the fact, if we continue to staunchly deny, and if we consider those with the proper vision to be foolish and worthy of punishment and harassment, then we will still get the evidence that we so much insisted on.
The problem is that kala will reveal itself to us at the most striking and noteworthy moment. Kala has a simultaneous meaning of “death.” Those who don’t believe will be forced to submit to the higher will at the end of life, which is the compulsory exit of the jiva from the association with prakriti, in that particular instance.
For the Daitya king named Hiranyakashipu, the evidence was the gruesome form of Narasimha. This is the same time, but on the personal side. This was the same God that Hiranyakashipu’s son Prahlada had worshiped for so long. The same God that the father mocked, the God he thought didn’t exist. In the end, it was the worst of the bad guys who couldn’t resist the onslaught of time, which ironically was not fear-inspiring to Prahlada.
Prahlada not afraid,
When obeisances paid.
To Narasimha vision showing,
The son all along knowing.
But father obstinate so,
With atheist mindset to go.
But finally seeing as time devouring,
Nails of lion through Daitya powering.