“The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste].” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 5.18)
ब्राह्मणे गवि हस्तिनि
शुनि चैव श्व-पाके च
brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
1. Devastated dreams
“It occurred to me as I was driving around town, while others immediately noticed the drastic change in density of people. These streets used to be bustling. There were large crowds moving about, from home to work, from work to lunch, returning home, on the way to the theater, ready for a night out on the town, and so forth.
“Now it is totally empty. People forced into lockdown by their government. When I see these boarded up stores, I see broken dreams. Devastation in terms of financial expectation. People took such a risk in starting their own business. It is not easy, by any stretch.
“Now they are facing ruin. They may never open up again. I feel so much sorrow at their pain. They shouldn’t have to go through this. It is completely unfair. The damage from the communist-style rule is worse than anything this supposedly deadly virus could ever bring.”
2. Violence against animals
“You see a sumptuous meal on the dinner plate. You are ready to dig in, but I can’t help but see blood and guts. I can actually smell the horror from the place of origin. The slaughterhouse where the needless killing took place.
“If you really think there is no difference between meat-eating and an all-vegetable diet, try showing a video to children of how the food was made. On one side you have the farm, with its land, sunlight, water, and people tilling the field.
“On the other side….well, it is too graphic to show to children. You wouldn’t want them scarred for life knowing what goes into producing the cooked animal flesh that is now ready for consumption. Don’t tell me I am making too big a deal of this, either. I would rather not be in ignorance. I think my advanced vision in this case is a sign of intelligence.”
3. Difficult labor on the farm
“You see a bag of rice, which may or may not be too heavy to carry into the house alone. A cart offers assistance, or maybe someone else arrives to lend a helping hand. You may also see the future, wherein the rice gets cooked and mixed with other food to produce a palatable dish.
“I, on the other hand, see the difficult labor that went into the production. The planting of the crops, the careful attention to the field and atmospheric conditions. The time of harvest, piling up and packaging so that everything can be sold on the open market. Thank goodness there are people willing to make the sacrifice in order that the world can eat.”
4. A miracle of nature
“This newborn child requires constant attention. Feeding every few hours. Countless diaper changes. Proper diligence so that they avoid danger. The parents sacrifice so much for their children.
“I see a miracle of nature. From where did this amazing person come? How did they know to immediately latch on to the breast of the mother? How is it that after a few weeks they know to smile whenever they see their father? How do they learn to crawl, walk and talk? There must be someone else in the background responsible.”
5. The many years of education
“That newborn has the potential to become an adult. When they do, they can act independently. Travel to work. Perform tasks at an office. Earn enough money to pay for basic necessities at home. Spend time with friends and family.
“I see the many years of education. They had to sit in a classroom for twelve years growing up. They had to complete assignments, handle pressure from peers, and eventually prepare for entry into the real world. They didn’t become adults overnight, without any training.”
These are just some examples of many where a person can see beyond the initial impression. Things are way deeper and more complex than what they show on the surface. This same type of vision can be extended to detect the influence of the Almighty.
There is confirmation in Bhagavad-gita. Shri Krishna explains that the humble sage sees the same spirit soul in a variety of species. As we know that there is no difference between the child and the adult in terms of qualification as human being, there is no difference between different forms of life, also. There is the same soul inside.
Extending out even further, we can take each instance of life as evidence of God’s existence. In this way, we can see Him everywhere. We need not fear the challenge from the nonbelievers, who are always insisting on visual evidence of the Divine. There is ample proof, provided one has the proper vision to notice.
Not on impression depending,
Through knowledge extending.
Like from rice the initial planting,
Hard work the stockpile granting.
Child not magically to appear,
Adult education hurdle to clear.
The same soul everywhere to detect,
Spiritual vision from Gita to expect.
Categories: the five