“Everywhere are His hands and legs, His eyes and faces, and He hears everything. In this way the Supersoul exists.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 13.14)
सर्वतः पाणि-पादं तत्
सर्वतः श्रुतिमल् लोके
सर्वम् आवृत्य तिष्ठति
sarvataḥ pāṇi-pādaṁ tat
sarvataḥ śrutimal loke
sarvam āvṛtya tiṣṭhati
“Personal opinion here. I think the cell phone is one of the most destructive inventions to be introduced to society. Everything is about convenience. Communicate with any person in an instant. Perfect for emergency situations. Reach out and touch someone. Find that person lost at the airport, looking for their ride home. Call for help when stranded on the road, after the car breaks down.
“Well, the list of inconveniences is growing, too. No one ever stops to think of that. The addiction to screens, especially amongst children. The damage to the eyes, both long and short-term. The unnecessary compulsion to check the news, to see what other people are up to, or to share with the entire world what you just ate for dinner.
“Then there is the legitimate danger that results. Someone being distracted while driving. How many deaths could have been spared if people did not feel the need to reply to a text message or answer the phone the moment the notification arrived?
“This got me to thinking. Is it possible for the Supreme Personality of Godhead to be distracted? He has so many people contacting Him at the same time. He has a lot to keep track of. How can He decipher the words when two people speak at the same time? Isn’t His strict attention necessary for an important task, such as with creating the universes?”
The Vedas provide the image of Narayana lying down in rest. He is in the Vaikuntha planets. The name of that region says it all. Vaikuntha is a place free of anxieties, which is in stark contrast to our surroundings.
I feel as if I am running away from an oncoming train. At night I perhaps get some rest, but in the morning the train has caught up to me. Replace the ceiling fans in the new home, so that the children aren’t frightened while sleeping. Take out the garbage. Do the laundry. Take the car in for scheduled maintenance. Manage the day job and also try to find time to relax.
Vaikuntha is one name for the spiritual world, and the reason for the lack of anxieties is the presence of the Supreme Lord. He is known as Narayana, among countless other names. Narayana is the source of men. Everything emanates from Him; He is the source of both matter and spirit.
To generate the many universes, Narayana simply lies down and breathes. Nothing else needed. No complex math equations to solve. He is not loading up on carbohydrates the night before the big race. He does not keep a tool-belt with devices for measuring.
When He exhales, everything manifests. When He inhales, everything returns into Him. The brief moment in between is actually too many years in our estimation to count. Yet the reality is set; again and again the host of beings arrives.
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)
Not only is the work effortless, Narayana does not ignore oversight. There is a concept known as an expansion; avatara in Sanskrit. From the teachings of Lord Chaitanya, we learn that there is a variety of categories of avatara, but for the purposes of this discussion we can simplify things in knowing that the same individual Narayana can be at many places at once.
Paramatma is known as a plenary expansion. This is like someone being a witness to multiple events, which could occur thousands of miles apart, at the exact same moment. Paramatma is inside of every single person. Through this feature, Narayana witnesses everything, both good and bad.
Therefore, He is never distracted. In Bhagavata Purana, we learn that the avatara of Krishna marries over sixteen thousand beautiful queens. He lives separately with each one, in their own palace. Krishna is literally in more than one place at a single time, and there is no strain or loss of potency.
We are tied to God in our eternal relationship, but we lack the ability to effortlessly do the work of the world. Fortunately, exceptional ability is not necessary to be happy. If we can focus on devotion to Narayana, in always chanting His names, then we no longer have to participate in the recurring evolutionary cycle of the universe.
In false form of deer,
Maricha causing away to steer.
So that Rama into forest to track,
And Ravana with plan to attack.
But God never actually distracted,
As Paramatma oversight extracted.
Because with eyes everywhere seeing,
Great feature of Divine being.