“Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.12)
न त्व् एवाहं जातु नासं
न त्वं नेमे जनाधिपाः
न चैव न भविष्यामः
सर्वे वयम् अतः परम्
na tv evāhaṁ jātu nāsaṁ
na tvaṁ neme janādhipāḥ
na caiva na bhaviṣyāmaḥ
sarve vayam ataḥ param
In Bhagavad-gita, Shri Krishna reveals to Arjuna that there was never a time when they did not exist. It is difficult to believe, since we lack memory of previous births. Indeed, there is no memory of experiences with which we have greater certainty.
For instance, I am pretty sure that I spent the standard nine months in the womb. I don’t remember the experience, but there is the eyewitness testimony of others. There is the verifiable evidence from the person whose stomach it was, i.e. my mother.
Then there is the time from childhood, wherein I learned to crawl, walk, talk and eat by myself. Some people vaguely recall certain incidents from this period, but the presence of memory is not the determining factor for authenticity. The time period took place; it occurred in fact.
Though we cannot remember previous births, Krishna gives the guarantee. He already witnesses everything as Paramatma. Not a blade of grass moves without His sanction. Not a cloud in the sky forms without His approval, and not a drop of rain falls without pinpoint precision determined by the expert intelligence of the master coordinator.
Just as I lived in the past, so I will continue to exist in the future. This fact requires emphasizing since the setting of the discussion is a battlefield. The leading warrior for the Pandavas is concerned over the future wellbeing of the participants, both on his side and the rival army.
Everyone would continue to exist, regardless of the choice followed. Whether Arjuna fought or not, everyone would eventually leave the world, as was destined for them from the time of birth. Irrespective of the actual nature and time of the departure, the existence would continue.
Accompanying the truth of the individual’s persistence through time is the same eternal existence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Never was there a time when Krishna did not exist. No one will be able to remove His influence entirely in the future.
This also means that prior to the Bhagavad-gita becoming popular, there was worship of the same Krishna. Never was there a time when the Supreme Lord was not in His superior standing. Even when there was no one else around, such as at the beginning of the creation, there was Lord Brahma to meditate on the Almighty.
अहम् एवासम् एवाग्रे
नान्यद् यत् सद्-असत् परम्
पश्चाद् अहं यद् एतच् च
यो ऽवशिष्येत सो ऽस्म्य् अहम्
aham evāsam evāgre
nānyad yat sad-asat param
paścād ahaṁ yad etac ca
yo ‘vaśiṣyeta so ‘smy aham
“Brahma, it is I, the Personality of Godhead, who was existing before the creation, when there was nothing but Myself. Nor was there the material nature, the cause of this creation. That which you see now is also I, the Personality of Godhead, and after annihilation what remains will also be I, the Personality of Godhead.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 2.9.33)
This is one of the reasons Krishna is also known as Ajita. He is never conquered. Though kala, which is the Sanskrit word for both time and death, has never been defeated up until this point, it cannot touch the Supreme Lord.
As there is no difference between God and valid worship of Him, so the devotion extended in proper accordance with time and circumstance is never defeated. Krishna was the recipient of uttamashloka prayers before anyone can remember. He was the best person, Purushottoama, during the time of the Bharata War and also after.
This means that any time period can be made auspicious. Though we are living in Kali-yuga, which is the dark age of quarrel and hypocrisy, though the tyrannical rulers of the world have locked everyone in their home in the guise of a grand illusion, obstructing the breathing of even children, there is still hope for a promising future.
The worship of the Almighty can never be suppressed, as much as the asuras may try. Krishna is Ajita, and so if I worship Him to the best of my ability, never wavering in dedication and honesty in appeal, then I will never meet defeat in the progression towards the highest destination, param-gatim.
Though time yet to meet,
Supreme Lord it can’t defeat.
Since He before existing,
And through infinity persisting.
Such that devotion also known,
Immunity to defeat shown.
So in worship pose to stand,
Success in Almighty’s hands.