“O Arjuna, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, I know everything that has happened in the past, all that is happening in the present, and all things that are yet to come. I also know all living entities; but Me no one knows.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.26)
भविष्याणि च भूतानि
मां तु वेद न कश्चन
bhaviṣyāṇi ca bhūtāni
māṁ tu veda na kaścana
1. My past
“I take great joy in experiencing childhood with my offspring. I am constantly reminded of my own time relative to today. I remember the affection from my grandparents. I remember being so excited to see my parents. I remember not wanting to leave home, to just play throughout the day.
“But for everything I do remember, there is so much I don’t know. When did I first learn to read? How did I behave in accepting orders? Did I cry all the time? Was I a burden on my mother and father? Were they happy to be around me?”
2. My present
“I know where I am at this precise moment. I have an age, which is a counter started at the time of birth. I have a certain appearance and there is a specific standing in society with respect to occupation.
“At the same time, there is so much I don’t know. What is going on in the rest of the world? How are others coping with the terrible situation of gross ignorance dominating over intelligence and good judgment?
“Am I properly situated or is everything just barely held together? Is there duct tape fixing this issue or that? Or is everything fine and I should remain in this path for the foreseeable future?”
3. My future
“The nice thing about nostalgia is that the uncertain future is accounted for. I can revisit my childhood years because I know everything turned out okay. I worried then about this issue and that, but decades later those are of little concern.
“What about today? How will the latest decision impact my future? It was a risk. I changed everything in order for a better opportunity. But is it really better? What will life look like a year from now? If only we could know.”
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna, knows all three. He is knowledgeable as it relates to me, as it pertains to others, and also at the personal level. For instance, He remembers speaking to Lord Brahma at the beginning of the creation, where He explained the position of Narayana with respect to the universe and the time periods.
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)
The information has to be accepted on faith. There is no way to validate through perception. Even if supposed physical records existed, there is no way to prove authenticity. Any person can say anything. A prosecutor in a high-profile case intentionally withholds video evidence from the defense. This information would exonerate the defendant in an instant, but the prosecution is corrupt.
This means that even evidence from the past could be tampered with. If there was a video recording of the conversation between Vishnu and Brahma, we would wonder what occurred moments prior. Was Vishnu still there? Was Brahma not around? How to know that the time and place of the footage is accurate?
The same applies to the future. No one knows what will happen. It is impossible to predict the precise moment of exiting the body for good. There is no visual trail of the soul moving on to the next life, taking conceptions like the air carrying aromas.
शरीरं यद् अवाप्नोति
यच् चाप्य् उत्क्रामतीश्वरः
वायुर् गन्धान् इवाशयात्
śarīraṁ yad avāpnoti
yac cāpy utkrāmatīśvaraḥ
vāyur gandhān ivāśayāt
“The living entity in the material world carries his different conceptions of life from one body to another as the air carries aromas.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 15.8)
Krishna says that He knows the three time periods. Hardly anyone knows Him, since He is beyond the range of perception. He is adhokshaja precisely because none of His features can be accurately measured using instruments. His height goes beyond the highest reading on the tape measure. He is smaller than the atom and faster than any camera can capture.
Though I am fool number one, I am not crushed under the influence of the Almighty. He is there to help. He knows everything about me. He is my greatest well-wishing friend. He has always taken that stance, since before I can remember. He will always accompany me, whether in the manifest world or in the spiritual kingdom.
Therefore, His advice is the one to follow. He is the person to whom efforts should be directed. His wisdom brings liberation. His recommendations serve a higher purpose. His activities are blissful to the ear, where the theater of the mind plays the most enjoyable performance, with repeat showings for as long as the audience so desires.
With vulnerabilities a host,
So His word mattering most.
Aware time periods three,
But elusive is He.
Time not holding any weight,
My future wellbeing to await.
When His guidance taking,
And most of this life making.
Categories: the three