“Being beyond the range of limited sense perception [adhokshaja], You are the eternally irreproachable factor covered by the curtain of deluding energy. You are invisible to the foolish observer, exactly as an actor dressed as a player is not recognized.” (Queen Kunti speaking to Lord Krishna, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.8.19)
न लक्ष्यसे मूढ-दृशा
नटो नाट्यधरो यथा
na lakṣyase mūḍha-dṛśā
naṭo nāṭyadharo yathā
“You are not looking yourself lately. It seems that you have lost a lot of weight. Is everything alright? Are you eating properly? Is this some crash diet to help you fit into clothes for a wedding? I think for your age and height you should be a little heavier. Just saying that you might want to start eating a little more.”
“Everyone on the plane was seated. Our breathing was sufficiently obstructed, given the madness of the present day. I am going to sit next to people for up to six hours, and somehow this silly cover over my nose and mouth is going to protect me from disease? Give me a break.
“Anyway, our takeoff was delayed because of one passenger who had not boarded yet. When they finally made it, a new problem arose. This person was so tall that they could barely fit into a single seat. By this time, only middle seats were available.
“In the end, there was little that could be done. He had to sit in the front row, and someone graciously agreed to move to the back. This was one of those times where I realized the negative side to being tall. While you may cast a shadow over others, there are times where it helps to be of average height.”
“Late at night, when having difficulty sleeping, I sometimes watch those strongest man competitions. Some of the things they make the contestants do are ridiculous. No one would ever need to pull a car in real life, for instance. Nevertheless, after a series of events they determine the winner based on a cumulative score. You can just imagine what these people look like.”
“They say that such and such is the world’s fastest man. A race involving a specific distance is used for the informal declaration. It is interesting to see how the speed evolves. The time is always shrinking. I guess you could call that evolution. New runners always have something to strive for.”
“The person who tops this list usually is involved with a publicly traded company. The net worth calculation comes on the potential of liquidating every share that they own. Of course the share price changes by the day, so the whole endeavor seems silly to me. Nevertheless, people make a big deal of whoever is the world’s wealthiest person.”
Kunti Devi describes the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna, to be adhokshaja. He is like the expert actor on the stage. He puts on such a great performance that the audience forgets the dramatic nature to the presentation. They believe the actor to be the person they are representing.
The exact definition of adhokshaja is someone who cannot be measured by blunt instruments. As the above situations tell, we make so many judgments based on measurable abilities. It is how we gauge progress. It is how we might notice deficiencies or causes of concern. It is how we establish supremacy and dominance in various aspects of competition.
If God cannot be measured, then how can His name enter any area of comparison? If He is too quick to be caught in a still camera image, then how is a person supposed to see Him? If Krishna is taller than the world’s most famous mountain, how can anyone properly conceptualize Him?
The Divine lila provides a glimpse into the potency of the Supreme. The original person descends in a variety of ways. Sometimes He is a chivalrous prince, born in a respectable family which is charged with upholding dharma. In that case, Rama defends against fourteen thousand fighters attacking simultaneously. He is easily able to lift the mighty bow of Lord Shiva in the contest to determine the husband for Sita Devi, the daughter of King Janaka.
Sometimes Bhagavan descends as a foster son of a cowherd family. In a small village, as a young child He defends against powerful, black-magic wielding demons. He lifts up the massive Govardhana Hill and holds it up with the pinky finger of His left hand.
While these feats of strength are amazing, they are not to be misunderstood as limiting. Rama can lift one hundred bows of Lord Shiva, if necessary. Shri Krishna can marry and satisfy more than sixteen thousand beautiful princesses, if the situation calls for it. As Narasimha, the savior of Prahlada can go against many Hiranyakashipu-like kings at the same time.
This is a comforting thought, as it means Krishna will never get overwhelmed by too much devotion directed His way. You and I can both be chanting the holy names on a regular basis: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. People can fill temples dispersed throughout the world, bringing their heartfelt offerings.
In cloud-computing terms, Bhagavan can spin up many CPU cores, whenever they are needed. His mind is like the most intelligent dynamically configured server. He is both greater than the greatest and smaller than the smallest. He is kind enough to remain my companion birth after birth, and knowing He is always there is the greatest comfort.
Best friend for what it’s worth,
Companion birth after birth.
With strength unable to measure,
Of wealth of limitless treasure.
Smaller than the smallest to see,
Taller than mountain is He.
Such that glories pages to fill,
And expanding ever still.
Categories: the five