“It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kunti, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 14.4)
मूर्तयः सम्भवन्ति याः
तासां ब्रह्म महद् योनिर्
अहं बीज-प्रदः पिता
mūrtayaḥ sambhavanti yāḥ
tāsāṁ brahma mahad yonir
ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada provides three simple ways to understand the Almighty in terms of our relationship to Him. Not surprisingly, God is the superior, and we are the inferior, but in a way that has an automatic accompanying relationship that is both beneficial and true to our natural proclivities.
1. The Father
The relationship to the father is unique because we are like the individual we came from, but also different. We are similar in many ways, such as in the facial features, in bodily build, and perhaps even in preferred activities.
At the same time, we may not always live up to the father’s expectations. Perhaps they were an expert technician in their day, but our interests are more in poetry and literature. Maybe they were well-achieved in sports competition, whereas we prefer to sit in the local library and read books.
In terms of the Supreme Lord, He is the original, seed-giving father. There is direct confirmation from a verse in Bhagavad-gita. We are part and parcel of the original. We are like samples of Him. The Sanskrit word is amsha.
As He is our father, there is always some link to Him. We have a right to enjoy His property, under the proper mindset. We cannot one day claim to be owner of the house governed by our father, and so this entire universe is under the jurisdiction of the person to whom it originally belongs.
2. The Supreme Leader
In every business organization, there is at least one leader. Often times there are several; one for each department. In the customary organizational chart, each employee has someone to whom they directly report. That person is known as their manager. The person at the top of the organization does not report to anyone.
In truth, everyone is a subordinate in the largest organization known as the entire universe. The person at the top, the leader, is God. If we follow His will, everything will run smoothly. If we go against Him, there will be trouble.
The notable distinction is that insubordination within a business organization can cause ruin for every person involved, including the highest leader. With the Supreme Lord, there is no effect to our deviant behavior. He is atmarama, or satisfied in the self. Whether we remember Him or not makes no difference on His disposition, as symbolized in His lying down to rest in the causal ocean, being massaged by His eternal consort, Lakshmi Devi, and eternally praised by the hymns of the Vedas.
3. The Supreme Maintainer
If I decide to scale back and live a simpler life, perhaps I end up in an area adjacent to an orchard. The trees within that place are known as pious, according to the Vedic standard. This is because they produce fruit.
If the climate is suitable, I can live off the orchard, year-round. I don’t have to travel elsewhere. The orchard essentially maintains me. Without it, I would be in trouble. There is not much effort involved. Nature accounts for everything. Sufficient rainfall, proper exposure to the sun, and fertile land combine to produce an output sufficient for human consumption.
We can think of God as the greatest orchard. He is maintaining everyone. The Vedas explain, nityo-nityanam, chetanas-chetananam. There are many eternal living beings who are maintained by the chief eternal. This is another way to understand the Almighty.
In summary, He maintains me, He is the topmost superior to whom I report, and He is the original father. In light of such relationships, there is a huge burden removed from everyday life. I do not have to be everything to everyone. I do not have to reach unattainable heights in order to have a full life experience.
माम् एकं शरणं व्रज
अहं त्वां सर्व-पापेभ्यो
मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुचः
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
“Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 18.66)
Rather, I can rely on the supreme maintainer while going about my basic occupation, which is suited to my temporary nature. I can work to honor the great father, who is responsible for placement in my current circumstances. I can follow the directions of that greatest leader, who promises to remove all sinful reaction to those who surrender fully.
Like father providing seed,
From His output to proceed.
Such that to this world landed,
And by senses commanded.
But actual link to Him there,
Knowledge by guru shared.
As the greatest maintainer known,
So allegiance to Him shown.
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