“As long as the sunshine is there, our eyes are useful to a certain extent. But in the absence of sunshine, the eyes are useless. Lord Shri Krishna, being the primeval Lord, the Supreme Truth, is compared to the sun. Without Him all our knowledge is either false or partial.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.11.9 Purport)
1. Laptop without internet
“A brand new, state of the art device. The company overdid it, if you ask me. I probably didn’t need anything extra. I could have connected from my personal machine.
“Anyway, they insisted that I take it. With all the bells and whistles, there is just one problem. No internet in the home today. I can’t even set up an account that is needed for logging in the first time. I really can’t do anything with this expensive device. It will just sit here collecting dust.”
2. Cell phone without service
“I have lived through the evolution of phones. From my childhood, we had a rotary phone in our home. I distinctly remember turning the dial for each digit, waiting for the dial to unwind itself so that I could try the next digit.
“Today, there is the phone you carry in your pocket. But what if there is no service in the area? What if the battery runs low? The thing essentially turns into a brick. That is even the analogy used whenever you break the device through an illegal software upgrade. You ‘brick’ the phone by making it useless.”
3. Advanced degree without job opportunities
“You pass through the classes. You advance through the years. You might earn multiple degrees within the same field. You have the necessary credentials from the prestigious establishments.
“The problem is there are no jobs to find. The knowledge can’t be put to use. You may as well have spent that time sitting on a park bench, staring at the sun. You are sure there are ways to help others, but no one is willing to accept the knowledge, at the moment.”
4. General without a mission
“They are a great leader. They commandeered great forces to victory in the past. It is not easy keeping track of so many individuals involved in a collective. You have to be cool under pressure. You have to know when to attack and when to retreat. You have to keep the morale of the troops high.
“What if there are no missions? What is the title going to mean? What difference does it make in day to day living?”
5. Eyes without sunshine
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada uses this example to explain the importance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Though the eyes on the human being facilitate the important sense of sight, if there is nothing to light up the space, having eyes makes no difference.
In the same way, without the presence of Shri Krishna, nothing has value. It is something like the comparison to numerical digits. You have a bunch of zero digits with you, but they don’t mean anything. As soon as you add a non-zero digit in front, the zeroes can expand to something really meaningful.
We might have knowledge of modern technology. We may be wise in a particular field of study. We may have led the way in groundbreaking discoveries to further the daily comforts of the human being. If we do not know God in truth, our knowledge has no value.
This is a bold declaration, but considering the passage of time we start to see the validity. One person is a well-respected scientist, who conducts real research and makes meaningful challenges into accepted beliefs. Another person lives under a tree, begs for food, and has no possessions to their name.
If they live for the same amount of time, what difference is there, really? It is an identical life experience, with ups and downs, highs and lows, and gains and losses. The knowledge of Shri Krishna is everlasting. It is the king of education, and it can transport a person to the spiritual realm immediately.
पवित्रम् इदम् उत्तमम्
सु-सुखं कर्तुम् अव्ययम्
pavitram idam uttamam
su-sukhaṁ kartum avyayam
“This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.2)
The person who has such knowledge is the wisest. They are the most respected, are most worthy of being approached, and make many followers who are eternally grateful for the vision into the other world. Without such contact, we would be lost, birth after birth.
Without sun like nothing to be,
Since not possible to see.
Despite great ability,
Suppressed in activity.
Same principle with Krishna applies,
That knowledge without purpose lies.
Unless first making the connection,
Then aligned in proper direction.
Categories: the five