“Disparity in human society is due to lack of principles in a godless civilization. There is God, or the Almighty One, from whom everything emanates, by whom everything is maintained and in whom everything is merged to rest. Material science has tried to find the ultimate source of creation very insufficiently, but it is a fact that there is one ultimate source of everything that be. This ultimate source is explained rationally and authoritatively in the beautiful Bhagavatam, or Shrimad-Bhagavatam.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, Introduction)
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1. From whom everything emanates
“Have you ever stopped to consider from where everything comes? We take the sunrise for granted. We make plans based on the calendar. For instance, a holiday like Christmas might be approaching. People at the office are scrambling to use up their vacation days prior to the end of the year.
“Families are busy buying and packing gifts. There are the stacks of cards to send out. Some are preparing for the upcoming winter storm. At least that is what is in the forecast. The snow-blowers have to be dug out of the garage and tested to make sure they function properly.
“We make so many plans and we take everything for granted, but what is the source? How did all of this stuff, for lack of a better term, get here? Did it just appear randomly? That explanation makes no sense. Otherwise, the same randomness could create a hundred suns and endless clouds. There would be no point to seasons if there is no intelligence to nature.”
2. By whom everything is maintained
“Have you ever stopped to think how everything is maintained? Not the utilities in the home. Not the safety of the money within the bank. Not the supply of food or drinking water.
“I am talking about the integral aspects of nature. Who is maintaining the sun? How does it provide endless heat and light? What is the source? We know that the sun is practically the source of all energy within the life that we live, but who powers the sun?
“Who creates the mechanism to ensure the proper dispersal of rainwater? How did the oceans get that much water? Why do the oceans never dry up? Just see that if even the slightest deviation occurs within the vast interconnected system, there is havoc and chaos, such as with earthquakes and tornadoes.”
3. In whom everything is merged to rest
“There has to be a completion. Just as the human being finishes up their stay within this lifetime and moves on to someplace else, the entire universe must go through the same. To where does it go? Does everything just get swallowed up? Is there a superior energy involved in the process?”
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explains that Shrimad Bhagavatam has the answers to such questions. More than basic responses to be provided on a formal examination, there is an in-depth explanation and accompanying method of study. For this reason and many more, Shrimad Bhagavatam is beautiful.
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)
For instance, there is a verse giving testimony to the beginning of the creation. One person was there. He was present before anyone else. That same person will be there after annihilation. This is one way to know the source of everything.
भूत-ग्रामः स एवायं
भूत्वा भूत्वा प्रलीयते
रात्र्य्-आगमे ऽवशः पार्थ
bhūta-grāmaḥ sa evāyaṁ
bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate
rātry-āgame ‘vaśaḥ pārtha
“Again and again the day comes, and this host of beings is active; and again the night falls, O Partha, and they are helplessly dissolved.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 8.19)
Bhagavad-gita explains that the cycle continues. The living beings appear and disappear, again and again. They are apparently helpless to the process. Just as there is no way to return to the womb of the mother, there is no way to stop the impending destruction of living known as death.
The attributes belonging to the source of the creation are significant. We are blessed to have such information available, passed down in a descending manner. To search in any other way is a waste of time. It is silly to ponder or debate, when there is authoritative information already available.
Knowledge of such truths begins to simultaneously solve the problems of life. The great disparity between wealthy and poverty-stricken. The bad luck of living through a devastating war and the great fortune of knowing no economic struggle since birth.
जन्म कर्म च मे दिव्यम्
एवं यो वेत्ति तत्त्वतः
त्यक्त्वा देहं पुनर् जन्म
नैति माम् एति सो ऽर्जुन
janma karma ca me divyam
evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mām eti so ‘rjuna
“One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.9)
If a person knows the ultimate source, if they are aware of the transcendental attributes, if they associate with Shrimad Bhagavatam, then not only do they solve the problems of this life, but they reach a solution to the otherwise inevitable cycle of birth and death. They have found a way out, and they didn’t have to travel far.
Not of lengthy journey to tell,
As if into lap fell.
In Bhagavatam sacred wisdom found,
Keys to life preserved in sound.
That solving mystery of origin and more,
Proper purpose this life experience for.
Such that highest benefit to accrue,
Eternal hope to renew.
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