“When Narada arrived in Dvaraka, he saw that the gardens and parks were full of various flowers of different colors and orchards that were overloaded with a variety of fruits. Beautiful birds were chirping, and peacocks were delightfully crowing. There were tanks and ponds full of blue and red lotus flowers, and some of these sites were filled with varieties of lilies. The lakes were full of nice swans and cranes whose voices resounded everywhere. In the city there were as many as 900,000 great palaces built of first-class marble with gates and doors made of silver.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 2, Ch 14)Download this episode (right click and save)
The Sanskrit word Bhagavan says that the Almighty has identifiable features. Identification is relevant for every person that is not God. The Supreme Lord knows who He is. He does not need to prove Himself. He is both formless and with form, nirguna and saguna. Again, this is based on the perspective of the observer. Bhagavan is; He is the essence of an existence. He is the life of everything that lives.
“I am the original fragrance of the earth, and I am the heat in fire. I am the life of all that lives, and I am the penances of all ascetics.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.9)
The sage Parashara describes that there are six components to Bhagavan. These are opulences, possessed simultaneously and to the fullest extent. One of them is aishvarya, which can be translated as “wealth.” God is the wealthiest person in the world. Since He is also the most attractive, another of His names is Krishna.
The latest list of “wealthiest people in the world” published by a popular magazine has supporting evidence. Financial statements, income tax returns, and the deeds to various properties act as proof. How about with Krishna? Are there ways to know that He is the wealthiest?
1. He is the original creator
The Vedas concur with the concept of property rights. It’s not that everything belongs to everyone. The distinction is that the property is on temporary lease. There is an original creator, and He actually has jurisdiction over everything. It makes sense, since without His intervention nothing would come to be.
The Big Bang Theory is one attempt to explain the creation. The theory is a product of mental speculation, and the truth from the parampara of the Vedic tradition explains something similar. In the beginning, as we understand it, based on the present timeline of events, there is nothing but pradhana. This is matter in its unmanifest form. Pradhana transforms into the three modes of material nature through the injection of purusha, which is spirit. Purusha and prakriti, this combination is what makes life. Without purusha, prakriti could not do anything.
“The five great elements are a gross representation of the subtle false ego. They are a representation in the material conception. Consciousness is represented by intelligence, of which the unmanifested stage is the three modes of material nature. The unmanifested three modes of material nature is called pradhana.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 13.6-7 Purport)
Shri Krishna is the adi purusha; He is the original spiritual injection. Since He instigates the pradhana to manifest into the variety of creatures and objects we see in the material world, it means that He has claim on everything. This automatically makes Him the wealthiest person.
2. He destroys everything through Lord Shiva
You recently purchased a machine that throws tennis balls at regular intervals. It is small and actually intended to help children practice their swing. You enjoyed the machine, but now it no longer functions. You’ve also moved on to a better machine. There is a way to fix the old one, but it involves some work. You don’t want to go through the effort.
You’ve decided to simply throw it away. You can only do this since you own it. By placing it in the trash, you are not harming anyone else. You are not interfering with another person’s right to live. The concept of property rights gave you the authority to decide the fate of the machine.
In a similar manner, since Krishna owns the entire creation, He has every right to destroy. Creation, maintenance and destruction occur in cycles. There is a massive dissolution at the end of the night of Brahma, who is the person put in charge of creating by Krishna. Brahma can be thought of as the first person; the ultimate ancestor to the species. At the end of the life of Brahma, there is an even bigger dissolution.
The destruction takes place through the work of Lord Shiva. He is empowered by Krishna. Since Shiva plays this role, he is also known as the destroyer. Krishna can destroy everything through Shiva because of the ultimate claim to everything that is material.
3. The opulence of Dvaraka
Krishna descended to earth in person, in His original spiritual form, some five thousand years ago. The foolish mistook Him for an ordinary human being. They did not understand His higher nature, which is changeless and supreme.
“Unintelligent men, who know Me not, think that I have assumed this form and personality. Due to their small knowledge, they do not know My higher nature, which is changeless and supreme.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.24)
They saw tremendous ability and opulence and still didn’t come to the right conclusion. Krishna’s aishvarya was no longer a secret after moving to the city of Dvaraka. The name of the city means “a place of gates.” It was under the water to give protection from rival kings. Krishna doesn’t need this protection, but it reassured the citizens. The city was built by the architect of the demigods, Vishvakarma. He performs the work of the entire world, and this city was amazing. Krishna lived there with more than sixteen thousand wives. With each wife He had his own palace, and He expanded Himself so as to not leave any of the queens alone.
4. He is the husband of the goddess of fortune
Lakshmipati. Madhava. Radhanatha. There are many names for God that reference His relationship to the goddess of fortune. She is His eternal consort, if you will, since the word “wife” doesn’t suffice to accurately describe the relationship. The goddess of fortune is a pure devotee, always with God in association. She is fortune personified, and since she is under the protection of her husband, she is not independent. Shri Krishna is in charge of wealth and fortune, which He distributes through the blessings of His eternal consort.
5. He distributes wealth to others, such as with Sudama
If you own it, you can destroy it. If you own it, you can also distribute it. The special mercy with worshiping Krishna is that He may not always give you what you want. Even if you pray sincerely, with purity in your heart, for something specific, He will first assess the reward and the effect it will have on your future wellbeing. This is similar to how good parents behave when the child begs for a toy or some experience. The parent utilizes discretion. This behavior is a sign of love.
One time a poor brahmana visited Krishna in Dvaraka. He went to the palace where the Lord resided with His chief queen, Rukmini Devi. Named Sudama, this brahmana was a friend of Krishna from a long time back, when the two were living in the house of the guru. Of course Krishna remembered His friend and welcomed him hospitably during the visit. Sudama came with some chipped rice as an offering, but was too embarrassed to disclose it. Krishna discovered the rice and immediately took some to eat.
Being pleased with the offering, through Rukmini’s blessings Krishna changed the poverty-stricken condition of Sudama. The brahmana returned home to see that his life had been transformed into opulence. The Supreme Lord can do this for anyone since He has the most wealth to distribute. He helped Sudama since He knew that the brahmana had no chance of falling into maya, or illusion, as a result. Sometimes He takes away wealth, giving meaning to His other name of Hari.
At wealthiest person’s list top,
Since most aishvarya He’s got.
Proof since everything first to own,
And through benediction to Sudama shown.
Goddess of fortune with Him to stay,
All opulence through her way.
So much wealth that eyes can’t even see,
Through devotion most pleased is He.