“If all is well with Kakutstha [Rama], in anger why is He not burning the earth bound by the oceans, like the rising fire of dissolution?” (Sita Devi speaking to Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 36.13)
kuśalī yadi kākutsthaḥ kim nu sāgara mekhalām |
mahīm dahati kopena yuga anta agniḥ iva utthitaḥ ||
What should be taught? Creationism or evolution? The debate rages on precisely because of the vast complexity of the world in which we live. That complexity is there in the present snapshot, and not to mention in everything that has already happened.
We know there is a beginning to everything. That is the nature of time. I am a certain number of years old today, but at some point in the past I wasn’t even born. I came from somewhere. The same applies to other people. As well with the trees, the oceans, the mountains - the entire earth itself.
What is the original source from which this amazing creation manifested? Was there just a single cell that then evolved over billions of years? If so, what gave that cell so much power? Why can’t the same kind of cell do the same thing elsewhere? My body is a collection of many cells. Why can’t I create a gigantic universe, populate it with creatures, and embed within the nature intelligence beyond comprehension?
The creationist’s argument is that there is intelligent design. That design comes from the most intelligent person. The most intelligent never falls into ignorance. The very definition of ignorance is forgetfulness of Him. He is full bliss and knowledge, and eternal in His existence. Indeed, one way to define Him is to say that He is ananta and anadi, unlimited and without beginning.
Creating is just one side of things, however. The amazing world is evidence of God’s creative potency, but there is destruction to consider as well. What goes up must come down. This applies to the cycle of birth and death. As Shri Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita, whenever there is birth, death must eventually follow.
“For one who has taken his birth, death is certain; and for one who is dead, birth is certain. Therefore, in the unavoidable discharge of your duty, you should not lament.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.27)
Just as wonderful as His ability to create is the potential within the Supreme Lord to destroy everything that Has manifested. Typically, the destruction happens without much effort. The agent of change is kala. This Sanskrit word means “time,” but it is also synonymous with “death.” Time heals all wounds because time eventually destroys everything.
Kala, which is non-different from God, brings a level of devastation so great that nothing remains. This occurs at the end of a yuga, which is a cycle of many creations and destructions. A single yuga is billions and billions of years.
In the above referenced verse from the Ramayana, Sita Devi makes reference to this potency possessed by God. She is referring to her husband Rama, who is also known as Kakutstha. Sita is wondering aloud as to why Rama hasn’t destroyed the entire world, rising in anger like the fire of dissolution.
The exact words used are yuga anta agni. This means “fire at the end of the yuga.” Being from a cultured family, Sita knows that God is responsible for both creation and destruction, and that the destruction takes place through an amazing fire. That fire arrives at the appropriate time, namely at anta, or the end, of the yuga.
Rama should be in anger, as His wife has been taken away from Him in secret. Sita now knows that Rama is thinking about her. The messenger Hanuman has told her. If Rama knows what has happened to His dedicated wife and friend, why is He not using His full potency to redress the situation?
Everything occurs in due course of time. Sita Devi is actually the goddess of fortune, who is always by God’s side, wherever He may go. In the spiritual world she is with God in the form of Vishnu. She is Lakshmi Devi. When Vishnu descends as Rama, Lakshmi descends as Sita.
Therefore it is not surprising that Sita would know her husband so well. Her rhetorical question provides some comfort, for it reminds us that God can remove any obstacle from our path. If He can destroy the entire creation, He can certainly swat away the unwanted things impeding our progress in devotional service. That destruction comes in many forms, and the patient devotee receives that mercy at the appropriate time, as all the while they continue to chant the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
From where all this has come,
From a single cell of intelligence none?
Or from a person with creativity the most,
And of other great qualities a host?
From Sita about Rama to Hanuman stating,
That destruction coupled with creating.
For Supreme Lord no effort required at all,
Can help those who daily His name call.