Saturday, June 17, 2017

Four Ways To Understand God Through Nature

[Krishna's lotus feet]“Besides this inferior nature, O mighty-armed Arjuna, there is a superior energy of Mine, which are all living entities who are struggling with material nature and are sustaining the universe.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.5)

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Shri Krishna is mercy personified. He is the greatest well-wishing friend of every living entity. His dedicated servants inherit the same property. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada would sign letters to his disciples with the words, “your ever well-wisher.”

The same Prabhupada would remark that even the drunkard can understand God. Sobriety is a requirement when operating potentially dangerous machinery like an automobile, so why wouldn’t it be as much required when trying to understand the origin of everything?

“O son of Kunti [Arjuna], I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.8)

Even when in the intoxicated state a person is not completely shut out of the Divine mercy. When consuming their adult beverage of choice, they can consider that Shri Krishna is the taste of that beverage. He says as much in the Bhagavad-gita, where He equates Himself with the taste of water. God is the essence of everything.

This mercy is extended to those who have a difficult time believing God to have a form, name, or personality. They believe in a higher concept, but the idea of an all-attractive youth holding a flute in His hands and incarnating in the statue in the temple is a little too much to accept in a single sitting.

They would rather appreciate the higher power through nature, which is amazing, artistic, and predictable. Just as with the taste of water, there is a way to understand God through nature. The understanding doesn’t have to come in an unauthorized way, either, through something dangerous like mental speculation.

1. A separated energy

Earth, water, fire, air and ether. These are the five gross elements found in the material world. Taken together, in varying combinations and proportions, we get up to 8,400,000 kinds of suits or sets of clothes. The occupant within those suits is spirit soul, who is part and parcel of God.

In the Bhagavad-gita, Krishna says that those occupants are actually part of the superior energy. The gross elements, along with the subtle elements of mind, intelligence and ego, constitute the inferior energy.

Despite the amazing aura of nature, and how it can overcome tiny bodies through brute force like natural disasters, the living entities are actually superior. In this way we can understand that spirit is more important to God than matter. Nature is nothing more than a large collection of matter.

2. Disinterest

Since spirit is the superior energy, God does not have much interest in the material. Nature is not that important to Him. He has deputies running the day to day functions. We demark a day based on the rising and setting of the sun, but in the higher scheme a day is in relation to the length of time of the creation, which comes to be through Lord Brahma, the creator.

“When Brahma's day is manifest, this multitude of living entities comes into being, and at the arrival of Brahma's night they are all annihilated.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 8.17)

The creation goes through cycles. It is manifest, then after some time it is dissolved. The living entities who are not perfectly God conscious come and go. They arrive and then they disappear. The Supreme Lord does not take much interest.

3. Accompanying

Despite the material nature being inferior and Him not having much interest in the changes that are like something appearing in a dream, Shri Krishna still accompanies each and every living thing. The superior energy is the spirit soul occupying the temporary body, and alongside the individual is the Supersoul. He is like the great sanctioning authority, overseeing but not interfering with choices.

“Yet in this body there is another, a transcendental enjoyer who is the Lord, the supreme proprietor, who exists as the overseer and permitter, and who is known as the Supersoul.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 13.23)

The Supersoul is inside both the thief and the saint. The worst person has God inside of them. For this reason the wise offer respects to everyone, including the tiger. Not that they will behave naively, but they can see the Divine everywhere. They don’t limit their vision to places openly identified as having spiritual association.

4. Not becoming

Nature comes from God, but God never becomes nature. Everything taken together is part of His definition, but He is never a component of any object’s definition.

“By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.4)

This is a key distinction. In the mentally concocted understanding, God becomes nature. If this were true, then it means God becomes divided. If He could be divided, it means that His potency is prone to being diminished. Any higher being that is diminished means they cannot be supreme. After all, even the individual soul cannot be cut up.

“The soul can never be cut into pieces by any weapon, nor can he be burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.23)

[Krishna's lotus feet]Material nature is one aspect to the inconceivably potent Supreme Lord. More amazing are His benevolence and His ever forgiving nature. Despite lifetimes spent forgetting Him, any person who remains conscious of Him at the time of death no longer has to appear in the world managed by Lord Brahma and others.

In Closing:

Even when into intoxication to sink,

Potential to know God through drink.

 

The taste, essence of everything being,

Means that also in nature seeing.

 

Separated energy, not directly caring,

Like in a dream, up and down faring.

 

Created by Him, but never becoming,

As Supersoul with every spirit coming.