Kuntīdevī knew that Kṛṣṇa was neither her nephew nor an ordinary family member of her paternal house. She knew perfectly well that Kṛṣṇa is the primeval Lord who lives in everyone's heart as the Supersoul, Paramātmā. Another name of the Paramātmā feature of the Lord is kāla, or eternal time. Eternal time is the witness of all our actions, good and bad, and thus resultant reactions are destined by Him. It is no use saying that we do not know why we are suffering. We may forget the misdeed for which we may suffer at this present moment, but we must remember that Paramātmā is our constant companion and therefore He knows everything - past, present, and future. And because the Paramātmā feature of Lord Kṛṣṇa destines all actions and reactions, He is the supreme controller also. Without His sanction not a blade of grass can move. The living beings are given as much freedom as they deserve, and misuse of that freedom is the cause of suffering. The devotees of the Lord do not misuse their freedom, and therefore they are the good sons of the Lord. Others, who misuse freedom, are put into miseries destined by the eternal kāla. The kāla offers the conditioned souls both happiness and miseries. It is all predestined by eternal time. As we have miseries uncalled for, so we may have happiness also without being asked, for they are all predestined by kāla. No one is therefore either an enemy or friend of the Lord. Everyone is suffering and enjoying the result of his own destiny. This destiny is made by the living beings in course of social intercourse. Everyone here wants to lord it over the material nature, and thus everyone creates his own destiny under the supervision of the Supreme Lord. He is all-pervading and therefore He can see everyone's activities. And because the Lord has no beginning or end, He is known also as the eternal time, kāla.
What is explained herein by the devoted Kuntī is exactly confirmed by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gītā (9.29). There the Lord says:
- samo 'haṁ sarva-bhūteṣu
- na me dveṣyo 'sti na priyaḥ
- ye bhajanti tu māṁ bhaktyā
- mayi te teṣu cāpy aham
"I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But one who renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him."
God cannot be partial. Everyone is God's son, so how can God favor one son above another? That is not possible. But human beings discriminate. We write, "In God we trust," but one who trusts in God must be equally kind and merciful toward all living entities. That is God consciousness.
Kṛṣṇa says, "I have no enemies, nor have I friends." Na me dveṣyo 'sti na priyaḥ. The word dveṣya means "enemy." We are envious of our enemies and friendly toward our friends, but because Kṛṣṇa is absolute, even when He appears to be inimical toward some demon He is actually a friend. When Kṛṣṇa kills a demon, the demon's demoniac activities are killed, and he immediately becomes a saint and merges into the supreme impersonal effulgence, the brahma-jyoti.
The brahma-jyoti is one of three features of the Absolute Truth. (SB 1.2.11):
- vadanti tat tattva-vidas
- tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam
- brahmeti paramātmeti
- bhagavān iti śabdyate
The Absolute Truth is one, but is perceived in three features, known as Brahman, Paramātmā, and Bhagavān. The original, complete feature of the Absolute Truth is Bhagavān, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and His plenary representation is Paramātmā, Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, who is situated in everyone's heart (īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61)). The third feature of the Absolute Truth is Brahman, the all-pervading impersonal effulgence of the Absolute.
The Absolute Truth is equal to everyone, but one will realize the Absolute according to the way one approaches Him (ye yathā māṁ prapadyante (BG 4.11)). According to one's capacity for understanding, the Absolute Truth is revealed either as the impersonal Brahman, as the localized Paramātmā, or ultimately as Bhagavān.
To explain this by an example, we may sometimes see hills from our room, although we may not see them distinctly. In Los Angeles there are many hills, but when we see the hills from a distant place they look like something cloudy. However, if we go further toward a hill, we shall find that there is something distinct - a hill. And if we go all the way to the hill itself, we shall find many people working there, many houses, streets, cars, and so many varied things. Similarly, when one wants to know the Absolute Truth by one's tiny brain and thinks, "I shall conduct research to find the Absolute Truth," one will have a vague, impersonal idea. Then if one goes further and becomes a meditator, one will find that God is situated within one's heart. Dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ (SB 12.13.1). Yogīs - real yogīs - see the form of Viṣṇu within the heart by meditation. The devotees, however, meet the Supreme Person face to face, just as we meet face to face and speak face to face. The Supreme Personality of Godhead orders, "Supply Me this," and the devotee directly serves the Lord by supplying what He wants. Thus there are different realizations of the Absolute Truth, and although He is equal to everyone it is up to us to understand Him according to our advancement. Therefore Kuntī says, samaṁ carantaṁ sarvatra: (SB 1.8.28) "In distributing Your mercy, You are equal to everyone."
The word carantam means "moving." The Lord moves everywhere - within and without - and we simply have to make our vision clear so that we may see Him. By devotional service, we can purify our senses so that we may perceive the presence of God. Those who are less intelligent simply try to find God within, but those who are advanced in intelligence can see the Lord both within and without.
The yogic system of meditation is actually meant for those who are less intelligent. One who practices meditation in yoga must control the senses (yoga indriya-saṁyamaḥ). Our senses are very restless, and by practicing the different āsanas, or sitting postures, one must control the mind and senses so that one can concentrate upon the form of Viṣṇu within the heart. This is the yoga system recommended for those who are too much absorbed in the bodily concept of life. However, because bhaktas, devotees, are more advanced, they do not need to undergo a separate process to control their senses; rather, by engaging in devotional service they are already controlling their senses.
For example, if one is engaged in worshiping the Deity, cleansing the temple, decorating the Deity, cooking for the Deity, and so on, one's senses are already engaged in the service of the Absolute Truth, so where is the chance of their being diverted? Hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate: (CC Madhya 19.170) bhakti, devotional service, simply means engaging our senses (hṛṣīka) in the service of the master of the senses (hṛṣīkeśa). Now our senses are engaged in sense gratification. I am thinking that because I am this body, I must satisfy my senses. In fact, however, this is a contaminated stage of life. When one comes to the understanding that he is not this body but a spiritual soul, part and parcel of God, he knows that his spiritual senses should be engaged in the service of the supreme spiritual being. Thus one attains liberation (mukti).
One attains liberation when one gives up the false idea that the body is the self and when one resumes his actual position of service to the Lord (muktir hitvānyathā-rūpaṁ svarūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ, SB 2.10.6). When we are conditioned, we give up our original constitutional position, which is described by Caitanya Mahāprabhu as being that of eternal service to Kṛṣṇa (jīvera svarūpa haya-kṛṣṇera 'nitya-dāsa' (CC Madhya 20.108)). But as soon as we employ ourselves in the service of the Lord, we are liberated immediately. There is no need to pass through some preliminary process. This very act of engaging one's senses in the service of the Lord is evidence that one is liberated.
This liberation is open for everyone (samaṁ carantam (SB 1.8.28)). In Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa does not say to Arjuna, "Only you may come to Me and become liberated." No, the Lord is available for everyone. When He says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66) - "Give up all other duties and surrender unto Me" - He is speaking not only to Arjuna but to everyone. Arjuna was the original target, but in fact Bhagavad-gītā was spoken for everyone, for all human beings, and therefore one must take advantage of it.
Kṛṣṇa's impartiality is compared to that of the sun. The sun does not consider, "Here is a poor man, here is a low-class man, and here is a hog. I shall not distribute my sunshine to them." No, the sun is equal toward all, and one simply has to take advantage of it. The sunshine is available, but if we close our doors and want to keep ourselves in darkness, that is our decision. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa is everywhere, Kṛṣṇa is for everyone, and Kṛṣṇa is ready to accept us as soon as we surrender. Samaṁ carantam. There is no restriction. People may make a distinction between lower class and higher class, but Kṛṣṇa says, māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ (BG 9.32): "Even though one may supposedly be of a lower class, that doesn't matter. If he surrenders to Me he is also eligible to come back home, back to Godhead."
That same Kṛṣṇa is described by Kuntīdevī as eternal time. Everything takes place within time, but our time calculations of past, present, and future are relative. A small insect's measurement of past, present, and future is different from our past, present, and future, and similarly the past, present, and future of Brahmā, the chief creative living being within this universe, are different from ours. But Kṛṣṇa has no past, present, or future. Therefore He is eternal. We have a past, present, and future because we change from one body to another. The body we have now is dated. At a certain date I was born of my father and mother, and now this body will stay for some time. It will grow, it will produce some byproducts, then it will become old and dwindle and then vanish, and then I shall have to accept another body. When the past, present, and future of my present body are finished, I shall accept another body, and again my past, present, and future will begin. But Kṛṣṇa has no past, present, or future, because He does not change His body. That is the difference between ourselves and Kṛṣṇa.
The eternal position of Kṛṣṇa is revealed in Bhagavad-gītā. There Kṛṣṇa said to Arjuna, "In the past, millions of years ago, I spoke this philosophy of Bhagavad-gītā to the sun-god." Arjuna appeared not to believe this. Of course, Arjuna knew everything, but for our education he said to Kṛṣṇa, "Kṛṣṇa, we are contemporaries, and since we were born at practically the same time, how can I believe that You spoke this philosophy so long ago to the sun-god?" Then Kṛṣṇa replied, "My dear Arjuna, you were also present then, but you have forgotten, whereas I have not. That is the difference." Past, present, and future pertain to persons who forget, but for one who does not forget, who lives eternally, there is no past, present, or future.
Kuntī therefore addresses Kṛṣṇa as eternal (manye tvāṁ kālam). And because He is eternal, He is the full controller (īśānam). By Kṛṣṇa's extraordinary behavior, Kuntī could understand that Kṛṣṇa is eternal and that Kṛṣṇa is the supreme controller. He has no beginning and no end (anādi-nidhanam), and therefore He is vibhu, the Supreme, the greatest.
We are aṇu, the smallest, and Kṛṣṇa is vibhu, the greatest. We are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, and therefore Kṛṣṇa is both the smallest and the greatest, whereas we are only the smallest. Vibhu, the greatest, must be all-inclusive. If one has a large bag one can hold many things, whereas in a small bag one cannot. Because Kṛṣṇa is vibhu, the greatest, He includes everything, even past, present, and future time, and He is all-pervading, present everywhere.
Without Kṛṣṇa, matter cannot develop. Atheistic scientists say that life comes from matter, but that is nonsense. Matter is one energy of Kṛṣṇa, and spirit is another. The spirit is superior energy, and matter is inferior energy. The matter develops when the superior energy is present. For example, two or three hundred years ago the land of America was not developed, but because some superior living entities from Europe came here, America is now very much developed. Therefore the cause of development is the superior energy. In Africa, Australia, and many other places there is still vacant land that is undeveloped. Why is it undeveloped? Because the superior energy of advanced living entities has not touched it. As soon as the superior energy touches it, the same land will develop so many factories, houses, cities, roads, cars, and so on.
The point of this example is that matter cannot develop by itself. That is not possible. Superior energy must touch it, and then it will be active. To give another example, a machine is matter - it is inferior energy - and therefore unless an operator comes to touch the machine, it will not act. One may have a very costly car, but unless a driver comes, in millions of years it will never go anywhere.
Thus it is common sense to understand that matter cannot work independently; it cannot work unless the superior energy, the living entity, touches it. So how can we conclude that life develops from matter? Rascal scientists may say this, but they do not have sufficient knowledge.
All the universes have developed because of Kṛṣṇa's presence, as mentioned in the Brahma-saṁhitā (aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham (Bs. 5.35)). The scientists are now studying atoms, and they are finding that electrons, protons, and other particles act in so many ways. Why are these particles active? Because Kṛṣṇa is present there. This is real scientific understanding.
One should scientifically understand Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa has no past, present, and future. He is eternal time, with no beginning and no end, and He is equal to everyone. We simply have to prepare ourselves to see Kṛṣṇa and understand Kṛṣṇa. That is the purpose of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.