|August 03, 2002 |
In Gita 4/7-4/8, God states that He manifests every yuga: "Yadaa yadaa hi dharmasya...sambhavaami yuge yuge" or "Dear descendant of Bharat [Arjun], whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, and a predominant rise of irreligion, at that time I manifest Myself. In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the wrong, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I advent Myself yuga after yuga." A reader asked how this can be understood to mean God manifests at every moment instead of every cosmic age (as the conventional definition of yuga suggests). Part of Dinkar Uncle's response follows.
According to the scriptures, Vedas, Purans, Bhagavat, Mahabharat, and others, the time scale is defined normally by the life of Brahma. Brahma's one-half day [12-hours] is made up of 1000 chatur-yugas. (1 chatur-yuga or mahaa-yuga or chokdi is equal to 1 satya yuga, tretaa yuga, dvaapara yuga, and kali yuga. 1 kali yuga is 432,000 years, dvaapara yuga is 2 times that, tretaa yug is 3 times that, and satya yuga is 4 times that.) This translates to about 0.72 minutes for one chatur-yuga. So, in Brahma's vision [or perspective], according to what Lord Krishna has promised (that "I manifest at every yuga"), God manifests 4 times in 0.72 minutes. Hence, according to Brahma, [a yuga] could be less than a "moment" [rather than the conventional definition of yuga to mean every cosmic age].
Above Brahma, there are so many other levels. According to Vachanamrut, Swami Ni Vato, and Bhagavat, there are five basic eternal entities and many levels above Brahma. (See "Eternal Entities:" 1. Jeevas or Souls, 2. Ishvaras or Devataas or Demigods, 3. Maayaa, the force of illusion [that] keeps the above two entities in cycle, 4. Muktas or Liberated Souls, and 5. One Parabrahma or Supreme God.) As you become elevated, you increasingly feel God's manifestation at every moment.
There is another way to look at this also. In the Koran and many other religious scriptures, God is said to be omnipresent. He is in every atom. And, if God is in every atom, it is the devotee's inner urge which makes God manifest whenever a devotee sincerely prays to God. If God comes with an appropriate form or shape, a devotee considers that as a manifestation of God.
It may be true for that particular devotee, but not for all. Even when Lord Krishna manifested on this earth, according to the scriptures, only 12 and one-half people recognized him as a real God: 5 Pandavs, Draupadi, Kuntimata, Satyavati, Uddhav, Vidurji, Subhadra, Vyas, and one-half Akrur. Even though Lord Krishna's elder brother, Balrama, was an incarnation [of Vishnu], the scriptures do not include him into this. And there have been incidences that he has behaved inappropriately toward Lord Krishna to prove this. Lord Krishna's parents, Vasudev and Devki, asked Naradaji how they can achieve liberation. Naradaji replied, "Your liberation is in your own home." In other words, they did not consider Lord Krishna as God, but rather their son. There is also the example of Satyabhama, one of the eight chief queens of Lord Krishna. She became upset at Lord Krishna on the occasion of a lost gem. If she considered him her own God, would she have done that? Or did she really recognize him as God? All these references lead to the conclusion that even though God is present in a human form, He is very difficult to recognize. So the question is, is God recognizable by us? Do we think that we have such a vision or such a perception that God is present in every atom or in a manifested form?
That vision can be received from a God-realized saint. So it is more important to have the association of such a saint who can lead us to God.
There are scriptures that were written in the past, and before the scriptures were written, God was still in existence. But scriptures made it easier to understand God. Recently we also have scriptures from Lord Swaminarayan (Vachanamrut, Shikshapatri, etc.) and Gunatitanand Swami (Swami Ni Vato, Jaga Swami Ni Vato, etc.). They mention these things more clearly. [For example, in] Vachanamrut Vadtal 19, "Shriji Maharaj said, 'Please listen, I wish to speak to all of you about God. Whenever a soul attains a human body in Bharatkhand, God's avatars or God's saints will certainly also be present on Earth at that time. If that soul can recognize them, then he becomes a devotee of God.'"