Chapter Thirty Two
THE OMNISCIENCE AND OMNIPOTENCE
OF GOD AND HIS PURE SERVANTS
RABBI: In the Torah, God says, "Behold, the former things have
come to pass, and I am declaring new things. I am telling you
of them before they spring forth. [Torah, Halftorah of Beresthith,
Isaiah 42:9] I think that any religion in the world accepts that
God knows everything - past, present and future.
DEVOTEE: Yes, Rabbi, I think that you are right. In the Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krsna says, "I am seated in everyone's heart, and from Me comes remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas, I am to be known. Indeed, I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas." [Bg. 15.15] Not only is the Supreme Lord omniscient but His pure devotees are also omniscient by the grace of the Lord Who is the source of their knowledge.
RABBI: According to the Vedas, how can an ordinary person know everything past, present and future?
DEVOTEE: The answer to your question is in the verse I just quoted. God as the Supersoul is in the heart of every living entity. Our intelligence comes from the Supersoul. Since the Lord knows everything, if He wants to give intelligence to someone, it is not difficult for Him. The Lord is always ready to give us direction from within the heart, but generally we are not receptive to His good instructions. We have many material desires that oppose the desires of the Lord. The pure devotees however are souls fully surrendered to the will of the Lord. When the Lord speaks to them from within the heart, they understand fully. Thus pure devotees are known as tri-käla-jna, or those who can understand everything past, present and future.
RABBI: Moses was able to speak directly with God, and the Lord constantly gave him specific instructions of what would happen in the future and how to act in His service. For example, God, already knowing the mind of the Pharaoh, instructed Moses how to convince him to permit the Israelites to leave Egypt. God told Moses, "Observe! I will be making you like a god to the Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. You must announce all that I order you to, and your brother Aaron will relate it to the Pharaoh. He will then let the Israelites leave his land. I will make the Pharaoh obstinate, and will thus have the opportunity to display many miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt. This is why the Pharaoh will not pay attention to you. But then I will display My power against Egypt, and with great acts of judgment, I will bring forth from Egypt my armies - My people, the Israelites. When I display My power and bring the Israelites out from among them, Egypt will know that I am God " [Torah, Exodus, VeEra 7:13] Moses and Aaron did exactly as God instructed and the Pharaoh responded as God predicted. This was the prelude of the ten great plagues brought about by God against the Pharaoh and his people. Not only did God know everything, but He also gave perfect intelligence to Moses and empowered him to act as his instrument to free the Israelites from the Pharaoh's control.
DEVOTEE: In the Vedic culture, there were saintly persons like Moses who had direct communion with God. The most recent was the Founder/ Acarya of The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Although Srila Prabhupada, as we would affectionately call him, did not openly perform miracles of the magical quality shown by Moses, he was fully empowered by God, Krsna, to propagate Krsna consciousness throughout the world. The real miracle that Srila Prabhupada performed was that he transformed millions of miserable people addicted to all kinds of sinful life, and made them happy by giving them Krsna consciousness, or devotion to God.
One of his most important contributions was his elaborate translations and commentaries of Vedic literatures, the Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, and Caitanya-Charitamrita. Unlike ordinary scholars who must write and rewrite their books until they feel they are ready, Srila Prabhupada would simply dictate them once. The information and instructions given in his books are flawless. Without being directly instructed and empowered by the Lord, no one can successfully propagate pure God consciousness. Srila Prabhupada said that Lord Krsna constantly directed his actions, and that he never acted independently of the Lord's instructions.
RABBI: So once again I see that God does not discriminate against any religious path. He will give the necessary intelligence and ability to any of his pure servants to carry out His mission.
DEVOTEE: Yes, and not only that. Besides the Lord empowering His servants to act wonderfully on His behalf, He personally arranges to glorify His pure servants or pure devotees who have no tinge of desire other than to please Him. As God predicted, in spite of His sending calamity after calamity to the Egyptians for their unwillingness to let the Israelites leave to serve God, the Pharaoh became more and more hard hearted. In fact, the Lord said that He would make the Pharaoh obstinate just so that He could display many miraculous acts in Egypt. The Lord could have immediately killed everyone in Egypt, but He chose to perform miracle after miracle (as the ten plagues) to increase His own glories and to increase the glories of Moses who was intimately acting as His instrument. Srila Prabhupada's situation was similar. He always glorified the Lord and asked nothing for himself. By the grace of the Lord, Srila Prabhupada is glorified by millions of people all over the world for the spiritual contributions that he gave the world as His service to Lord Krsna.
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