Question of faith
Submitted by Narendra
I have a doubt relating to Kurukshetra battle field. It is regarding the size of the battle field and the number of men, horses, elephants and chariots it could accommodate. Since you are amongst the highly read
swamijis in ISKCON, I humbly forward this doubt for clarification.
The total number of warriors alone numbers to 65 crores, and probably another 10 crores, 5 crores and 1 crores of horses, elephants and chariots respectively.
How could the battlefield accommodate all these men, animals and carriages? The warriors definitely needed their support staff for cooking and sanitation. Animals would require food and shelter. They would have picketed at least a week before the commencement of the battle.
I am comparing the above mentioned numbers with the current population of India at 100 crores, spread over the entire country and yet struggling for accommodation and daily food and infrastructure. How was it possible for the Kurukshetra Bhumi to accommodate such a vast number of men, animals and equipment?
Answer by HH.Bhakti Vikas Swami:
I can't "explain" this because it's not explainable in terms consistent with observable reality. But it makes sense to accept that there is more to reality than the observable. Some things are inconceivable (acintya).
The nature of Krsna's acintya-sakti is nicely illustrated by the following story of a visit by Lord Brahma to Krsna in Dvaraka. In the story, Krsna first responds to Brahma's request to see Him by having His secretary ask, "Which Brahma wishes to see Me?" Brahma later begins his conversation with Krsna by asking why Krsna made this inquiry:
"Why did you inquire which Brahma had come see You? What is the purpose of such an inquiry? Is there any other Brahma besides me within this universe?"
Upon hearing this, Sri Krsna smiled and immediately meditated. Unlimited Brahmas arrived instantly. These Brahmas had different numbers of heads. Some had ten heads, some twenty, some a hundred, some a thousand, some ten thousand, some a hundred thousand, some ten million, and others a hundred million. No one can count the number of faces they had.
There also arrived many Lord Sivas with various heads numbering one hundred thousand and ten million.
Many Indras also arrived, and they had hundreds of thousands of eyes all over their bodies.
When the four-headed Brahma of this universe saw all these opulences of Krsna, he became very bewildered and considered himself a rabbit among many elephants.
All the Brahmas who came to see Krsna offered their respects at His lotus feet, and when they did this, their helmets touched His lotus feet. No one can estimate the inconceivable potency of Krsna. All the Brahmas who were there were resting in the one body of Krsna. When all the helmets struck together at Krsna's lotus feet, there was a tumultuous sound. It appeared that the helmets themselves were offering prayers unto Krsna's lotus feet.
With folded hands, all the Brahmas and Sivas began to offer prayers unto Lord Krsna, saying, "O Lord, You have shown me a great favor. I have been able to see Your lotus feet."
Each of them then said, "It is my great fortune, Lord, that You have called me, thinking of me as Your servant. Now let me know what Your order is so that I may carry it on my heads."
Lord Krsna replied, "Since I wanted to see all of you together, I have called all of you here. All of you should be happy. Is there any fear of the demons?"
They replied, "By Your mercy, we are victorious everywhere. Whatever burden there was upon the earth You have taken away by descending on that planet."
This is the proof of Dvaraka's opulence: all the Brahmas thought, "Krsna is now staying in my jurisdiction." Thus the opulence of Dvaraka was perceived by each and every one of them. Although they were all assembled together, no one could see anyone but himself.
Lord Krsna then bade farewell to all the Brahmas there, and after offering their obeisances, they all returned to their respective homes [CC ML 21.65-80].
In this story it is significant that each of the Brahmas remained within his own universe. This means that Krsna was simultaneously manifesting His Dvaraka pastimes in all of those universes. Each Brahma except ours thought that he was alone with Krsna in Dvaraka within his own universe, but by Krsna's grace our Brahma could simultaneously see all the others. This illustrates that Krsna has access to all locations at once, and it also shows that, by Krsna's grace, different living beings can be given different degrees of spatial access, either permanently or temporarily.
"With your experimental logic you cannot understand. It is inconceivable. Just accept the sastra. True understanding only comes by the mercy of the spiritual master. You cannot adjust the description of the Bhagavatam within the limits of your knowledge. Our Narada Muni went to Vaikuntha. After coming back, he told a cobbler about an elephant passing through the eye of a needle. The cobbler said, 'Oh, Narayana is so great!' But a brahmana said, 'It is simply stories!' Narada then asked the cobbler, 'How can you believe that Narayana was passing an elephant through the head of a needle?' The cobbler explained, 'Why not? We are sitting under a banyan tree. There are so many fruits; and each fruit contains so many seeds, which each will grow into a huge banyan tree.' Everything is inconceivable, and these rascals want to bring it as conceivable. Don't be puffed up by your so-called education. It has no value." Srila Prabhupada gave us the spiritual solution to a mundane question.
Srila Jiva Gosvami says that unless we accept this principle that Krsna or God has got inconceivable power, acintya-sakti, we cannot understand.
Srila Prabhupada lecture, London, August 27, 1973