How History is His-story
History, if seen from a purely materialistic perspective, seems to be nothing more than a list of names of dead successful people. Decade after decade, century after century, millennia after millennia, people come, people live, people die. What is the point of it all?
Gita wisdom offers us an alternative perspective of history that doesn’t deny the futility of the material reality, but reveals an additional divine dimension that can help us find meaning amidst the madness and direction amidst the destruction.
The Bhagavad-gita (11.32) describes that time is a manifestation of Krishna. Overall, the eleventh chapter of the Gita demonstrates the dynamic connectedness of Krishna with the material world: he is not just a passive cosmic presence, but also an active universal agent who is shaping history according to his benevolent will for the gradual purification and eventual redemption of all.
This enlightened vision of Krishna as the ultimate historical agent enables us to see history in a new light as His-story. Krishna is orchestrating the chaotic and even destructive events on the world-stage as the unavoidable storm necessary to raise human consciousness to the divine level. There and there alone can the human heart relish an unbreakable calm in a life of eternal loving service to Krishna.
This insight provides us, as it did to Arjuna, with the double empowerment of relief and confidence:
1. Relief because we realize that we don’t have to worry about how everything and everyone will shape up; there is a far greater intelligence taking care of that.
2. Confidence because we recognize that if we just do our part, a higher agent will come to our aid, in fact, use us in his aid, and bring about a beneficent result for one and all.
“The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Time I am, the great destroyer of the worlds, and I have come here to destroy all people. With the exception of you [the Pandavas], all the soldiers here on both sides will be slain.”