The following is adapted from a class on Bhagavad-gītā 7.10 which I gave at Bhaktivedanta Manor on 20th March 2019:
bījaṁ māṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
viddhi pārtha sanātanam
buddhir buddhimatām asmi
tejas tejasvinām aham
“O son of Pṛthā, know that I am the original seed of all existences, the intelligence of the intelligent, and the prowess of all powerful men.”
Kṛṣṇa is the source of all intelligence and prowess, so those who are intelligent or powerful shouldn’t think that their intelligence or prowess belongs to them – it has been given by Kṛṣṇa, and He can take it away at any time. Understanding this fosters humility.
If our intelligence and prowess belong to Kṛṣṇa, then they should be used in the service of their rightful owner, otherwise we are simply thieves stealing from the Lord. Kṛṣṇa is known as the greatest of thieves, so He can easily take away the gifts He has given us if we misuse or abuse them. We can clearly see that in today’s society, most people use their intelligence and prowess to mislead, manipulate and exploit those who are less intelligent or less powerful.
In his Purport to this verse, Śrīla Prabhupāda says, “Kṛṣṇa is the source of everything. He is the root. As the root of a tree maintains the whole tree, Kṛṣṇa, being the original root of all things, maintains everything in this material manifestation.”
The whole of creation can be likened to a tree – Kṛṣṇa is the root of this tree, and the countless living entities are the leaves. By watering the root of a tree, all the leaves become nourished. In the same way, if we satisfy Kṛṣṇa by performing devotional service, each and every living entity will become satisfied as a result. This is the correct use of our intelligence and prowess.
Verses 12-15 of Chapter 15 of the Bhagavad-gītā describe Kṛṣṇa’s position as the maintainer of all things. The light and splendour of the sun, moon and fire come from Him, and we cannot survive without these things. Kṛṣṇa also sustains all the planets, including this one, and keeps them in orbit by His energy. Without Him, we can’t even eat, since He is the cause of digestion in the bodies of all living entities. Kṛṣṇa also explains that He is within everyone’s heart and is the source of remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness.
The conclusion of the Vedic scriptures is that we should always remember Kṛṣṇa and never forget Him – understanding that Kṛṣṇa is the source of all these things helps us to remember Him throughout the day. We can remember Kṛṣṇa when we enjoy the sunlight or moonlight, when we use fire to heat up food, when we eat, and even when we simply remember things. For example, when I sat down to write my notes for this class, ideas just kept coming to me without any effort, and I thought to myself, “How is this happening?” Then I understood that it was Kṛṣṇa’s arrangement – being present in my heart, He was giving me the knowledge that I needed. So, in this way, I was able to remember Kṛṣṇa.