We like to be in company of good, nice and friendly people where we feel comfortable and pleasant, but we have no choice, we have to associate with bad people which we do not like. Krsna is supremely independent and has no obligations – He associates with His devotees only and reveals Himself to them only.
An oft asked question by devotees and non-devotees alike is; why isn’t God directly present before us here in the material world in person. Any answer to this question can only be given after an in-depth analysis of the fundamental reasons for the existence of the material manifestation, as well as the reasons for the descent of the jiva into this material realm. One also has to consider the distinct nature of the intimate relationship between the pure devotee who are present in material world and the lord.
To fulfill the purpose of the material creation
The whole purpose of the creation of the material manifestation is to give the jivas a chance to try and enjoy by themselves without putting Krsna at the centre. Thus if Krsna were to be present here, it would defeat the whole purpose of the reason for the existence of a material world. The jiva can only act to satisfy his desires if he is made to forget who he really is (a servant of Krsna) and that there is a supreme person who is the source of everything and the lord of all. The material world is characterized by the absence of Krsna and His entourage. The constituents of dull matter are separated energies of Krsna, bhinnä prakåtir añöadhä (Bg 7.4) as opposed to the internal energy of Krsna which is directly under Him. Therefore Krsna’s absence from the material world can be taken as a form of mercy to preserve the free will of the Jiva and allow him to follow his own personal program of enjoyment without Krsna, as he desires. This would include the fulfillment of the desire of the atheist to prove that ‘there is no god’ and to live his life accordingly and of the impersonalist to peacefully achieve his desire to deny the personal form of god and to merge into Brahman which to him is the highest aspect of the absolute truth.
Krsna in His form of Syamasundar residing in the pleasure groves of Vrindavan engaged in pastimes with his intimate associates is the absolute truth. One who fully accepts and realizes this is said to be a liberated soul and in his constitutional position. Others, due to being under the influence of various modes of nature desire to see the lord, the nature of their service toward Him or their relationship to Him as something else. The lord being all merciful and desiring to maintain the free will of the jiva allows numerous forms of religious systems or irreligious systems or situations wherein the jiva may fulfill his desire to have his particular conception of reality. Again though, this arrangement can only work if Krsna Himself remains absent.
For the glorification and pleasure of His devotees
The topmost mood that one can worship the Lord in is viraha bhava, the mood of separation as exhibited by Caitanya Mahaprabhu. In this form of worship, one’s transcendental hankering to see and associate with the lord reaches intensely high levels. Thus the lord intensifies our love for him by apparently separating Himself from the devotees as in the case of His apparent separation from the gopis just before the pastime of the rasa dance in the Tenth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam. Therein He addresses the gopis after revealing himself again, to them, SB 10.32.20 and discloses the reason for His separation; anuvåtti-våttaye, to increase their loving propensity towards Him. This is also true for those who have no knowledge of god but achieve enough knowledge to accept the presence of some superior entity is the controller and creator. By not seeing, feeling or sensing Him they become impelled to search out for Him.
The lord also wishes to glorify his devotees and thus allows them to do His work for Him. On the battlefield of Kuruksetre, Krsna told Arjuna that all these men had already been put to death by His arrangement, and that he (Arjuna) could be but an instrument in the fight. Thus, as Krsna desired, Arjuna is glorifed for all time for his role in the battle.
Krsna is indirectly Present
Although not directly present, Krsna is always indirectly present in the form of the Vedas, spiritual master, devotees, paramatma, day, night, Sun, moon stars. In this way he is watching over all creation and, He gradually purifies us of these desires and guides us back to Him without encroaching on our free will.
Krsna sometimes descends yet remains hidden
It may be argued that approximately five thousand years ago, Krsna did descend. In a sense, yes He did. For most people at that time though, the Supreme Absolute truth did not descend. In other words Krsna did not reveal Himself to all people. To those who are envious of Him, Krsna never reveals Himself, but remains covered by His internal potency, as mentioned in BG7.25. When He entered the wrestling arena, in Mathura to challenge the wrestlers, Krsna was seen in various aspects; as the kinsmen of the cowherd men, as the most attractive male, as a thunderbolt and as death personified. He was not seen as the Supreme Absolute truth, even by His devotees. Likewise on the battle of Kuruksetre, Krsna did not manifest Himself to everyone.
Finally, there are some to whom Krsna did reveal Himself and for whom Krsna does descend. The pure devotees. To most of them, though again he remains covered by His internal potency albeit for a totally different reason; In order for there to be an undisturbed exchange of rasa. The exception to this would be to those who preferred to relate to Krsna in aiswarya bhava.
Certainly, for one with higher knowledge, there is no such thing as a separate existence from Krsna, and nor is there anything like separated energies. Such a person sees also that the intelligence an atheist or an impersonalist obtains to establish his erroneous fallacy is supplied by Krsna, mattaù småtir jïänam apohanaà ca BG (15.15). Krsna is also the sound in ether, the fire of digestion, the strength of the strong, and the ability in man to name but a few of His manifestation. In fact everything is Krsna since in the beginning was only Krsna and so all the constituents the spiritual and material world are Krsna. The conditioned living entities not wanting to see Krsna or serve Him, get their desire and thus they don’t see Krsna. A pure devotee sees Krsna everywhere due to his having come back to his constitutional position and thus having vision free from illusion (maya).