hitvā yatanto ’pi pṛthak sametya ca
pātuṁ na śekur dvi-padaś catuṣ-padaḥ
sarīsṛpaṁ sthāṇu yad atra dṛśyate
It is fashionable for materialistic persons to compete with the power of God. When so-called scientists try to manufacture living entities in their laboratories, their only purpose is to defy the talent and ability of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is called illusion. It exists even in the higher planetary systems, where great demigods like Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and others reside. In this world everyone is puffed up with false prestige despite the failure of all his endeavors. When so-called philanthropists, who supposedly want to help the poor, are approached by members of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, they say, “You are simply wasting your time, while I am feeding vast masses of starving people.” Unfortunately, their meager efforts, either singly or together, do not solve anyone’s problems.
Sometimes so-called svāmīs are very eager to feed poor people, thinking them to be daridra-nārāyaṇa, the Lord’s incarnations as beggars. They prefer to serve the manufactured daridra-nārāyaṇa than the original, supreme Nārāyaṇa. They say, “Don’t encourage service to Lord Nārāyaṇa. It is better to serve the starving people of the world.” Unfortunately such materialists, either singly or combined in the form of the United Nations, cannot fulfill their plans. The truth is that the many millions of human beings, animals, birds and trees — indeed, all living entities — are maintained solely by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān: one person, the Supreme Lord, is supplying the necessities of life for all other living entities. To challenge the authority of Nārāyaṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the business of asuras (demons). Yet sometimes suras, or devotees, are also bewildered by the illusory energy and falsely claim to be the maintainer of the entire universe. Such incidents are described in the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, where Śukadeva Gosvāmī tells how Lord Brahmā and King Indra became puffed up and were eventually chastised by Kṛṣṇa.