Saturday, 12 May 2012

Is God responsible for our Sufferings?

“God is responsible for the sufferings of the living entities.” This is the commonly perceived idea. However, let’s analyze the validity of this perception from the eyes of scriptures.

Lord Krishna says Na mam karmani limpanti, “No work affects Him” and Na me karma phale sprha, “nor does He aspire for the fruits of His work.” This statement helps us to understand the transcendental nature of Lord Krishna, who is the Creator but has no connection with the material activities performed, just like a King is immune to the Laws of the State. (BG 4.14)

When we further contemplate, we can understand that if the Lord is aloof from material actions and reactions, then how can He be made responsible for the distresses faced by the living entities? For instance, the rains are not responsible for the kind of vegetative growth on land but without such rains there is no possibility of any vegetation. Similarly, the Lord provides all facilities to the living entities for fulfilling their desires, but He is not responsible for the consequences of the activities of the conditioned living entities, just as the proprietor of an establishment is not responsible for the activities of the workers but the workers are themselves responsible. (BG 4.14 purport)

The Anu or atomic living entity has the minute capacity to desire and the Supreme Lord being the constant companion of the living entity as Paramatma can understand those desires just as one can smell the flavor of a flower by being near it. Being the upadrsta (overseer) and anumanta (permitter), the Lord fulfills the desires of the living entity but He never interferes with those desires. The Supreme Lord, who is Vibhu, never accepts anyone’s sukrtim (pious activities) or papam (sinful activities) but ajnanenavrtam jnanam tena muhyanti jantavah, “the embodied beings are bewildered as ignorance covers their real knowledge.” (BG 5.15 Purport)

Srila Prabhupada further explains that due to this ignorance, the living entities that actually belong to the Superior nature of the Lord are now exploiting the inferior nature, namely matter. In actuality, the pure living entity who is encaged in the material body “never creates activities or induces people to act”, Na karmani lokasya srjati and it has no connection with the karma-phala, “results of activities.”(BG 5.14 purport)

The living entity is also transcendental being the eternal part and parcel of the transcendental Supreme Lord, but because it belongs to the marginal energy, he has the minute independence to remain either in spiritual nature or material nature. This misuse of our independence causes the living entity to engage in material existence. (BG 13.23 Purport)

In the material world, the conditioned living entities are trying to enjoy their own different sense pleasures separate from the Lord. The opportunity to fulfill those desires of the living entity is offered by material nature, karya-karana-kartrtve hetuh prakrtir ucyate, and therefore come the different forms of body and senses.  Once placed in a particular body, the living entity is captured under the stringent laws of material nature and becomes responsible to enjoy or suffer the results of his activities, sukha dukhanam bhoktrtve between sad-asad yonisu, “good and bad species of life.” (BG 13.21-22 Purport)

How the living entity rotates in different bodies is the immediate question. The answer to which is karanam guna-sangah ‘sya, “due to the pure living entities association with the three modes of material nature.” (BG 13.22)

Therefore one has to rise above these modes of material nature which is possible through practicing Krishna Consciousness by hearing from authorities, just like Arjuna did by hearing the instructions of Bhagavad-Gita from Krishna. (BG 13.23 Purport)

Conclusion: The result of turning the faith towards instructions of Lord Krishna is that the root cause of our suffering which is “desire to dominate” becomes transformed into “desire to serve” the Supreme Lord and this change of desire becomes the cause of the living entity’s eternal spiritual happiness.

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