Sufferings of Humanity: Is Providence Responsible For It?
BY: SUN STAFF
Apr 28, CANADA (SUN) Edited and Founded Under Direct Order of His Divine Grace Sri Srimad Bhakti-Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada, by Goswami Abhay Charan Bhaktivedanta.
Delhi, Saturday 5th May, 1956
Dr. Sharma of Delhi asked this question to one well known Swamijee (?) and the reply which he received from him did not satisfy him. The doctor asked the Swamijee whether the sufferings of humanity were created by God. If so, why did He create such sufferings? The Swamijee replied that is it His Leela (?) The doctor said if it is the Leela of the Providence why a living entity should be put within the purview of the Law of Karma? The doctor publicly declared in the meeting that he was not satisfied with the reply of the Swamijee and the innocent public looked askance.
So far as we have met with many gentlemen, we are also questioned with the same type of enquiries.The monist and impersonalists who think in terms of oneness only of the living entities with the Supreme Lord, can not but reply in the manner as replied by the Swamijee to the doctor. But such imperfect reply can hardly satisfy the heart of a living entity.
The Lord is described in all the scriptures as 'Leela Purushottam' or the Personality of Godhead who is by His own nature always engaged in the transcendental pastimes. The monist and the impersonalists try with great difficulty to explain this Sutra in diverse ways to keep pace with his imperfect theory of oneness and impersonality. "Ananda" a pleasure cannot be enjoyed alone. Variety is the mother of enjoyment; that is a well known English proverb. The city of Delhi is attractive because it contains varieties of things. The living beings are attracted by the city of Delhi because it has varieties of enjoyable things. There are attractive streets, buildings, cinemas, parks, conveyances, business, employment, foodstuffs etc. of different varieties and therefore the city of Delhi is so beautiful. English poet Cowper said, that country is made by God but the city is made by man. It does not mean thereby that country has no varieties of enjoyment. The country is full of natural variegatedness in crude form, while in the city, the varieties are displayed in the modernised scientific set up. Poets like Cowper may be attracted with the variegatedness of the natural beauty of the country and prosaic people, who live in the city, may be attracted by the colourful varieties manufactured by man. In any case both the rural and urban population is attracted by some form of varieties, without which there is no possibility of enjoyment.
The so-called Swamijee who is so frequently attracted by the city of Delhi, or any other city must be seeking a sort of pleasure of the fair sex as well as the aristocrats as we generally find. He is not attracted by the natural beauty of the woods although he assumes the dress of a 'Banachary' or the man who is meant for living in the woods. This very fact implies that the Swamijee or any other man, all of them are seeking enjoyment varieties in the matter because they have no information of the varieties of the spirit. If in the matter there are so many varieties of the enjoyment, why should you deny the spiritual variegatedness in the Absolute? But because they are pledged to the theory of monism and impersonalism they must deny every thing of the matter in spirit. According to them the spirit is a denial of the matter. But in fact spirit is not a negation of the matter but matter is a perverted reflection of the spirit.
As such the real pleasure of varieties is existent in the spirit without any delusive relativity while the inert matter in association with the dynamic spirit, manifests as false or shadow representation of the spiritual varieties so adversely denied by the class of so called Swamijees.
The Supreme Lord is joyful by nature and therefore He expands Himself by His different energies, parts differentiated and plenary portions. The Supreme Lord is Absolute Truth and He is one without a second including His diverse energies, parts and plenary portions. The diverse energies, parts and the plenary portions are simultaneously one and different from the Absolute Truth. Because He is joyful by nature, He expands himself in different diversities in the above manner and this act of His diverse expansion is called by the name Leela or transcendental pastimes. But this Leela is not blind and inert. There is full sense, independence, actions and reactions. This complexity of actions and reactions of the diverse energies of the Absolute Truth is the subject matter of a vast science called the transcendental science and the Bhagwat Geeta is the A B C or primary book of knowledge for the students interested in that science.
Every intelligent human being is meant for becoming interested in this transcendental science and according to the opinion of the sages, human life is meant for learning this science only. In the Vedanta the first axiomatic truth is Atha Ato Bhrama Jijnasa i.e., now is the time for asking about the transcendental science.
The human life is full of miseries and the life other than the human being is still more full of miseries. Any sane man with properly discriminating senses, can understand it that, the life in the material world is full of miseries and no body is free from the actions and reactions of such miseries. This is not pessimistic view of life but it is an actual fact and one may not be blind to see to it. The miseries are calculated to be of three varieties namely miseries pertaining to the relation of body and mind, miseries pertaining to the relation of other living being and miseries pertaining to the control of unseen forces. A sane man must look to these miseries consciously. Every body is unconsciously aware of these miseries and the activities of the present life means some attempt to overcome these miseries and thereby become happy in life. Every living being is trying to achieve this goal of happiness and get rid of these miseries unconsciously and in the higher intelligent circles, they attempt to get rid of all these miseries by plans and designs. But the power that baffles all these plans and designs of the highest intelligent person is called "Daivi Maya" or illusory energy. We have several times discussed about this "Daivi Maya" in the pages of "Back to Godhead." The law of Karma or the result of all actions and reactions in the material world is controlled by this "Daivi Maya" or "Prakriti" or the all powerful nature. The acts of this Prakrti are all psychological, regulative principled and conscious under the direction of the Supreme Lord. Everything is acted with full consciousness of the Prakriti and nothing is blind or accidental. She is called also by the name of 'Durga' or the force which is very difficult to surpass. No body can therefore surpass the laws of 'Durga' by any amount of childish plans. To get rid of the sufferings or miseries of the humanity is simultaneously very difficult and easy affair also. So long the plans to get rid of them will continue to be manufactured by the conditioned souls who are themselves bound up by the laws of material nature, there would be no solution of these miseries. The plans and designs will continue to be manufactured by the conditioned souls who are themselves bound up by the laws of nature, there would be no solution of these miseries. The plans and designs are those mentioned in the Bhagwat Geeta and one has to adopt it in practical life for his own benefit. The miseries are not the Leela of the Supreme Lord. As mentioned above He is eternally joyful. His Leela or transcendental pastimes are not different from Him because He is Absolute Truth. The Name, Fame, Qualities, Pastimes etc. are all identical with Him. His Leela or Pastimes therefore cannot be full of miseries. The answer of the questions in respect of human sufferings therefore cannot be given by such evasive reply as Leela. The Leela or pastimes of the Supreme Lord is transcendental to miseries and sufferings of human being.
The suffering of humanity is the result of its misuse of discriminative power or the little independence which is given to the individual soul.
The Swamijee as above mentioned in order to keep his pace with the theory of monism, may wash off such miseries as Leela but actually they are only the enforced actions of the "Daivi Maya" inflicted upon the misguided conditioned soul.
The living entities are part and parcels or different energies of the Supreme Lord. The part is not equal to the whole. The part can join transcendental Leela in his unconditioned state of life but so long he is conditioned by the laws of Karma, his sufferings are his own creation out of a gross misuse of his little independence. The Mayavadis or the impersonal monist misguides the people by mistaking the three fold miseries as Leela (?) Such impersonal monist has to misguide like that because he wrongly thinks the Supreme Lord and the individual soul equal in all respects. The individual souls are equal in quality with the Supreme Lord but not in quantity. Had he, the individual soul had been quantitatively equal with the Supreme Lord, he would not have been subjected to the laws of nature. The material nature is subordinate to the will of the Supreme Lord. As such He cannot be subjected to the laws of His own inferior energy. The individual souls who are put into the miseries of the material world are therefore different parts and parcels of the Supreme Being and their sufferings are resultant reaction of the misuse of their little independence. That is the verdict of the Bhagwat Geeta.
The parts and parcels are meant for serving the whole. When such parts and parcels misuse the independence, they are subjected to the laws of miseries as matter like police action.
The citizens of a state are part and parcels of the complete nation. The citizens are meant for serving the national cause and that is the function of independent people. When a citizen misuses his relative independence in the discharging of his duties towards the state he is put under police action by the state. The life of a citizen in the free state, and the life of a citizen in the state prison house are not identical. Those who make such two different phases of life of the citizens of the state, as one and the same must be suffering from the disease of insanity. Similarly those who speak of the sufferings of humanity as Leela of the Supreme Lord, must be possessing a poor fund of knowledge.
The State Government does not want that its citizens would act in such a way so that they may go into the prison house and suffer its tribulations. The prison house is undoubtedly constructed by the state Government but that does not mean that the Government wants to invite the prisoners to come in. Indirectly, the disobedient citizens force the Government to construct the prison house. It is no pleasure for the government to construct and maintain a prison house. On the contrary the government would be glad to demolish altogether the existence of the prison house provided there is no disobedient citizen in the state. In the same way this material world although it was created by the will of the Supreme Lord, the residents of this material world which is full of miseries, are different from those who are eternally engaged in the transcendental pastimes of the Supreme Lord.
The impersonal monists have no information of a full fledged independent life in the eternal realm of spirit. According to them the spiritual realm is a place of voidness. The life outside the prison house is undoubtedly void from the life of prison house but that does not mean inactivity. The eternal soul is eternally active. The impersonalist wants to kill the activity of the soul in the spiritual realm and miscalculate the prison life of miseries as Leela of the Supreme Lord (?) That is the sign of poor fund of knowledge.
The Supreme Lord never creates the actions and reactions of an individual soul. In the Bhagwat Geeta the matter is clearly defined as follows (B.G. chapter V 14/16):
- Na, Kartritwam, Na, Karmani, Lokashya, Srijati Prabha,
- Na, Karmaphala, Samyogam, Swabhaba, Tu, Prabartatey.
- Na, Addate, Kushyachit, Papam Na, Cha, Eba, Sukrtam, Bibhu,
- Ajnanana, Abritam, Jnanam, Tena, Muhyanti, Jantava.
- Jnanena, Tu, Tat, Ajnanam, Yesham, Nashitam, Atmana, Tesham, Adityabat,
- Jnanam, Prakashayti, Tatparam.
Na=Does not, Kartritwam=Directon of, Na=Neither, Karmani=the work, Lokashya=of the living entities, Srijati=create, Na=Neither, Karmaphala=The resultant of work, Samyogam=Relativities, Swabhaba=one's own inclination, Prabartatey=Inducca
Na=Does not, Adatte=Award, Kashyychit=of any body, Papam=Vices, Na=Neither, Cha=also, Eba=Certainly, Sukrtam=Pious acts, Bibha=The Almighty, Ajnanana=By poor fund of knowledge, Abitram=Covered Jnanam= Pure knowledge, Tena=By that only, Muhyanti=Misguide, Jantaba=The living entities.
Jnanena=By knowledge, Tu=But, Tat=That, Ajnanam=Nescience, Yesham=Of those, Atmana=of the spirit, Tesham=Of them, Adityabat= Like the sun, Jnanam=Pure knowledge, Prakashayati=Does manifest, Tatparam=In respect of the Supreme.
The Supreme Lord does not create any direction nor the programme of work of the ordinary living being. Neither does He create such relativities of work but they are induced by one's own inclination.
Neither does He award any direction of committing vices nor that of any act of virtue. The animals (living beings) are covered by poor fund of knowledge and by that only are they misguided in action.
Of those whose nescience is dissipated by the awakening of pure consciousness, for them only knowledge regarding the Supreme Being is manifested like the sun rays.
It is clear from the above passages that the sufferings of humanity are not the Leela of the Supreme Being as explained by the learned Swamiji (?) The Lord is never responsible for one's Papa or Punya. By actions of Papa (vices) one is put into more and more distressful conditions; while by actions of Punya or Sukrti (pious acts) one is put in the path of happiness. Man is the architect of his own distress or happiness in the material sense of the term. The Lord does not want the living entity to do anything of vice or virtue. He wants every one to go back to Home, go back to Godhead. As long as one has not awakened of his pure sense of eternal relation with God, he is certainly bewildered in his actions. His actions, in respect of vice and virtue, are all performed out of a lack of pure knowledge. The pure knowledge is the pure sense of living being as the eternal servitor-enjoyer in the transcendental Leela or pastimes of the Lord. The Supreme Lord is the master-enjoyer of that Leela and living entities are the servitor-enjoyer of the Leela. The Swamiji or persons of his ilk of thought do not know what is the Leela due to poor fund of knowledge and therefore they misguide the people by misplacing the transcendental Leela in the realm of sufferings or enjoyments of the material plane. That knowledge is attainable by 'Para Bhakti' only as described by the Bhagwat Geeta. By such 'Para Bhakti' only and not by merely acquiring a bulk of discriminating knowledge, can one know the Supreme Lord as He is. When a person knows the Personality of Godhead in reality, he can then enter into His Leela. That is the verdict of all revealed scriptures.
[Please note: The articles in this series have been typed from copies of the original manuscripts which are sometimes unclear. As far as possible, every attempt has been made to reproduce them without change. ~ Padmapani das]
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