Don’t ascribe to God’s will that which happens due to free will or evil
When someone does something terrible, we may ask, “Why did God let this happen?”
The Bhagavad-gita (05.15) indicates that people’s actions can’t be attributed to God’s intentions – their actions result from their own ignorant delusions.
God gives all of us free will. And based on our past karma, he gives us a proportional sphere of influence over which to exercise our free will. If someone hurts others who happen to be in their sphere of influence, their actions are due to their free will, not due to God’s will.
What about people who habitually misuse their free will? What about alcoholics who feel impelled to drink? Or serial killers who murder remorselessly? Is there some evil being who makes people misuse their free will? No, evil is not some mysterious malicious being; it is just the momentum of our past misuse of free will. Our actions create mental impressions, which give rise to propositions to redo those actions. The more an alcoholic drinks, the more the proposition to drink become forceful. The more a killer murders, the more their conscience dies, letting them kill more nonchalantly. When people do bad things, being impelled by the evil within them, their actions can’t be attributed to God.
Though God is not responsible, he is responsive. Amidst adversities, He provides us spiritual intelligence to use our free will wisely and to respond maturely when others act hurtfully. Most importantly, he provides us the potent purificatory process of bhakti-yoga by which we can replace the evil impressions within us with positive spiritual impressions, thereby enabling us to free our free will from our conditionings.
When we thus harmonize our will with divine will by practicing bhakti-yoga diligently, we become agents of positive change, bringing out good, both within and without.
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Explanation of article:
Think it over:
- When people do bad things, who is responsible?
- What is evil?
- Amidst adversities, how does God help us?