Evil arises not from Krishna’s intention, but from the soul’s volition
People often ask, “If God, the creator of world, is good, why does evil exist in the world?”
Evil arises not from Krishna’s intention but from the soul’s volition.
Though Krishna is omnipotent, he still gives all souls free will so that they can choose to love him and therein relish existence’s supreme fulfillment. After all, only free individuals can choose to love. But the souls can abuse their independence by choosing to not love Krishna but to enjoy matter instead. The Bhagavad-gita (13.22) indicates that due to such desires, the materially enamored souls get entrapped in matter. Impelled by material desires, the souls engage in evil deeds and are subjected to others’ evil actions, as per the inexorable law of karma.
Impelled by material desires, the souls engage in evil deeds and are subjected to others’ evil actions, as per the inexorable law of karma.
The next verse (13.23) underscores Krishna’s role in the souls’ actions: he is the permitter, not the desirer. He doesn’t force or instruct or even want souls to get entangled in matter or to act destructively. When they choose to do wrong, he allows them to fulfill their desires till their karmic bank account runs out. Others may seem to be victimized by such destructive actions, but the victims actually reap the results of their own past karma.
Though the souls have got themselves into this arena of evil, Krishna is too compassionate to abandon them here. He accompanies them as the Supersoul in their hearts and guides them towards his loving devotion, which is the way out of all evil. Devotion empowers them to curb and counter the evil within them – their tendency to misuse their independence. It also enables them to tolerate and transcend the inevitable evil that may befall them due to their past karma. And most importantly it takes them entirely beyond the arena of evil, the material existence, to Krishna’s all-good eternal abode.
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