Evil has no independent power, yet it is incredibly powerful
When people do horrible things, we may wonder, “Where does such evil come from? Are some people innately evil? Or are they impelled to evil by some Satanic external being?”
Gita wisdom explains that there is no independent evil being who exists in defiance of God, nor is anyone intrinsically evil. Essentially all living beings are souls, who are parts of God. Just as he is pure, so are we — as long as we stay connected with him. Unfortunately, we often become disconnected from him when we misuse our free will to seek ungodly pleasures. That’s when our slide toward evil begins. By repeated indulgence, some people go so far down that path that they end up doing heinous deeds and don’t even feel bad about doing those things. Due to a thick overlay of evil impressions on them, they seem entirely evil. Such is the incredible perverting power that evil acquires when we succumb to it.
And aiding and abetting and alluring us toward evil is an external agency: the illusory energy, Maya. Significantly though, she is different from Satan because she is not independent of God and is not opposed to him; indeed, she is his energy. Her purpose is not primarily to delude us, but to demonstrate to us the dreadful consequences of turning away from God and to thereby direct us back to him. When we surrender devotionally to God, Krishna, evil loses its power over us(Bhagavad-gita 07.14).
By knowing that evil can be incredibly powerful, we can guard against the small evils that pave the way to larger ones. Simultaneously, by knowing that evil has no independent power, we can preserve our faith in our and others’ potential to improve — if we strive, Krishna himself will help us reclaim our spiritual purity.
Think it over:
- Are some people innately evil?
- How does evil become incredibly powerful?
- How can we protect ourselves from evil?
07.14 This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.
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