God is the supreme controller, but not the sole controller

Some people say, “Everything that happens is God’s will.” They may think that such a statement conveys their unquestioning faith, but does it really? Or does it raise disturbing questions that detract from God’s goodness? For example, when tyrants murder the innocent, are such murders God’s will? More specifically, in the Mahabharata, when the demonic Kauravas attempted to disrobe Draupadi, was that Krishna’s will?

To address such questions, let’s understand the subtle but significant difference between God’s sanction and God’s intention. Everything that happens is sanctioned by God, but it is not necessarily desired by him. Krishna’s will governs the scope of our actions, but not all our specific actions themselves. Just as the wind travels freely, but within the sky, similarly, all living beings function freely, but within the perimeter of Krishna’s will (Bhagavad-gita 09.06). He is the overseer and the permitter of all actions – not necessarily the desirer of those actions(13.23).

If people with positive past karma can get away despite doing terrible things, then how is God in control? They can’t get away – they only appear to get away for the duration that their past karma gives them a large area of control. Once that duration ends, the reactions to their misdeeds will hit them, as happened to Duryodhana through the Kurukshetra war.

That Draupadi be disrobed was not Krishna’s desire; it was the Kauravas’ desire, and Krishna sanctioned it. Additionally, through this harrowing incident, Krishna demonstrated Draupadi’s extraordinary adherence to dharma and devotion.

By understanding that God is not the sole controller, we can avoid blaming him when bad things happen. By understanding that he is the supreme controller, we can stay devoted to him even through adversities, being confident that he will help us cross over all obstacles if we remain conscious of him (18.58).

 

Think it over:

  • Are people’s misdeeds God’s will?
  • Can people with positive past karma get away despite doing terrible things?
  • How can a proper understanding of God’s controllership stabilize our devotion to him?

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If we don’t sleep at the right time, we will sleep at the wrong time
 Everything is not Krishna's plan, but everything is within Krishna's plan
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4 Comments

  1. You are doing great work. When I wake up in the morning, first thing I do is read your article.
    It clear many misunderstanding and provide appropriate guidance for the growth.
    Unable to express gratitude in words.
    Hare Krishna

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    • Thank you, Ketan P, for your kind appreciation. Happy to be of service and to know that Krishna’s message is helping you.

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  2. Hare Krishan Dandavat Pr.
    Nice exPlaination our will vs Krishna Will / desire .

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  3. Hare Krishna prabhu ji too good apki website or articles is great and me apko bhut follow bhi krta hun.plz aap muje blessing de me Krishna or aapki seva kr saku.

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