The world is a classroom, not a courtroom
Some religious people have a negative fear-centered conception of God as a judge waiting to catch them doing wrong. They also view the world darkly as a courtroom, where they are being constantly tried for their actions.
Gita wisdom offers a much more positive, uplifting understanding. God is not a judge, but a guide. He is not sitting above us, looking down in judgment, but is sitting right next to us in our own heart, as the Bhagavad-gita (15.15) indicates. To help us make right choices, he mentors us not just internally but also externally through scripture.
The purpose of karma and indeed of the world is not punitive, but educative – to push us towards greater spiritual awareness.
With this understanding of Krishna as a mentor, we see this world as a classroom, not a courtroom. No doubt, the law of karma exists and gives us the consequences of our actions. But still its purpose and indeed the world’s purpose is not punitive, but educative – to push us towards greater spiritual awareness.
By this educational vision, we see worldly temptations positively as growth opportunities. Of course, to grow, we need to abstain from them and choose Krishna instead. But such a choice becomes much easier when we see temptations educationally as the wrong options in a multiple-choice exam – by rejecting each wrong option, students move closer to the right option and the marks that will promote them to a higher class. Similarly, we see temptations as opportunities to show Krishna our desire for him and to move closer to him.
Moreover, even while turning away from tempting objects, we can see their attractiveness positively – not as a deception meant to entrap us, but as a pointer to Krishna’s all-attractiveness. After all, they manifest sparks of his splendor (10.41).
Thus, the classroom view reveals the world to be rich with opportunities to remember and choose Krishna, thereby evolving towards eternal love for him.
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