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.

Explanation of article:


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Renunciation centers not on running away from the world but running towards Krishna
Rift with God makes us drift with the mind
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3 Comments

  1. Hare Krishna Prabhuji
    PAMHO

    That’s very well said. To be able to reject worldly temptations, we should first of all know that they are wrong options and instead go for the higher taste which is the desire to love Lord Krishna and to move closer to Him, our eternal guide.

    Thank you.
    Narottama das

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  2. It’s so heartwarming to know that although God is far far superior to us, he is sitting right next to us and acting as our mentor. Shows how generous, concerned and humble he is.

    Having attempted multiple choice competitive exams for a large part of my life, I am only too happy with the way the author is portraying temptations. Thinking of temptations as wrong choices makes it easy to avoid them. Thank you very much for this analogy and the brilliant article.

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  3. “…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…”

    Perfect explanation. I think what you wrote is 100% applicable to the situation I am going through. Thanks for writing.

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