With God, everyone is accepted, but everything isn’t acceptable
Some people ask, “If God is all-loving, why does he prescribe so many dos and don’ts?”
To understand God’s love, let’s differentiate between who he accepts and what he accepts.
Everyone is accepted: The Bhagavad-gita declares that God loves everyone so much that he stays constantly with everyone in their heart. Even if they have grossly anti-devotional desires that take them to the darkest places, he is there with them, unconditionally (18.61). To understand the significance of his constant companionship, we can compare him to a doctor who goes into an epidemic zone to treat patients, wherever they may be and however sick they may be.
Gita wisdom explains that the material world is like an epidemic zone where everyone is infected by the disease of sensual desires. Such desires promise pleasure but deliver trouble (05.22). This disease is best cured by acquiring spiritual knowledge culminating in bhakti-yoga. To heal us, God stays with us at the center of this epidemic zone, right in our hearts. From inside us, he untiringly prompts us to heal ourselves by exploring life’s spiritual side.
Everything isn’t acceptable: Even the most compassionate doctor will forbid patients from activities that aggravate their infection. For example, amid an epidemic of lung disease caused by smoking, the doctor won’t allow patients admitted in a hospital to smoke.
Similarly, God forbids those activities that aggravate our infection with worldly desires, especially in sacred places such as temples that are like spiritual hospitals. And he recommends those activities that purify us of worldly desires, thereby enabling us to relish inexhaustible devotional joy. Therefore, while he remains our unconditional companion (18.61), he also urges us to surrender if we want to attain lasting peace (18.62).
Thus, God’s accepting everyone and not accepting everything are both expressions of his unfailing love.
Think it over:
- How are we infected? What is the cure?
- How is everyone accepted by God?
- Why is everything not acceptable for God?
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