Q: If there is an impartial God, why does he dole out miseries to some and luxuries to others?
A: Even the most impartial teacher evaluating answer papers gives more marks to some who have written well and less to others who have fared badly. The kind mother reprimands her unruly son and pats another well-behaved one. So also, the living beings, his creations no doubt, have good and bad actions to their credit and pleasant and unpleasant results come to them from the Impartial God, all intended to reform them and bring them draw close to the Creator in divine perfection. Fire is equal to all, impartially. Those who keep the right distance receive the benefit of warmth and those who put their hands in it suffer.
Q: Is violence ever justified?
A: Hatred is never justified. If the injury we cause outside us is backed by hatred inside us, such violence is never justified. A doctor amputating a limb is not hating the patient. He is only preventing the disease from spreading all over the body. Often we face a situation where the choice is between ’bad’ and ‘worse.’ Arjun in the Mahabharata was in such a dilemma. To fight the war had its ‘bad’ results. Not to fight the war was worse. So Lord Krishna advised him to fight.
But not always is the case so. We must exercise the greatest care in judging situations. Non-violent means are to be preferred whenever available and effective.
Non-violence is based on non aggression not on non-defence. The destruction of the wicked harmful criminals is a divine activity. There is no country and no religion which does not prescribe punishing criminals, usurpers and wrong doers to protect the innocent. That is exactly why armies are called ‘Defence Forces’.
PrarthnaSaran, president Chinmaya Mission, Delhi. Email: prarthnasaran@gmail.com