By Janu Dasa
Very interesting debate. I’m thoroughly impressed with the knowledge, realization, and composure of HH Sivarama Swami. Srila Prabhupada is surely pleased with him.
Madhusudan das (ACBSP)
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sivarama maharaj was absolutely calm and clear during the presentation, no sales pitches and cheap sound bites. He personified depth, practice and realization. With acharayas like him leading the vaishnavas, there is no doubt about our bright future.
This is a wonderful video.
The poor philosophy professor was so outclassed that he did not even realize it.
The “problem of evil” can challenge theologians (like Jews and Christians) who have no recourse to reincarnation and karma. For them it is simply a “mystery” why God allows newborn babies or others who “never did anything wrong” to suffer and die. They do not see that the Biblical “as you sow so shall you reap” has been going on from before we were born, that there is a cause for every material effect. We are now reaping the fruits of our prior bad acts.
This professor’s mistake is that he takes it for granted he knows what is good and bad. He thinks he does not even have to defend the assumption that it is bad for the black plague and cancer to kill thousands. A benevolent God would just let everyone be rich and happy and healthy and immortal, wouldn’t He?
In fact, God does create a world where everyone is completely happy and healthy and immortal and young and fresh and rich and enlightened. (Cintamani prakarasadmasu kalpa vrksha . . . )
But in our present condition of selfish forgetfulness of God and disrespect of His devotees, we would not fit in that Vaikuuntha world. We would disturb the party. So God lets us have our illusion of competing as false “enjoyers” of material energy here in the dungeon with the other prisoners.
In Chapter 11, verse 36 of Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna says, “O master of the senses, the world becomes joyful on hearing Your name, and thus everyone becomes attached to You. Although the perfected beings offer You their respectful homage, the demons are afraid, and they flee here and there. All this is rightly done.”
It is good and proper that God permits plagues and hurricanes and even crimes and wars in this world of criminals. These things are being carried out by material nature under His direction, according to the precise laws of karmic justice.
In our materialistic and demoniac spirit we may be moved to question God’s justice when we and those we love are put into horrible, ghastly calamities, but the saintly devotees accept all difficulties as a token of what they deserve, and continue to offer obeisances to Krishna from the core of their hearts. “Tat te ‘nukampam susumiksamano. . .” Krishna actually does mitigate their suffering, and one who fully surrenders immediately gets complete relief.
But the atheist philosopher might ask, why would a benevolent God even allow evildoers to exist at all? Why would He bother to reform them by banishing them to this world of evildoers? Why not just make them disappear altogether?
We can reply to this very negative view that we do not feel our position is so hopeless that we should be snuffed out of existence. It is more benevolent and merciful for God to allow us a chance to give up our envy and reawaken our dormant love for Him. The miseries of the world remind us that this is not where we belong. And God sends His devotees like Sivarama Maharaja to wake up those who are sufficiently non-envious to hear and understand His message.
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