God is Nice

Lord Nrishmadeva blesses Prahlada Maharaja “No one is envied by Me, neither am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all; yet whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me; and I am a friend to him.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita 9.29)

We often see God depicted as being very vengeful and someone we should fear. Many of us have passed by the people on the street who sternly warn us to surrender to God or suffer eternal damnation in hell. Natural disasters are viewed by many as God’s way of getting revenge on us for our sins. Because of this, many modern organized religions survive by instilling fear in their members. They say that we should fear God and surrender unto Him if we want to be absolved of our sins.

In actuality, God is our dearmost well-wishing friend. Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead according to the Vedic tradition, tells us in the Bhagavad-gita that He is actually neutral to everyone in this material world. This material world was created out of the desire of the spiritual souls to lord over nature. We wanted to pretend to be God, so He granted our wish by allowing us to come to this universe. Due to the influence of maya, Krishna’s illusory energy, we are all identifying with our bodies and thinking that we are the doer of our activities. We think that the results that we achieve are all due to our own efforts. Deluding ourselves in this way, we spend our lives going further and further away from God.

“The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities, which are in actuality carried out by nature.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita 3.27)

According to the laws of material nature, the living entity is constantly going through the cycle of birth, death, old age, and disease. Due to our work and desires, we accept new bodies after we are finished with our current one. This is the law of karma. We enjoy happiness or suffer through misery due to the karma accumulated in this life and in previous ones. Each individual has their own desires and wants, and the material world is the playing field where the desires of all living entities collide head on with each other. The world stock markets are a good example of this principle in action on a very small scale. On any given day, millions of traders compete with each other to make money through the buying and selling of stocks. Traders all have different temperaments, personalities, and levels of intelligence. Each person has their own goals that they set out to achieve. The trading floor is the arena where all these goals and desires collide and because of this, we see that some people are very successful, while others lose millions and become bankrupt.

These collisions exist in the material world on a much greater level through the three qualities of nature: goodness, passion, and ignorance. Every living entity possesses these qualities in some varying combination. Since not everyone possesses these qualities at the same levels, we see variegations in the species, to the point of 1,400,000 different varieties. Everyone is competing with each other to satisfy their desires, so naturally there will be collisions of varying magnitudes. As a result, from time to time we see horrific tragedies, such as mass murders, terrorist attacks, school shootings, etc. Lord Krishna is not to blame for this, for He is not directly involved with the day to day affairs of the material world.

“As there are constitutional laws in the material world stating that the king can do no wrong, or that the king is not subject to the state laws, similarly the Lord, although He is the creator of this material world, is not affected by the activities of the material world. He creates and remains aloof from the creation, whereas the living entities are entangled in the fruitive results of material activities because of their propensity for lording it over material resources.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bg 4.14 Purport)

Through His energies, this material world was created and through His deputies, the demigods, material affairs are managed. The demigods handle all issues of fairness with regards to karma. God personally has no stake in our material fortunes.

Narasimha killing Hiranyakashipu

Narasimha killing Hiranyakashipu, Prahlada’s father

Lord Krishna makes an exception however when it comes to His devotees. Krishna is very partial towards His devotees and He will do anything to protect them and make them happy. Examples of this affection can be found throughout the historical incidents documented in the great Vedic literatures. In the Treta Yuga, Krishna incarnated as Lord Rama specifically to save His devotees who were being harassed by the demon Ravana. In a previous time, there was a young a boy by the name of Prahlada who was a great devotee of the Lord. Though he was born into the family of the Daityas, who are atheistic by nature, Prahlada was a completely surrendered soul from his very birth. His atheistic father, Hiranyakashipu, very much disliked his son’s devotion to God. He tried to kill Prahlada through various means, but Prahlada miraculously survived each and every attack. It was actually no miracle, for the boy simply thought of Lord Krishna during each attack, which is the best way to guarantee one’s safety. The Lord always protects His devotees no matter what. Even if they are put into difficult or painful situations, He guarantees that they will return to His abode after quitting their present bodies.

“Anyone who quits his body, at the end of life, remembering Me, attains immediately to My nature; and there is no doubt of this.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita 8.5)

Finally, the Lord had enough of Hiranyakashipu’s deplorable behavior, so He personally incarnated as Narasimha Deva to kill him. This also represents the reverse side of the Lord’s favoritism. As kind as He is to His devotees, He is equally unkind to the enemies of His devotees. He will dole out the most severe punishment to the miscreants who dare harm His bhaktas.

This material world is a cause of constant fear. We have so many possessions and relationships that are all destined to end. We try very hard to defend and hold on to these ties, knowing that one day we won’t have them. In the spiritual world, such fear doesn’t exist. Our relationship with Krishna is eternal, and realizing that relationship means never having to be afraid again. God is not someone that we need to fear. If we learn to love Him, then He will reciprocate times ten. The best way to love God is through the process of bhakti yoga, or devotional service. If we constantly engage ourselves in hearing stories about the Lord, offering Him prayers, and chanting His name, then He will surely notice us. God resides in all of us through His Paramatma, or Supersoul, expansion. By practicing devotional service, we slowly move our consciousness from the material to the spiritual platform, where we can dovetail it with the Supreme Consciousness. Let us all become devotees of Krishna, not out of fear, but out of love for Him and His causeless mercy. He will always love us and never let us down, so we have nothing to fear.

Categories: bhagavan

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