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Re: World Trade Center tragedy
Date: Thu Sep 13 2001 - 21:22:00 PDT

vAnca kalpa taruByaS ca 
kRpA sinDUBya eva ca
patitAnAm pAvaneByo 
vaiSnaveByo namo nama:
SrI kriShNasvAmI  wrote:
Dear Members,

Sri Mani has given the correct lead to us to pray on this occasion.

Many who are young in age, raise a doubt which bothers them seriously,
because they can not find a satisfactory answer to the question: Why does 
God, the omni-powerful, permit tragedies on such vast scale to occur
again and again ? Many more will ponder over the power of evil to
prevail, even though temporarily - as in World War II when millions died
in battles/were exterminated cruelly. 

As to the co-existence of evil and the benevolent God of limitless power, 
none can offer an explanation which can withstand logical analysis. In
the book 'God and Evil' by CEM Joad, the
atheist-author who turned believer at about age 40 (after the immense
tragedy of World War II),  considers this very question and the
traditional explanations given by great leaders of every religion
(including Hinduism) and demonstrates how none of these explanations can
prevail against precise, cold, logical analysis.  He then poses the
delemma: 'if the heart demands what the brain rejects' and comes to the
conclusion that the dilemma is due to our 'intellectual arrogance'. In a
very convincing manner, he explains the  need to believe in the
assertions of the ancient Seers who had perceived a Truth far beyond the
logical reach of our mind, realise our own insufficiency to counter evil, 
reaffirm our commitment to Good and work for it. This alone will help us
to turn to increased faith in a power greater than us as our ultimate
source of strength. 

There is no other alternative, no other explanation.  On our part, we
should continue to do all that lies within our limited capability, like
the little squirrel in Ramayana which participated in the construction of 
the bridge to Lanka for the army of Rama to march across and destroy the
mighty Ravana. What better task than to fight against evil and injustice, 
and what better ally and tower of strength than the Almighty? 

M.K. Krishnaswamy
My humble obeisances to all the devotees at the bhakti list,
     With regard to the question that SrI kriShNasvAmi has raised I have
heard one explanation from some gaud.iyA vaiShNavas. I don't know what
the SrI vaiShNava understanding is about the question. Please forgive me
if I write anything apaSAstrik and please correct me by giving the
appropriate SAstrik understanding. The explanation goes as follows:
    " 1. The material world gets two kinds of living entities.
      2. Most living entities are rebellious to God and have a tendency
for sins so material world is like a jail designed for reformation of
those rebellious living entities. And hence there are punishing measures, 
threats by the will of providence that living entities may want to get
out of the material world by recognising the perils of material world and 
giving up their tendency for sins.
      3. God is not to be called cruel for such activities because they
are like chastisements from a loving father to a misguided son, a further 
evidence of God's love for us is that he sends us his own very beloved
devotees (the second kind of living entities) who come to show us a good
path, and help us in overcoming sins, and also he gives us the holy
scriptures that teach us good principles and lifestyles that living
entities may be able to overcome their sinful tendencies. Thus our
scriptures teach so many good virtues such as truthfulness, mercy,
charity, love renunciation etc. "
      Personally I believe that our scriptures don't approve any kind of
a brutal act leading to killing of so many innocent people. Rather I have 
heard that in the vedic tradition, a ksatriya won't fight another
ksatriya unless the other person also has a weapon of an equal strength.
And so many good rules regarding war. Even pANdavas and kauravas will
have no fear moving with each other after the sunset. And so nice is our
tradition that any kind of misunderstanding about the scriptures /
theology is resolved by debate among scholars rather than a brutal war
killing so many innocent people.
      Please forgive me if I made any ignorant or apasidDAntik statements 
and please correct me for them.
                          With all respects to the devotees and a prayer
to SrI viShNu that a good sense may prevail upon the fighting parties.
Ambarish Srivastava
B-45 Nilgiri Hostel
(Research Scholar, Centre for Energy Studies)
Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
Hauz Khas India 110016
Ph. Office 91-11-6596466, : An Extraordinary place for Extraordinary people

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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