Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Is God Playing Games?

How often have we heard someone ask: “Why is God playing cruel games with us?” It is perhaps a question that comes to mind when one fails to find a satisfactory explanation of the inexplicable. But the question itself is not a satisfactory approach to understanding.

We can give explanations, but explanations need not be answers. You are looking at death as the opposite of life. So, our encounter with death is conditioned by our definition of death as being opposed to life. Look at it another way: Death is one more expression of life. Life scientists declare that death is the most critical defining feature of life. All and only living things die. When you die, you are making the ultimate undeniable assertion that you have been alive.

The most comfortable place for you is to be in your mother’s womb. After birth, many times you search for that same comfort. That is why in Hindu temples, the sanctum sanctorum is called garbhagudi – representing a mother’s womb. At the time of delivery, the body of the mother pushes the child out. When it is pushed out, every child goes through what is called birth trauma, experiencing a form of death.

Tagore asks, “Is it death or is it life?” What do we experience? Birth, exit from the womb where life originated and was sustained for about nine months and into the world outside – is a form of death that leads to life although in different environments. Similarly, death – exit from the world – could be a door to some other form of life or life at yet another plane.

Don’t we cast off worn-out clothes in order to wear new ones? Why get so attached to physical phenomena? During the great dotcom bust of the post-millennium years, a lot of people went through depression all over the world. What really happened. Nothing more than the fact that what had been hyped skyhigh was brought down to earth.

The same thing had happened in Bangalore real estate. It happens cyclically in stock markets across the globe. You build the bubble and, when the bubble breaks, you feel depressed. Those who know that the rise is artificial make all the profit while gullible believers in the longevity of the bubble lose everything.

The value we attach to objects of speculation like stocks, shares, land and commodities is purely psychological; they are illusory or insubstantial. Likewise, all sorrows are chiefly created by the mind. You invest 10 million rupees on a piece of land expecting to make a profit of 10 million, but the profit is only notional in the sense that it is based on your expectation that the value of your purchase will double within the time frame of your expectation. If your expectations are defeated, you start suffering. It’s all in your mind, isn’t it?

Therefore, the trauma that you feel at events like accident or death is also mainly psychological, and so death is something you can overcome through spiritual discipline.

Discourse: Swami Sukhabodhananda

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