Right from childhood, we are taught that God is kind, He is all-forgiving and He loves us immensely; God is Almighty, He is always there to protect us and He is our saviour.
With this in mind, an image of God starts to form in our mind. In that image we picture God as someone who is strong, reliable and who will stand by us anytime we need Him. And to this image of God, we pray with complete faith and affection!
But we all know that ups and downs are a part of everyone’s life. We like the ups and not the downs! When life is rosy, we are confident and boastful about whatever we do. But when things go bleak, we look forward to God with the expectation that He will come and bail us out of the difficult situation.
If circumstances happen to turn around, we are grateful to God and our faith and reverence for Him increase manifold. But what when things don’t improve? Even worse, when they go rapidly downhill from all around – a lifetime relationship breaks, health deteriorates, job performance decreases. We desperately keep crying, ‘God, please help me’, but to no avail...
Such phases in life bewilder us and cause us to ask the question, ‘God where are you, when I need you?’
He is kind and loving, then why is He not helping me? He is Almighty, then why is He not saving me?
There are few who even blame God, believing Him to be the One who is giving them pain and suffering; while few choose to keep calm in the belief that God is testing them.
There are myriads of beliefs in which one gets entangled, and tends to jump from one to another in an attempt to get the desired result; but when he meets failure after failure, there arises in him the genuine desire to know what is really right; what are the real facts behind what he experiences.
1) The first step to solve this puzzle is to know ‘Who God really is?’
By fact, do you know God is our real Self?
Yes! the Self is not our body, but is the Pure Soul residing in our body, and that verily is God!
So, God is not a majestic figure residing in the skies. Really speaking, God is the eternal Soul that resides in every living creature. God is always present in everybody who is alive, irrespective of whether we need Him or not, whether we see Him or not, whether we seek Him or not.
2) Who is to be blamed then for our suffering? God or someone else?
When suffering comes, we forget to find our own mistake, and we immediately put the blame on others; we do not even hesitate to accuse God for that matter.
You must have heard people complain, ‘What have I done wrong? Why is God giving me so much of pain and suffering?’ This is because they are of the belief that ‘God is the creator of this world and He is the one who runs the world. Nothing in this world happens without His wish, and therefore directly or indirectly He is the one behind all my miseries.’
Think logically, if God is the giver, why is He giving us miseries and not happiness? How can we call such an entity God, who derives pleasure from seeing people cry?
The right understanding is that God has never done anything whatsoever in this world. He is neither the Creator nor does He run the world. By fact, whatever we can see and feel in this world, there is not an iota of doership of God in any of it. God does not meddle at all in it.
Not knowing who the real doer is, we levy accusations on God. And doing so, we only take more liabilities on our head, as we will have to pay a penalty in terms of undergoing enormous suffering for this mistake too. When God does not do anything, how can we blame Him?
3) If God is not the doer, then who is? Who sends misery in my life?
Whatever happens in this world is a result of Nature’s law – the law of cause and effect!
We have made the cause and we are getting its effect. Each one of us is experiencing our own karmas. Whatever misery befalls us today is the result of our own past deeds (karmas).
The law of karma is such that the slightest misery we give to any living being returns to us in the form of misery. And the slightest help we render to any living being returns to us in the form of help at the given time. So, if we want to be happy, we must never hurt any living being at all through our thoughts, words or action. If we understand just this much, we will get the solution to all our worldly problems!
4) If God is not doing anything, what is God’s role in our body?
When it is dark can we see or know anything that is around us?
And in the presence of the light from a bulb?
We can do all our work. So, can we say ‘The light did it’?
No, the light does not ‘do’ any work, but without it, we cannot do anything in the dark. Just like the bulb provides light in the room, similarly the Soul i.e. God provides light to every living being. God’s role is to do nothing but to give light (knowledge) to every living being.
How we utilize God’s light, is totally upon us. Like in the presence of a bulb’s light, it is upto us whether we use the light to read religious books or to play cards and gamble. Moreover, the light neither rewards us for using it to do good things nor does it punish us for doing bad things, in its presence, isn’t it? Similarly, God does not have to come to punish us, it is our own deeds based on which Nature rewards or punishes us.
God lives in every living being. But He never gives us pleasure or pain. It is due to our own karmas that we experience pleasure and pain in life. Otherwise God only knows and sees everything, while remaining in His permanent bliss.