Why Natural Calamities?
Question: Why are we undergoing so many natural calamities like swine flu, droughts, floods, cyclones, earthquakes, hurricanes etc?
Answer: These calamities raise a fundamental question: is the anger of nature chaotic, hitting us as helpless victims? Or is there a pattern underlying this apparent madness?
According to the Vedic scriptures, all forms of sufferings are results of our own karma, our own choices of right or wrong actions. We may wonder: what wrong choices have we made to warrant so many natural calamities as reactions? Those wrong choices are animal slaughter and abortion. These two activities, though rampant in our society, are declared monstrously criminal in the cosmic penal system. Why? From God’s viewpoint, these two activities are brutal; His more powerful children – humans – are ruthlessly and systematically slaughtering His weaker children – animals and infants. And the main reason for this ghastly massacre is often the selfish hedonistic desire for the enjoyment of the tongue and the genitals. Especially despicable is the slaughter of cows. The cow is like our mother because she nourishes us with her milk. And we “scientifically advanced cultured moderns” erect factories of death to murder our bovine mothers. Not only that, nowadays human mothers, who according to poets are supposed to be “the embodiments of selfless love”, murder their own children without letting them see the light of the day.
The Bhagavad-gita (4.17) declares that the system of karma is too complex for us to discover a one-to-one correspondence between action and reaction. Nonetheless, we can discern overall patterns that confirm karmic correlations. The last century – especially the second part – witnessed an unparalleled increase in animal slaughter and abortion due to the rising of factory farming and the legalization of abortion. During this period, natural calamities have also increased enormously. For example, according to the International Society for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), there were three times as many great natural disasters in the 1990s as in the 1960s, while disaster costs increased more than nine-fold in the same period.
Of course, not all the people killed in natural disasters may have necessarily committed animal slaughter or abortion; they succumbed to their own specific bad karma, whatever it may have been. Such disasters are examples of mass karma, during which, in addition to every individual suffering his or her own karmic reaction, the mass of people living in predominantly sinful areas undergo a shared reaction for their common misdeeds.
Thus, the overall pattern in nature’s response is not difficult to see. Isn’t it time for us to learn the lesson and scrupulously avoid bad karma by giving up illicit sex and meat eating, which are the root causes of abortion and animal slaughter?