Doesn’t the Bhagavad-gita (9.8) state that God is the destroyer? So isn’t he the cause of earthquakes too?

by January 21, 2014

Let’s look at the verse carefully:

prakritim svam avashtabhya visrijami punah punah

bhuta-gramam imam kritsnam avasham prakriter vashat

“The whole cosmic order is under me. Under my will it is automatically manifested again and again, and under my will it is annihilated at the end.”

This verse doesn’t talk only about destruction; it also talks about creation. So to selectively take just one part of the verse is to misrepresent its meaning.

Even if we put the creation part aside and focus only on the destruction part, still the verse doesn’t say ‘God is the destroyer’; it says ‘Destruction happens under his will.’ That the difference between the two is significant becomes evident in the next verse (9.9): “All this work cannot bind me. I am ever detached from all these material activities, seated as though neutral.” In this verse, God clearly states that he is neutral.

Neglecting an important part of the same verse and also neglecting an adjoining verse that conveys a contrary message raises serious questions about the way scripture is being quoted. Either the person quoting the verse is highly biased and doesn’t want to look at any verses that don’t support his preconceived ideas. Or he is myopic and doesn’t understand the Gita’s explanation of God’s role in the world. Either way, this verse certainly doesn’t support the claim that God is the destroyer. So God can’t be held responsible for the earthquakes.

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