When God knows everything, why doesn’t he stop bad things from happening?

by Chaitanya CharanDecember 31, 2016

Answer Podcast

Transcribed byNayanasundari Devi Dasi

QuestionWe say that God knows everything. He also sees that bad things are happening e.g. crimes, rapes, murders and terrorism. Why doesn’t He stop it?

Answer (short)

  • This world is made for souls who want to live separate from God. God allows people in this world to act as per their free will.
  • Our past karma determines our capacity to execute our free will.
  • Our present choices depend on our mentality. And we definitely suffer consequences for our right or wrong choices.

Answer (long)

This world is made for souls who want to live separate from God. That’s why in general Krishna doesn’t manifest His Godhood, His omnipotence, His omniscience directly in this world. It manifests only for those who want to see it. The souls here want to live godlessly and this world is a facility for those who want to live godlessly. Krishna allows people to act as per their free will but within certain limits and those limits are fixed by our past karmas. For example, an ant by its past karma has a small body, so if it bites it causes a certain amount of hurt. But a crocodile, by its past karma has a big body, and it can consume a person completely.

What all a person can do depends not just on their freewill but also on their past karmas. In a good sense also, some people may want to do good but they may lack the needed power or position. Somebody else may get better power so he may be able to do more good. First, we have our desires, secondly we have our karmic scope or karmic range.

Let’s take the example of Hitler. Hitler, by his past karmas, was meant to become charismatic, influential and powerful. He could have used his freewill in a positive way, but he used it in a negative way and hence got all the negative consequences. Let’s say, by his karmas, he was meant to be powerful for 15 years, and during this time, he caused a lot of havoc because no one could counteract his power. He had earned the credits for causing so much havoc in his past life. All those who suffered because of him at that time, might have done some karma because of which they had to suffer. Of course this doesn’t mean that everything he did was justified. When we are dealing with people in this world, we have to look at things from this life’s perspective. From this life’s perspective the Jews were innocent. They were brutally slaughtered and Hitler is fully culpable for that. From a karmic perspective, which works on multi lifetimes, if people do some karma, whether they succeed or now much they succeed, that depends on what kind of karma they had done.

Our past karmas determine our capacity, but our present choices depend on our mentality. That capacity comes by my past karmas, but by my mentality, I will make choices. Krishna sees what I am doing with my capacity. By my past karmas, I may have the ability to speak in an influential way but with my freewill I will choose whether to influence people positively or negatively. Some people may use their freewill negatively and may cause enormous damage but then they will also get enormous consequences for that.

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Chaitanya Charan

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