Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 23 May 2019

     

Why does God allow people gathered for worship to get killed in terrorist attacks?

Shri Anil asked: Padanamaskaram Swami! In the recent terrorist attacks, many people who had gathered for worship were killed. Some people are questioning why God allows such killings to take place in a place of worship. They are asking if God was sleeping while these people were being killed. Even if the killing were inevitable, God could have easily made it happen in some other place so that this blame would not come on God. At Your Divine Feet, Anil.

Swami replied: The time and place of punishment is decided by God Himself. God Himself is punishing the sinners by killing them. Krishna Himself killed several sinners and He also got several sinners killed. Prophet Mohammad also killed several sinners, who were creating violence by propagating the multiplicity of God. Of course, sometimes, even God gets killed by sinners! Jesus, Shankara, Daynanda Sarasvati etc., were Human Incarnations of God, who were killed in this manner. All these incidents have their own hidden backgrounds.

When God is not present in any statue or symbol that represents God, what is the difference between temples, churches etc., and any other place? The body of the Human Incarnation of God is the true temple in which God actually exists. Places of worship are mere buildings. God is not actually present in them. While speaking about the resurrection of the Church in three days, Jesus was referring to His body as the Church. Every Tom, Dick and Harry attacks the administration of God and finds fault with it. None of them understand the truths hidden in the background. It is merely our faith that God exists in the statutes and other symbols representing God. It is not the reality. This is clearly told in the Veda (Na tasya pratima…) and scriptures of other religions. However, this concept must only be kept in mind by realized people. They should not express it out and disturb the spiritual progress of the common person who believes that God is in the temple or church or in the statue. The ordinary person believes that the representative model itself is God and through this belief he develops devotion to God. No assumption is wrong if it is helpful in making good progress in the right direction.

God is always holy and He remains holy in spite of the close association of unholy things. Such cruel acts of killing occurring in a place of worship do not make God unholy at all. Besides, the devotees assembled for prayer in a place of worship need not be holy. They might even be sinners. By this incident, God is giving us the message that He will not interfere in the divine administration at any place, at any time and under any condition. If a sinner is to be punished exactly at a particular time, the punishment will certainly be delivered by God at any place; even if the sinner is right before Him! On the other hand, devotees who are actually holy and free of any sin, will not be punished even if they are very far away from the holy place of worship. This shows the impartiality of the divine administration of God, which remains totally detached. If the son of a judge who lives in his father’s house is found to be a criminal, an honest and impartial judge will call the police and have them arrest his own son in his own house. In that situation, the judge does not see him as his son but only as a criminal. He gives no importance to the fact that the son is living with him in his own house. Similarly, God does not give any importance to the fact that His devotee is praying in the holy place. If the devotee has previously committed a serious sin, God will call the terrorists to come and kill His own sinful devotee even in His own place.

The person’s devotion does not cancel the fruit of the sin. Both fruits are given separately. A student is supposed to receive a gold medal on a specific day. But on the same day, he gets arrested by the police for a crime that he had committed earlier. Can the student say that he is willing to forgo his gold medal if the police release him? Will the police release him taking his gold medal as a bribe? The duty-minded policeman will accompany the student to the award ceremony, allow him to receive his gold medal and then he will put the student back in police custody. Hence, it is foolishness to think that the worship to God will exempt the soul from the punishment of sins. Such foolish lies are propagated by selfish priests to earn money from people through their worship!

The only way to get rid of the punishment of not just one particular sin, but the pending punishments for all other sins is the three-step path of reformation. The three steps in the reformation of a soul are realization by knowledge, repentance by devotion and the non-repetition of the sin in practice. Do you think that the devotion of the devotees standing near the holy representative model of God had brought this reformation in them. Had they attained realization? Had they truly repented? Had they reached the state of non-repetition of the sin, practically? If there is any devotee, who has completed these three steps and is fully reformed, he will remain completely unharmed. He might be standing right next to the terrorist and yet no harm will come to him. Hence, the point is not about whether the place is holy or unholy. It is a question of the holiness or unholiness of the devotee, which decides whether the person will be protected or punished.