Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 23 Feb 2019


Swami answers devotees' questions

Shri Anil asked: 1) Why did Jesus on the cross pray to God to excuse His offenders since they were ignorant?

Swami replied: The prayer of Jesus on the cross tells us that we should have tolerance even towards our bitter enemies. This is a very important and basic concept in the context of Universal Spirituality. Often, some followers of another religion criticize our religion so bitterly that we are unable to control ourselves. So, we retort to them even more bitterly. This further enrages them and the quarrel becomes more and more bitter. Sometimes, it even ends up in physical violence. To avoid this, we should do the opposite. As our enemy becomes more and more bitter, we should become more and more cool and calm. With our minds calm and without any bitterness, we should respond to the basic points in the opponent’s arguments and criticism. Emotions are momentary and they subside in a very short time. If emotion is your answer, you will never be able to answer any question posed by your opponent. Tolerance and a calm mind are essential in any debate.

It is far better to have debates on spiritual knowledge in writing rather than orally. In oral debates, quick answers are expected. The debaters, in their haste, sometimes use improper words unintentionally. But these slips of the tongue can create an impression in the opponent’s mind that is very different from the speaker’s original intention. This can lead to misunderstandings between the debaters and the healthy debate can quickly degenerate into an ugly quarrel. In olden days, writing technology was not well-developed and it was very difficult to write a large amount of text and send it to another person. Publishing and mass printing, of course, were non-existent in those days. Hence, debates in the field of spiritual knowledge used to be oral, in which the improper presentation of one’s ideas often leads to misunderstandings.

But today, writing is very convenient. Not only can we easily write and print on paper but we also have the technology to write and instantly send the written material to another person using email and other electronic media. This is the preferred mode of engaging in a spiritual debate. One can take sufficient time to understand the opponent’s arguments. Then one can think and analyze thoroughly with a cool and balanced mind. Finally, one can carefully choose the proper words to express our ideas and intentions.

Jesus wanted to bring reformation in the hearts of those ignorant priests, who had conspired to have Jesus crucified. Hearing Jesus pray to the Lord for the forgiveness of His offenders, moved the hearts of at least a few of the priests. It gave them a chance to analyze what they had done. It was a door to reformation for those souls. The reformation of sinful souls was the main aim of Jesus. His approach of praying for the forgiveness of His own offenders is so effective that it can bring true reformation even in a hard-hearted person. Eternal punishment in the liquid fire may only develop the fear of committing sin in a soul. The fear may reduce the tendency of the soul to commit sins in the future birth of the soul. But the effect is only temporary. The reformation through fear is thus only partial and temporary. But the approach of Jesus was goodness and kindness. It was based on His extreme tolerance and peaceful nature. Such an approach is capable of bringing a permanent reformation even to a cruel heart. It is the most powerful way of bringing realization, repentance, and non-repetition of the sin in a soul. Realization, repentance and non-repetition are the three steps in the permanent reformation of a soul.

Preaching spiritual knowledge is the preliminary step. Practicing that knowledge and thereby becoming an ideal for the followers, is the final step. In a time when harshness and cruelty were at their climax, God used this path of kindness to reform souls. This path of kindness was like a stream of fresh water used for washing away dirt. But first, He burnt the harsh and hard impurities to ash, using the fire of spiritual knowledge. Then He washed the ash with a stream of the water of kindness. God is omniscient. He knows the best way of dealing with every specific situation in any given time.

2) Why were women alone given the pains of delivering a child?

Swami replied: God is omniscient. He knows what is to be given to whom and what is not to be given. When we pose such questions, they reflect our doubts about the fairness of the divine administration of God. If we have firm faith in God, we must have firmer faith in His capable divine administration also. Such faith will prevent us from doubting the administration of God. Before answering this question, I must tell you that a basic bias that many people have about sex must be cleared. Sex between a man and a woman is essential for the woman to get pregnant and give birth to the next generation. Yet, many people treat this subject as something shameful or vulgar. Unless this false opinion is cleared, I shall not begin answering your question.

Sex or kaama is one of the four great goals of human life known as the Purushaarthas. The first purushaartha is dharma, which means following justice. The second is artha or earning money for one’s livelihood. The third is kaama or sex for producing legitimate issues. The fourth is moksha or freedom from worldly stress by attachment to God. The aim of sex between a man and a woman is the continued existence of the human race. Without it, all the activities done by human beings in the world would be over in a single generation! This world with its dynamic human activities has been created for the entertainment of God as said in the Veda (Ekaakii na ramate). Preventing future generations from being born, by withdrawing from sex, is an anti-divine activity since it would stop the divine entertainment. Producing issues is, therefore, considered to be service to God. That is why we even find sex depicted on the walls of several ancient temples. There is no vulgarity or sin in sex as long as the sex is legitimate and hence, the Veda encourages the generation of issues (prajaa tantum...). Legitimate sex for the generation of issues is praised by God to be as holy as Himself (Dharmaaviruddhah...—Gita). The unholiness and vulgarity in sex come only when it is illegitimate.

The subject for this discussion is this holy legitimate sex for the sake of the continuation of the human race. It is the sacred subject of serving God by providing Him entertainment by continuing this world-drama. It is in this context that I am answering your question. In order for a woman to get pregnant, repeated sex is necessary. This is because the probability of conception is very low due to several gynecological factors. The lawfully-wedded couple engages in frequent sex in which the husband does most of the work to get his wife pregnant. The effort of the wife is minimal. Don’t you think that men could argue that this is an injustice for men that they have to take all the effort? They might say that God has rightly compensated for it by giving delivery pains to women! So, men take the effort in the sexual act, while women bear the pain of giving birth to the child. Sometimes, even after the repeated sexual activity of the husband, the wife does not get pregnant. In that case, the wife does not undergo any delivery pain even though the husband has undergone a lot of pain in terms of his effort of repeated sexual activity. In such a special case, don’t you think that the husband could argue that he has faced injustice?

Actually, God’s divine administration maintains a perfect balance in humanity. No special favors are done for any one gender and equity and justice are always maintained. This matter appears to be a minor issue. Some people might even call this a silly matter. But are you not surprised to see the equity and justice of God even in such minor matters of life? So, we should never doubt the fairness of God’s administration. We should maintain a strong faith in God. Such strong faith will prevent any such budding doubts on the capability and justice of God. If you criticize the administration of God, you are indirectly criticizing God. It will spoil the purity of your devotion to God. It is always better to focus on developing devotion to God instead of allowing our twisted brains to develop such useless doubts about the administration of God. Such doubts arise in our minds because we have not developed an unshakable faith in God.

Of course, I know that you have asked this doubt for the benefit of the ignorant public so that they may get clarity on the impartial administration of God. They must realize that God’s administration always delivers justice to all souls, irrespective of religion, region, caste, age, or gender. Your intention is right. But some people want to criticize God. They take some aspect of the divine administration and try to prove that it is unjust in some way or the other. I am only criticizing such critics, who think that they are cleverer than God.


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