Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 04 Jun 2024


How can God, who is complete and doesn't need anything, feel bored and lonely and seek entertainment?

[Smt. TINKU K asked: Pada Namaskaram Swami, Please forgive this ignorant fellow who can't understand Your beautiful explanation of spiritual knowledge. I kindly ask for clarification on my doubts below: Swami, as You said in the discourse below, how can God (Parabrahman), who is complete and doesn't need anything, feel bored and lonely, and seek entertainment?

Link of the discourse: Click here ]

Swami replied:- Boredom here is not in a negative sense. Boredom is not due to lack of anything. Continuity of the same lonely state is called boredom and such boredom by itself is neither positive nor negative. Boredom becomes positive if it is associated with happiness. For example, a king is bored with his rich palace and such boredom is positive since it is associated with happiness. Suppose, a poor man is bored with his poverty in a hut, it is negative boredom since it is associated with misery. If the poor man comes and sits in palace for some time, even then he remembers his poverty and his misery gets multiplied. Even if the poor man tries to assume himself as the king, the basic misery present in the individual soul does not allow him to become happy. If the king goes to a hut and assumes himself to be poor man, the happiness present in his individual soul does not allow him to suffer the misery. You can compare the relatively real soul to be the poor man and the absolutely real God to the king. The high (poor man) and higher (king) belong to the relative reality and the highest (God) belongs to absolutely reality. The comparison between high and higher gives some idea about the comparison between highest with high and higher since there is no second absolutely real item other than God. Hence, keeping boredom of the souls in your view, you are trying to explain the boredom of God.

The king wants to go to the forest for hunting not because he is unhappy in his palace. He desires only to change his stay in the palace for some time to a different place (forest) and this desire for difference has no connection with happiness or misery. This is called Liilaa or playfulness (Lokavattu līlā kaivalyam— Brahma Sutram) by sage Vyaasa. In the commentary on this Sutra, Shankara brought the example of a king desiring to go for hunting. The king is equally happy in the palace as well as in the forest. Only change of the place is the criterion and desire for such change is called boredom in the case of the king. In the case of the poor man, the same boredom exists to change his stay in the hut to the palace for some time. But here, his boredom is associated with pain remembering his poverty all the times. The fundamental mistake in your approach is that you are thinking that boredom by itself is negative and concluding that how God gets boredom. Boredom is like pure water and blue powder (happiness) and red powder (misery) are different items other than water, which mixed with water makes water to become blue (positive boredom) or red (negative boredom).

Q. How can God feel bored and lonely and seek entertainment?

[A question by Surya]

Swami replied:- I have already answered this in the above first question. It is only playfulness and not negative boredom that seeks  entertainment like a medicine for a disease.