Imagine that you are on a trek in a foreign land. Suddenly you see a person rushing toward you with both fists raised shouting madly in a foreign language. Instinctively you raise both hands to counter-attack. But that person rushes by and you hear a heavy blow landing on someone else. Surprised, you turn around and suddenly understanding dawns. A ruffian had been stealthily creeping in to attack you from behind and the person ahead had been rushing to save you from the ruffian. In his foreign tone he had been warning you, but being unable to understand his language you had completely misunderstood his intentions. You regret: “If only I had known his language. . .”
Could this be the way we misunderstand God when problems suddenly rush into our lives? There is an amazing intelligence that arranges for all our basic needs air, heat, light, water and food. Equally awesome is the organization that enables all the life-sustaining bodily mechanisms like metabolism, respiration, blood circulation. Sadly most people hardly spare even a thought to understand the purpose of the universe. And when things don’t work out according to the plans they make in a few minutes with their puny brains, they conclude that God is perverse, negligent or non-existent. Like in the above story, they can’t understand the language in which God speaks.
Therefore, God gives us scriptures to serve as translators for us to understand His message and His plan. The Vedic scriptures and indeed all religious scriptures assert unequivocally that God is our greatest well-wisher. Through them God alerts us about the imminent onslaught of misery, old age, disease and death. God’s ultimate plan is to save us from all suffering and reinstate us in our eternal blissful life in His abode. As a part of His plan, God often breaks things to transform them into something far more valuable. He breaks clouds to give rains, breaks soil to give grains, breaks grains to give bread and breaks bread to give nourishment. Similarly, He sometimes has to break our plans for temporary material enjoyment to enrich us with everlasting devotional bliss. Therefore, next time when providence seems to be inimically charging toward us, let us empower ourselves with divine vision and wisdom.
Caitanya Carana Dasa holds a degree in electronics and telecommunications engineering and serves full-time at ISKCON Pune. To subscribe to his free cyber magazine, visit thespiritualscientist.com