We at BTG would like to offer our condolences and prayers for all those affected by the tragedy at Uttarakhand.
How does one accept the fact that such events occur in one's life. To begin with, we need to understand that life in this material world is always fraught with miseries and dangers. Living entities that are bestowed with a human body can actually make inquiries but others like animals, insects, and trees do not have the intelligence to ask. Only when we make relevant inquiries from a competent authority, can we get authentic answers.
One such inquirer was Sanatana Goswami, a scholar fluent in Sanskrit, Bengali, Arabic and Persian languages. He was employed as the prime minister in the Muslim government of the then ruler of Bengal. Despite his high qualifications, he assumed the role of a disciple and asked Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu about why he suffered misery when he does not even desire it. Since he had accepted Lord Caitanya as his spiritual master, he was qualified to receive the proper answer. Mahaprabhu replied that the miseries encountered in this world are of three kinds adhyatmika (bodily or mental) pains, adhibhautika pains (those offered by living creatures), and adhidaivika pains (those due to supematural disturbances). Sometimes we suffer physically like a wound or a disease and sometimes our mind becomes agitated. A person may have a sound physical body but at the same time may suffer from a distressed mind. Another person may be enjoying the benefits of a good physique and a peaceful mind but then suddenly other living entities may cause suffering. These miseries may range from an annoying mosquito or a blood-sucking bug to a suicide bomber. This category is therefore called adhibhautika misery. And in the case of someone not experiencing both the above problems the third one rears its head in the form of acts of nature such as tsunamis, earthquakes, famines, tornadoes, hurricanes, and in the case of Uttarakhand, a cloud burst.
Of course, as some people have pointed out the landslides in Kedarnath were actually a man-made disaster just waiting to happen. How? With rapid urban development in that region, huge forests were cleared for development and as a result the trees, which could have held back the fury of the river's water, were not there. There the rivers flow through narrow areas hence the rapid increase in the water level. So who is the culprit? We ourselves. In the past, righteous kings like Yudhisthira, Parikshit, Prithu ruled their lands as a responsibility towards God. When that caliber of leadership is not available or not encouraged the masses suffer along with their leaders. This is one of the signs of the advancing age of Kali-yuga.