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Paradox of Evil


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Copyright 1972 Mr Mohinder Singh Cheema

PREFACE

It has been found, by experience that the novelties of the Eastern thought such as ‘paradox of evil ’‘Transmigration of Soul, ‘democracy among religions’ etc Are extremely fascinating to Christian intellectuals. At times my Christian friends have suggested to me that I should write pamphlets on these topics.

By Guru Nanak’s grace I have written the first one in the series-The Paradox of Evil-which is a mere limited elaboration of my Master’s words ‘The causes Of Evil’ (maya) He created Himself (Nanak).

Due to the shortage of time and my limited knowledge I can foresee that there will be a lot of anomalies, inaccuracies and mistakes which I hope will be brought to my notice by my friends so that in the light of their criticism the pamphlet can be revised and perhaps enlarged.

It is hoped that this humble contribution will be interesting to the people interested in philosophy and theology and may prove an incentive to them to study the Sikh philosophy at a higher level.

M.S.Cheema M.A (London)

First edition April 1972

INTRODUCTION

It is said that in God's creation, existence is bipolar, that is, the dark and the light, the weak and the strong, the brave and the coward etc. Does it mean then that the Good and the Evil have been created by God Himself?

If He did not create this couple, where did they come from? Or perhaps He created only the Good but the Evil crept in when something went wrong with His creation, as for example Adam and Eve disobeyed Him and thus their offspring-humanity, have to suffer from the pangs of Evil - the great curse! Or the angel Lucifer being very close to God, became jealous of the worship offered to Him and he led others -angels and humans - into disobedience. Perhaps this disobedience became the evil in this world.

On the face of it, it seems that God ought to have created only good, because He is only good. He cannot be evil. Good people aspire to be good. They will remain good only as long as they do good deeds. A room is lit only as long as the light is on and it becomes dark when the light is switched off. Similarly, good people will become less good if they do something wrong and will be considered bad if they continue doing wrong or evil things. Well, in God's nature, which He created Himself, a lot of disasters and tragic things happen. Does nature do them against His will? Or does He need them?

If He needs them or even if he is indifferent to them, He cannot claim Himself to be good. Do we accept Him as good, because He is Almighty, Omnipresent etc. and we are afraid of Him? Or is He really justified? Surely an evil-doer or one who allows evil things to happen cannot be justified as good. We must be bold to raise our voices against Him.

Let us justify it by saying that something went wrong with His creation and He will send some ‘engineers’ to rectify the fault. Actually throughout the ages, holy people have proclaimed themselves to be His ‘engineers’. Perhaps individually they claimed themselves unique for that purpose - for the destruction of evil. If their main purpose in coming into the world was really to destroy evil, and our assessment of the present situation is honest and straightforward, we would announce that they have hopelessly failed. There is no negation of evil in the modern world. The First World War! The Second World War! I dare not speak about the next one as it means the annihilation of the globe, with the awfully horrible weapons which man has invented to destroy himself. We see the oppression of the strong over the weak and the exploitation of man by man in manifold forms.

At times the world reaches the brink of war and it needs only one stupid person to be in charge of America or Russia or perhaps China to reduce the planet to an uninhabitable globe! There is no scarcity of hunger, ask Oxfam. There is an abundance of suffering. Visit Vietnam and Bengal. Even amongst the most advanced societies people are miserably unhappy.

5th Nanak (Guru Arjan Dev Ji) says in Raag Ramkali,

"Happiness and unhappiness are just different states of mind".

(vide page 915 Adi Granth).

Visit a mental hospital and have a chat with a psychiatrist. He will approve of it. People suffer from disability without any physical or physiological reasons (hysterics). They suffer at the hands of imaginary enemies (paranoids and so on). Anthropologists would confirm that the more advanced the society the more lost the individual feels. Well, undoubtedly the world is full of miseries, problems, troubles and what not. It is surely a serious fault in His creation and it is even more appalling that even His own messengers (His ‘Engineers’) could not rectify it. It seems that it will continue to be this way. Does it mean that His perfection in engineering is questionable? It is a difficult problem, let us recognise it and perhaps analyse it, to see if we could find some solution.

INTRODUCTION

in 1969 I was invited by an organisation to talk about Sikh Religion. It was one of the most educated audiences I was privileged to speak to. While I was speaking during the question time, the paradox of evil subject developed. The audience were fascinated with new ideas and instead of thirty minutes we discussed the topic for two hours. The chairman, Judge Drabble, the famous Margaret Drabble’s father asked me to write a pamphlet on the subject. Mr Ram Singh was the president of the Gurdwara, Guru Nanak Darbar, Gravesend, Kent who printed it. It became very popular among western readers. It was distributed very quickly. I am ever obliged to him and the Gurdwara Gravesend.

Nowadays I speak on the digital radio station Sukhsagar frequency 900, and internet www.sukhsagarradio.com On Saturday mornings for 2 hours, most of the questions are doubts about existence of God because there is so much Evil. Why God is complacent and indifferent! Due to lack of time I find it difficult to do full justice to the questions. I wanted to reprint it. However I could not get a copy of the pamphlet as it was not available.

To my astonishment, while I was leaving home for India, it slipped out of my bookshelf. I got the clue. In spite of my very short stay it inspired me to reprint it. I regarded this coincidence as Sat guru’s order and by his grace it is in front of you. Read it! Enjoy it!

M.S.Cheema M.A (London)

Chapter I

WHAT IS EVIL?

Well, common sense will say War is Evil, merciless killing is Evil; to hurt somebody's feeling is also Evil. To cheat somebody is Evil and so on. There is no end to the list.

Let us analyse and elaborate it further or the purpose of analysis let us take one of them `merciless killing' Americans killed Vietnamese mercilessly and by doing that they did not think that it was evil as they were doing it to protect democracy and freedom. On the other hand, the Vietcong think that fighting against South Vietnamese and Americans etc. was patriotic and perhaps holy as well. The whole world was divided into two camps. Some of us can decide easily who are right and who are wrong but the answers will be a far cry from being unanimous, and there will be a large number of people who will be undecided for various reasons.

Let us take a rather simpler example of the merciless killing of germs. Most of the people of Western thought will never think it evil. However, in the East, there will be a great number of people for example ‘Jainies’ and many others who would think it evil.*

Let us view this problem from a different angle, that is, how far an act is evil or good, according to different people's opinion or belief. Smoking and drinking are evil in most of the Eastern religions but the Christian community does not seem to have any objection at all. Not only do we find it difficult to decide what is good or evil, but also this kind of discrimination is mainly cultural and it partly varies from individual to individual. Besides that, there is an enormously long range of good people and bad people along the scale of good and evil and it would become impossible to find an absolute scale which would satisfy everybody. In the last analysis, we find that not only the notion of `good' and ‘evil’ vary from culture to culture or from individual to individual, but it is a relative term. Some are good, others are better and so on. Similarly, on the negative side there is a colossal range. Naturally the less good people in relation to very good people tend to appear bad or evil. I wonder how all people can be good unless they are equally good perhaps identical, as the clash of their interests might again generate unhappiness, frustration and evil.

* Footnote –‘Jainism’ belong to Jainism. There are a large number of people who belong to this religion in India. who believe in preserving all forms of life, however insignificant.

Chapter II

WORLD WITHOUT EVIL

Let us suppose that by some miracle God removes all the evil from this world and the people can only do good, perhaps they will also only wish for good, thus it will become just instinctive for them to be good, hence there will not be any free will. If there still remains a free will, it would be just meaningless.

As all the people will be equally good, and perhaps identically good, they will cooperate in every walk of life and there will be no need of competition and the spirit of co-operation will supersede the spirit of competition. Perhaps the competitive spirit will atrophy due to disuse.

Let us look to the world of sports in that world. Without the spirit of competition there cannot be any sports. Let us illustrate this point further. All sports are based on competition, either a team competing against another team or an individual competing against another individual. Every individual tries hard so that his team or he himself wins and does not possibly allow the opponents to beat him, however hard the opponent may be trying. The individuals of the ‘good world’ will be too good to let it happen; they will sympathise. They would rather try to make the opponents work easier. They will facilitate their opponents to win, and their opponents will be expected to do the same. Perhaps they will start scoring into their own goals and there will be a negative competition that each team will try to lose. After some time they will find the situation is no better than the present one and again they will be too good to let it happen and the present-day sports will become obsolete.

Let us suppose that they invent their own sports. Suppose they play a game in which the winner is he who co-operated better and not who competed better. If we analyse it further, we find that they will be still competing. Thus we find that in the last analysis sports would seem to be impossible and hence there will be no sports in the ‘good world’.

Now let us view that world from a different angle and examine the field of fiction, stories etc. What kind of stories can there be without villains? The villain is required to disturb the normal course of lives of some good people to create suspense. Thus, there can be no suspense without a villain. Similarly there can be no tragedies without a villain. Perhaps there will only be comedies! The probability of such fiction becomes further evident when we look at the psychology of the enjoyment of stories.

A person enjoys a story to the degrees to which he can identify himself with the hero and do the opposite with the villain. Thus, the good people will be incapable of identifying themselves with the hero and so on and hence the field of fiction will offer them no amusement.

Some people think that in the ‘good world’ there will still be some evil and good people will take a stand against the Devil and interest themselves with fighting against this evil. This again means wars and evil. Actually this is the excuse the Americans made when they were asked why they fight in Vietnam. They say they fight for democracy and freedom; they are out to destroy evil.

Let us suppose that the good people will strive conjointly to eliminate suffering. Again suffering does suggest that there is some evil thing which is causing suffering. As evil has been eliminated, so should suffering. Hence we find that even this avenue, for them to interest themselves, is closed.

What else can they do? Perhaps they will strive against nature to conquer space. They will make gigantic projects to conquer space. That might make their life a bit more interesting. Let us examine this line of thought how do the space projects originate and how are they carried out? Are they devoid of competitions? No, far from it, under the surface not only are Nations competing but groups and even individual scientists are competing with one another. Besides that in the ‘good world’ the people would have what they wish and thus there will not be any need for striving and they will be complacent and lazy.

We say ‘God is love’. Now let us examine the notion of love in such a world; you love others and others love you in return and nobody hates you. So love will be-the cheapest thing or perhaps valueless or even meaningless. Thus, in such a world God will also be meaningless to that extent, or we may perhaps say other good things about God but definitely we would stop saying ‘God is love’. What is worse is that the true taste of love - to love those who hate you - will be no more.

Similarly in that world beauty will be meaningless. Let me illustrate it further. In that world everything would be beautiful, nothing would be ugly. Perhaps some can be more beautiful than others. Again the least beautiful in the presence of the most beautiful will appear ugly or at least tend to be ugly. Hence ugliness cannot be entirely removed, unless everything is equally, or perhaps identically, beautiful. Thus everything beautiful will tend to make beauty meaningless. Should we be able to call God and say God is meaningless? I wonder how we could praise God.

Let us view that world further, perhaps from the same angle. Everybody is good, perhaps identically good in habits and preferences too, so that their interests do not clash. What about the appearances of the people? Can there be variety? No, variety means some good in some ways, others good in other ways. If they are to be identically good they must be identically good in their appearances and features as well! They will appear like toys or robots, manufactured on a mass scale. So there will be no individuals, as names given to identical specimens will be meaningless and people will completely lose their identity. Words like variety and diversity would be non-existent and people will be like machines, perhaps like inanimate objects.

May I further surprise you by telling that there will be no learning or education at all? There will be no subjects at all, perhaps any languages either. Subjects are developed because we need them. Necessity is the mother of invention. No necessity, no invention. There shall be no diseases, so no medical science. You will get plenty of food whenever you like, so no agriculture. Plenty of food everywhere, so no need to travel to other lands. Thus no need of engineers and hence no need of mathematics or Sciences etc.

Now let us see about languages. Language is meant for us to express ourselves and to clarify certain things. Words are meant to express something. I have already explained that words like beauty, variety, diversity etc. will be meaningless. Complex or technical vocabulary will be eliminated along with the various subjects.

Actually there will be no need for a language as you need not ask for anything as everything will be available and you will not need to explain anything to anybody as everybody is equally good. Perhaps people will adjust themselves without the need of a language as their thinking is alike and thus telepathy will be sufficient.

What a boring world! Without sports, without stories, without variety and diversity, without subjects to study, without languages and what t. The picture of that world seems rather gloomy. Does it then mean that a world without evil is improbable, hence the presence of evil serves some purpose?

Chapter III

GOD CREATED EVIL HIMSELF

Guru Amar Das 3rd Nanak says in Rag Ramkali (vide page 912 Adi Granth Sahib),

“Aape Dukh Sukh Paye Anter Aape Bharam Bhulai. Wadda Daata Gurmukh Jaata Niguri Andh Phirae Lukai.â€

“God Himself infuses pain and pleasure within the mortal and Himself strays him in doubt.â€

The Great Giver is known through the Guru, without the Guru, the world wanders about in utter darkness.

.

Also ‘The causes of Evil He created Himself’. (Nanak)

Another logical explanation of the presence of Evil in the world may be that God created it Himself, as a play writer, to complete his story, needs a hero and a villain. Let us see what purpose is served by this villain.

It is perhaps necessary for the evolution of soul or according to Christian belief getting closer to God.

*The organic evolution, to the scientific world, is a fact which forms an integral part of modern biology. Let us see if we can learn something from this discipline. When we talk about organic evolution, the names of Darwin and Lamarck immediately creep into our minds. Darwin, in concise form, would say that it has taken place due to the struggle for existence. Lamarck, likewise would say that it has taken place owing to the response of the organism to the hostile environment. To me it means almost the same thing, as in both cases the organism has to struggle for existence either by adaptation or by natural selection. However in both cases the generations of the best adapted or best fitted would survive and to become best fitted or best adapted to the dynamically hostile environment they had to evolve.

* Footnote—Sikh faith differs a little from this evolution. Read ‘The Sikh Pledges’.

As evolution is true for the biological world, it is true for the spiritual world and the evolution of the soul would cease if it did not have to struggle or face evil. This idea would confirm that spiritual mutations have been coincident with peaks of evil activity. Besides that a little introspection would show that our personal temptations or evil activities are directly proportional to the easiness and the material happiness of our life and the reverse seems to be equally true. The evolution of our soul mostly takes place during the most trying or hard times. We remember God when we are in difficultly and forget God when we are happy.

‘Troubles are like medicine, easiness is like illness’ says Nanak.

We all know that continuously easy winning for a team or an athlete generates complacency which is likely to degenerate into laziness. On the other hand, tough competition breaks their complacency and improves their performance. Perhaps the same is true for the soul at an individual level. For the training of the soul it must regularly face some obstacles and the obstacles must increase day by day. As a guide in this struggle, the spiritual athlete needs a Coach or some book written by an authoritative person. This Coach might mar the career of the athlete by failing to provide the optimum amount of resistance and inculcating a negative attitude towards the presence of resistance itself. That is, if the bar (to the high jumper) is raised or the amount of resistance is increased then, the athlete should happily accept this challenge and must have a positive attitude towards it and a good athlete really enjoys it. The same is true for a religious athlete. The religions of the world would confirm how happily the martyrs tasted their death. Thus to ‘decry’ the presence of evil or blaming God for its presence, undermines the objectives of the ‘spiritual’ athlete as well as the spiritual Coach.

The life of good people in the absence of evil, would be some what like that of a high jumper who jumps over nothing, or a runner competing with nobody, or a good Soccer team scoring into a vacant goal in the absence of the opposite team what an enjoyable match!

Let me suppose that by some miracle I get extraordinary powers and everybody is kind to me. I can get everything without trying, I shall tend to become complacent and this complacency will degenerate into laziness and I shall become like a baby and my life would become unbearable. In short, I shall be "killed by kindness".

We can see that this thing has actually happened in nature. For example, why African nations have remained backward can be explained by the weather being too kind to them (as compared with the hostile European one). Thus they could get some food throughout the year with little trouble. This led to less development or advancement and so their evolution virtually stopped.

Thus we can conclude that evil is present for the training and evolution of the soul. The corollary of this result is that the role of religion is that of a guide in our training, so we must decry the idea that evil is the wish of God but that:

‘He created it Himself’ as Guru Nanak says in Siri Rag. (Page 72--Guru Granth Ji).

"This world has gone astray in doubt Thou Thyself, 0 Lord! Has misled it".

(Eh jagat Bharam Bhulaiya, Aapuh Tudh Khuaiya")

Again the 3rd Nanak (Guru Amar Das) says in Rag Majh (Page l 11-Guru Granth Ji)

"This World has gone astray. Thou thyself have put it on the Wrong Track". (WHY?)

"Forgetting the One Lord it is engrossed in duality Night and day, it ever wanders beguiled by doubt and without the name (Lord's Name) suffers agony".

("Eh Jag Bhoola Tain Aap Bhulaiya. Ek Bisar Dooje Lubhaiya,

Andin Sada Phire Bharam Bhoola, Bin Nawai dukh Pawanian").

Also the Second Nanak says in Pauri War Majh. (Page 139 Guru Grant Ji):

"For ever and aye Thou, Oh Lord! Are but one. Secondly Thou hast set afoot the World Play. Thou hast created self-conceit and arrogance and infused avarice into the Mortals".

“Do Thou keep me in the way as it pleases Thee...? Everyone does as Thou directest himâ€.

("Sada toon Ek Hai, Tudh Dooja Khel Rechaiya Haumai Garb Upaikai Lobh Unter Jantan Paiya Jeon Bhavi Teon Rakh Toon, Sabh Kate Tera Karaiya")

Chapter IV

UNITY OF PURPOSE

Believing in God and the Devil or Evil as two opposite forces defies the unity of purpose and tends to be bigotry. It conflicts with the idea of uniqueness, oneness, omnipotence, omnipresence etc. of God.

The presence of evil on its own means less of Godliness or exclusion of Godliness and it is a direct challenge to His omnipresence. It sounds like saying `the room is well lit, light is every-where but most of the room is dark!' It really sounds absurd.

Let us say that evil forces are like reactionaries or defectors, again it is a challenge to his omnipotence. It sounds as if the omnipotence of God had been used as a satirical remark. It is something like saying the King is extremely powerful, he can subdue any power against him but most of his people have revolted against him and some of his commanders have defected from him. What an omnipotent King!

Let us examine the oneness of God. If we recognise the presence of revolutionary forces or defectors, then we can go a step further and recognise some of the Commanders of God and some Chiefs of the devil. That can be multiplied further and the final result would tend to be polytheism. Thus it is a direct challenge to the oneness of God. Hence we shall have to accept that the presence of evil is for definite purposes or it forms a part of one master purpose.

A little insight into history would show that whenever that devil becomes extra-ordinarily active a higher order of ‘Spiritual mutations’ is in ‘incubation’. As some time and some temperature is essential for the incubation of eggs, some activity and some accomplishment of evil is essential for the incubation of a higher order of spiritualism. Thus, evil and good are working hand-in-hand for a single purpose. The work of evil is somewhat similar to that of dirty manure which is essential for the wholesome growth of a beautiful plant.

Let me illustrate this point from Indian History. Mahmood of Gazni, attacked Somnath Temple, in order to destroy idols and to take some of the wealth of India. The Hindu priests (Brahmins) in panic, started praying to their gods and goddesses so that some godly power would destroy the devil in the person of Mahmood. In spite of their prayers Mahmood was successful in his project and he put the Brahmins to the sword. I see that the evil and the good joined hands together to kill those Brahmins as they had become corrupt. They had kept their knowledge limited to themselves and their rigid belief in the caste system had divided society so miserably that some people were considered untouchables and so on. The Brahmins had degenerated to the extent that they had become a real block to spiritual progress and spiritual evolution.

Evil works like the fermentation which is essential for the production of wine. Evil prepares the ground for a spiritual leader so that he can clearly say "Well, I have come for this holy purpose to destroy the evil forces". Without evil there will be no need for spiritual leaders. Both work hand in hand, both are essential for making the World drama interesting. They are opposite sides of the same coin, or two aspects of the same process - the master purpose - the evolution of the soul getting closer to God or salvation.

NATURE IS BINARY

We have already discussed in chapter I that nothing is absolutely Evil or Good. They are two sides of the same coin. Where does science, the study of nature, stand?

To-day science finally agrees that nature is binary, that is, it has two equal and opposite poles. A magnet has equally strong opposite poles. All individual atoms contain equal number of electrons and protons. The universe contains equal amount of positive and negative charge. It is itself neutral in totality. Ordinarily a catskin and an ebonite rod are neutral and if they are rubbed equal amount of negative and positive charges are produced. Mathematically the scientists tried to reduce the number of digits. They were successful to reduce to three and they thought the nature is trinary, inspired from trinity. Einstein reduced it to two and no-body could reduce it to one and all the modem technology works under binary system.

The Sikh scriptures say He created individuals and laws governing them. The nature was created binary and thus diversity was created and the stage was set for the celestial drama.

AwpIn@Y Awpu swijE AwpIn@Y ricE nwau ]

duXI kudriq swjIAY kir Awsxu ifTo cwau ]

He Himself created Himself; He Himself assumed His Name.

Secondly, He fashioned the creation; seated within the creation, He beholds it with delight.

SGGS P: 463

Leaving no doubt that evil was created to fulfill and enhance the play. Hence the removal of villains from the play results in culmination of the play. A good play must have a good villain and a good hero. If Jesus was to be glorified the crucifiers, or those who catalyzed to his crucification, were essential! Would you not like Jesus to be glorified? Without crucification the Christian cross would be meaningless. Same is true with every religion. At times the evil creates negativity, as it increases the positivity starts brewing and we find the birth and glorification of a hero. Actually, the evil or negativity is the initiator of the positivity.Thus, no evil no heroes!

The Evil forces will be always active to brew the good forces resulting in coming of a Rama, Krishna, Mohammed, Jesus or Guru Gobind Singh etc etc.

Some people proclaim that one of them will come and eradicate the evil. They live in an illusionary world remote from reality. If evil is eliminated good will become meaningless. We never say ‘two armed man’ because everybody has two arms. If we say beautiful it is only possible if some are ugly. If we say everybody is beautiful, not only does it become meaningless but also there is likely hood that some will be ugly. Hence it is impossible to expresses reality in words because each word creates another word; an antonym or dualism.

So dualism is essential for the nature and its diversity. If evil and good are engrained in the nature of the world, both types of people, evil and good, are natural to exist and the ‘will’ will continue to fluctuate between good and bad depending upon the circumstances which are beyond individual's control and hence the word ‘free-will’ becomes laughable.

Chapter V

IS THE WILL FREE?

Apparently it seems that the will IS free. That is, we choose whether to be good or bad because the individual has control over his behaviour. The word ‘will’ itself suggests that when we exercise will there are forces working against what we want to do and we have to exercise our personality to execute the task. Let us find what personality is. After all our behaviour is our personality in action. During our development our inherited propensities act and react with the environment and consequently the foundation of the personality is laid and the evolution continues. The process is seldom uniform and a far cry from integration. The analysis of the personality shows that different shades of personalities are produced and during the development of ourselves we often find that to more or less similar solutions our response is different and sometimes we are surprised what one is; one or multi-individual! For example if one is in a crowd the personal behaviour is suppressed and the leader controls one's behaviour with powerful slogans charged with emotions. The leader makes us to do, what ordinarily, we cannot even dream of doing. During riots one can be very cruel or brave and so on. The variable company results in very different behaviour. On further reflection of the behaviour we find that we have not got one personality but we have got several personalities and sometimes there is conflict between the personalities that creates tension in our mind. A personality can have two or move equally strong components and if the tension is great, the uniting thread of the individual ruptures or breaks and results in a ‘split personality’. Thus our basic concept of the personality shatters. Therefore the idea of ‘a’ personality becomes very illusive and consequently ‘a’ personality brought into action (that is the behaviour) becomes illusive and it becomes difficult to calculate the resultant behaviour or to find which personality has a free ‘will’. The subject seems to be growing in complexity and situations beyond our control eliminate the idea of ‘a’ free ‘will’. Now let us make it a bit simple.

A personality is formed by the action and reaction of one's propensities (in heritance) to the environment. Let us say a wrestler’s son is likely to be a wrestler because he inherited strong physique from his father and the father provides optimum environment both physical and psychological that motivates him to do exercise and nourishes the body thus a wrestler is produced. On the other hand a wrestler's son may become an orphan at a very early age and he is brought up by a father who encourages him and provides him an environment to become a scholar. He goes to the library and reads books which cater for an intellectual and at home the topics discussed are intellectual in nature. The result is likely to produce an intellectual rather than wrestler.

On further examination we find it difficult to assess how for the inheritance (H) or the environment (E) will affect. It is impossible to detach either of the factors of ‘H’ & ‘E’. At most, we can say that a person is a product of inheritance and environment. Thus:

Person = H xE

Now let us see the nature of each of them separately. No-body had a choice to select the parents. They had been already selected before birth. Whether either parent was healthy, or either or both of them were weak or strong. Whether either of them had white skin, brown or black and so on and the list of variance may be enormous and each of the characteristics is likely to bring variation in the development of the personality resulting into no choice in the behaviour because after all, behaviour is personality in action.

Now let us examine the environment (E). The factor of the environment starts from birth. The mother's environment, financial, social and religious, affects her mind and it in turn affects the child's placing amongst the siblings and the interactions which largely depend upon the siblings is beyond the child's control. So it affects his/her future personality. At school, which teachers teach, what they teach, how they teach; inspire, dictate, be indifferent or enthusiastic, their behaviour can be versatile and variable. It is beyond his choice and hence the development. Though somewhat predictable, this is beyond one's choice. We have seen the whole environment is beyond his control.

We have seen that both ‘H’ and ‘E’ are beyond one’s control then how on earth their product ‘H x E’ will be under their control.

Whatever personality has been formed it is not one's choice, so personality in action can never be one's choice and the question of a free will is simply an illusion and hence it seems clear that one who has a ‘free will’ is over simplification on unconscious display of ignorance of the believer.

FREE WILL IN VARIOUS RELIGIONS

Modern Christianity believes in ‘free will’. However the ancient did not. Saint Paul was the closest associate of Jesus; who writes that ‘If I want to do good, I find only doing some thing bad. It is only by His Grace that I can do good." So where is the free will? It is only His grace.

Hindu scriptures fluctuate between ‘free will’ and ‘His Grace’ and in depth it is only his grace.

In Islam, Musalman means one who voluntarily surrenders his will to Allah. Once the will is surrendered it belongs to Allah so the will is not free for him to be used.

In Buddhism the first step is to surrender to the Arhants or the Buddhas, Budhan Sharman Gushami I take refuge in the Buddha’s.

So question of free will is finished at the beginning.

In Judaism when Moses went to see God, he was asked to leave the shoes behind and along with the shoes he left behind his will and only His Grace prevailed.

In Sikhism, Guru Nanaks philosophy revolves around 'Gurparsad' – the Gurus Grace.

Thus on deeper understanding of the religions we find that the ‘free will’ is absent. It is only His Grace but because of the difficulty in explaining the paradox, Hindus created Maya (illusion) Christians created Satan, and Muslims created Satan but the reality is otherwise; No free will. Does it mean we are only robots? Read the next chapter.

ARE WE THE ROBOTS?

In order to understand it we have to understand the Existence. We are part of the Existence. Once we surrender to the Existence (Hari) we start playing in His team. Those who do not surrender they live in illusion and say ‘I do it’. On meditation we ultimately find that there is nothing like ‘I’ or ‘I’ ness in our body and together with that the misconception of ‘my’, ‘mine’ and ‘me’ disappears.

To the degree where we discard of ‘I’ nees or ego, we are happy and we are members of Hari’s team and the vice versa is true as well.

It is only by dissolving our ego we are happy and enjoy His Grace and vice Versa. So the sooner we lose the idea of ‘free will’ the better will be the degree to which we surrender our will so we are nearer to God. This ‘will’ is the insulation which apparently separates us from God. As the wall of ego starts dissolving, the Grace starts becoming effulgent and whatever we wish, it is granted. However I must admit that it is difficult to explain in words; it is to be experienced and enjoyed.

Again it is finally a paradox. Those who surrender free will voluntarily merge with God and their ‘will’ prevails. Those who do not surrender are shuttle cocked between success and failure. The idea of free will and ego act as a thorn in the foot - and they suffer as they move.

swkq hir rs swdu n jwixAw iqn AMqir haumY kMfw hy ]

ijau ijau clih cuBY duKu pwvih jmkwlu shih isir fMfw hy ]2]

So the comfort and enjoyment lies in surrendering the ‘will’. Accepting the idea of ‘free will’ very likely generates arrogance false pride and inflated ego. Let us God’s will prevail!

Chapter V

LESSONS FROM THE PARADOX

Having assumed that the presence of evil in the world is essential for the evolution of the soul (getting closer to God) let us see how it can be useful in the everyday struggle and what difference it will make to our philosophy of life.

The first difference it will make is that we shall be able to love or pity the evil doers and be grateful to God when He blesses us with goodness. This attitude will tend to redeem the present situation and would very likely change some mild evil doers to our side and we shall recognise the role of evil people in relationship to our own development and thus it will develop a ‘spiritual sportsmanship’ in us.

Secondly, we shall aim at playing like a sportsman, i.e. playing for the game and not for victory only. Consequently if we fail to do a noble deed (as evil forces may be stronger than the forces of truth) we shall not be frustrated and desperate but we shall try to make a harder effort next time and in short time we shall love the struggle rather than the victory which we shall leave in the hands of God. Good players display their sportsmanship when they leave the decision on subtle points in the hands of their referee.

Thirdly, we shall enjoy the struggle of life in a much better way as we get involved in it, like the players on the stage; We shall be able to rise above our involvement. Our failures will not discourage us from doing something good as we shall be able to see some higher purpose to be fulfilled, and we shall enjoy the world drama to the degree in which we wholeheartedly participate in.

Fourthly, our activity will become dynamic and we shall not act like the Brahmins who were slain while at prayer, but we shall play our role to the best of our ability. Thus we shall hate passive escapism or negative thinking and thus we shall make an effective contribution to the well being of the World.

Guru Gobind Singh Ji's Prayer:

"Grant unto me this boon, 0 lord,

That I may never be deterred from doing good deeds.

I should have no fear of the enemy when I go to battle

and turn victory convincingly to my side.

In my mind there is but one desire

That I may ever be singing Thy Praises.

And when the time comes, I should die

Fighting in the field of action"

Tenth Nanak-Guru Gobind Singh Ji

In a way, evil forces are better than good forces because they are always active and good forces are usually apathetic, inactive and disorganised. Many times, they wait forth natural forces or sometimes for some supernatural powers to operate and destroy the evil.

Fifthly, like a good player we shall be able to see the good qualities of our opponents. Perhaps by doing that we might understand their purpose or their role in the struggle. Then it will not only be enjoyable but at times will help us to develop insight into the situation and we might then become better fitted for the struggle. At times we could jointly achieve much more than we could have achieved alone. For example, the Brahmins in the quoted example would see what purpose the devil was going to fulfil and what was wrong with themselves.

Sixthly, as individuals, we shall be able to live with understanding and insight and we shall appreciate that even our own enemies are doing a good job for us.

Seventhly, it makes God almighty, omnipresent and omniscient thus uniting the religions by giving true understanding.

Nanak says,

‘My critics are my best friends'.

Finally, the paradox of Evil is in no way antithetic to any religious belief, it is simply a view taken from a different angle. It does not refute the idea of ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ Thy Will come and it does come and it has been coming but it is a process which takes place within the mind of an individual. It is not external. It is a process which takes place as result of evolution of soul.

As the 3rd Nanak in Rag Majh (Page 122-Adi granth Ji) says:

"Ever and ever, 0 True Lord! I praise Thee

Through the Guru and I have realised that there is no other second.

With one Lord my mind remains merged.

When man grows fond of the Lord

The Lord comes and meets him in the mind".

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa

Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

WORLD DRAMA

Some are good some are bad;

Some are happy some are sad,

Some are brave and some fear

Some are confused the others clear

Some are rich others poor

They could be reversed very sure

So much injustice whom to blame

Such misery what a shame

The existence is bipolar

Whether lunar or solar.

Day following by night and night by the day,

Winter followed by summer which does not stay

You can wonder or be angry.

No need to be gloomy be friendly

Enjoy the variation and the variety

Wherever you go find a happy society

What cannot be cured must be endured.

To every cloud there is a silver line

Here is the place to be happy every time

Be in harmony and understand.

Leave happy steps on the ‘Sand@

Life is to be happy and make the people so.

Happily live and happily go.

WHO AM I

Am I the body in flux?

It changed every moment and not fix (Ed)

From childhood to youth not in a day

We changed yearly, monthly hourly moment every day

Changing cannot be, only being!

The body is changing as time is fleeing

I am the body is an illusion

Search within remove so uncertain

Uncertain cannot be certain remove the curtain!

Search and search and continue.

Ultimately you find what is True

Everything is within so find

Search what is our kind!

LIFECYCLE

From where do we come to mother’s womb?

Where we go from tomb.

If we do not exist

What we are

Do I feel my Existence?

I do agree without resistance!

If exist, the existence never dies

It is here and now never flies,

If we exist after death so we do before

Possible we, after death, wait in a store.

In factories our existence was manufactured

So should the Sun be manufactured every day?

So the moon and stars which do not go astray

Oh they are in cycle and cycled.

If they are cycled we are cycled too,

The reincarnation is a fact and clearly true.

GRACE

God’s grace reaches everywhere

Up and down here and there

In every direction it flows

Every river flows, each star glows Appears, disappears and reappears.

With words we appreciate and admire

Super to the senses surpasses them very far

Enjoy beyond words, enjoy with heart

Be thoughtless. Timeless ego depart

It is Annand it is wonder.

Where neither I nor you

Only Waheguru,Waheguru,Wahaeguru

OUR TRUE NATURE

O’ my friend why I am happy

Why I am healthy

Did you ask flower why fragrant

Every petal is full of scent.

Why the coal is black, the snow white

Everything is beautiful in its right

Birds sing and glow worm glow.

They don’t need a reason to be so.

Hope is nature not hopeless.

So is our nature not unhappiness.

For illness there is no reason.

Health our nature in every season.

‘For sickness search reason not for health

So, happy life, our birth right wealth.

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