Just a few days back the headlines in all Indian newspapers were filled with the news of Jammu and Kashmir floods. A devastating flood, the worst one in last 60 years. It killed hundreds, ruined thousands of lives and left millions stranded. Billions of rupees damage to India. “Floods have washed out Kashmir apple’s crop worth Rs 1,000 crore leaving a devastating impact on growers and the collateral damage for the consumers in rest of the country, who should be prepared to pay high prices in the coming festival and rest of the winter season”, an Assocham report said after an assessment of the crop loss. The government is doing all that it can to help the situation. Indian soldiers have taken great risks to save lives. Some 250,000 have been rescued but fear of epidemic looms over the region.
It may sound childish or perhaps insensitive if one asks why such natural disasters take place and who is responsible. The replies could range from a quick laughter to a strong criticism, from environmental analysis to geographical calculations, and from global warming to political wrangling. They will go on arguing and spending billions on preventing natural disasters but the bitter truth is, none of their attempts can stop such harsh actions of the nature. The reason is simple- disobedience of God’s laws. People are trying to be happy without following universal laws, which are strictly implemented under the direction of the Supreme Lord. Not possible.
God is not a creation of our imaginations as some fools propose. Any sane person can observe and understand that nothing in this world is automatic. Even the so-called automatic robots and drones are also programmed by human intelligence and cannot begin to act without human intervention. Why then should one believe in the concocted theory of the atheists that the gigantic universe, containing billions of planets moving about in the space, precisely following the laws of physics, is automatic?
It requires an incredible amount of ignorance to believe that there is no creator and ruler of this world. Foolish non-believers cannot answer many questions but when they are presented with perfect answers to their questions they don’t want to accept. This is called misfortune.
Lord Krishna says mayadhyaksena prakriti suyate sa-characharam: “This material nature is working under My direction.” Srila Prabhupada explains: “When we see wonderful things happening in the cosmic nature, we should know that behind this cosmic manifestation there is a controller. Nothing could be manifested without being controlled. It is childish not to consider the controller. For instance, a child may think that an automobile is quite wonderful to be able to run without a horse or other animal pulling it, but a sane man knows the nature of the automobile’s engineering arrangement. He always knows that behind the machinery there is a man, a driver. Similarly, the Supreme Lord is the driver under whose direction everything is working.”
One frequently asked question is, if God is controlling, then why is He making people suffer? The answer is, it is not God who makes one suffer. It is the individuals who cause themselves to suffer or enjoy due to their own past activities. This “past” does not refer only to one’s past in this life but in his all previous lives. The result is served when one’s actions become matured, just like a fixed deposit in a bank yields result on its maturity, or a criminal is hanged when he crosses a limit of committing crimes. This is the reason sometimes we see an apparently sinful person enjoying his past good actions and a seemingly religious person suffering his past misdeeds.
Bhagavad Gita (3.12) says: “In charge of the various necessities of life, the demigods, being satisfied by the performance of yajna [sacrifice], will supply all necessities to you. But he who enjoys such gifts without offering them to the demigods in return is certainly a thief.”
Let us understand what He says. There is nothing automatic in this world. We all know that the government of a country has its managerial structure and laws. Similarly one should understand that there also are laws and managers of universal affairs. Srila Prabhupada explains that all the necessities of life that the human society requires are supplied by the demigods, who are the authorized agents of the Supreme Lord.
No one can manufacture anything. For example, none of the eatables of human society like grains, fruits, vegetables, milk, sugar, etc., and also the eatables of the non-vegetarian domestic and wild animals, can be manufactured by men. The so-called artificially grown fruits and grains is nothing but a manipulation of the original ones. Then again, heat, light, water, air, etc., which are also necessities of life— cannot be manufactured by the human society. There is no reason for human beings to become proud thinking they are manufacturing something. They are not. All what they are doing is mixing two or more things and producing something else.
The question as to why the world keeps facing natural disasters despite its unending endeavors to prevent them, is replied by Srila Prabhupada in his purport to the above-mentioned verse from Bhagavad Gita:
“Obviously, our life is dependent on supplies from the Lord. Even for our manufacturing enterprises, we require so many raw materials like metal, sulphur, mercury, manganese, and so many essentials—all of which are supplied by the agents of the Lord, with the purpose that we should make proper use of them to keep ourselves fit and healthy for the purpose of self-realization, leading to the ultimate goal of life, namely, liberation from the material struggle for existence”. But, “If we forget the purpose of human life and simply take supplies from the agents of the Lord for sense gratification and become more and more entangled in material existence, which is not the purpose of creation, certainly we become thieves, and therefore we are punished by the laws of material nature.”
It is not really about J&K flood. Today it is this, yesterday it was the Pune landslide, and tomorrow it could be something else. The world has seen many massive calamities caused by the nature and it is likely to see more. A society of thieves can never be peaceful and happy. People think that by economic development they will solve all their problems. This is an illusion because just like a citizen cannot disobey government laws and still live happily, human beings cannot ignore the laws of God and expect to live peacefully. This is an unchangeable fact that people are experiencing regularly and repeatedly, but unfortunately, due to their unending ambitions for acquiring more wealth and more control, they are not able to learn from it.
If we want to be happy we will have to learn how to reciprocate with the universal rulers as advised above by Lord Krishna: “In charge of the various necessities of life, the demigods, being satisfied by the performance of yajna [sacrifice], will supply all necessities to you…” To dream of being happy without accepting the authority of God is not only foolish but dangerous. Such a mentality may be suitable for animals, not for human beings. Those who deride God’s authority are undoubtedly heading for taking birth in animal society in the future. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Hare Krishna.