Good, Evil and God’s Love for Us


Yogananda said that God loves us always no matter what our mistakes. But in the Gita Krishna said , "i hurl the cruel haters and evil doers in demonic wombs again and again, falling to the lowest existence they fail to attain me." God here seems to be more like a tyrant than an "ocean of mercy" as described by saints. The saints always say that God hates none, then why is there such a contradiction here? Does God really hate evil people and non believers?

—S, India


Dear S,

You have posed a metaphysical conundrum whose essence is inextricably linked to the play of duality in the world of manifestation! On the one hand, Krishna says he plays all the parts; on the other hand, he speaks of men doing good and evil deeds, each receiving the results of his actions. Which is it, one demands? Ah, sweet is the Lord’s heart but powerful is the sword of duality.

This woebegone world could not exist without the warp and woof of change, pleasure, pain, good and evil, male and female, light and dark. The Supreme Lord is the essence of all good and all love but to enact the great drama of creation, God invokes an illusion: the illusion of separateness activated by the play of opposites whose contrast makes all things seem both separate and real. This illusion hides God from our view as we see only the illusion and not the Spirit or Essence behind all things.

Though the creation is but a dream in the Cosmic Mind of God, to we who are dreamers the dream is very real. Just as at night in a dream we can be frightened to death until we awake from the dream, so too the dream of daily life seems all too real until we awake from it. And just as in our nightly dreams we play our part and the other dream characters play theirs, so the very nature of God’s impulse to create the dream is implanted in the dream itself. If we did not have the creative impulse, we would pierce the veil of illusion and merge back into the Reality of Spirit.

Once, therefore, we dream in the dream of duality we are forced to play by its rules. The virtuous are rewarded and the evil doers are punished. Not by God but by the very nature of the dream itself. As criminals are apprehended and imprisoned, so those whose lives are immersed in evil thoughts and emotions suffer the indignities of the choices they have made. They betray their divine nature by having made the choice to invest into the dream rather than inquiring about the nature of the dream and asking “Who is the real Dreamer?”

God waits for us eternally to bestow upon us His unconditional Love but God, Christ-Krishna, the Lord will not interfere with the choices we have made for He wants us to return to Him by the intelligent, free will choice of our hearts. God punishes no one, despite the poetry of the Gita and other scriptures like the Christian Bible. Those verses merely reflect the law of Duality which God has created and the underlying precept that all creation, including the law of Duality, are but manifestations of his grace, consciousness, and love. For by being punished, evil-doers have the incentive to mend their ways and to seek the “truth that shall make them free” from the wheel of samsara, the grinding wheel of causality (karma).

Only by having escaped the illusion, can we truly say as Yogananda taught that God loves all without condition. But enmeshed in the illusion, we must play the parts of the virtuous and the evil, each of whom receive their respective and just rewards. The virtuous are closer to God because of their harmony with creation but even they cannot escape the illusion until they turn to God’s grace for soul-freedom (moksha). For this God sends the soul, when the soul cries out for release, a Redeemer- the Sat guru.

May the Light of Divine Wisdom enlighten your mind,
Nayaswami Hriman