If everything is in God’s hands then why is there evil?


The statement that everything is in God’s hands is not understood properly; this needs some detailed explanation.

Let us first analyze a simple worldly experience. The government builds roads and they make rules and regulations for driving vehicles. People have not only to learn driving, but also to know the rules and regulations for safe driving. If a driver goes through a red light and meets an accident, it is due neither to the failure of the rules nor to the lack of his driving skill. It is simple disobedience by the driver. If the driver knew the rules but he didn’t bother to follow them, the cause of the accident is the disrespect shown to the rules.

Something similar happens in our daily lives. Sometimes we land ourselves in trouble because we didn’t care to listen to the rules made for us by Waheguru. At another time, we may know the rules but we disrespect them, which causes us to get into trouble.

People have to know the rules of Nature and also follow them. The government does not create accidents; they are caused by the failure of the drivers. Waheguru does not plan ‘accidents’ (evil) for us; the failure is on our part. There is no devil or Satan to misguide us and put us in trouble. It is we ourselves who fail to follow Waheguru’s rules and create trouble for ourselves.

Waheguru has given us intellect and physical competence to act according to certain basic principles of life. We are to use them and not sit like stones. When we act we have many ideas before us and many kinds of forces acting on us. Greed, anger, ego, love, sympathy, desire for service, etc. direct our actions toward others. Teaching and preaching are required to help a person make the right decisions. Virtues lead us to peace and vices lead us to trouble. Our happiness or sorrow depends upon the feelings under which we act. It is not justified to blame Waheguru for our failures or evil acts. To free ourselves of the guilt of doing antisocial or illegal acts, we tell ourselves that everything is in the hands of Waheguru; a human can do nothing. This is trying to “act smart.” Actually, by this we only fool ourselves.

There is a classic example of how this principle, “I do not do anything; everything is done by Waheguru” works and how its misuse is stopped. A second-time thief was sentenced by the judge for one year in jail. On hearing the sentence the thief addressed the judge, “Sir, do you believe in Waheguru, the Almighty Judge and that He does everything?”
Judge: Yes, I do.
Thief: Waheguru made me commit this theft according to His Will. Therefore, it is wrong for you to send me to jail.
Judge: You are sentenced for two years. Do not blame me for increasing your sentence. You know that I can not do anything; everything is done by Waheguru.

The thief learned the lesson of his life — it is wrong to hold God responsible for what one intentionally plans to do or does under the pressure of vices. We cannot ignore the knowledge of good or bad while living this life.

An ignorant person can be saved from doing wrong acts. But how can that person be saved who knowingly commits sins?

ਕਬੀਰ ਮਨੁ ਜਾਨੈ ਸਭ ਬਾਤ ਜਾਨਤ ਹੀ ਅਉਗਨੁ ਕਰੈ ॥
ਕਾਹੇ ਕੀ ਕੁਸਲਾਤ ਹਾਥਿ ਦੀਪੁ ਕੂਏ ਪਰੈ ॥੨੧੬॥
“Kabeer, the mortal knows everything, and knowing, he still makes mistakes. What good is a lamp in one’s hand, if he falls into the well? ||216||”
(Ang 1376)

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