Apr 27, 2012

Should we do our duty or leave it on God?

Question:  If your near and dear ones are facing problems, and you have done your level best to resolve them, with no positive results, then what is your duty now? Should you leave it to God and feel that now you have peace?
     
Answer by Swamiji:  As human beings, we are instructed by the scriptures to help others, and endeavor to mitigate their sufferings. But, we must do so in a detached manner, leaving the results to God.  As long as we are in material bondage, there will always be misery.  We will all grow old, we will all become sick, and we will all die one day.  Who can escape these realities of life?   So we cannot make anyone totally free from misery.  

Apart from this, we all have sañchit karmas (the karmas of endless past lives) that create suffering and happiness for us from time-to-time.  Not even God violates the Law of Karma.  The Purāṇas tell us that the Pāṇḍavas suffered immensely, even though they were great devotees of Shree Krishna. Arjun was a God-realized Saint, and yet his son Abhimanyu passed away, leaving Uttara a widow. Neither Shree Krishna nor Arjun could prevent the bereavement caused by his death. Then how do we hope to remove anyone's miseries entirely.  

Again, suffering is sometimes directly given by God for spiritual progress, to increase one's detachment from the world.  The scriptures state: 

taṁ bhraṁshayāmi sampadbhyo yasya chechcchāmya
nugraham (Śhrīmad Bhāgavatam 10.27.16)

In this verse, God says: "When I wish to bestow the highest treasure of Divine Love upon someone, I first prepare that person by giving suffering." The Bible states: "God sometimes gives misery in our lives, to turn us away from sin, and seek eternal life."  At the level of our thinking, material suffering is bad, but in the Divine plan, it may be necessary for the evolution of the soul.

Even if we are successful in removing someone's material miseries, this is only a very partial and temporary solution - you give food to a hungry person, and after six hours he is hungry again.  I am not decrying the need for doing material charity towards society.  But, that is not the only kind of charity that exists.  The highest charity is to help someone attain love for God, and get out of the cycle of life-and-death. The God-realized Saints engage in this Divine charity. They remove the root cause of suffering of the souls, which is forgetfulness of God. If we help the God-realized Saints in their welfare work, we effectively engage in the highest charitable activity we possibly can.  

So, if people are close to you, do try to alleviate their material miseries.  But at the same time, try to inspire them to strengthen their relationship with God.  And most importantly, remember to help others as a matter of duty, and leave the results in the hands of God.  If your sincere efforts to assist them do not yield results, do not be disturbed.