Bhagavadgita -Radhakrishnan 20

The Bhagavadgita -S. Radhakrishnan

5. Krsna, the teacher

When once God has granted us free will, He does not stand aside leaving us to make or unmake ourselves. Whenever by the abuse of freedom unrighteousness increases and the world gets stuck in a rut, He creates Himself to lift the world from out of its rut and set it on new tracks. Out of His love He is born again and again to renew the work of creation on a higher plane. According to a passage in the M.B., the Supreme who is ever ready to protect the worlds has four forms. One of them dwells on earth practising penance ; the second keeps watch over the actions of erring humanity; the third is engaged in activity in the world of men, and the fourth is plunged in the slumber of a thousand years.[1] Absolute impassivity is not the only side of Divine nature.

The Hindu tradition makes out that the avataras are not confined to the human level. The presence of pain and imperfection is traced not to man's rebellious will but to a disharmony between the creative purpose of God and the actual world. If suffering is traced to the "fall" of man, we cannot account for the imperfections of innocent nature, for the corruption that infects all life, for the economy of disease. The typical question, Why is there cancer in the fish? cannot be avoided. The Gita points out that there is a Divine Creator who imposes His forms on the abysmal void. Prakrti is the raw material, the chaos out of which order is to be evolved, a night which is to be illumined. In the struggle between the two, whenever a deadlock is created, there is Divine interference to release the deadlock. Besides, the idea of one unique revelation is hardly consistent with our present views of the universe. The tribal God gradually became the God of the earth and the God of the earth has now become the God of the universe, perhaps only one of many universes. It is inconceivable that the Supreme is concerned only with one part of one of the smallest of planets.


References and Context

  1. caturmurtir aham Savsal lokatranartham udyatahatmanam pravibhajyeha loke nam hitam adadheeka murtis tapascaryam kurute me bhuva sthitaapara pasyati kurvanam sadhvasadhuniapara kurute karma mdnusam lokam dsritlis'ete caturthi` tvaar mdrdm varpsahasrikim.Dronaparva, XXIX, 32-34