God only graces the souls. Except for this, He has no other work. If anyone ever asks you, “What does God do?” Your answer should be, “Grace.” All His other actions are a result of His desire to grace. His gracious nature forces Him to perform all other kinds of action. The Gita (4.13) says that God has the title of “doing nothing while simultaneously doing everything.” He is the abode of two opposite and simultaneously existing characteristics. The Bhagavatam says that even the intellects of great scholars fail at this point when they hear or read about these contradictory characteristics of God.
The scriptures say that God has no desire. Only the one who has something to attain forms desires. God has nothing to attain so He doesn’t have any desire. He also ever exists, is all-knowing and eternally happy. Why then should He have any desires? On the other hand, we are repositories of unending desires. So when God doesn’t have to achieve anything, then the question of Him having desires does not arise. But still He performs action. For example, God created this universe. What was the reason? This is an important question. The Taittiriya Upanishad says, “God is defined as the one who creates everything. All the living and non-living, sentient and insentient beings are maintained by Him, and at the time of mahapralaya (final dissolution) of the universe, everything merges into Him.”
God is also referred to as atmaram, "completely desireless". Why then did He create this impure, temporary, material and lifeless world? All of God’s qualities are the opposite of what is found in this creation! God is the supreme enlivener, yet He created a lifeless world. God is an ocean of divine bliss, but there is not a single drop of true happiness in this world. When we entered this world, we made our start by shedding tears and we keep on crying until our time of death. But if God is not like this, then why did He create such a bad world? He should have at least created a nice world. After all, He is better than the best. What then was the reason for this material world?
To be continued . . .
An English translation of a discourse delivered in Hindi by:
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
22 September 2009
© Radha Govind Samiti
To read the continuing parts of this series, click below: