Spiritual Questions and Answers with Radhanath Swami

What about the babies who died in the Tsunami?

By on September 14, 2010 in Events with 31 Comments

Child at Tsumani

Question to Radhanath Swami: Many new borns were amongst the Tsunami victims. You may say it’s karma, but how can one be punished when one doesn’t even know what is right and what is wrong? I don’t think what happened was right.

Radhanath Swami provides the scriptural understanding

But what is right according to us is not always what happens. We have to understand that the soul in that child has gone through millions of lives. Whatever piety and impiety it has gained is there to its credit. So a child who was good in past lives will be elevated to a more prosperous environment even through an apparently disastrous situation like the Tsunami.  The Bhagavad Gita explains that the soul is not killed with the body.  Neither fire, nor water, nor anything else can kill the soul .

The Concept of collective responsibility presented by Radhanath SwamiMeat Eating Bad Karma

It is explained in the scriptures and by philosophers throughout the ages that when there is massive abuse of the resources of the earth, when there is massive violence and sinful activities, there will also be massive natural reactions. Human beings are individually responsible for their actions, and similarly human society is collectively responsible for its actions. Hundreds and millions of animals are being slaughtered every year; whether you believe it or not, there is a karmic reaction for this cruelty. When the world is filled with these types of actions, it’s expected that there’s going to be massive natural disasters.

So, we should understand that in this world, in one sense, everyone is responsible for everyone else. What we do affects so many people. For example, in America one very highly posted man in a corporation was cheating tens and thousands of innocent employees, and they had to massively suffer because of him. Another example. If a father becomes an alcoholic, the whole family suffers. From the point of view of karma, though it’s very inconceivable why people are put in a particular situation of suffering, we understand in principle that ultimately no one is cheated. Whatever happens, one is going to be punished or rewarded according to one’s own piety or impiety.

Still, whatever their karma, a saintly person should feel for the sufferings of others, and try to do everything within his/her power to help.  The greatest help is to make people aware of their eternal souls and help them clean their hearts.


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