In the view of Hinduism, sinfulness and goodness are mixed in our characters. Our natures contain different proportions of these qualities or tendencies and we should strive to behave in a manner that develops good tendencies and wipes out bad ones. While our deeds reflect our nature, they also impact it. For example, being truthful and worshipping God with a loving heart are signs of persons who are good and doing these things leads to goodness. Conversely, being dishonest or pretending to worship God with a hate-filled heart are signs of a person who is evil and doing these things leads to evil.
In chapter sixteen of Bhagavad Gita which discusses goodness and evil, Lord Krishna sums up the tendencies and behaviors that constitute goodness:
The Lord said:
Goodness is many things.
Goodness is being brave and pure
And thinking of your soul.
Your soul is God inside you.
Goodness is helping others.
It is self-control and worshipping God
And having pujas
And studying the Vedas and other holy books.
It is calling out God’s names and glories and suffering for your beliefs.
Goodness is being straight and strong
In body and mind.
Peacefulness, truthfulness, and kindness are good.
This excerpt is from On Hinduism, by Irina Gajjar. To purchase the book, visit our Amazon Link.
Different Hindus perceive the relationship between God and karma in different ways. Some go as far as to say that karma determines the future and God does not exist or matter at all. Some equate the divine force with karma or believe that God creates karma and hence see no issue regarding interaction between the two.
Yet other individuals and Hindu schools of thought, more conventionally, see God as the dispense of karma, which He possibly tempers with divine mercy. Whatever their particular viewpoint, Hindu philosophers and laymen agree with the viewpoint that good behavior earns merit and improves their karma and that misfortune is the product of prior bad behavior. Even those who do not fully believe in karmic power generally consider the idea of karma a plausible guideline for ethical living.
What are your views on karma? Do you feel your good behavior earns merit and that your misfortune is a product of your prior poor behavior? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Read more from Irina Gajjar at www.irinaspage.com.
In the Gita, Lord Krishna tells us He is born from time to time to protect goodness and destroy evil. He says:
You and I have passed through many births.
I know them all but you do not remember.
I am born from time to time
whenever the good need my protection.
I am born to destroy the bad and help the good.
My birth is divine and those who understand
this become part of Me
and do not have to be born again.
Gita: 4:5; 6; 7
Human beings envision God in a form like ours. Thus we say that He created us like Him or now some of us consider perhaps like Her. At the same time we cannot imagine the Lord being conceived and born in the same fashion as we were.
In my view, the fact that so many of us not only imagine but also believe in miraculous birth validate our notion and make it true. The real question is what does truth mean?
For some answers, see The Gita, A New Translation of Hindu Sacred Scripture, and On Hinduism by Irina Gajjar.