*Write-up received via email from Exrbites Group member.The very thought of Vaikunta Ekadasi brings to our mind many concepts-karma, Free Will, swarga-naraka etc etc.We have seen many good people suffering and bad people enjoying.Even in Mahabharath .all kauravas went to swarga and all pandavas except Yudhishtira were sent to Naraka.
This is a painful question pondered by many. The answer is rooted
in free will. Many of the behaviours of evil people lead directly to
success; the biggest liar and manipulator on the sales team will usually be the top salesperson, for example. The evil person develops skill in
seeing how to get the optimal outcome in every situation, and is willing to take whatever the actions are to get that most desirable outcome…
which is why they so often get there.
These people are NOT being blessed, they are reaping the “rewards” of their evil in the same way that a child cheating on a test gets a
higher score… this is NOT the work of God, as He NEVER rewards evil.
But why does He even permit it? Free will.We all believe in free
will, we want to have it, we believe everyone should have it… but we’re
naturally unhappy when evil people use it to achieve “surface success.”
If God were to block all evil behavior,and decide every act of every person to be good and nothing but good, we would not have free will
anymore; more to the point, if being good is all we can do, rather than
it being matter of choice, then we are not demonstrating any actual
virtue… and God wants us to CHOOSE right behavior in the same way that
He wants us to CHOOSE faith rather than being “programmed” to have it.
And what is our reward for making those choices rather than the evil
ones that lead so consistently to “surface success”? We have “true
success,” the only kind that matters; our deep connection to God.
Which would you rather have; “surface success” gained by evil acts, or a belated success
gained in a sincere path?
Don’t envy the evil people who have achieved “surface success”; PITY
them, because they have given up the only thing that matters, that thing that you and I are blessed with in abundance… closeness to the real purpose of life.
Swarga and naraka are stated to be only mental concepts though they have been such a magnanimous or terrific description in puranas to have nice impact on people of the outcome of good or bad.As good ethics and character were insisted upon, special emphasis was made on harsh punishments in Garuda Puranam.
There are many stories to emphasize that swarga and naraka are mere concepts.
There was a great virtuous man, all good and no evil at all. He had a good wife, nice children. He acted according to Dharama Sastras.
His life also was nearing end.He prayed to Lord brahma. Lord Brahma appeared before him.He said," O Brahma, I want to know about my next birth. I have not done any evil in this life.'Brahma said," That is a secret".
The man said," I don't want you to change. But I want to know where my next life would be. In my heart of hearts I would like to go to Swargam.
Brahma said" Ok. You will be born as a pig in the glutter of your backyard. Your right ear will be white."
So saying Brahma disappeared.
The man called his sons and told everything. If you find a small pig with a white right ear, pl kill that pig immediately.
So saying, the old man died.
After 6 months the pig in the glutter gave birth to 6 piglets, one of them had white right ear.
The sons identified,yet they didn't want to kill the young baby pig. However his father's request was pressing their mind. After 3 months they chased the pig. The pig was running and running.At last they caught the pig . The pig also had poorva janama vasana.The pig told the sons, I am very happy with my my new parents and siblings and find the glutter very cosy, fragrant and comfortable. I am as happy as I were in Swarga. Perhaps God fulfilled my desire of being in swarga in this way.
The sons went off, forgot about everything as ordained.
Narada met brahma and asked, why this virtuous man is born in this glutter.
Pat came the reply from Brahma,'There is no swarga or naraka. It is only a concept. See this pig. It finds the glutter very warm and comfortable.Swargas and Narakas are relative terms.
As for Garuda Puranam,many consider it inauspicious to possess the book.In reality,The Purva Kanda of Garuda Purana is a rich treasure to possess.It contains rich information on cosmology, construction of temples with detailed plans,scientific aspects of gemmology.The information on good government is simply amazing.The chapters on various types of medicines,yoga sastra and Brahma Gita are exemplary.Garuda Puranam is a dialogue between Vishnu and Garuda,then narrated by Garuda to sage Kasyapa which then spread in the Naimisharanya reaching sage Vyasa.The latter half of Garuda Puranam contains details of various hells associated with various sins.We may be surprised to read that even ordinary people who are not criminals,but accidentally do mistakes unknowingly get listed in one of the categories.In old days people had a sense of guilt and fear of punishment.Perhaps the punishments cited would have been a deterrent to intending criminals in those days.Though we have sufficient laws, there is no political will to implement the same.Perhaps the awareness of Garuda Purana may help in reducing the alarming crime rate.Vathsala Jayaraman