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Three Spiritual Questions

marionette manQ: Is the faith and destiny of us human beings completely due to God’s will without anything to do with our karma? In other words, is it predetermined because we have no control? Is it just like a drama, a human being only an actor, but God being the author of the scenario?

In the universe, karma is the law of God. But we alone determine our karma by our thoughts, words, and actions. That is under our control completely.

God has built the theater, the cosmos, and equipped it. We have come into the theater by the actors’ entrance and come onto the stage by our own will. The drama is written by us by our own actions and karmic reactions. How it comes out is determined by us, no one else. Life is like a musical instrument that has been made by someone else, but how we play it and what kind of music comes out is up to us.

Q: Even though we pray every day, it seems to me that without God’s will our prayer shall never be fulfilled. So what is the use of praying? Why shouldn’t we just surrender our fate to the will of God?

It is God’s will that we live in such a way that we fulfill our own prayers. But we can refuse to do that, and end up with a tangle of confusion instead of a worthwhile and worthy life.

We can ask the help of God in living rightly and if our prayer is sincere we will receive divine assistance. God has not left us on our own, but we can be if we so choose. As Krishna explains in the Gita, no one can remain without action, as that is the nature of relative existence, but we can live according to divine, spiritual principles or ignorant, human whims. It is all up to us.

There are devotees who never ask God for anything, trusting him to guide and protect them. When they are sincere and devoted, not just trying to avoid using initiative or taking responsibility, it works. But if we consider the matter, we will see that this, too, is a form of action and taking charge–just in a different direction.

Q: In the next life will we reincarnate in the same family or nationality as in this present life? Or will we be born in some other family, nationality or even a different religion?

I think by now you know my answer: It is all according to your karma, which includes your desire.

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