Why do we pray?Does confession work? Will crime go unpunished?

During the early 1980’s terrorism in Punjab was not unknown. Let us talk about one life in Punjab, Balbir, a shopkeeper, who used to sell vegetables and limited groceries to feed his family, a wife and two daughters. One day, suddenly in front of his shop a motorcycle stopped and a machine-gun fired. There was a killing spree. The terrorist men escaped. There were 7 casualties, including Balbir. Balbir’s wife and children wept incessantly for days and months together. So did many mothers, daughters and wives for the innumerable incidents that took place. And this is not new to the man born in the 20th century.

A few years back in my home town a thug intruded into a house, killed the old man and woman and stole away meager few thousands worth of property.

Forget about killing. During my childhood in primary school, when my mother hardly could afford a new notebook, my so called “friend” stole a new notebook of mine and claimed it to be his. My mother had to borrow from her friend, some money to get me a new one. I can imagine how much pain she might have undergone through to ask and later return it.

There were scoundrels who threw acid on the faces of girls and damaged their precious lives. There are innumerable men, women and children who are becoming victims of one or the other mischievous, malicious or crime act of some ruthless animals out there roaming in the society, un-identified.

Now at the end of the day, these criminals, go to a Church or a Masjid or a Temple and kneel down before the priest/father and confess their crimes, have you ever seen the damage done to the victims was “Undone” or “corrected” with compensation? NEVER… It was never undone. The victims wept for years together and bore the pain. So will confession wipe out our sins and make us pure? A very natural “NO”.

How are the victims compensated? So how are our sins cured? Are they cured at all?

Ironically, and logically, victims are victims because their “Karma” haunted them. Here “Karma” is the fruit of their good or bad works done in their earlier birth. If a man is pure in his birth and performs righteous duties without disturbing social order, it is for sure that he has “good karma” to carry along with him. If a person performs illicit acts and troubles others without a reason and conducts an impure life he would carry forward a “bad karma”. Does this have a proof? Absolutely, see so much suffering around and yet many culprits go unpunished by the law. Why? Are they punished at all by God? If yes, when? If you are a theist, you are already realizing it. If you are an atheist, you will question its credibility. I would ask such an atheist, a simple question about our origin and our purpose of life.

Digressing a bit, to understand that there are certain things which are beyond the grab of science, but under the logical sense. How did man come to existence? If everything is a chemical process, what is the force that drives these chemicals? Remember, however advanced we are, in science and technology, we could not invent life so far. We could only discover electricity which is the force behind all our day to day essentials, comforts and luxury. However man existed billions of years before electricity was invented.

Now with that in view, we need to realize that there must be a super power which is above us which is overseeing, powering us, which is God. If you read about my previous article, you will know how to envision god in our day to day life.

Now coming back to good and bad karmas, if you are running a puppet show, you write the script, you enact as hero, villain, the heroine and so on. You will not get the fun of the show. However the audience does get a lot of fun. Similarly if God were to act from each one of us, God doesn’t get fun of it. It would be like walking in a straight line back and forth through many years with no aim. What does he achieve from it? So god put a small thinking and decision making machine in our heads, the so called “brain”, and gave us independence in this world. Now he watches over and enjoys the show. The misbehaving puppets are punished and the well behaving ones are tested, because the show has to go on. The puppets have no right to disrupt and halt the show.

Now in China, I read in newspaper that if a person commits adultery in food or theft, his hands are amputated, so the crime levels in China are almost zero. It is not because of “goodness of mind” but the “fear of punishment”, that makes men behave well in the society. If God employs such a mechanism to punish any mistake then and there itself, everyone would behave well, irrespective of one’s intentions. That is not what God wants. He wants to see which creation of his is good, outstanding and shines out in his test. He wants to see who the disturbance for social balance is. In order for that to happen, god adopted a policy called “karma bhoj”, the weight of the deeds we do in this world. Every good or bad deed of ours is put in a basked on our name.

Man invented computer. Now imagine, how faster and powerful and multi tasking can be God’s thoughts/computer processes compared to us. With no mistakes, at the end of our life, the soul (atma) reaches an evaluation platform, and the next birth is decided based on the weight of our “karma bhoj”. Remember, I always said,

The number of lives in the universe is conserved. Life may change from one form to another, but can never be destroyed. All lives and non-lives come together during the reformation of the universe.

There are dogs, cats, cockroaches, mosquitoes, cattle, beasts, and many other billions of creatures. Depending on our (not just our, but every living being in this world) “karma bhoj”, the class of life is assigned and we are resent into this world. The soul, in its new class of life, also brings along the balance of “karma” along with it, so as to enjoy the new life or get punished for the rest of the bhoj. This is a fool proof natural process and cyclic in nature which has been working for billions of years will continue for billions of years to come.

Now coming back to our question, will the victims be compensated? No. They will not be, because it’s the process and their previous births have carried “karma bhoj” with them. Once they are relieved of our “karma bhoj”, they, meanwhile, accumulate new “karma bhoj” and thus their future is decided. It’s not God who cures them. But the cure is with them, in their life’s conduct. Jesus gave one clear message, which has the most fundamental rule

MARK 12:28-31 “Love your neighbor as yourself”

The clear message is that; do not cheat your neighbor, because you wouldn’t do it to yourself or want it to be done on yourself. Do not hurt your fellow men, because you wouldn’t do it to yourself or want it to be done on yourself. Treat every one with love, because you want to be loved. Your “karma bhoj” will get nullified for the current birth, and you will enjoy goodness of life in the subsequent births.

Now the next question that comes is that, if the victims are punished for their “karma bhoj”, why the person who hurts them, is an offender in the God’s eye and accumulates “bhoj”. The answer is very simple, because this person was never appointed by god to punish others. It is his sick brain that drove him to hurt, cheat and betray others. It’s the “karma bhoj” of the victim that drives the victim to the place of the happening, and not God.

The next question is that, if we pray god for the sins we did, and confess before him, will he pardon us and relieve us from the “karma bhoj”. No. Because your brain is independent and it committed a sin. Now if we confess in a Church/Masjit/Temple, we are not giving away our independency of thought to God. The moment we are out of the holy place, we start thinking independent. We are prone to commit sins 90% of the time, than stick to our confession. So God doesn’t give that chance. He says,

“Okay, now you have confessed before me, lead a pious life from now on. I would help you in leading one. But remember you cannot escape the punishment by confessing before me”

The silly question that comes to mind often to me is that, everything is so mechanical with God, why do we pray him? I have found the answers though.

God doesn’t give a damn whether we pray him or not. See this example by Swami Vivekananda from “The Entire works of Swami Vivekananda”.

There were once two gardeners working in a garden. One was lazy and mischievous. The other was only work minded. Whenever the landlord came, the lazy fellow used to run to him, dance around him and praise him to the skies. The hardworking gardener never used to raise his head to see his landlord but kept working. Initially the landlord felt good about the lazy gardener, but sooner he realized who is what and fired the lazy fellow.

God knows who is what. He doesn’t need prayers, but he needs assurance that we believe in him and that we respect him. God will help us when we lead good life. He doesn’t help in lifting us when we fall down, but helps the brain get motivated. By praying to God, you are in constant touch with him. He doesn’t respond to our prayers, because he doesn’t give a damn about them. But he knows you are praying him and that you believe in him.

So praying god is for letting him know, we believe in you, that we are trying to lead a pious life, that to give us strength in our abilities to face the hardships that may come across due to “karma bhoj”.

Pray God for strength. Pray God for giving us a human life. Face odds in life with a tinge of acceptance, though as a man, fight for justice in society, because you never know what level of odds you deserve are. If you accept everything that comes, probably you are taking more than what you deserve.

Confess before God, not to pardon you, but to amend you. If you don’t change, it’s a direct insult to God. If the society goes into chaos, God manifests himself to restore the order. You know the verse from Gita,

“Yada Yada hi Dharmasya, Glanirbhavati Bharati,

Abhyudhanam Adharmasya, Tadatmanam Srujamyaham

Bottom line is that Crime is punished one or the other time. Prayers are heard, but not easily responded, unless you are at the epitome of “Bhakti yoga”. Our current birth is because of our previous “karma”. Our future karma is decided by our thoughts and deeds in this life.

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