Every ten or fifteen years there is a big war—a wholesale slaughterhouse for humankind. But these rascals—they do not see it, that by the law of karma, every action must have its reaction.
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© 2004 - Hansadutta das
[Posted May 29, 2006]

"Where was God?"

Das Chan

Pope Benedict XVIMalaysian Star - 29 May 2006 - German Pope asks where God was in Auschwitz horror
By Philip Pullella and Natalia Reiter, OSWIECIM, Poland (Reuters) - Calling himself "a son of Germany," Pope Benedict prayed at the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz on Sunday and asked why God was silent when 1.5 million victims, mostly Jews, died in this "valley of darkness". ...

"In a place like this, words fail. In the end, there can only be a dread silence, a silence which is a heartfelt cry to God -- Why, Lord, did you remain silent? How could you tolerate all this? 

"Where was God in those days? Why was he silent? How could he permit this endless slaughter, this triumph of evil?" 

Humans could not "peer into God's mysterious plan" to understand evil, only "cry out humbly yet insistently to God -- Rouse yourself! Do not forget mankind, your creature!"


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Pope Benedict XVI doesn't know where God was at the time of the holocaust. Does he forget where he himself and the rest of us are?

Hello, this is planet Earth, home not just to 6 billion human beings but to an uncountable number of other living entities as well—all God's creatures—and if it's justice and mercy that interests the Pope, then he might consider whether God finds it pleasing that countless numbers of cows, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens and fish and other of God's creatures are needlessly and mercilessly slaughtered daily just to satisfy the perverse appetites of human beings. "An eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth," sayeth the Old Testament. It is a law of nature: every action begets an equal and opposite reaction. Karma. So whenever there is outbreak of war or pestilence or disease or natural disaster such as earthquake, hurricane, drought, flood, fire, etc., it behooves us to reflect on whether our own misconduct has brought misfortune upon us, and resolve to work in a way that is pleasing to God, Krishna for the benefit of the whole planet, rather than complain that God is not doing His job.

The Pope wants to know where God was. Everyone would like to know where God was and is. But Krishna is present everywhere at all times in the form of His laws and law enforcers, just as we experience the presence of the President and Congress by virtue of their authority manifest as the law of the land and enforced by officers of the law. A law-abiding citizen may get a chance to meet the President of the United States in person and shake his hand, but a criminal can only expect to meet the judge and jury and the staff at a correctional facility. Should a criminal blame the executive head of the government for punishment meted out to him as a consequence of his unlawful actions—"Where was President Bush when I was locked away into a cell and so cruelly deprived of my freedom? How can President Bush tolerate this infringement on my liberty and right to enjoy life? Why does the President remain silent?" Ridiculous, right? But that's us—"Where was God? How can God tolerate our misery? Why does He remain silent?" Krishna is here now, but human civilization ignores Him wholesale. Why should Krishna make Himself personally visible to persons who totally disregard and neglect His laws, His nature, His creatures? Why should Krishna interrupt the natural order of the universe to save us from our suffering as long as we assert our independence from Him?

We need spiritual direction, not confusion. It's the prison superintendent's job to lay it on the line to the inmates: "Abide by the rules, and your good behavior will be rewarded." It would be ridiculous if he were to commiserate with them and say, "Oh you poor thing. Where was the President when you got locked up? How can he keep silent?" The spiritual master is always truthful. He never forgets that he is servant of Krishna first, and so is everyone else. He is anxious only to facilitate our spiritual rehabilitation and release, so that we will one day qualify to see God in person. There is no use to follow professional religionists who profess faith in God from one side of the mouth and question His whereabouts and motives from the other, meanwhile indulging their senses and allowing for everyone else to also pursue a life of sense gratification. Such persons are merely cheaters.

Bhagavan: Today the priests are afraid to speak too strongly—or else they'll be fired and get no salary. And the politicians—they're also afraid to say what they really believe. They're afraid that they'll be voted out or get no more money to support themselves.

Srila Prabhupada: The priests are after money. They are not first class; they are low-class men. This is the reason that Christianity has fallen down. The priests cannot speak straightforwardly. There is a straightforward commandment—"Thou shalt not kill." But because people are already killing, the priests are afraid to present the commandment straightforwardly. Now they are even granting man-to-man marriage, what to speak of other things. The priests are sermonizing on this idea of man-to-man marriage. Just see how degraded they have become! Previously was there any conception like this, at least outside America? Nobody thought that a man could be married to another man. What is this? And the priests are supporting it. Do you know that? So what is their standard?

Jyotirmayi: That priest who visited was telling you that he was asking all his parishioners to follow God's law. So you asked him if he was going to get them to follow the fifth commandment, the law against killing—including animal—killing and especially cow-killing.

Srila Prabhupada: Yes, this is our proposal: Why should you kill the cow? Let the cow be protected. You can take the cow's milk and use this milk for making so many nutritious, delicious preparations. Aside from that, as far as meat-eating is concerned, every cow will die—so you just wait a while, and there will be so many dead cows. Then you can take all the dead cows and eat. So how is this a bad proposal? If you say, "You are restraining us from meat-eating"—no, we don't restrain you. We simply ask you, Don't kill. When the cow is dead, you can eat it.

...We don't want to stop trade or the production of grains and vegetables and fruit. But we want to stop these killing houses. It is very, very sinful. That is why all over the world they have so many wars. Every ten or fifteen years there is a big war—a wholesale slaughterhouse for humankind. But these rascals—they do not see it, that by the law of karma, every action must have its reaction.

You are killing innocent cows and other animals—nature will take revenge. Just wait. As soon as the time is right, nature will gather all these rascals and slaughter them. Finished. They'll fight amongst themselves—Protestants and Catholics, Russia and America, this one and that one. It is going on. Why? That is nature's law. Tit for tat. "You have killed. Now you kill yourselves."

They are sending animals to the slaughterhouse, and now they'll create their own slaughterhouse. [Imitating gunfire:] Tung! Tung! Kill! Kill! You see? Just take Belfast, for example. The Roman Catholics are killing the Protestants, and the Protestants are killing the Catholics. This is nature's law. It's not necessary that you be sent to the ordinary slaughterhouse. You'll make a slaughterhouse at home. You'll kill your own child-abortion. This is nature's law. Who are these children being killed? They are these meat-eaters. They enjoyed themselves when so many animals were killed, and now they're being killed by their mothers. People do not know how nature is working. If you kill, you must be killed. If you kill the cow, who is your mother, then in some future lifetime your mother will kill you. Yes. The mother becomes the child, and the child becomes the mother.

[Taken from Journey of Self Discovery, "Slaughterhouse Civilization", by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.]

In 1966, His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (called "Srila Prabhupada" by  his disciples and followers) founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, popularly called the Hare Krishna movement, comprised of students from every walk of life, of different races, nationalities and creeds, with the aim of creating a worldwide, nonsectarian  association for reviving human society's awareness or consciousness of Krishna, or God.

Srila Prabhupada is respected as not only the Founder of the Society, but as its Acharya. The word acharya, meaning spiritual master, is somewhat different from the word preceptor insofar as it means one who teaches not by words only, but also by example.

Srila Prabhupada met with theologians, religious leaders, dignitaries, writers, scholars, members of the press—many famous people. He was very keen to convey the message of his mission to the thinking persons, the heads of human society. At one time he asked for an audience with Pope Paul VI [see also An open letter to Pope Paul VI], but declined when he was told that time permitted only a courtesy call: —

Letter to: Bhagavan

From: New York
14 July, 1976, 76-07-14

Paris

My dear Bhagavan das,

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated July 8, 1976, and I have noted the contents with care.

Concerning the proposed meeting with the Pope, I have no objection cancelling or delaying the journey to Tehran if the meeting with the Pope is assured. That is important. But if it is simply a courtesy visit, then what is the use? If he is prepared to discuss seriously how religion is becoming degraded all over the world, then it is worthwhile. Religion is now being taken as a formality. People generally have no real conception of God. Ours is a tangible connection with God. We know who is God and how to serve Him. Everything is fact.

I hope that this meets you in good health.

Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
cc: Atreya Rsi
ACBS/pks

Srila Prabhupada passed away from this world in 1977, but left behind a phenomenal legacy in the shape of his books: more than 160 titles published, including Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Chaitanya-charitamrita, Ishopanishad, Krishna: the Supreme Personality of Godhead (published by George Harrison), Teachings of Lord Chaitanya, Nectar of Devotion, and many smaller, equally noteworthy publications, as well as many volumes of lectures he delivered for his students, volumes of conversations with guests and students, volumes of letters. [Back to text]


Sri Guru and Gauranga
Sri Guru and Gauranga

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