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How Can We See Any Higher Meaning In A World Filled With Violence And Chaos?

All religions agree that the world as it appears to us is full of evils and unhappiness. This we can all see. Just look at the recent world events. In conceivable acts of planned violence and destruction perpetrated against hundreds of innocent people, people starving by the thousand, war and pestilence, and worse yet, disease manufactured by man and then used as a weapon against men. It is a world of unrest and violence. How can we see any higher meaning in a world that is manifesting such violence and chaos?

It is a world of both good and evil. How can we see God here? In his lectures on ‘The Practice of Religion’ Swami Vivekananda says that simply trying to fix up the world by charitable works and such other things is not the solution to the problem of evil. We simply will not be able to make it all good, all peaceful. The world will always be the Divine Mother’s hotchpotch pot, a mixed bag, as it were. We need to go beyond the world of the senses, really beyond. The goal of human life is Freedom. So what does this mean? Does it mean we must give up everything?

In one sense, it does mean that. It does mean renunciation, but there can be a danger here of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, as it were. We need to change our perspective of the world. We need to give up our idea of possessing all this, and see what is behind this apparent universe. We need to put what is behind on top, as it were, to ‘cover everything with God’, as the Isha Upanishad tells us. It won’t work to simply try to delete everything as we know it. Swami Vivekananda gives the example of a man who is trying to help his friend who has a mosquito on his forehead. The man gives such a blow to the mosquito that he inadvertently kills the friend also. If the average man tries to renounce everything suddenly, he is likely to end up with a blank screen, a frozen computer, as it were, with the screen saying: ‘You have performed an illegal action.’

We need to realize that anything that is made by man will eventually result in sorrow, destruction and unhappiness. Instead of trying to find happiness in the external world we need to realize that real bliss is within us. Instead by trying to correct the ignorant man, we need to do our duty without thinking about end result. We should do our little bit by without hurting nature and harming another living being. The man made world will eventually crumble and will be overpowered by the powerful nature.