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Encyclopedia > Problem of evil in Hinduism

Hindu answers to the problem of evil are different from most answers offered in Western philosophy, partly because the problem of evil within Hindu thought is differently structured than Western traditions, mainly Abrahamic traditions. The philosopher Socrates about to take poison hemlock as ordered by the court. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Hinduism (known as in some modern Indian languages[1]) is a religion that originated on the Indian subcontinent. ... map showing the prevalence of Abrahamic (purple) and Dharmic (yellow) religions in each country. ...


In the Hindu tradition the problem of evil is phrased as the Problem of Injustice. This problem can be considered in the following manner: This article discusses the adherents of Hinduism. ...


God is Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Just. Yet injustice is observed to persist in the world. How is this possible?


In the Advaita school of Vedanta, this problem is dealt with in detail by Sankara in his commentary on the Brahma Sutras, 2.1.34-36: Advaita Vedanta is probably the best known of all Vedanta schools of Hinduism, the others being Dvaita and Vishishtadvaita. ... This article includes a list of works cited but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Sri Adi Sankara Adi Shankaracharya or Adi Shankara (the first Shankara in his lineage), reverentially called Bhagavatpada Acharya (the teacher at the feet of Lord), Shankara (approximately 509- 477 BC (though some claim 788-820 CE)) was the most famous Advaita philosopher who had a profound influence on the growth... The Brahma sūtras, also called Vedānta Sūtras, constitute the Nyāya prasthāna, the logical starting point of the Vedānta philosophy (Nyāya = logic/order). ...

Brahma Sutra 2.1.34: "No partiality and cruelty (can be charged against God) because of (His) taking other factors into consideration."
Sankara's commentary explains that God cannot be charged with partiality or cruelty (i.e. injustice) on account of his taking the factors of virtuous and vicious actions (Karma) performed by an individual in previous lives. If an individual experiences pleasure or pain in this life, it is due to virtuous or vicious action (Karma) done by that individual in a past life.
Brahma Sutra 2.1.35: "If it be argued that it is not possible (to take Karma into consideration in the beginning), since the fruits of work remain still undifferentiated, then we say, no, since the transmigratory state has no beginning."
The opponent now argues that there could have been no "previous birth" at the very beginning of creation, before which Karma could not have existed. Sankara replies that it is not so, for the number of creation cycles is beginningless, vide the next verse:
Brahma Sutra 2.1.36: "Moreover, this is logical, and (so) it is met with (in the scriptures)."
Sankara provides references from the Vedas concerning the beginninglessness of Creation: "The Ordainer created the sun and moon like those of previous cycles" (Rig Veda 10.190.3). This shows the existence of earlier cycles of creation, and hence the number of creation cycles is beginningless.

Thus Sankara's resolution to the Problem of Injustice is that the existence of injustice in the world is only apparent, for one merely reaps the results of one's moral actions sown in a past life, which is compatible with the Justness of an Omniscient and Omnipotent God. Sri Adi Sankara Adi Shankaracharya or Adi Shankara (the first Shankara in his lineage), reverentially called Bhagavatpada Acharya (the teacher at the feet of Lord), Shankara (approximately 509- 477 BC (though some claim 788-820 CE)) was the most famous Advaita philosopher who had a profound influence on the growth... Karma (Sanskrit , act, action, performance[1]; Pāli kamma) ( ) is the concept of action or deed in Dharmic religions understood as denoting the entire cycle of cause and effect described in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist philosophies. ... Karma (Sanskrit , act, action, performance[1]; Pāli kamma) ( ) is the concept of action or deed in Dharmic religions understood as denoting the entire cycle of cause and effect described in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist philosophies. ... Karma (Sanskrit , act, action, performance[1]; Pāli kamma) ( ) is the concept of action or deed in Dharmic religions understood as denoting the entire cycle of cause and effect described in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist philosophies. ... Sri Adi Sankara Adi Shankaracharya or Adi Shankara (the first Shankara in his lineage), reverentially called Bhagavatpada Acharya (the teacher at the feet of Lord), Shankara (approximately 509- 477 BC (though some claim 788-820 CE)) was the most famous Advaita philosopher who had a profound influence on the growth... Sri Adi Sankara Adi Shankaracharya or Adi Shankara (the first Shankara in his lineage), reverentially called Bhagavatpada Acharya (the teacher at the feet of Lord), Shankara (approximately 509- 477 BC (though some claim 788-820 CE)) was the most famous Advaita philosopher who had a profound influence on the growth... The Vedas (Sanskrit: वेद) are a large corpus of texts originating in Ancient India. ... The Rig Veda ऋग्वेद (Sanskrit ṛc praise + veda knowledge) is the earliest of the four Hindu religious scriptures known as the Vedas. ... Sri Adi Sankara Adi Shankaracharya or Adi Shankara (the first Shankara in his lineage), reverentially called Bhagavatpada Acharya (the teacher at the feet of Lord), Shankara (approximately 509- 477 BC (though some claim 788-820 CE)) was the most famous Advaita philosopher who had a profound influence on the growth...


Sources

  • Swami Gambhirananda. Brahma Sutra Bhasya of Shankaracharya. Published by the Ramakrishna Math. ISBN 81-7505-105-1
  • Mohanty, J.N. Classical Indian Philosophy. Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000. ISBN 0-8476-8933-6

Monastic Order for Men Ramakrishna Math consists of monks (Sannyasins and Brahmacharins) belonging to a monastic order for men. ...

See also

Karma is a concept in Hinduism, based on the Vedas and Upanishads, which explains causality through a system where beneficial events are derived from past beneficial actions and harmful events from past harmful actions, creating a system of actions and reactions throughout a persons reincarnated lives. ...

External links

  • "The Problem of Evil" — Swami Prabhavavananda and Christopher Isherwood

 
 

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