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Religion / Philosophy
An Exam Called Life Bookmark and Share  
  Author Name : Posted on : July-31-2009 Total Hits: 5029
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If we look at the world as a spectator or an outsider, the most surprising observation would be that the common man is suffering the  most in life whereas corrupts and criminals are having the most of the fun in life. Common and innocent people are dying owing to militancy and terrorism. They are suffering major setbacks and grief in their life.  On the other hand vandalism is thriving with impunity. In such situations, common man finds it hard to sustain life, physically and emotionally, whereas criminals and corrupts are amassing bountiful of wealth and having all the pleasures at their service.

            A believer often finds his life going through a difficult phase in spite of his firm belief in God and doing all right karma. Even the most ardent devotee, who never fails to pay obeisance to God, and never indulge in any unrighteous act, passes through many such phases in life, when he finds no clue to bad things happening to him.

            Obviously, a question arises in believer’s mind that if God, the Almighty, is at the helm of affairs then why is so much injustice prevalent in His world. Why do common human beings have arduous living? Why innocent beings are at the receiving end of all the woes? Why no punishment is being muted to the guilty? Why people who are always helping, caring, innocent, understanding and have never harmed anyone are often hurt by the tragedies of life?

            Such times are testing times for a believer. His belief is put to test. He wonders why a person uncaring for God and involved in malpractices is free to do anything whereas on the other hand, devout and pious person fails miserably throughout his/her lifetime at the attempts to achieve peace and prosperity. He starts doubting the very path of devotion and ‘satkarma’. At times his belief in God is at stake and he may go to the extreme of doubting the very existence of God.

            In aptly named book ‘When Bad things Happen To Good People’, author Harold S. Kushner, a rabbi himself, has enquired about the ‘sufferings’ of good people and ‘happiness’ of bad people. He has tried to find out whether God is really involved in such acts. Whether He can control such incidents. If not, is there any other force that makes all this happen?

            Convincingly, author suggests that God is not in control of such sinister happenings. God creates the world and further remains as an ultimate source of courage and surrender. But He is actually unable to control everyday happenings of this world. Author further adds that nature and human behaviour are beyond God’s control. A person may be pious and devout by all ways but that doesn’t insure him from accidents and incidents; and also doesn’t ensure protection from all this worldly matters.

Nature and each individual have its/his own set of norms and rules. If anyone disturbs these ‘settings’, outcomes is unnatural and unethical, which doesn’t care for good or bad people. If natural calamity strikes, it does so, on humans and other creatures irrespective of their goodness. If cruel mind decides to play havoc, no amount of goodness on our part can ensure our safety. If we increase the chaos all around us, we are responsible for our ‘fate’.

            That’s why and how life becomes an examination for a believer. We must understand that believing in God and paying devotion to Him is as good as applying to take up examination. And in this exam, the examiner is almighty and we are mere ‘candidates’ undergoing scrutiny. The moment we start believing in God and accept him as the survivor, our exam starts. Then on, every thought and act of ours is valued carefully by Him. Our thinking and behaviour makes for the theoretical and practical parts of this examination. Other than this, our reasoning and logic, attitude, efficiency, etc are put to test in due course of life. But most importantly, our faith, belief and devotion are put to test.  

Each of our positive thought and constructive action adds to our marks; and negative thoughts and destructive action reduces our total. Unless and until we have unshakable faith, unquestionable belief and un-fluttered devotion at our disposal, we can’t pass this examination of life. And these three tools give us power to sustain the terrible tragedies of life.  God can’t ensure us trouble free smooth lives but He indeed comes to help and rescue us from even the most hopeless situations. God may not give us food, health, peace, etc, but He definitely gives us courage, wisdom, determination, strength, willpower, et al.

            Quoting Kushner, “Anguish and heartbreaks may not be distributed evenly throughout the world, but they are distributed widely. Everyone gets his share. If we knew the facts, we would very rarely find someone whose life was to be envied.” And to keep the hope alive, four beautiful lines from his above said book goes like this:

            The candles in the churches are out

            The stars have gone out in the sky.

            Blow on the coal of the heart

            And we’ll see by and by........

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