What is evil, why does evil exists and who created evil? Is God / Ishwara evil?
Kindly read the definition of Sanatana Dharma before reading this article. Ishwara does’nt have the distingtion of good vs bad or good vs evil. He is the supreme conscience who dwells as a singularity and operates through His Shakthi (you can read about Ishwara in much detail by clicking here). However, Ishwara’s creations has numerous flavors of desires and feelings, which include Good, bad, happy, sad and more. Asuras and Rakshasas are one of many beings that exists in this creation. Its incorrect to categorize all of them as evil. The nature that makes them evil is the strong desire to oppuress and cause disarray and pain to others, from which they achieve pleasure. This innate nature in Kali:Yuga is predominet within a human being, because Rakshasas in Kali:Yuga do not congregate and distinguish themselves physically from Human beings. Hence in Kali:yuga the predominant nature is desire oriented acquisition of materials for pleasure, ego and pride, through which success and fulfillment is determined by the ignorant. Puranas show that Asuras and Rakshasas also attained glory and prosperity from Ishwara, but never to be misunderstood that their achievement is not because Ishwara failed to stop them, rather Ishwara’s shrusti (creation) allows them when dharma is followed. One should understand clearly that in Sanatana Dharma (Kindly read the definition of Sanatana Dharma by clicking here), we don’t have one entity to punish and another to uplift, similarly, there isn’t an entity to support Asuras or Rakshasas, another to support Devatas, it’s the same Ishwara for whom we are all children.
Ravana, king of Lanka, achieved great wealth and Kingship, but if we question the source, then it’s obviously Ishwara’s anugraham (grace) for such prosperity. Hanuman in Sri Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kanda, Sarga (Chapter) 51, Sloka 28 and 29 says:
“न तु धर्म उपसम्हारम् अधर्म फल सम्हितम् ||तत् एव फलम् अन्वेति धर्मः च अधर्म नाशनः |
प्राप्तम् धर्म फलम् तावत् भवता न अत्र संशयः ||फलम् अस्य अपि अधर्मस्य क्षिप्रम् एव प्रपत्स्यसे |”
“na tu dharm(a) upasamhaaram a:dharm(a) phala samhitam ||
tat eva phalam anveti dharmaH ca a:dharm(a) naashanaH |
praaptam dharm(a) phalam taavat bhavataa na atra sanshayaH ||
phalam asya api a:dharm(a)sya kShipram eva prapatsyase |”
(Valmiki Ramayana. S.K. n.d.)
In the above Hanuman says to Ravana, it’s because of your tapasya and your worship of Shiva, you have attained the Kingship of Kanchana Lanka (Golden and Royal Kingdom or Lanka) and prosperity since it was a Karma dictated by dharma, but the negative Karma which is a:dharma of kidnapping Sita Devi, will lead to your demise and the destruction of your kingdom. Among the a:dharma, kidnapping someone else’s dharma:patni who is a pativrata is a Muula-Ghati (meaning a karma punishable by death in the same life) and so Ravana will lose his body for this mistake.
We can see many such examples in Purana(m), where Asuras like Bali, Tarakasura and many more attained great power and riches by the boon of Ishwara. Hiranyakashapa (father of Prahlada) also an Asura sought great power and so performed extreme tapasya for Brahma. Thus, making it clear that there is no separate entity that Asuras or Rakshasa reach out to. Upon achieving such powers and kingship through tapasya, the obvious question remains, why are they still considered evil? Because, now that they possess just wealth and power they use it to cause more suffering to others and act devoid of dharma, very few struggles to overcome such ego and walk towards dharma. Even though Ishwara notices their evil deeds, He doesn’t just jump to decimate them, it’s only for few specific reasons and a:dharma does He intervene. So, a question, when will Ishwara intervene? Following is a sloka from Srimad Bhagavata(m) (Sri Bhagavata Purana(m)) composed by a poet and scholar Bammera Pothana:
Shuddha:Sadulandu, Sruthulandu,Naa Gunamulandu, Thavi Naa Bhakthulandu, Goovulandu,Evadu dush:karma chayuno vadine:patti nenu:vadhintu
శుద్ధ సాదులందు, సృతలందు,నా-గుణములందు తావి నా-భక్తులందు గోవులందు
ఎవడు దుష్కర్మ చేయునో వాడినే పట్టి నేను వాదింతు
Meaning, ‘Saadulandu’: One who ill treats Sanyasis or Sages or Rishis, ‘Sruthulandu’: One who always defies Sruthi (Veda), ‘Naa Gunamulandu’: One who speaks ill of the titles and nature of Ishwara, ‘Naa Bhakthulandu’: One who mistreats devotees, and finally ‘Goovulandu’: One who abuses and commits atrocities towards cows that provider milk, then I (Ishwara) shall decimate them so that they suffer and live with the fear of death, and be released from their fears through death. Like Kamsa who lived under constant fear of Krishna, which can be seen in the sloka from Srimad Bhagavata(m) (Sri Bhagavata Purana(m)) composed by a poet and scholar Bammera Pothana:
“Aaruguchu, Kuduchuchu, vaaluchu, teruguchu, kuchundi, lechi anavaratambun
Hari Talachi talachi, jagamaa Hari mayamuga chuchi Kamsun aaraniyalukan”
“అరుగుచు, కుడుచుచు, వాలుచు, తిరుగుచు, కూచుంది, లేచి, అనవరతంబున్
హరి తలచి-తలచి జగామ హరి మయముగ:చూచి కంసున:ఆరణీయాలుకున్”
Meaning, when Kamsa realized that Krishna would be born as the eighth child, waited and lived under constant fear at every step of his life, and finally took solace in death. Whereas devotes like Parekshit who knew had only seven days to live, immediately sought a great Guru like Shuka:brahma (Son of Veda Vyasa) and spend his seven days listening to the stories and accounts of Sri Vishnu, finally to unify with Ishwara with joy. Parekshith didn’t focus on how long he could live, rather how well he could live. To live by the word of Ishwara should always take precedence.
Ishwara does not have favoritism among Devatas or Asuras or Rakshasas or Manavas and more. If Ishwara had favoritism, then Sri Vishnu when speaking about Prahlada, son of Asura King Hiranyakashapa said, that even Aadi-Shesha (the thousand-head snake on which Sri Vishnu lies in Pala:Samudra with concert Sri Lakshmi) will not be able to elucidate the greatness of Prahlada. Sri Maha Vishnu gave word to Prahlada that He would never harm any of his decedents, why? Because Prahlada was devoted and walked the path of dharma. By making such a promise to Prahlada, it doesn’t mean Sri Vishnu will overlook any a:dharma, Sri Vishnu must take a responsibility to take care of Prahlada and the well-being of his decedents and by choosing those with sat:karma to inherit as Prahlada’s decedents. It’s also to be noted, a king or an official no matter how good, should make sure his/her subordinates are also well mannered and good nature, else they will mutate a good person evil, nor will they allow a good person to flourish.
(Srichaganti. K.D.S, n.d., p.9)
Sri Chaganti Koteshwar Rao (Orator). (n.d.). Kanaka Dhara Stotram [Audio Part 1-19, Recorded by Srichaganti.net]. Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India. Retrieved from http://www.english.srichaganti.net/KanakaDharaStrotram.aspx
Valmiki Ramayana. (n.d.). Sundara Kanda. Retrieved from http://www.valmikiramayan.net/utf8/sundara/sarga36/sundara_36_frame.htm