Question: The question of responsibility has purified me for a long time. I have heard that the law of Karma is inexorable, that each action has its reaction; that any transgression of the law brings forth the corresponding reaction in the form of punishment or whatever it may be.

Now for example, a tyrant arises to power in a country and starts committing murders, imposing his will through the most brutal means. He stays in power for many years and causes suffering and bloodshed to millions of people. The prisons are full of innocent people. Why is it that he stands so long in power, doing so much harm. Is he responsible for his actions or is he not? If his actions cause such destruction, with holocausts of persecution and crimes, how is he going to pay to the Supreme for the many horrors that he has caused, the many crimes he has committed through his subordinates? Who is really responsible to the Cosmic Will? If not even the tiniest leaf of a tree moves without the Will of God, and God is All-Love and All-Justice, is the Supreme in all things absolutely perfect and absolutely loving? Why do those things happen and who is responsible?

Sri Chinmoy: Now who is actually responsible? This man is a tyrant. He is destroying the country and has been doing it for one year, three years, six years, and years beyond. Now let us see who is the tyrant and who is destroying the world. The tyrant is actually an instrument. Just as we are instruments of the divine force, he is an instrument of an undivine force, a dark force. Now there is a cosmic law. True. You say that nothing can be done on earth without God’s approval. If God is all kindness, all love, how is it that God is tolerating this kind of injustice on earth?

Now I wish to say that God has given us very limited freedom. He Himself has limitless freedom but when we enter into the physical world, we have very limited freedom. This limited freedom we start to misuse. When an individual starts misusing this power, that power enters into the cosmic vibrations, or let us say, the Cosmos. There it vibrates in a wrong way. Then it spreads into the atmosphere of the world.

Now who is responsible? Undoubtedly the person who is destroying and torturing the world, but behind him there is a destructive force. Where did that force come from? It came from ignorance. Where did ignorance start? It started from matter. Now why did matter allow ignorance to abide inside itself? When Spirit entered into matter, in the beginning matter did not like Spirit, and matter did not respond to Spirit’s action. Spirit is all Light, all perfection. But matter found it difficult to be totally identified with Spirit. So matter began to have its own life. Life is existence; and matter wanted its own existence which was, and is, based on pure inconscience. So you see, Spirit came and touched matter, but matter refused to respond. Inside matter dwells ignorance, and inside ignorance, can be found powerfully destructive forces. The destructive force is waiting to be channelled. How? It is waiting for a person who is ready to be an agent of its power.

Let us speak of responsibility again. Now if you see the Supreme as ultimately the Highest, then we also have to say that since He has approved our limited freedom, or since He has given us our limited freedom, He also has the capacity to withdraw this limited freedom. Now in the case of the tyrant you have spoken of, he has now been in power for ten years, twenty years, let us say. But in God’s eyes, since He deals with Infinity and Eternity, these twenty years are not even a particle of a second, not even an infinitesimal portion of a second.

Then His Heart: we see the battlefield. The heart of the Supreme on the one hand is flooded with infinite Peace, infinite Harmony, infinite Joy, infinite Delight, but again on His Heart we see nothing but a battlefield of dark forces constantly fighting with divine forces; fighting, fighting. But the ultimate Victory will be His because He wants Light to prevail on earth.

So when He wants Light to prevail on earth, it means that He has taken responsibility. Right now we do not know the outcome of the battle. He is playing with a football, kicking it to this side and that side. Here is the goal post. He is pretending to kick the ball, pass the ball through. But instead of doing this, He changes His play, and using His left foot, He kicks the ball. There He secures His goal, His object. Similarly, in the beginning we feel that the dark forces that we see will eventually touch the goal, in the sense that they will destroy the entire world. For them that is the goal. But I tell you that the dark forces cannot destroy the world because the Light is God. Atom bombs will not be able to destroy God’s creation because God’s creation is God’s body. If God wants to keep His body safe, He is fully responsible. How can he be separated from His body? Let us take God as the Soul and creation as His body. We know that without the soul, the body is useless. Again, without the body, the soul cannot manifest anything. So God’s creation is God’s body. How can they be separated? If God wants to fulfil His Vision and Reality together, if He wants His body and soul to go together, then naturally He will be responsible for both His soul and for His body.

So to come back to your question, Sanjivan. God is responsible. Ultimately He will be responsible both for His soul and His body. He is inside everything and finally responsible for everything.

But getting back to the tyrant. When we open our eyes, we see that there is a conflict right in front of us. The tyrant is misusing his limited freedom, but the responsibility goes to the Supreme. The Supreme, through His divine instruments, through His forces of Light, will eventually cause the destruction of the tyrant. Every tyrant is eventually overcome. Even if his brutal system remains, it is significantly weakened by the tyrant’s own annihilation. Tyranny lasts only as long as we are in ignorance. Ignorance is temporary; conscious knowledge and perfection are permanent. Tyranny is only a temporary manifestation of darkness, ignorance and misuse of freedom. Since this is God’s creation, eventually He is responsible for everything. He is so kind. He is infinitely great, infinitely compassionate. He says, “It is My fault”.