World trade center bombing

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Wed Sep 19 22:53:01 CDT 2001

On Fri, 14 Sep 2001 sridhar.mfc at SOFTHOME.NET wrote:

> I could not agree with you more, but we do have a limit to our
> capabilities.

Oh I didn't mean to imply that there is only one valid response.
Different people will take different amounts of time to recover.  But they
should try their hardest to return to normal for everyones sakes including
their own.

> He may or may not be - we do not know. It hurts when we think of Him as an
> uncaring, reckless puppetmaster, but that is only because we are
> attributing our values to Him. And there are several other questions: How
> free is free will? From whose perspective do we label good and evil? Surely
> the religion of the Vedas and the Gita knows better than to shy away from
> accepting that there is a limit to what an ordinary human may understand of
> why things happen as they do. To my understanding, death and destruction
> are not looked upon as undesireable in the philosophical sense. No
> religion, including the Vedic,  would condone senseless killing - but that
> is as a guideline to potential perpetrators of such acts in day-to-day
> life. What explanation does it offer to the victims or observers? That He
> absolves Himself of responsibility for what is happening on this earth
> since He has given us free will? That the terrorists will suffer in their
> next birth? I am not so sure that the explanations are all that lame. But I
> may be wrong - I am not a scholar of Vedanta.

All souls are a spark of the divine.  It may not seem appropriate for me
to say this, I know some people around me who would be upset to hear me
talk like this but even the terrorists were not other than God.  Our
religion is very clear on this point.  But saying this does not excuse
their culpability for evil in any way.  The presence of God is obscured by
maya.  The root cause of maya is ignorance.  Compare the terrorists with
the firemen.  Both groups were unselfish.  Both groups were willing to lay
down their lives for their cause.  The difference was the firefighters
made no distinction between "us" and "them."  The terrorists only saw
"them."  It is this blindness which makes their selflessness evil and the
firefighters selflessness good.  As for the victims they too suffered from
ignorance but of a more prosaic kind -- simple lack of data.  Who could
imagine something as terrible as flying a plane into a building?  A few
days after, my wife said something that chilled me to the bone.
Apparently after the first plane crashed into WTC 1, there was an
announcement about it and a _voluntary_ evacuation was suggested for
people in WTC 2.  My wife and her colleagues spent _five_minutes_ looking
out of the window and discussing before proceeding downstairs.  If they
had waited five minutes more...?  Or "voluntarily" choosing to continue
their work?  I can't bear to think of the outcome.

> In any case, my comments were more in the spirit of what Gandhiji, perhaps
> one of the greatest Karma Yogis of our times, meant when he said that there
> is not a blade of grass that moves without His express will. I find deep
> strength in that explanation.

Gandhiji was not an Advaitin but we would concur with such an explanation.
And knowing it, we should resolve to try and combat ignorance wherever we
find it.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

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