Evil is bad, we need to find its source and defeat it, then we will live happily ever after. There isn’t a single story in our culture that deviates from this formula. Or looking at it another way, all our storytelling is about problem fixing. We need to identify the [evil] source of our problems, confront it, find a solution, and then live happily every after.
Russians say that in their culture all problems are overcome by finding a magic elixir or golden goose or something, their heroes never really have to work, but Russians are crazy. When researching recent post about Ukraine I found someone saying that Ukrainian national anthem lists their national problems but hopes that their enemies would disappear on their own. Don’t know if it’s entirely true, and Ukrainians are equally crazy anyway.
Evil must be found and defeated, period.
Well, what if the source of all evil isn’t actually the evil itself but this binary vision of the world as either good or bad, which leads to differentiation of everyone into friends and foes, which leads to endless fighting just because someone must be always designated as an enemy?
Bhaviṣya Purāna describes us, westerners, as followers of Kali and our religion follows his agenda, too. Explains all the quarreling, right?
But wouldn’t it mean that Christians, Muslims, and Jews worship Kali instead of a real God, whatever their understanding is? Not necessarily. Kali has his interests, he wants them to be protected, and he is a nasty piece of work, but he still is the lord of this yuga. This time period was given to him, he controls it, and if we drop this good-bad dichotomy we might actually go along with it rather than feign the outrage.
Mahārāja Parīkṣit didn’t kill Kali, after all. However cruel or disgusting Kali is, and Bhaviṣya Purāna says that he always holds his dick in his hand, he knows his place, he also knows his rights and he was born for a purpose, we have to accept it. He plays fair, we know what to expect of him, and we can’t claim that we don’t understand his attraction to sex, gambling, and intoxication ourselves.
The history of Christianity also sheds light on how it all happened.
According to modern history, which isn’t principally different from what is said in our books, we know that Zoroaster (or Zarathustra) rebelled against the commonly accepted order and started a new religion. This religion spread from Iran to Mesopotamia and then influenced Palestine where Judaism was “born”.
Main contribution of Zoroaster is his division of deities and eventually the whole creation into friends and foes, good and bad. Old masters became bad, new masters became good, and all his main deities did was to fight against each other. Those were Ahura Mazda and Angra Manyu. Ahura Mazda was absolutely good and Angra Manyu was absolutely evil.
As a self appointed linguist I would say that Ahura Mazda comes from Asura Muddha – as a rebel Zoroaster took shelter of the enemy gods of the old religion (our devas became his demons), but knowledgeable people say that it’s simply another name for Varuna, who is known as Asura Māyā and we better accept their explanation.
Varuna and his friend Mitra have become worshipable deities and, together with Yamarāj they control quite a lot in this world. Zoroastrian heaven was called Yima, ie garden of Yamarāja, which must be a nice place comparing to Earth.
Varuna married daughter of Śukrācārya, whose another name is Śukla, because he is white, which in my imagination explains preeminence of white race of people in this age.
Zoroastrian teachings are drown from Avesta, which is a collection of gathas (katha). Their rituals are described in Yasna (from Sanskrit yajña), which, incidentally, links of Ukrainian “yasno” as a word for all things clear and bright, and as an honorific title for their nobility, and links to Yesus, too.
Where was I? Ah, yes, the arch enemy of Śukrācārya is, of course, Bṛhaspati, the guru of the demigods, whose another name is Āṇgiras, which makes him into Zoroastrian Angra Manyu, though I, as a self appointed linguist, think it was Angira Muni, one of the seven principle Vedic sages.
Anyway, this grudge against old rulers and their gods made Zoroaster divide all the deities according to their allegiance, and so duality was born and it never died.
Jews are not so fixated on it, afaik, but then their religion doesn’t influence the world to the degree Christianity does, and Christianity is all about good vs evil, with Satan having as much power over people as Christ.
We look at them and we don’t understand how Satan could ever be God’s rival, and they have their own explanations for it, something about fallen angels, but it doesn’t sound convincing. We do not see God as being opposite of anything, our version is absolutely liberal and all inclusive instead.
Of course if we want to know Kṛṣṇa we have to make certain choices in our lies and our association and so we don’t look liberal to the general public but that’s what making choices mean. It doesn’t mean that people can’t relate to God in their own ways, like by serving His illusory energy, for example, or trying to compete with Him, or trying to kill Him. Whatever works for them is fine by us.
We base our religion not on such external designations or universal arrangement but on rasa – in a whole gamut of possible relationships with the Absolute Truth we choose those that taste better. Better for us, better for Kṛṣṇa.
Even in our preaching we are not supposed to convert demons but to attract innocents. If someone refuses to accept Kṛṣṇa consciousness we leave them alone, we seek those who can bring Kṛṣṇa’s pleasure in our kind of way – by serving Him, not by opposing or rejecting Him.
We were born into a Christian world, however, and so we bear the burden of our cultural upbringing. Normally we don’t see the connection between Kṛṣṇa consciousness and Christianity but here it is – it was rebellion of Zoroaster that started the whole thing. He didn’t see the world as a whole, due to his unique history he saw friends and enemies, and he passed it down to modern day Christians.
Worshiping any kind of God would eventually lead to the growth of genuine spiritual knowledge and genuine spiritual benefits and Christianity continues to exist even with the wrong foundation.
Incidentally, this serves Kali very well. People get their religion and he gets to keep his control, too, everybody’s happy. That’s the thing – Kali isn’t evil personified, there’s no such thing in the Absolute Truth, he just serves the Lord in his own way, fulfilling his own desires.
Everyone can find shelter at Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet and so we have no right to reject any living being’s connection with Him, even as repulsive as Kali or any of our current enemies. Whatever they say, they are as dear to Kṛṣṇa any other soul even if they make our blood boil.
Perhaps key to our success in relating to others is seeing this eternal connection and accepting Kṛṣṇa’s permission for others to enjoy their lives in all kinds of ways, even unacceptable to us