An Interventionist God?

Having produced a ‘bright’ boy, who topped his class (bar once) every term, the young Hindu mother (like mothers in almost every culture) decided that her son would become a doctor. To that end, he was despatched to the Pilleyar (Ganesh) temple once a week. He also accompanied his parents periodically to that, and another temple. The family also prayed each night at home before dinner. Their faith was total.

The son failed in his studies, as foretold (although indirectly) by a yogi. The reasons for that failure are both complex and incomprehensible. After all, this boy, who had completed only primary school before the Japanese military occupation, had completed high school within 15 months after the end of WW2. He had, during that occupation, held his own in a technical college, against boys older by at least 2 years!

The upshot? The total demolition of the young man’s prospects of any sort of career, and almost total damage to his self-confidence; the family’s financial future was doomed. With an only son seen as a pariah (social outcast), the mother suffered. The son gave up God. The mother persisted in her faith – to no avail.

What was the use of all that faith and prayers? How could they now believe in an interventionist God?

In the light of Hinduism’s concept of God (Brahman), there should be surely no scope for direct intervention. Where then would intervention come from? From that part of God said to lie within the individual? Or, more likely, from the spirit world?

Or, is it the case that there can never be any intervention of any kind, because the destined (self-created in part) river of each personal life must continue on its course, with (possibly) a degree of individual free will available to influence actions (and responses) offering some (marginal) positive outcomes, either in the present life or the next one?

One might conclude that the son’s future prospects had to be destroyed, together with his mother’s hopes, for reasons beyond rationale. The Cosmos does what it does, and we will adapt – or not!