Quote 4: The ways of god and the destiny of the humans

“I remember to have annoyed the Bishop of Muzaffarpur while discussing with him the role of God as revealed in the Book of Job. I had studied the Old Testament of Holy Bible, and had gone through the Peake’s Commentary on the Bible. The Old Testament is a masterpiece of literature. The Book of Job is the finest specimen of literary flourish and dramatic art in the Old Testament. I had studied it as a Postgraduate student at L.S. College Muzaffarpur. Later on, as a Lecturer in the Department of English, I delivered a set of Lectures on this. I told the Bishop that the Book of Job showed God’s failure to answer the fundamental questions which Job had posed. The majesty of God was not to be proved by His fascist command to Job to accept his sufferings in the mood of total self surrender to God. Job was a good man. He had to suffer because God wanted to prove to Satan that His devotee would not swerve from path of obedience to Him even if he is racked under boundless sufferings on the wheel of fire. A question keeps on recurring in our mind: Why should Job be made a pawn in the cosmic conflict between the forces of Good and Evil ? In the Bhagavad-Gita, Arjuna was at liberty to ask all sorts of questions, and Krishna explained every aspect of the matter comprehensively. Towards the end, Arjuna himself realised what was right for him. There was no ring of assertion in Krishna’s tone who, in the end of his exposition, granted Arjuna liberty to do whatever he thought appropriate. Why should a blameless man suffer? Why should God allow Satan to subject Job to an ordeal when He was sure of Job’s innocence? How could Satan question even God’s judgment about Job? Is not God Himself responsible for Job’s tragedy? Why should He allow Satan to subject a good soul to such horrendous acid test? One often feels God had Himself failed. There was a point when German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche found Him dead. I considered my comment fair exercise of my critical sense but the Bishop was furious at me. He felt that the prevailing modernist thinking had perverted my perspective, and distorted my understanding of God’s role in the Book of Job. I felt I was correct in expressing the following about ‘Man’ in the Magadh University Journal 1962 issue; to quote-

“In the Greek thought MAN was a dynamic creature with brilliant creative faculty. Gods ruled the universe: and Destiny often exercised its arbitrariness but MAN was exclusively preoccupied with the working out of the riddles of existence. Man was a great sufferer: he was also a powerful cognitive instrument. In the Middle Ages, MAN became a frail creature standing in the mood of self-surrender before the massive CROSS. The Renaissance witnessed the revival of the Hellenic view of man modified by the medieval view of man [-a creature of passion who needs constant restraint of Reason (Christ himself is Reason)]. In the Age of Enlightenment MAN became one dimensional creature, a mere cog in the world-machine. The MAN in the Romantic period had greater knowledge of the melodrama of existence than of its equilibrium. The Victorian culture was itself superficial and had a wrong sense of values. MAN in our century is “a helpless and fragile beach-ball ”. In the melodrama of existence we are all pathetic characters. With no amount of glittering achievements our civilization can camouflage its wounds. Modern man is “Like a patient etherized upon a table”. Even if he regains his consciousness he is bound to collapse again for in the present state of affairs his disease has no cure.”

Shiva Kant Jha’s ON THE LOOM OF TIME The Portrait of My Life and Times Chapt. 8 at p. 115


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