The Chicago-Prashnottar: 41-45 Questions & Answers

Published: 06.07.2011
Updated: 10.07.2011

41.  Question:

Even great men are led to their work by the promptings of God. My proof does not suffer from the fallacy of taking for granted what is to be proved.


If it is so, then God will require another God to prompt Him to action, and that God, a third God to move him on and so on and so forth. Such a proposition involves the fallacy of reasoning in a circle.

42.  Question:

Artisans &c. are ignorant; therefore they require the prompting of God, but God being omniscient, does not require such a stimulus. My reasoning has, therefore, no fallacy.


This statement is also wrong as it is mutually contradictory. You have first to prove that God has a clear knowledge of all things, then you can prove that God acts without any prompting from any other Being. When it is proved that God acts of Himself without a stimulus from someone else, then only it can be proved that God has a clear knowledge of all things. Until one of these propositions is proved, the other cannot be established. O believer in God! I ask you how it is that God being himself omniscient and passionless inclines men towards evil pursuits. Those who are wise are impartial. Men ought, therefore, to be led towards good actions, not evil actions, but it is seen that God leads men even towards evil actions. This does not prove that He is omniscient and passionless.

43. Question:

Ishwara leads all men to do good actions; therefore He is omniscient and beyond all passions. Those who do evil actions are punished by Him in this way that He inclines them to do undesirable things which lead them to hell. This is because such men may be in fear of similar troubles and be deterred from committing sin again, as He dispenses suitable fruits to men. He is wise, passionless and without any blemish.


This statement is also thoughtlessly made because it is God and none else who originally inclines people to do evil. The soul itself cannot do anything because it is unintelligent and cannot do good or evil of its own accord.

To first drive people to do evil and then to throw them into the hell, thus punishing them and then taking them back to right paths, appears to be the only power of Gou.

44. Question:

God never drives people to do evil; it is they themselves, who lean towards them. God dispenses fruits to men according as they perform actions. Take, for instance, the example of a king who penalises theft and never directs a thief to commit theft. If a thief commits theft, he must be punished by the king. Similarly God does not prompt people to do evil but certainly punishes those who do evil.


This argument too, is fallacious, because worldly kings however powerful, are never able to stop commission of theft altogether. Let such kings strive with all their heart, word and action to prohibit the commission of theft and similar evil deeds, but they will never succeed in keeping all men away from committing such acts. On the other hand, God is, according to you, omnipotent; if so, why does He not keep all men away from doing evil. When God is unable to keep men away from doing evil, it is clear that God inclines them to do evil and then punishes them afterwards. This position is open to the same criticism of God as heretofore pointed out. If you say that God is unable to keep men away from doing evil, then you cannot boast loudly that God does everything and that He is omnipotent. If men perform good or bad actions themselves, then they can enjoy their fruits themselves, and it is needless to believe that God is the creator.

45. Question:

It is the men themselves who do right and wrong actions, but it is God who rewards or punishes them for them.

Men are not in a position to enjoy the fruits of their actions themselves just as thieves who commit thefts themselves are not able to punish themselves for their nefarious deeds. It is another man who sends them to a prison.


This statement is also fallacious. When men are competent to do right or wrong actions, why are they not competent to enjoy their fruits themselves? According as a man does right or wrong, he becomes the cause of enjoying its fruits himself. A thief commits theft. The king punishes him or the thief is affected by such unclean diseases as leprosy, ulceration &c. It is not unoften that such a man dies being burnt by fire, or being drowned in water or being cut up by a sword or killed by a cannon ball or bullet or being destroyed by the fall of a building or a rock or is turned a starving wretch.

In various such ways, he undergoes the punishment for his evil deeds. In such a case, there is no need of the intervention of God. It is only the cause that fructifies in these evil effects and the cause is the man himself who performs the deed.

Similarly there are various ways in which man undergoes punishment in hell or attains reward in heaven. If you ask what cause will lead to punishment in a case of fornication, I cannot answer, for my knowledge is limited, and cannot definitely tell the causes that will work in drawing the necessary punishment, but I can say so much that there are certainly causes which bring reward or punishment for good or evil actions. What fruit will a man attain and how and when and where, only the blessed Arhat can say. Without a cause, none can attain the consequences of his acts. It is, therefore, superfluous to bring in God for dispensation of these fruits. Can a sensible man say that a man is fit enough to cook his food but unfit to eat it. You bring in another indictment against God by considering him as the dispenser of fruits. Suppose a man is slain by a sword by another man. How was it that the slain man got his suffering and pain? Who was it that led to this suffering? If you say that it was God who drove the slayer to slay the man, then why is the slayer liable to be hanged?

Is this the law of God? He (God) first prompted the slayer to slay a man and then punished him with gallows. Your statement renders God extremely unjust. If you say that the slayer slew the man himself without any prompting from God, then it is proved that man attains reward or punishment by reason of his own acts and that no intervention of God is required as only the puny-witted men imagine. 0 believer in God, I ask you another question. If it is God who, for good deeds, gives one the reward of enjoyment of sexual pleasures in the company of youth-inebriated celestial nymphs, does He not at the same time punish others for misdeeds by throwing them into the fire of hell and subjecting them to various excruciating mortifications?


The Chicago-Prashnottar

Translator & Publisher:
Atmanand Jain Pustak Pracharak Mandal, Roshan Mohalla, Agra.

Edition: 1918 (1st Edition - 500 books)

Edited Online Edition: HereNow4U

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Arhat
  2. Fear
  3. Omniscient
  4. Soul
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