Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 04 Mar 2017


Questions on Bible

Shri Anil asked: Pada namaskaram Swami, 2 questions are enclosed. Kindly give Your answer to those. At Your Lotus Feet, anil

1) In the bible there are two contrasting incidents mentioned; in one Zechariah, John the Baptist's father disbelieved God's (Gabriel the angel) words that he will get a son and due to this he became temporarily dum. At the same time God (Gabriel the angel) spoke Mary the earthly mother of Jesus that she will give birth to Jesus even when she was not married . But she accepted the wish of God. Can You please analyze these incidents also that with Peters denial of Jesus for more clarity. The related verses in case of Zechariah and Mary are given below.

[Luke 1:8-20 8 Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.

11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink,and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”

19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”

Luke 1:26-38 The Angel Gabriel Comes to Mary

26 Six months after Elizabeth had become pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a city in Galilee.

27 The angel went to a virgin promised in marriage to a descendant of David named Joseph. The virgin’s name was Mary.

28 When the angel entered her home, he greeted her and said, “You are favored by the Lord! The Lord is with you.”

29 She was startled by what the angel said and tried to figure out what this greeting meant.

30 The angel told her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary. You have found favor[a] with God.

31 You will become pregnant, give birth to a son, and name him Jesus.

32 He will be a great man and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David.

33 Your son will be king of Jacob’s people forever, and his kingdom will never end.”

34 Mary asked the angel, “How can this be? I’m a virgin.”

35 The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come to you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy child developing inside you will be called the Son of God.

36 “Elizabeth, your relative, is six months pregnant with a son in her old age. People said she couldn’t have a child.

37 But nothing is impossible for God.”

38 Mary answered, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let everything you’ve said happen to me.” Then the angel left her.]

Swami replied: The first point is that the unimaginable God is the source of all the unimaginable events called as miracles, which have taken place in all parts of the world in different religions. Some people with atheistic mentality do not believe the miracles and in their view, the scientific logic alone is the ultimate power. This does not mean that you should accept even a false magic to be miracle by closing the mouth of science everywhere. Science has to close its mouth in the case of a genuine miracle only. But, culprits should not exploit the innocent public by cheating through false miracles or magic. The test of God is always severe because the fruit of the test is going to be of the highest level. A candidate aspiring for the post of District Collector has to attend the serious IAS examination. In the first instance, the devotee doubted about the miracle itself and hence could not accept the birth of a child to an old couple as per the scientific rules of Gynaecology. In the second case, the devoted Mary accepts the possibility of a genuine miracle to happen. Here, it is not question of faith in a miracle. It is still a higher test regarding overcoming the social norms for the sake of God by getting a child even before marriage. Gopikas faced such severe test, which is to vote for God against justified social tradition. The first devotee is almost an atheist in even not believing the unimaginable power of unimaginable God. The first devotee is in the bottom most level whereas a second devotee is in the highest level of Nivrutti devotion.

2) Recently i had to conduct a small feast at my house related to a church activity. In which vegetarian food was served for 25 people. However, since in such feast normally non-veg is served, and since i served only veg, lot of food become balance. Had i served non-veg, all would have eaten all most all, but since i gave veg, many were not interested. In such cases which one is best option, giving non-veg food and avoiding waste of excess food or giving veg food but with some wastage as balance? Kindly give Your advice on this matter.

Swami replied: You can give the balance of vegetarian food to beggars, in which case, wastage of food is also avoided. It all depends on your strength of the concept about which you are convinced. Non-vegetarians can also eat vegetarian food. If you care for your guests more than the hell, you could have done so by pleasing the guests. I have given lot of discussion on this topic. There is no difference between vegetarian and non-vegetarian food as far as the chemical compositoin is concerned. The sin is not in the food but is in its cause, which is to kill a bird or animal for the food. It is best understood if you imagine yourself in the place of that bird or animal! No more logic is needed, if you imagine that your throat is cut by a knife!