Science, Culture and Integral Yoga Auroville AV Galaxy Plan Home
The informality of a discussion of this kind avoids all ponderous considerations of scholarship and forthwith puts us in touch with the truth perceived and realised by the speaker, with his life-matured convictions standing behind it. The mode makes the idea immediately graspable. N.B.: Author's (RYD"s) Foreword to Freedom and Future—an Imaginary Dialogue with Sri Aurobindo by Daniel Albuquerque, published in 1998 by Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry. Print Article Keywords: IntegralYoga, India, History, Culture 5:38 PM
Philip Toynbee: If you try to believe in a God who is both good and omnipotent, the problem of absolutely superfluous suffering, gratuitous suffering, is a real one, isn’t it?
Arnold Toynbee: Oh, it is. I have thought quite a lot about it and I admire Indian religion and philosophy for grasping that nettle. I think Christianity has always tried to evade the problem. It has made the Devil responsible -- saving God’s omnipotence by saying He created the Devil, and yet that He isn’t responsible for the thing He created. Now the Indians say that God is evil as well as good because He is omnipotent and He includes everything. In the Bhagavadgita there’s that terrifying vision of Krishna as a sort of trampling monster, grinding everything to bits with his gnashing teeth.
On this point of omnipotence and goodness, the comprehensiveness, the catholicity, of Indian religion have made a great impression on me, and I feel very much in sympathy with it. I feel that this is the kind of religion that is needed for our times.