If God Created Everything, Why Is There Evil?
(Video grab of Srila Prabhupada speaking with pilot)

Prabhupāda: Just coming here from Philadelphia we were talking with the aeroplane crews, the captain, the pilot. They were very patiently hearing us. The question was very intelligent question the pilot made, that "If everything is created by God..." Yes. That is a fact. Janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). The Vedānta-sūtra says everything is emanated from God. Without a thing being present in God, there cannot be any existence of anything. That's a fact. Īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam (ISO 1). So his question was, "Then what is this evil?" The evil is also God's creation.

So I explained like this, that for God there is no good or evil; everything is good. So I gave him this example that good, or piety, that is God's frontage, and evil means God's back side. So taking this example, the chest or the back of my body, they are equal. It is not that when there is some pain on the back side I don't care for it; I simply take care of when there is pain in the chest. No. Although it is back side, it is as important as the front side. Then evil and good is also of the same importance? No. Evil... That I gave the example, that for God there is nothing evil.

I gave another example. Just like the sun, there is no darkness. Anywhere of sun's body, there is no darkness. But for us there is light and darkness. Just like if you keep the sun back side, you will find darkness, a very long darkness, your shadow. And if you keep yourself in front, sun, there is no darkness. So it is my business; I create darkness. As soon as I change my position—instead of remaining in front of God, I keep God back side—then there is darkness. Otherwise there is no question of darkness. But in the sun as it is, there is no such darkness. Therefore God is all good. And for us, when we forget God, that is evil. And when we are in God consciousness always, everything good. Is that example all right?

Devotees: Jaya!

Devotee: Perfect.

Prabhupāda: So God is all good. There is no good or evil. Apāpa-viddham. In the Īśopaniṣad you will find description, apāpa-viddham. Whatever God does, that is all good. But if we imitate God, then it is evil. That is the disease of material disease.

(Srila Prabhupada Arrival Lecture, San Francisco, July 15, 1975)

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