Common Misconceptions: Who is responsible - God or myself?

                                                                  Q. Part 1: Right now I don't know if I believe in God or not. I got this feeling because of recent Tsunami devastations. I didn't quite understand how God/nature can destroy so many innocent lives when they didn't do any bad karma, even if there might be few people who had done bad karma. I also couldn't understand how so many people were destined to die at the same time even though they didn't have anything in common.

                                                                  Q. We are a product of the environment that we take birth and grow up in. To a great extent this environment determines whether one will be religious or not. If God is in control of this, then why should one have to suffer the consequences of being born in an atheistic family?

                                                                  Q. May I ask for some explanation for the role of the Supersoul in the appearance of a living being's desires? The whole process seems to be out of reach for a living being's self control.

                                                                  Q. I like to believe that God exists, but sometimes things happen in my life which make me believe otherwise. Please help me.

                                                                  Life is full of experiences and challenges which test our faith and bear potential to strengthen it.  For doubt to arise as you describe is not uncommon. But it is resolvable by reflecting upon the conception of God expressed in Bhagavad-gita, which will likely result in an adjustment of what conception of God we presently ascribe to.

                                                                  Q. We often hear devotees saying that whatever they or others are experiencing is due to their karma. So our question is, how does taking responsibility come into the picture? Can we just 'lay the blame' on past karma for our present misdeeds and wrongful activities and get away with it?

                                                                  Q. 1. As per the Bhagavad-gita sloka 4.8 "paritranaya sadhunam, vinasaya ca duskrtam.." the Godhead commits Himself to come to the world for performing His duties. This being the case, how we can aspire for a condition of no birth?