The Shastrams teach the atma's principal responsibilty for his own destiny and reject the idea of a God who becomes sentimental due to the different sufferings of man and the creatures in general. God's goodness does not consist in confirming man in his erroneous conception that he is meant to be happy or unhappy but to make clear to him – through the Shastrams – that man, woman, animal, plant, etc., is misunderstanding and ignorance. After all, man is only a transition, an intermediate stage.
It is not the endeavour to attain knowledge of the atma that brings about auspiciousness, but serving Love of God. The tragedy of the atma begins with his turning away from God. This is the tragedy that concerns all living beings in the universe, not only man. But it is only when the atma receives the covering in the form of a human frame, and only then that he can tread the path of serving God for the sake of His joy. In the course of the cycle of births and rebirths it is very rare that the atma receives the human frame and it is only in this frame the atma receives the boat that can cross the ocean of ignorance – with the guru as helmsman and bhakti as favourable wind.
To believe in the existence of GOD and what the Shastrams say about Him is no qualification for the path of bhakti. There is only one criterion of being eligible or not: a firm confidence followed by the firm resolve to act accordingly – that the meaning of life is to serve Bhagavan, to serve with the purpose of serving for His sake, serving as the means and goal, quite regardless of one's own happiness. To be turned towards God with the intention to serve – that He is the centre and focus of all thoughts and actions, this is the true emancipation from the real bondage of selfishness, to be a slave of one's own desires. It does not matter in which corner of the universe or under what circumstances the bhakta has to serve God, he is happy whenever he receives the greatest Grace and compassion, which consists in the ability to think, feel, live and die for His sake. [...]
Svami Sadananda Dasa, Corrections