In a 2017
held in Malaysia, a devotee asked Swami about the purpose of evil. Here is an excerpt from Swami’s answer:
I did not create evil or good; I created the Universe, which is always good. As long as everybody follows the rules of this game called life, everything is good.
I will give an example: Let us say you are playing a game of football. In football, there must be two teams to play the game. How can it be a game if the same person kicks the ball, runs with the ball and makes the goal? He cannot. Somebody must oppose him. There must be two teams – one on this side and one on that side. Both play with a good spirit of the game. There is no evil. The losing team cannot call the other team evil because they are opposing the team which is scoring the goal.
Conversely, the winning team cannot call the other team evil because they are trying to win the game. It is a game. One who understands this thoroughly, will not see evil or good, only two opposite forces, which are part of the game. When the teams continue playing according to the rules, according to the law, there is definitely no problem. However, if one team starts playing foul, breaking the rules and doing things not permitted, that is when bad or evil begins. When one becomes selfish and tries to gain at the cost of others, then the game gets spoilt.
God has created everything in an equal way. The selfishness arose within when man started using the faculty of his mind, by identifying himself with only the limited existence of body and mind. That is when all the rules were completely broken, and difficulties began. God then comes like a referee and reminds you that what you are doing is wrong and should not be done like that.