Why do devotees of God go through tough times? Does God take test of devotees?
God never take any test of anybody. Yajurveda mantra 7/48 says that human being do good or bad karmas (deeds) and accordingly God awards result thereof of happiness or sorrow. True devotee and true worship never go in vain. Actually Almighty God created universe and we follow some natural law of the universe made by God in the Vedas. For example --- toeat, to sleep, to laugh, to marry etc., etc. But after Mahabhart war in the matter of spiritualism very few follow the path of Vedas. Therefore Tulsi das has also told in Ramayana, SHRUTI SAMANT HARI BHAKTI PATH SANJUT BIRATI BIBEK. TEHIN NA CHALIHIN NAR MOH BAS KALPHIN PANTH ANEK.Meaning--- the bhakti is based on Vedas only by which we get knowledge. But unfortunately now most of the people are not following the path of Vedas. But arrogant have made their own ways. The philosophy of Vedas is------
Yajurveda mantra 40/8 says that God is everywhere, Almighty, formless, nervous system less, purest, away from sins and away to face any result of any karmas (deeds), knows every soul, knows what is in everyone's mind, nobody has made God, but God creates universe, has given the eternal knowledge of four Vedas and always gives the said knowledge at the beginning of every universe to know the science and deeds to all concern. Similarly four Vedas says about God that God is an omnipresent, omniscient, formless, beyond imagination and beyond calculation. Actually God has unlimited qualities. There is only one God who creates, nurses, destroys the universe and again creates.
Atharvaveda mantra 4/1/1 also says that God gives the knowledge of Vedas at the beginning of the earth to four Rishis of unsexual creation. And thereafter only public listens Vedas through rishis Munis as yet and become learned. Rigveda gives knowledge of Almighty, Yajurveda gives knowledge of karmas (deeds), Saamveda tells about worship-Yoga philosophy and Atharvaveda about medicines and God. Actually all Vedas commonly says about God also, so this is about Vedas in short. But the knowledge of Vedas is endless. It is a fundamental that knowledge is always given by somebody otherwise knowledge can't be gained at any cost. If a new born baby is nursed well in a densy jungle and is not educated then he will not be able to gain any knowledge.
So we have to think that the knowledge in the world today from where came first. In this connection all Vedas themselves say that God gives this knowledge to four Rishis. As has also been said by Rishi Patanjali in yoga shastra sutra 1/26 that God is first Guru of the four Rishis. Those four rishis are Agni, Vaayu, Aditya and Angira.Yajurveda mantra 31/7 also refers. So this is all in short about Vedas. Now if somebody worship statue etc., i.e., their own creation please but Vedas deny. According to Vedas the best worship of the God is Yagya (Yajna) for which all Vedas are self proof. Yajurveda mantra 31/16 says that the learned persons worship God by Yajna. To know about Yajna I have written a book in detail which is available through this website.
So we mostly follow the path of bhakti made by their own and not the bhakti made by God in the Vedas. In Valmiki Ramayana it is said that there were not any problems, sorrows, storm, cyclone, physical problem etc. because the personal of those days only followed Vedas philosophy. They used to do daily Yagya, yoga practice and meditation and respect to parent, Rishis-Munis and services thereof. Now there is difference between Rishis Munis and present saints, who are against the Vedas.
In Shatpath Brahmin Granth 3/7/3/10, written by Yask Muni it is said, "VIDWANS HI DEVAHA" i.e., he who is learned of Vedas, he is called Dev. Yajurveda mantra 40/3 says, "ASURYA NAAM TE LOKAHA ANDHEN TAMSAVRITAHA___" means while taking birth a child is called "Manushya" i.e., mankind. If he learns Vedas, does pious deeds and discharges his moral duties well and according to Vedas then he becomes Dev. Otherwise Asur i.e., devil (demon) , one who kills the pure voice of soul and does sins. In Van Parv of Mahabhart Yaksh asked question to Yudhisthar, "KAH NASTIKAH" i.e., who is called atheist? Yudhisthar answers, he who is against and insults Vedas he is atheist (Manusmriti 2/11 also refers). So there are two kinds of men/women according to Yajurveda mantra quoted above - One, "DEV" and second "DEVIL". So, our birth is to become Dev.
Rigveda mantra 10/181/1 says that in the beginning of the creation God always originates the knowledge of four Vedas in the heart of four Rishis, then the said four Rishis spread it further and until now the eternal knowledge of Vedas is being received traditionally. The names of thosefour Rishis are--- Agni, Vaayu, Aditya, Angira, as also mentioned in Rigveda mantra 10/109/1 and Manusmriti shlok 1/23. this truth is also mentioned inBhagwat Geeta wherein shlok 3/15 says that Vedas are emanated from Almighty God and in shlok 13/4 Shri Krishna says that the knowledge of soul and body is very well mentioned in four Vedas and the Rishis have described the same by many methods. In Atharvaveda mantra 2/35/1and 4 it is preached that Rishis spread the knowledge of holy Yagya (Yajna) to the people to kill their sorrows and Rishis are those, "MANTRADRISHTA ITI RISHIHI" i.e., those who have studied Vedas and ashtang Yog practice, and there realized Almighty God and seen Ved mantras in their heart, they are called Rishis. So the knowledge of the Vedas, as per Rigveda mantras quoted above, is given by God Himself. To the Rishis and it is eternal truth and can not be changed that is why in Yog shastra sutra, Rishi Patanjali says,"SA ESH PURVESAHM API GURUHU" i.e.,. so next to God is Rishi. God did not give the knowledge to the present sants. In Vedas, the name of the learned are mentioned as Rishis, Muni, Vipra, Dwij, Agni etc., and not sants. To be next to God it is necessary to have full knowledge of Vedas and ashtang yoga, as per the rules quoted above.
To know that what is true and what is false, proof is required. Yog shastra in sutra 1/7 says about four proofs within which proof of Vedas to determine the truth is compulsory. However, it makes no difference that if a present sant has learnt four Vedas, done ashtang yoga practice mentioned in Vedas and realized Vedas and God, then he is also next to God. If declares his name Rishi or Brahamchari and does not know Vedas and yoga philosophy, then he is liar and cheating the public - because in Shanti Parv of Mahabhart also Bhisham Pitamaha says to Yudhisthar that there are two kinds of Braham (though God is one). First, "Shabad Braham" i.e., knowledge of fourVedas, second "Par Braham" the realization of formless God who creates, nurses and destroy the universe. So he who does not know Braham even Shabad Braham---Vedas. So how he writes himself as Brahamrishi, naturally he is cheating the public because most of the public does not know about Vedas and the arrogant (the saints who are against Vedas) have spread false knowledge about Vedas, Yajna and yoga philosophy. That is why, Manusmriti 2/168 says that the saint/Guru/Dwij who does not know Vedas but studies false books, he in his present life goes downwards i.e., experiences sorrows, sufferings etc, etc., with his followers, i.e., their followers also go down and experiences the said difficulties etc., but nowadays it is also spread that God takes examination of a worshipper but such type of examinations have not been mentioned in Vedas. And Ramayan also says about such false saints--- VARAN DHARAM NAHIN ASHRAMCHARI,SHRUTI VIRODH RAT SABNAR NARI. Tulsi says that at present men and women here become against the eternal knowledge of Vedas. Again Tulsi says in Uttrakand DWIJ SHRUTI BECHAK BHOOP PRAJSAN, KAU NAHIN MAN NIGAM ANUSASAN. i.e., at present mostly the people do not accept the knowledge of Vedas, present saints? Gurus have sold the Vedas i.e., they do not know the ABCD about theVedas. Again in Shatpath Brahmin Granth 1/7/5/3 it is said that he who study all knowledge of the same Granth it is mentioned that he who has studied Vedas in full and teaches others, he is Rishi.
It is now a fact that ancient Rishis used to live in a lonely place/jungle in Gurukuls/Ashram where the students used to go take Vedas/Yoga knowledge as Shri Krishna, Sudama, Shri Ram and their public used to go. It was the effect of Ved mantras on them and the effect of practicing ashtang yoga philosophy. They used to lead simple way of life without any luxury etc., whereas nowadays the saints (against the Vedas) mostly live in bigger cities where way of earning is obtained. The Rishis used to bless the people according to Ved mantra to be the richest and having all households in the family etc., whereas now the present saints say that money will do nothing, family will do nothing, house will do nothing, cars and clothes will do nothing and they themselves take lot of money and enjoy luxuries. The Rishis were out of illness/tension etc., and Upanishad says about the fact whereas most of the saints are having multifarious diseases, tension etc. The ancient Rishis mostly used to live in Gurukul and used to go to kingdom on invitation (Valmiki Ramayan Bal Kand sarg 7 also refers). But nowadays saints send their disciples door to door to collect money and to arrange maximum gathering/ crowd. The Rishis like Vyas Muni etc., used to go mostly on foot and alone to anywhere (Mahabhart says) but now the present saints/Gurus go in a fleet of cars/groups with body guards etc., etc.
The Rishis were self of simple living without luxury etc., but with their blessings they made people the richest whereas most of the present saints have become the richest with all luxury, gathering money/donation etc., from even poor people and public seems to be poor.
In Brihadarnayk Upanishad there is a debate, shastrarth between Bal Brahamcharini Gargi and Rishi Yagvalkya. This debate was organized by king Janak. The winner of debate was to be given 500 cows with gold plated on horns. When Rishi Yagvalkya ordered his disciples to take the cows then king Janak interrupted and requested the Rishi that these cows are meant to him who will win the debate with my supreme Acharya Gargi. King asked the Rishi that whether he (Rishi) is Brahamrishi Yagvalkya Rishi answered, O! king there was shortage of milk in my Gurukul to my students and that is why I was taking the cows. But if you want to ask something I am ready. There became debate and Rishi won and got cows. This story tells that allRishis used to ask donations when they needed whereas present saints even being multi millionaires from donation even they are asking for money.
In Upanishad king Janshruti met with Rishi Rakya in lonely place sitting on sand under the shadow of Bullock cart. Whereas present saints meet withhighly decorated and valuable throne.
Rishi Jardbhart was sitting alone in a jungle on the earth. When he was asked to carry the palanquin (palki) putting one side on his shoulder. Then he immediately became ready without any pride and walked on foot. Mostly now this can not be repeated.
So there are maximum examples of the ancient Rishis who were Tapsvi, lover of truth who are adorable. So when anybody will follow the Vedic path which was adopted by Shri Ram, Shri Krishna, Mata Sita and their public then there will be no problem. Even Mata Sita was not in problem when Ravan took her and she won the war. So to obey the path of Vedas means that theworries end.
I will suggest to recite Gaytri mantra both times (i.e., Gaytri jaap) and daily havan of Gaytri mantra. Also try to do 5-6 yoga asans, threepranayaam and meditation daily, which is eternal worship of God. Everybody must try to bear the hard wordings of elders leaving beside the ego. Always try to speak in sweet voice. Nobody can do anything to other and there is no any space for tantra, jantra, mantra, kal sarp dosh or Vastu shastra, etc., as the same are not mentioned in Vedas. Our own karmas give result to us. Everybody must remember that God is everywhere and He is looking everybody. So everybody must do pious deeds.