Hello and welcome to episode 156 of The Ask Sri Vishwanath Show. Today is part three of why bad things happen to good people.

If you haven’t read and watched episodes 154 and 155 I highly suggest you do so. That way you will really benefit from this episode. I will give a quick re-cap but there is great information in those episodes that I don’t want you to miss out on.

In 154 we spoke about the story of the king and the minister. The minister told the king that everything happens for a reason. The king was so angry that he threw the minister in a well. The king was injured in the forest and taken away by tribe’s people. In the end they let him go because of his injury which really proved the ministers point.

We said that there are no bad things, only bad scenes and to get through these bad scenes we must fall back to the consciousness. The easiest way to do this we learned, was to fall back during the good times too so it becomes second nature.

We talked about expectations and how the more we expect from others, the more let down we will be. The less expectation we have the happier we will be. We also talked about the importance of gratitude and we need to be grateful for the things we already have. I great tip was to spend 5 minutes each day writing about what you are truly grateful for. If you’d like to know more you can read episode 154 in full.

In episode 155 we shared the story of Garuda and how Prarabdha Karma means that if something is destined to happen then it will happen no matter what you do. We spoke about fear and how all these emotions are caused by tamas coming to the surface. We learned that instead of asking lay people for help we should first ask the consciousness and then we should ask experts who are high in sattvic gunas. We know that the consciousness is a friend who will always keep us safe.

We also mentioned that you need to figure out what you are good at and focus on that. We need to keep doing that instead of focus on others because we have no right to try and teach anyone else a lesson. I told a personal story that really proved that point. You can read it in full in episode 155.

Finally we told a story from the Mahabharat about the blind king. It showed that when we do take revenge we will always regret it so instead we should focus on ourselves and withdraw our tamas gunas.


Today I want to tell you another story. Tulsidas fell in love with a bad woman named Rayna who lived on the other side of the village. Tulsidas would go to the other side of the village to make love with her. He was madly in love with her so he would travel to see her every day. One day he had to perform a funeral service for his father. As he was doing this it was getting late and his mind was on this woman.

That evening he said he was going to visit her. The moment he said that a storm came and all the rivers swelled up and the wind started to howl. Still his lust was so great that he was still willing to cross the river. When he got to the edge of the river the boat man said he was not crossing today because it was too dangerous.

Tulsidas was so mad. He still wanted to reach her. He was overrun with tamas and was infatuated with her. It was dark but he saw what appeared to be a log in the river. He jumped in and grabbed onto it. He managed to get to the other side and he made his way to the woman’s house. He knocked at her door but she could not hear him because of the howling wind and the battering rain.

Then he saw something that looked like a rope hanging on the rope. He grabbed it and started to climb the wall beside her house. In all the commotion he fell. The fall created a lot of noise which made the woman come out of her house. She asked him how on earth he had gotten there in the bad weather.


She asked him where he had been. He stank from the river water. At this stage he was getting angry. He asked her why she didn’t put the rope in a proper place. The woman couldn’t understand him and asked him what rope he was referring to. She had not put out any ropes. When she investigated the rope she found that it was not a rope. It was a cobra. In the dark and wind the man, filled with lust had foolishly mistaken it for a rope.

She wanted to know how he had crossed the river so they went there together. It was then that he realised that there was no log. It was a dead body he had grabbed onto to cross the river. He was blind with lust and tamas and had mistaken this man’s body for a log.

Give it to God

At that point the woman said to him if he could love so much then why give it to a woman like her? Why not give that powerful love to God. The moment she said that something drastic happened inside him. He left that place an enlightened man. His sattvic gunas had risen so high.

He made a journey to the holy place Varanasi. He was overcome with devotion to Ram and the only thing he wanted was to see him.


That night as he was about to fall asleep under a tree a ghost appeared to him. He told him that he would help him to see Ram. He told him there was a person giving a sermon in a temple nearby. He told him that there would be a tall man at the back dressed as a priest. This would be Hanuman, the god who was very loyal to Ram. He told him he could reach Ram through Hanuman. He told him to go to Hanuman and tell him that he wanted to see Ram.

The next day he went to the sermon and he saw Hanuman. He went to him and asked him to help him see Ram. The priest told him that this was nonsense and to go away. Tulsidas tried again and again but he kept getting rebuked as Hanuman did not want to be noticed. This happened for 3 whole days.

The ghost told him to go back to the sermon and to keep trying. The next day he went back and he banged his head on the floor over and over until blood poured out of him. At that point Hanuman decided that it was time to reveal his true form. He placed his hand on Tulsidas and the moment he did that all of his tamas was destroyed. He then had this great vision of Ram and Sita in his heart.

God’s Grace

Hanuman gave him his grace and told him from that day forward he would write about Ram. Tulsidas said he didn’t know anything and had never written anything before. Hanuman told him that yesterday he had no knowledge because of the tamas but that had now been destroyed and now he was a man of God so God will sit in his mouth and words. He told him to meditate on the banks of the Ganges and the words would come.

He did as he was told and while meditating he opened a book and started to write. Immediately the words came to him. He kept writing and this book came to be known as the Ramayan. To this day everyone knows the story of Tulsidas and his great writing.

He went from the depths of lust to the heights of enlightenment all by the grace of God and because bad things happened to him. This woman helped him to see God and he dedicated the first line to her because of it. She was his guru.

Now we don’t have to go through all that because we can learn from the experiences of the great ones. We too can rid ourselves of these tamas thoughts of lust and anger.

Our consciousness can take the form of tamas and like Hanuman said, we are not useless it is only the tamas deluding us and making it seem that way. Tamas takes over during bad times. It is only the tamas that makes it bad it makes you think that it represents yourself. Remember we said that everything is the consciousness plus the nature of the thing. This means that tamas is the consciousness plus the nature of tamas.

Go back to the shore

This is why we must go back to the shore. Remember that lust is only a form a love. It is a transformation that happens when we process things differently when we change the lens. We need to shift the lens from the mind to the consciousness.

During good times the consciousness can take the form of Rajas and it deludes you into seeking pleasure, power, fame and money. It makes you think that everything is going OK.

The great ones know that there is a place within you that maya cannot touch. The consciousness. Krishna says “with the senses controlled, mind control he who commences the yoga of action with the organs of action wins serenity. With the senses controlled, mind controlled with evenness of mind perform work. This evenness of mind is yoga. Running after fruits is an unhealthy trait. Evenness of mind is a healthy trait. With the intelligence of evenness, Sama Darshana discard the merits and demerits of work.

So there is a place inside you that can process things differently. A place where you cannot be deluded. This is why you should operate from the consciousness because you will always remain serene by using evenness of mind. You can create this form of mind by meditating, discriminating between real and unreal, falling back to the consciousness and being detached from the script.

Remember bad times are a way for you to get back to the consciousness. All we have to do is recognise the opportunity and take it.

I hope I answered your questions. Remember you keep asking questions and I’ll keep answering them.

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Part III

Sri Vishwanath

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