Hello and welcome to episode 160 of The Ask Sri Vishwanath Show. Today is part 7 of why bad things happen to good people.
If you haven’t read and watched the last 6 episodes 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.
The king and the minister
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. One 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.
I 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.
In episode 156 we told the story of Tulsidas and how his lust for a terrible woman led him to enlightenment. His need for her completely deluded him and she was the one who made him realise that he should offer his love to God. It is a really wonderful story which you can read in full in episode 156.
This story really showed us the power of God’s grace but it also showed us how the gunas can cloud the consciousness. This is why it is so important to fall back on the consciousness and withdraw the gunas. We can do this by meditating so we can distinguish between the real and the unreal and become detached from the script. It is only then that we will learn that the consciousness will always keep us safe.
In episode 157 I shared another personal story of mine and how my tamas personality was affecting my new life in the US. You can read the whole story in yesterday’s episode. I promise it will put a smile on your face.
I shared the story to show that God provides us with all the ingredients but the gunas gets in the way. We need to ask for God’s grace so we can get back to shore. This will allow us to connect with the consciousness and dissolve the gunas.
In episode 158 we told the story of Kalidasa and how he was transformed from a fool to one of the most famous poets and playwrights in India due to the grace of the goddess Kali. We learned that we all have the ability to receive this grace, we just need to be aware of it and we need to ask for it.
I shared a great exercise about how to handle internal and external emotions. It’s a very powerful technique and you can learn how to do it by reading and watching episode 159.
In episode 160 I told the story of Ram’s exile and how it proves that there are no bad things, only bad scenes. We saw how the great ones can recognise that tamas quality in others and just go with the scene until things come to their favour. We also talked about the importance of failure and being detached. You can learn more by watching and reading episode 160 in full.
Today I want to tell one final story. It’s about Narada who was a great seer that had conquered all temptations. One day he went to Shiva and flaunted his powers before him. He gloated about how he had conquered feelings that no other man had been able to conquer.
Shiva did not comment on his supposed abilities but instead gave him one piece of advice. He told him not to tell Vishnu. Of course he did not listen to this advice. He went straight to Vishnu and told him about his great abilities. He told Vishnu that he and Shiva were not alone in having these powers, that he could also resist these many temptations. Vishnu also said nothing. He merely smiled as Narada left his domain.
Narada then looked down to earth when he heard hollering and cheering. He noticed that a daughter of a very prosperous king was getting married. Back then the girls would choose to marry who they saw fit so eligible men from across the country would be sent for and made to sit in the palace. The daughter would then pass each man and place a garland on the one she wanted to marry.
This king’s daughter was a devotee of Vishnu. She always prayed to him and wanted a man like Vishnu to be her husband. Narada had read her mind and came down from heaven. He made his way into the crowd of men. He saw the king’s daughter and she also noticed him. However she did not stop. She just looked at him and walked by.
Narada was so full of anger. He was a great man who had conquered all these desires. He was just as powerful as Vishnu yet this girl had walked by him. He decided to disguise himself as Vishnu so that when she passed again she would place the garland on him. So he meditated on Vishnu and asked him to grant him his face. Vishnu again smiled and agreed that he could take his form.
Narada stood back in line. Then she came to him again. He was beaming with joy. He knew he would be the one she would choose. He had completely fallen for her beauty and charm. She stopped in front of him and he felt himself smile. This was it. Or so he thought. She stopped with the garland in hand and instead of placing it over his head, she laughed and then moved away.
Narada was shocked. Everyone in the palace turned and laughed at him. He was so angry. He could not understand how Vishnu could do this to him. He ran out of the chamber and as he did so he passed a mirror. He looked into the mirror and with horror he noticed that a monkey’s face stared back at him.
Narada was enraged. He could not believe that Vishnu would humiliate him in this way. In that moment Vishnu came to him and explained that all he did was to ensure that Narada upheld all of these powers he bragged about. He told him that if had granted his face liked he asked he would have married her and fallen for all of those temptations he had so powerfully conquered.
Narada opened his eyes and realised that Vishnu was right. He had helped him and to this day he remains the one who resisted all temptations. However this event reminded him that he was only able to resist these temptations because of the grace that was bestowed upon him by Vishnu.
This story is very important because people think they can do things because of their own will and ambition but the truth is we are only able to do these things because of the gunas which can be raised or destroyed in one second. This is why God’s grace is so important.
Every day there are external events and scenes happening in your life and there is the gunas. They are two different things. It is the maya that combines them and makes you think you are dependent on the scenes. This is why maya can be so dangerous.
Turn down the flame
You have control of the gunas. You can turn down the flames and dissolve them in the consciousness. Like the great ones we can stay in the center and be detached from the scene. We spoke before of the circle that’s moved by thought, action, event and the script. Inside that circle is the center and it remains detached and unaffected. The circle is already formed so we need to just get close to the center.
When you get to the center you will be able to live a life without dejection, sadness and fear. You can live a life of serenity regardless of whether the times are good or bad. It is your choice, all you have to do is make it.
I hope I answered your questions. Remember you keep asking questions and I’ll keep answering them.
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