Hello and welcome to episode 154 of The Ask Sri Vishwanath Show. Today I want to talk about why bad things happen to good people.
Today’s question comes from Ralph and he says “I’ve been working for a company for 12 years. I helped build the entire company but now they have removed me for some reason. I feel let down and depressed. Why do bad things happen to good people?”
Thanks for the question Ralph. It’s a tough one. I’m not going to preach at you but I want to share some stories with you so you can gain a new perspective.
The king had a minister who was very wise and said that things always happened for a reason. Then one day the king and the minister went to the forest to hunt.
The king and the minister
While they were moving through the bush the king cut his finger and it bled very badly. The minister did what he could to patch it up but it kept bleeding and the king had become very irritated and he couldn’t understand why this happened to him. The minister told him not to worry because everything happens for a reason.
The king then became even more irritated. He was sick of hearing these words. He noticed a well nearby. He grabbed the minister by his arm and threw him in the well. The king looked down the dark dank well and asked the minister if he still thought everything happened for a reason. The minister said yes, everything happens for a reason. He was steadfast in this belief.
The king moved on through the forest. A while later he came across a group of tribal people. They grabbed the king and tied him to a tree. They intended to offer him as a sacrifice to their goddess. The king was terrified. He truly thought that this was the end, he was going to die.
He was taken to area for sacrificing and just as they were about to kill him they noticed that a finger on his right hand was injured. They had a law that sated only those who were completely clean and free from marks and injuries could be sacrificed so they untied him and let him go.
The king was overjoyed but he felt so bad for the minister so he ran back to the well and told him how sorry he was. He knew that the minister was right. The minister told him not to be sorry. If the king had not pushed him into the well he would have been captured and because he had no injuries he would have been sacrificed. The king’s injury and anger had actually saved the minister and the king.
This story is very powerful. If things had not gone the way they did both would have been killed. So why do bad things happen to good people? Well the truth is there are no bad things, only bad scenes. When the scene is bad we react badly. We often can get greater wisdom through stories like this. It gives us a different perspective.
Ram Krishna said that bad times are only bad because we don’t listen to good advice and good times are good because we listen to great advice. We process things differently in good times and bad times. So the easiest way to get back to good times is to act how we acted while the times were good. That’s why stories are a good medium.
There are four major reasons why bad things happen to good people.
The first is lack of faith in your consciousness. We have no knowledge of the consciousness. We have no gratitude for it. Instead of moving inside we stay out even though we can process things better when we withdraw ourselves. If you have faith you can go inside during bad times. We do this by going in during good times too.
Second is people expect the world to treat them better. That door of expectancy is the reason for most of your anger and frustration. This leads to point 4. Only 20% of people now are sattvic people. WE are living in dark times so bad things will happen to good people.
I was born and brought up in Bombay. I had loads of friends. There was always food on the table and I always had clean clothes to wear. Everyone did everything for me and I went through my younger years thinking everyone was supposed to do everything for me. I had that expectation. Then I moved to the US for top position in a software company. It was a good job and I earned plenty of money but I remember asking someone to help me with something and they said no. I would get so angry and frustrated. This was because of my expectancy. It happened for 6 months but I learned so much from it. Whenever your expectancy from others is high it will lead you to trouble.
We take things for granted and that is never a good thing. This brings us to point number 3 which is gratitude. We have no gratitude for things we have because we take everything for granted. We have everything that we really need, eyes, ears, nose, a mouth, a body, shelter and good food. These things are meaningless because we think they are not important.
This is why the great ones meditate. To show gratitude for the things they have already. People in this world either become attached to the things they have or they crave the things they don’t have. So the first thing you need to do is develop gratitude for the things you already have. This will make you feel good and will make others around you feel good. The best way to do this is to meditate on this verse:
“Him the weapons cannot cut, fire cannot burn, water cannot wet, air cannot dry. The self cannot be cut, dried, burned or wetted…Eternal, all pervasive, stable, immovable, everlasting the Self Reigns”
Meditate on this every day for a month and it will bring you closer to the consciousness. There is also another verse you can use:
“With a concentrated mind fix your mind on me. Fixing your mind on me you will overcome all obstacles due to my diving grace but if ego is tickling your purses you will perish.”
Write these two verses, read them and then meditate on them. Do it for ten minutes every day and within a short time you will feel very powerful.
People believe knowledge means to know but knowledge is only known when it is realised. Knowledge involves action and execution. When I read books I only ever read one page because I want to really absorb whatever is said in that one page. That way I am realising the knowledge and it becomes complete.
So just do something small. Write down those verses every day for 30 days and it will really help you complete and realise your knowledge. When this happens your expectations of the world will disappear. You will expect less from other and in turn you will deliver more.
Another thing that will help is to write down things that you are really grateful for. This really helps to put things into perspective. It will help you when times are bad. It will help you to realise that you never lose the truly important things in life. I can guarantee it will work for you.
When you think times are bad you just need to realise that your tamas gunas is high. To destroy this you need to withdraw to the consciousness. Writing the above verses will really help you with withdrawing and controlling your reactions to situations.
I hope I answered your questions. Remember you keep asking questions and I’ll keep answering them.
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Why Bad Things Happen To Good People
– A Step By Step guide of how great ones discovered answers to life’s challenging problems and overcame them with absolute ease and How You Can Too in Less Than Seven Days.