Guruji, why do bad things happen to good people?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Why do bad things happen to good people? Somewhere sometime in the past they may have also done something bad. From some lifetimes, somewhere they have become a victim of it. It is impossible that you get a bitter neem tree when you sow a mango tree. Got it? So somewhere knowingly or unknowingly the person must have done some bad thing so that bad result has come now. This is theory of karma and it is very very deep. Bad things happen either through karma or through ignorance in the present moment. Yes! All bad things happen to good people because some greed must have crept into good peoples’ mind.
but I have a question: “Ignorance in the present moment” – Does that mean not everything that happens is karma? Or even that is karma only?
Let’s understand what is ignorance in the present moment. It is being lost in Maaya right now. Let’s say I am a person who is lost in Maaya. Whatever comes my way, good or bad is coming my way because it is propelled by my past karma. Now when I am in this situation faced with this thing from my past karma, there can be 2 possibilities that can happen:
- If I am completely lost in Maaya (ignorance), then I will choose unwisely, out of my greed, jealousy, hatred and make wrong decisions. I will be planting a neem seed by following my ignorance.
- The other option is that I use my Viveka and choose wisely. I decide to ignore my emotion of jealousy, hatred, etc. and choose to do the right thing. This is planting a mango seed.
Irrespective of whichever way I go, my today’s action will become a seed for tomorrow so it is called Karma. So if somebody is suffering today, it is either because of his past karma or his ignorance in the present moment. Got it?
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