Why bad things happen to good people?

By Yamuna Sundari devi dasi

A Scientific and Vedic perspective to the real questions of life! 

We are always amazed by this science about the existence of karma—the chain of good and bad reactions. Every action we perform has a reaction which fructifies immediately or remains in store for the future.

This science can be explained through the help of an example. A farmer harvests a field and finds that there are sometimes good quality grains and other times bad quality grains. When there are bad quality grains, the farmer puts them in the grain silo which go and settle at the bottom of the pit. Next season when there are good quality grains, the farmer puts them again in the grain silo. However, when the farmer opens the bottom lid, he finds that he is receiving the bad quality grains which he had put in the previous season, and following that would be the good quality grains which he had put in this season. This is because the accumulated bad quality grains of previous season have been accumulated to the bottom of the pit which would come out first, followed by the good quality grains.

Similarly, we can see that we get happiness and distress in this world which can be understood by the principles of karma. As a state or country is functioning with proper rules and regulations, similarly there are also rules governing the working of this cosmic manifestation. We have not observed the actions of any individual for eternity, and therefore, it becomes unfair to conclude that a good person is suffering bad reactions without any reason, or vice-versa. We have to understand that we are eternal beings, and that there is a soul which goes through re-incarnation based on the activities performed in this mortal world.

Re-incarnation, Out-of-body experiences, Near-death Experience and Past life memories have been accepted by Science as a genuine fact, and many people all over the world have been witness to these incidents and believe in this reality.

The word Karma has three meanings—the activity that produces a reaction which leads to the development of our future, the reaction of that material activity, and, activities that are in conjunction with the scriptures. The scriptures are taken to be like law books which give us the direction for leading our life, or a manual for life. Just like a manual for a Television gives us the instruction on the installation and working of the device, similarly the manual of life i.e. Scriptures give us a direction to life. Why should we keep faith in scriptures? It can be just a mental concoction without any scientific basis. However, we can see that Scriptures give us evidence about so many things—eg. Science of Embryology has been explained in the Vedic texts thousands of years ago, the predictions of different incarnations like Lord Buddha and other rulers like Emperor Chandragupta are explicitly given in the scriptures, Ayurveda and the purity of Cow dung and many other such concepts which Science has discovered recently have since been mentioned in the scriptures thousands of years ago.

Therefore, to get real knowledge we have to approach the bonafide source. For example, if anyone wants to become a Doctor or a Lawyer, he chooses an appropriate college of Law or Medicine, gets the knowledge from the authorised books and recognised teachers, sits for the exam, gets some practical experience and then becomes certified as a Professional. Similarly, if we are inclined to receive knowledge of the Absolute Truth, that which cannot be defined or cannot be conceived by our present limited senses, we have to approach the bonafide sources or line of disciplic succession, who can pass the knowledge as it is.

So the intelligent question arises about where can we get this real knowledge about the soul?

The Bhagavad-Gita is the most prominent scripture which enlightens one about the principles of self-realisation and how to make one’s life perfect. Great leaders, philosophers, scientists, University professors, theologists etc., refer to this ancient Vedic text to dispel their doubts born of ignorance. It is explained in Chapter 2, Verse 13 that as a person changes from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into a new body at death, and a sober person is not bewildered by this change. The Bhagavad-gita explains about there being a gross body which comprises of Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether and a subtle body which comprises of Mind, Intelligence and False Ego. Above these two is the soul which is untouchable by these elements, unbreakable, cannot be broken into pieces, cannot by burnt by fire or moistened by water. It is eternal, unchangeable and maintains this entire material body through the symptom of consciousness.

The benefits of having this great knowledge is that one develops divine qualities which are the most essential needs of this present world condition. The qualities of satisfaction, contentment, happiness, peace and love develop in a person with these divine attributes and spiritual inclinations. This results in universal brotherhood which can only be achieved if we understand and appreciate the fact that behind any skin colour, race or religion there lies a soul, which is unique and connected to the one divine source of God. Knowledge of the Soul also helps one to have a positive outlook in life and be able to deal with anxieties, lamentation, fear, sadness, distress and negative thoughts. This automatically solves the problem of getting entangled in the cycle of actions and reactions, as one can cut these ropes of ignorance through divine knowledge.

Therefore, one should make all efforts to dive deeper into this transcendental science of the mysteries of life and make our existence perfect.

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