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Spirituality

Updated on: Sunday, September 19, 2021, 01:00 AM IST

Guiding Light: Why do bad things happen to good people?

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If one is a good person and has not hurt anybody, done all the right things in life, why should something bad happen to them? This is a question that troubles a lot of people. It is based on an automatic assumption that if I am good, then nothing wrong should happen to me. Unfortunately, there is no rule like that. Bad things happen to both good people and bad people. ‘Good’ and ‘bad’ are being used stereotypically. Technically, we use the word ‘good’ for those who follow dharma and ‘bad’ for those who don’t follow the universal framework of dharma. If bad things were to happen to adharmika people, it seems right.

What goes around comes around. But why should it happen to a good person? Same reason. It is karma at work. Because of the limitations of our mind and the scientific paradigms we are exposed to, we don’t accept the idea of past birth or rebirth. If we don’t accept that, then we cannot accept karmic connections from previous lifetimes. We cannot accept that a good person today may not have been that good in a previous lifetime. As a human being, that person may have done all — the good, the bad and the ugly. Therefore, in this lifetime, the person is paying a price for what the person has done in a previous lifetime.

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Likewise, good things can happen to bad people because of their previous good karma. Many people say that it is not fair. This is assuming a statute of limitations of a lifetime. But there is no such statute of limitation in the karmic plan. One pays for one’s karma at some point in time. As human beings, we are given to doing what is ethical or unethical. One has to accept the consequences. This is not a fatalistic view but a responsible view so that we stop cribbing, ‘why something bad has happened to us? Nor do we blame others or ourselves for it. We accept accountability and deal with the situation as best as we can.

(The writer is the founder of Aarsha Vidya Foundation. You can write to him at aarshavidyaf@gmail.com)

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Published on: Sunday, September 19, 2021, 07:00 AM IST
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