Why do good people suffer? Here's why

If you consider yourself a good person, why do you think you suffer? Is God doing injustice? Let me give you the answer to these questions faced by most of you

Acharya Upendra JiUpdated: Friday, August 05, 2022, 09:08 PM IST
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People often ask me - 'Why do good people always suffer?' Why do bad things keep happening to kind people? A submissive employee is made to do more work by his boss, a loyal friend is often cheated or a hard-working daughter-in-law is always given more work by her mother-in-law. This could be your story too. Do you feel your generosity and good heart are taken for granted? Do you feel people take advantage of you or manipulate you due to your kindness?

If you consider yourself a good person, why do you think you suffer? Is God doing injustice? Let me give you the answer to these questions faced by most of you. The gist of our scriptures is - ‘if you are good, you will not suffer and if you are suffering, then you are not good.’ I know you will find it difficult to believe but this is the ultimate truth. Let us understand how!

If you feel you are suffering now, there is always a root cause; you have gone wrong somewhere, either in this birth or in the past birth. For instance, you do not expect a karela plant to bear mangoes, it will bear karela only. Similarly, any unfavourable situation that has come in your life today is always a result of your own wrong-doings. In such situations, before blaming anyone, the first thing you should do is ask yourself ‘where did I go wrong?’ For example, you could be exercising every day and eating healthy meals, yet unexpectedly get a heart attack one day. You must go for the best treatment, but at the same time, you should contemplate upon which karmas of mine were incorrect and must have resulted in this attack. Medicine and treatment may give temporary relief but if the karmas are not corrected, the disease may relapse. Your heart disease can be the result of a guilt which was never confessed or the result of not forgiving your beloved person or the result of anger or the result of you being responsible for breaking others' hearts either in this birth or past birth.

Most of you spend your lives thinking ‘What will people say?’ Act as per others' expectations. You easily get influenced by others' opinions or fear getting judged. Remember, ‘It is too bad to be too good’. When you don't fight against incorrect behaviour, you will always be dominated, manipulated or cheated. Remember, the one who tolerates injustice is more sinful than the one who does injustice.

As stated in Bhagavad Gita, chapter 8, verse 15, “मामुपेत्य पुनर्जन्म दु:खालयमशाश्वतम्”, pain and suffering are certain to come your way. Even great avatars were not able to escape painful situations. Lord Ram had to live in exile in a jungle for 14 years. Lord Krishna’s own evil uncle Kansa, wanted to kill him. Yet, they happily accepted it, handled the situation with a calm mind and acted wisely.

The solution to overcoming your suffering is to use your head, heart and hands together and equally i.e do hard work wisely with a good heart.

If you only use your head i.e. only have wisdom, without the other two you may become an egoistic scholar. By just working hard, you will only be like a skilled labourer. With only a good heart, you will always be taken advantage of and made to suffer.

You may have wisdom and the will to work hard, but without a good heart, you may become arrogant like Duryodhan. If you lack wisdom but have a good heart and capabilities, you will be exploited like Pandavas who were easily manipulated by Duryodhana and Shakuni. The lack of any one of these or using all three but in disproportion can make you suffer. Lord Krishna had all three in an equal proportion and utilised them perfectly.

Now would you want to know what you need to do to ensure you use all three equally in every situation?

Go to a realised spiritual master and get knowledge of the ancient Indian scriptures like Gita, Upanishads, etc. Learn what are your duties as per scriptures and how to perform them wisely. For instance, if you are made to work extra hours because of your good skills, you may accept it, but you should ask for fair compensation for those extra hours. This will help you gain more respect from your seniors, and will never be taken for granted. If you have a good heart along with wisdom, you will take the correct decision, whether to lend your hard-earned money to a person or whether to invest it in a less popular, unbelievable scheme.

When you see injustice, rather than accepting it, you need to raise your voice and unite to fight against it. You should be the leader of your own life rather than just being a follower and complainer.

No matter how good you are, life will always present you with favourable and unfavourable situations. But, I have given you the solution of using wisdom, having a good heart and doing hard work together in equal proportion to win over them. Now it’s your choice to continue to suffer or rise above your suffering.

(The writer is a spiritual leader and the founder of Antar Yog Foundation. To know more about the foundation, visit https://learn.antaryogfoundation.in)

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