Sunday, February 26, 2012

Why Do Good People Suffer

“Why do good people suffer or why do bad things happen to good people?” This question seems to be very common these days. It seems as though good people get the brunt of all suffering, while evil-doers enjoy life. But if we observe closely, we see that everyone undergoes suffering in some form. Keeping this in mind, our question becomes meaningless. Just because a person is good does not mean there would be no suffering in his/her life.

But what do we mean by ‘good’? In Sanskrit, ‘sadhu’ is the word used for a good person. Sadhu comes from the word ‘saadh’, meaning ‘to accomplish’. If we work for ourselves and achieve great things, there is nothing laudable about it, but if we help others to achieve their goals, then it is an accomplishment. If someone is good to you and you reciprocate, that is common courtesy. But if someone is harming you, and despite that you continue to wish that person well without expecting anything in return, it is real goodness. A sadhu bathing in the river saw a drowning insect. He saved it from drowning and was stung in return. Again, the insect fell back into the river and the sadhu pulled it out of the water and placed it under a shady tree. On seeing this, a person asked the sadhu, “Why did you do that?” He replied, “The insect did not give up its nature, so why should I?”

How can we achieve this goodness in our lives? To reach any target, we must first have a goal. Similarly, for achieving goodness, we must have a standard of goodness which is known to us, because only then can we rise up to the required levels. As long as we see differences in the world around us, true goodness will not manifest. This can be achieved only when we become aware of our oneness with others. An example will illustrate this point better. Every organ of my body is part of one whole. If the finger goes into the eye, there is instant forgiveness, because of the complete identification with the finger.

Now that we know what is good, let us see what suffering is. Objective suffering befalls all people, good or bad. Situations leading to suffering could have their roots in past actions. Objectively, the existence of pain or any other physical handicap cannot be denied, but the degree of sorrow this leads to is entirely subjective. Riches or positions of power do not guarantee happiness. People become miserable over small matters. If a person claims that he is good and is suffering, while the dishonest person is flourishing, we can be very sure that the person is not good. For a good man, the real suffering is to do something against his convictions. Suppose a pure vegetarian is faced with a situation of remaining hungry or eating beef, the chances are that the former option would be more acceptable.

All our spiritual practices cannot eliminate suffering, but they protect the mind and make suffering acceptable, just as on a rainy day, we cannot stop the rain, but can protect ourselves from getting wet with an umbrella. Bhagavan Krishna says, “A good person never suffers.” By some logic we feel that suffering and enjoyment is related to past actions. If we observe at the subtle level, we find immediate results of our actions. The moment a good thought enters our mind, we feel elation, and similarly a wicked thought causes agitation.

Real suffering is when we lose our goodness. Compromising with goodness is the greatest suffering. Even though superficially it may appear that evil doers are flourishing, it should not be an excuse to compromise. The problem arises when one does not have an ideal or when one is not able to live up to one’s ideal. But the greatest problem is when one believes that the ideal is not worth living up to and has lost its utility. Remember, a good man will stand by his convictions, because “If you do not stand for something, you will fall for everything.”

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Paani panja dariawan aala nehri ho gaya, Munda pind da c shehar aa ke shehri ho gaya,
Yaad rakhda baisakhi ohne vekhya hunda je, Rang kan ka da hare ton sunehri ho gaya,

Tera khoon thanda ho gaya a kholda nai a, Eho virse da masla makhol da nahi a,
Tainu haje ni khayaal pata odon hi laguga, Jadon aap hat'thi choya shehad zehri ho gaya,

Ehna karnaa to ghar ch kalesh jeha rehnda, Pehla kadi kadi hun taa hamesh jeha rehnda,
Ammi hak ch khalove, Bapu tak ch khalove, Sukhi vassda a ghar taan kachehri ho gaya,

Tota uddno vi gaya naale bolno v gaya, Bhaida chunja naal gandia nu kholno vi giya,
Hun maar da a saapp, dadda sham te savere, Ke vataa ke jaata mor oh kalehri ho giya,

Dekho keho jehe rang charhe nau'jawana utte, Maan bhora vi ni reha guru dian shana utte,
Char akhran nu bolne da ohde kol hai ni samaa, Naam Gurmeet Singh si jo Garry ho gaya,

Buddhe rukhan kolon jado jado langian hawawan, Ohna dassian ehnu nu bas ik do hi chhaawa,
Tussi baith ke vicharo, Sartaj pata karo, Kaato patta patta taania da vairi ho gaya,
water of five rivers turned into canals
on reaching the city the village boy turned urbane
he'd never have forgotten harvest,had he seen
colour of wheat change from green to goldan
the parrot now has forgotten to fly or to sing
he can no longer open knots with his beak
the kills snakesmorning & evening
he has turned into a peacock changing his cast & colour
ur body has turned cold it no longar boils
this is matter of heritage & not a joke
u don't know now but would realize
when hand drawn-honey turns into poison
see how the youth of today has gone astray
they no longer take pride in gurus's glory
he no longar has time even to shayer a few words
now days'gurmeet singh' has turned 'garry'
due to these reasons there is a strif at home
quarrelling has now become a daily routine
mother supports him but father opposes
happy home has now become a battel ground
when winds passes by old trees
they tell them there one or two wishes
sit down & think,'sartaj'you find out
why have the leavs become enemies of branches

Friday, February 11, 2011

Two Against The World

It's a sad new story,
about how the kids fell,
all the way to the bottom,
of a sugar-coated well.
The water starts seeping in,
someones opened the gates,
they are cornered it seems,
awaiting a drowning fate.
They clung onto each other,
the shiny rope was a trap,
one pull was all it took,
for this lovely rope to snap,
Now we have the strands in our hands,
we know you are looking from above,
we just need some understanding
it cannot be two against the world.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Why losing is good

In the upper Himalayas, an ancient Tibetan monastery follows a secret Zen tradition. Newly ordained monks perform their daily rituals of chanting, meditation, cooking and cleaning and in the evening paint colorful patterns on the floor (Rangoli in India) using dry powder paint.

Initially they draw basic patterns and then graduate to complex designs. In the second year of their stay, they are inducted into a very sacred ritual. The Master priest gives each monk an extremely intricate and complicated design to replicate as their Rangoli. This pattern is so complex that it takes 5 years of part time work in the evening to complete. The monks are made to vow to keep their pattern secret and not show their work in progress to anyone. Their reward for this mammoth effort is to have their complete painting examined by the head Sensei (Priest) of the monastery. If the divine Sensei is pleased, he can bless the monk.

After 5 long years of working on one painting, the examination day arrives and the monks tremble with trepidation as they take their master and Sensei to their room for the final review. The Sensei wears heavy robes, with the long overflowing sleeves that reach the ground. Just as the painting is being shown, the Sensei calls out to the monk, looks him in the eye, and in one strong, swift motion, wipes clean the painting with his robe’s sleeves without even looking at it. The act is sudden, swift and brutal – executed with a benevolent smile.

It is said that the act of seeing 5 years of your hard labor being wiped out in a stroke creates a moment of ‘blankness’ in the minds of the well-trained monks, and that blankness produces nirvana (enlightenment). If not immediately ‘enlightened’, the monks begin weeping with joy at the realization that nothing lasts forever and everything must go.

Losing something very precious makes them gain something even more valuable.

If you have lost something - however painful that experience might have been, you will benefit in the long run.