2 July 2012 - QA 17

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

Bad things happen because of two reasons. One is past deeds, and second is current foolishness.

If you are being good and foolish, then bad things can happen to you. You can’t say, ‘I am so good but why did my finger get burnt?’ If you put your finger in the burner, it will burn.

Or, today you didn’t do any mistake but couple of days ago you got a speeding ticket, and today you have to pay for it. You drove too fast yesterday, beyond the speeding limit, and today you will have to pay for it. You have to face the consequences. So, one is past deeds.

Good people could also have done some bad things in the past – this is the first reason.

Second reason – Good people would have lacked the skill and intelligence to not get into bad things or let bad things affect them.

One is called Karma and the other is called lack of skill.

So, you need both. In life, you need freedom first and Love, second. Without freedom, there is no love also. We need inner freedom - freedom from our own emotions and feelings, not from others. Freedom, love, skill, and energy, got it?

So, when bad things happen to good people, don’t say, ’Oh you poor thing! This should not have happened to you.’ And don’t even say, ’You deserved it; that is why it happened to you!’ Or, ’You lack skill. You have been so foolish.’ No!

Don’t tell them any of that. Just be with them with a smile, and support them. See how you can help them come out of their current situation without giving them an analytical commentary about their situation.