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Monday, June 4, 2007

Envy and the Hand of God

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Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Resentment and envy for the success of others are actually a sign of cowardice, a sign of the ab­sence of the courage to accept the reality that we cannot control the world around us. We are disturbing the peace of mind for no gains whatsoever, because nobody has the power to change the will of God. Wisdom lies in understanding that the happiness and distress destined for us at the time of our birth, as fixed according to our past karma, are inevitably going to come, no matter what we do. just as distress comes in our life unin­vited, by higher arrangement, happiness will  also come of its own accord.

Therefore real wisdom lies in seeing the loving and well-wish­ing hand of God behind everything that hap­pens in our lives. Only with such a vision can we live in peace. But if a person is jealous of others and is trying to pull them down or destroy them, then he can never be at peace. Why? Because such a person is concerned not so much with how well he has fared, but with how badly others have fared. His success lies in the fail­ure of others. His mentality is like that of a crab, who having been trapped in a fisherman's basket along with many other crabs, is wor­ried, not about saving his own life by jumping out of the basket, but about pulling other crabs down so that he may stay at a higher level than them within the basket. What an utterly foolish mentality!

Therefore an intelligent person, a devotee of God, does not measure his success by such a meaningless standard - the failure of oth­ers. He understands that real success in life is in pleasing God because only by the mercy of God can all problems be solved, once and for all. And  knowing that everything happens by the will of God, he lives by the wise saying: what cannot be cured has to be endured.

This same truth is taught by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita (2.14)
matra sparsas tu kaunteya sitosna sukba duhkha dah
agamapayino 'nityas tarns titikisasva bharata

Krishna says, "O son of Kunti, the nonper-manent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being dis­turbed."

For example, the duty of a housewife is to cook. In the summer season, though the kitchen may be very hot, she cannot say, "I will cook only in the winter. In summer, the kitchen is very hot. So I cannot cook." Even though the kitchen may be hot, she has to just tolerate the heat and go on with her duty of cooking.

In the same way, we have to know that there are many things in life, which are beyond our control. If a person thinks, "I can control ev­erything in every situation throughout my life", the mind of such a person will be literally torn to pieces. An intelligent person knows that God is the Supreme Controller and that He is controlling everything that is happening throughout the world as well as in his own life. Such a person, who sees with the eyes of knowledge, can understand that he is bound from head to toe by the laws of nature. When we ourselves are so completely controlled, how then can we expect to control every situ­ation, or for that matter, any situation? Therefore though there may be hundreds of incon­veniences, annoyances and irritations from the moment we wake up every morning to the moment we sleep at night (and even when we are asleep), we have to understand that they are not within our power to change. So we should learn to tolerate them without be­ing disturbed. (Compiled by Radheshyam Dasa, Jaigopala Dasa, Chaitanya Charana Dasa, Sundara Vara Dasa.)