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Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?
Two children are born at the same time on the same day. The parent of the first are wealthy and have anxiously awaited the arrival of their first-born for years. Their child, a boy, is bright, healthy and attractive, with a future full of promise. Surely destiny has smiled upon him. The second child enters into an entirely different world. He is born to a mother who was abandoned while pregnant. In her poverty she feels little enthusiasm to rear her sickly new offspring. The road ahead is fraught with difficulties and hardships, and to rise above them will not be easy. The world is full of disparities like these, blatant inequalities that often provoke questions, "How could Providence be so unfair? What did George and Mary do to have their son born blind? They're good people. God is so unkind!"
Why such things happen can be understood with an example. In villages huge vertical barrels are used to store say up to 10 tons of rice. The grains are stored from the top and they can be taken out from below. Suppose a farmer stores in the first year 5 tones of 3rd class grain and in the second year stores 5 tones of 1st class grain. If in the second year the farmer starts taking out grains from below, the old 3rd class grains will come out although he has recently put 1st class grains. A child cannot understand how or why this happens, but an intelligent person can understand it. Similarly an apparently pious person who may be suffering greatly is reaping the effects of impious activities performed in this or previous lives.Often people ask, "Why should I be punished in this life for acts which I may have done in my previous life?" Suppose a man commits a murder and then changes his dress, he cannot escape punishment; the police will still catch him and punish him. Similarly a new lifetime just means a new bodily dress; the person - the doer of the act - remains the same. So if a person has performed some bad activity in the past and now has changed his dress (body), he still has to reap the bad result. That is why sometimes good people appear to suffer.
Thus the principles of reincarnation allow us to view life with a much broader perspective- from the standpoint of eternity. From this point of view, one brief lifetime is seen not as the entirety of our existence, but as just a flash in eternity. With this broader vision of universal justice, we can see how each individual soul is alone responsible for his own karma. The laws of reincarnation operate impartially to award each living being the destiny he has earned by his previous actions.