By Dr. Dr. J. Das, M. D. Retired
Life is full of conditions, events and life situations that are hard to
understand. Sages, philosophers and scientists have tried to find answers
with varying results, and the answers found by one are not usually the same
as those found by the others. Thus, there are often different streams of
thought regarding the same subject such as what is the mind or the soul?
Who or what is God? Why is there suffering when God is supposed to be
loving and caring? Why is there sin and virtue, or other pairs of
opposites? These are some of the questions many people ask. Is there any
reasonable answer to them?
Scientists dealing with matter and energy can produce consistent results
when they use the same materials, under the same conditions, but they
cannot produce the same results when they deal with the mind, soul, God and
all the different occurrences and inequalities in life. Study of these
subjects fall in the realm of psychology, philosophy, religion and
spirituality. These disciplines also do not provide good answers until they
delve into the law of cause and effect or the law of karma. This law states
simply that we reap what we sow. Since all people do not sow the same
things in thoughts, words and deeds, they will not reap the same results.
It has to be understood that the law of karma transcends birth and death,
and goes along with the eternal soul in an astral form as *samskars* or
latent impressions that will manifest during each lifetime. It is because
of these *samskars* that we see all the variations in every aspect of
peoples’ lives from conception to death.
Keeping the above in mind, if we wish good things to happen, we have to do
good things. We cannot have anger, hate, greed, violence, egoism, lust,
jealousy and evil intentions and expect good results. Yet all people expect
good things to happen to them, even when they display all the bad and
negative behaviour. It simply will not happen. So the violence occurring in
the world simply feeds itself in a self-perpetuating manner, as does all
negative activities. Good and positive activities will also perpetuate
themselves. Bad things in the world will cease only when they are replaced
with good, and sufficient time is allowed for the negative karmas to work
themselves out in peoples’ lives. This may take several lifetimes, but the
start has to be made, otherwise there will be no progress in the positive
direction. The good must be in thoughts, words and deed. It all boils down
to the fact that good will not produce bad, and bad will not produce good.
Considering the above, how do we decide what is good and what is bad?
Different people can have different interpretations of good and bad. We
give “value”, whether negative of positive, to everything in life. Whatever
brings happiness, comfort, self-esteem, respect, enjoyment and good health
we say is good. Whatever brings suffering, stress, depression, anxiety and
illness we say is bad. We mold our behaviour according to the “value” we
give to things, and according to our behaviour, we reap the fitting
results, good or bad.
How do we change our behaviour? First, we need to assess our actions in
thoughts, words and deeds and decide if they are good or bad, and make the
changes. This will require diligence and perseverance. Second, we need to
seek the company of those who can guide us in the “good” direction. Third,
we need to get in touch with the “source” of our being. That source is
indescribably good, and has given the gift of life. That source is with us.
Dr. Jagessar Das is a Surrey-based spiritualist and head of the Kabir Association of Canada. He can bee reached at www.kabir.ca