Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

Is there divine justice? Apparently not, given that over and over again we see bad things happening to good people. But is there more to be seen? Is there a deeper truth to be uncovered? Or are we to resign ourselves to an unjust, meaningless existence?

The ancient yoga tradition claims there is perfect divine justice, in what has come to be known as the Law of Karma. The idea is that bad things only happen because we not only deserve them, but need the experience in order to grow and overcome our character flaws.

Why do bad things happen to good people?

People sometimes get angry when the law of karma is explained, thinking that this deep explanation discourages compassion and removes the guilt of those who commit evil deeds. In anger of the evil committed to an apparently innocent victim, people ignore the simple divine perfection of the law of karma: you get what you give. Those who commit evil, will be punished and will be given a chance to overcome their evil tendencies. But will this happen right away? In a month? A year? In this lifetime? Justice will be served, but other factors may delay it. Otherwise, how could we experience free will? If evil deeds were immediately punished, instantaneously, then not only would we not really have a chance to practice our free will, but the very basis of material life – the possibility to ignore God and pretend He doesn’t exist – would be nullified.

So, no, divine justice cannot always come in an instant – but it will come. And more than just justice, there will be a chance to learn and grow even before justice is served. The final goal of the Law of Karma is to help us all perfect the dharmic (moral) quality of our choices and actions.

Today’s “good person”, or “innocent victim” is yesterday’s wrongdoer. We should feel compassion for all those who experience pain and evil and fight to prevent it. But when we are the so-called victims, then we should look inside and see if we are really so innocent, so good, as to not deserve any pain and suffering.  Are we so pure of thought and deed as to claim we deserve or need any suffering to learn and be better?

Check out my video on the subject to learn more!

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