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karma and suffering  



We attribute our present suffering to bad karmic reactions of past. Thinking like that can make us complacent to other people's sufferings. How can we avoid such actions on our part?

Hare Krishna

3 Answers

As we know, bad karma and consequentially suffering is a reaction from our past deeds. But that should not make us callous to other’s suffering since the mission of Krishna and a devotee is to make everyone happy. We should be “para duhkha duhkhi” – we should feel other’s suffering as our own. So, our primary duty is to teach people how to come out of their misfortune, how to connect to Krishna and how to become happy. Since happiness is contagious our duty is to be always happy. This is confirmed by Krishna in many places, such as Bg 17.16 “manah prasadah” (we should have satisfied mind), in 12.14 “santustah satatam yogi” (My devotee that is always satisfied is very dear to Me), and in 12.19 “santusto yena kenacit” (My devotee that is satisfied with anything is very dear to Me) to mention just a few.


@Radharani This is a really interesting conversation.  Echoing the above answers, my view is that whilst we may understand that suffering is inevitable and we suffer the consequences of our actions, we should try and help regardless; because Krishna gives us all free will. Krishna dispenses reactions in a way which can be beneficial for our spiritual life.

Therefore, when we see other people suffering this is OUR test, maybe Krishna wanted to test us and see how we are reacting to suffering of others. This is the sliding doors moment, In this moment we have a choice and the depending on the choice we make, it can either make us insensitive or more sensitive. This is a great catalyst for progression in spiritual life. However, we have to acknowledge that we can only give to other what we have, sometimes you may not be the right person to help.

@hetal-vekaria well said Hetal! It can act as a catalyst to boost our spiritual life or it can act as acid on skin which diminishes our interest. But the wonderful thing is that whichever way it goes, it is in our hands to make that decision, if we want we can take the lemons and make lemonade out of it!


An amazing question Radharani! I think a Vaishnava should practice caution and understand the importance of practicing devotion according to time, place and circumstance. We should not compromise our principles, at the same time we should use our spiritual maturity to diagnose the culture of the community, be gentle to all souls, being compassionate, expressing love to all and being equiposed. Krishna is sitting in the hearts of every living being, isvarah sarva bhutanam hrdese arjuna itistathi, therefore a Vaishnava should help all in a loving and caring manner. We should be very careful with our dealings, because Vaishnava aparadha, is known to be like a mad elephant offense... if you would you like to know more about this pastime... I can share... lets keep this conversation going and explore the discourse further 🙂 

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