Everybody has independence of karma as well as effects of previous karma in his/her life

Bangalore Ashram, India
27 May 2010

Q: If whatever we do is in search of happiness, then why is there so much pain and misery in the world?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
There is a story of Mullah Nasurudin. His wife was pregnant and the time of delivery had come. But the baby was not coming out. When doctor told this to Mullah Nasurudin, he ran to the market, bought a toy, and kept that toy in front of her wife. He said, “After all this is my child, so he will surely come out with greed”. Whole our life we keep on running behind things with the hope of getting something. We keep on looking for some kind of profit. How would such person experience happiness? Neither does a greedy person get happiness nor does a person who is bombarded with too many desires. The one who relaxes in his consciousness is happy. One, who is centered, experiences the true happiness. I am not saying there is no happiness in the outer world, but the happiness you get when you go within is incomparable.
The world is running in search of happiness. The body gets baked, the mind gets baked, the intellect gets deluded but still we keep on getting stuck in the same repetitive cycle. When you meet Guru, you come to know that you are the source of happiness. Then the mind calms down, and you realize that you are the one in whose search you kept on running here and there.

Q: There has been life for so many centuries on this planet. I wish to know why is it that some creatures live a prosperous and extravagant life, and yet there are some creatures who do not even have enough to eat? What is the basis on which a creature gets birth?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
This is one of the five secrets – the secret of birth. Nature has been very kind that birth has been kept as a secret. Otherwise, you would be living a miserable life remembering all previous incidents that happened in the past lives. But a time will come in your life when your mind would be completely established in the present moment, memory would awake, and you will remember what you were and who you were in your previous births. It is alright if it does not happen with some people.
The whole world is made up of cause and effect. If somebody is rich, that has a reason. If somebody is poor, that also has a reason. But does that mean we don’t have any independence of Karma? You definitely have freedom. We have been given discrimination. So, we do have freedom of karma, and also we are bearing fruits of past actions also. It is like you get some capital from someone. Now, it is up to you what do you want to do with it. A poor man can become rich, and a rich can become poor. There are all possibilities. Your karma decided where you were born. But it depends on you where do you want to reach.

“That which you cannot express is Love.
That which you cannot reject/renounce is Beauty.
That which you cannot avoid is the Truth.”
~ Sri Sri Ravishankar

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