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Feeling Happy by Others Suffering

From: "Shantatma Deva"
Subject: Feeling Happy by Others Suffering
Date: Tue 15 Feb 2011 11:38:42 +0530


                     == FEELING HAPPY BY OTHER'S SUFFERING ==

We all know that Nigamananda ji became quite ill this past week, and this may have engendered an array of sentiments within our Marga family. After all, when any person is controversial then some are against him and some favour that individual.

Upon hearing of Nigamananda's deterioration of health, some become very sad while others become very happy. This is the common human tendency. We should all consider how far this is appropriate and consistent with Baba's teachings.

                                           MANY OTHER EXAMPLES

Actually there are many examples where incidents incite opposing reactions, or when people derive happiness from seeing others in pain and misery.

For instance:

(a) When the Twin Towers crashed to the ground on 9-11, many Americans were totally distraught while some radical Muslims were feeling quite happy;

(b) In his book Nagina ji says that when his boss - who used to harass him regularly - was punished by the higher authorities then Nagina became very happy. The next time he saw Baba, then Baba scolded him for his behaviour;

(c) When Shraddhanandaji was sick then his supporters were very concerned for his well-being while those who hated him due to his political ties became happy;

(d) Likewise when there are riots in the street, then some feel happy watching the protesters get knocked down, and others feel happy seeing their pain.

Here the point is that there are always some who derive pleasure from watching others get knocked down and stricken by disease. They become happy seeing another's misery. This is a very common occurrence.

Why? Because this is the way the human mind works. In the mind there is one propensity known as kru'rata', or sadistic tendency. It is this vrtti which leads people to think in this hurtful manner.

Yet Baba guides us to follow the path of benevolence. So we should all be aware about Guru's teachings and overcome this tendency of kru'rata', i.e. sadistic mentality.

                                        WHAT GENERALLY HAPPENS

Amongst the general populace, if your friend is having a problem, then you also feel unhappy as you do not wish to see your friend or family member suffer. Whereas if an enemy - or someone you do not like - is undergoing difficult circumstances, then people often feel happy. This is the common human tendency.

But this latter approach is of a sadistic mentality; i.e. people derive happiness from watching others undergo suffering and troubles. This is not at all an appropriate response, especially for a sadhaka. Why? Because sadhana can only be practiced when the mind is in a balanced state.

So we should not harbor any vrtti that is sadistic in nature, as it is wrong to derive pleasure from another's suffering. Then one will be going against the code of neo-humanism and one will not be able to perform sadhana. Even then there are some who pray to the Lord to destroy their enemies. That is even more negative; that is tamasik devotion.

                                             BABA'S TEACHINGS

Here below Baba reviews one important shloka about cultivating benevolence and compassion towards others. In so doing, He presents critical life scenarios that are invaluable to us all.


Baba says, "Suppose someone is very sad; seeing his miserable fate people will say, “Well done! He deserved it!” But this is not the proper approach. The proper approach should be to show compassion, thinking “What a pity he is in great trouble. Had I also been in such a difficult position, how badly I would feel.” In this way the feeling of compassion (karuńa) should be aroused in one’s mind." (Ananda Marga Ideology Way of Life, Part 11)

And here again Baba guides us about what our approach should be upon seeing someone sick or in problem.

Baba says, "“Again on seeing a person in distress one should have the feeling – “Alas, how miserable is the condition of this person! Let his miseries be over expeditiously … I shall also try to remove his misery as early as possible.”” (Shabda Cayanika-4, Discourse: 27)

In yet another discourse, Baba pointedly describes how we are to feel towards those undergoing difficulties.

Baba says, ""And for those people who live in misery one should develop an attitude of compassion. One should never feel happy upon seeing the sorrows of others, but should think, “What a miserable life that person is leading. I hope things get better for him soon.”" (Ananda Marga Philosophy in a Nutshell, Part 8)

Thus, irrespective of how good or bad someone is, if they are suffering we should have empathy and compassion for their situation. That is the only way. Failing that, the mind gets twisted and and makes doing sadhana impossible.

Indeed, during PC or dharma samiiksa, Baba would point out such circumstances where a person rejoiced in another's misfortune. Baba wants that we overcome such a defective mentality. That is His clear-cut message: Do not derive pleasure from seeing others in pain.

                                                 OUR OUTLOOK

By all of the above, and by understanding the teachings of neo-humanism, as sadhakas we should strive to see all as the manifestation of Parama Purusa. Regardless of who is in problem and suffering, one must not feel happy by their misery. That is Baba's teaching.

We are to impose the karuna vrtti and arouse compassion to make the mind balanced.

The whole point is that in seeing others suffer one must not become happy. We must have sympathy; that is quality of sadhaka. We are to think that Narayan has come in this form. Then we can render real service and help them.

In this regard there must not be any duality or hypocrisy. If anyone is in trouble or undergoing difficulties, we must be sincere in cultivating compassionate thoughts within and offer our help. There must be no difference between our internal feeling and our external expression.

                                  SITUATION WITH NIGAMANANDA JI

Thus when Dada Nigamananda ji has fallen sick. There is only one response: compassion. We must empathize with his condition and we must do what we can to sincerely help him and relieve him of his pain. No matter what our personal feelings may be for his political or group interests, when he is sick the only response one should have is 100% compassion and support for him. That is Baba's teaching.

It is not that only his group cohorts should help him and those who deem him as an enemy should rejoice in Dadaji's suffering. This is not the way and to plunge in deriving pleasure from Dadaji's painful condition is against Guru's teaching.

The singular stand is having compassion for Dadaji's plight and wishing for his welfare and recovery. That is the way of a true Ananda Margii.

                                               BABA'S BLESSING

Here again is Baba's teachings - I think nothing more need be said.

Baba says, ""And for those people who live in misery one should develop an attitude of compassion. One should never feel happy upon seeing the sorrows of others, but should think, “What a miserable life that person is leading. I hope things get better for him soon.”" (APH-8)


                                           OUR SANSKRIT NAMES

Baba says, "At the time of initiation or shortly afterwards, those who do not have a Sanskrit name should be given one by the ácárya/á. The word deva should be suffixed to the name...the more the usage of deva as a title, the better it is. The Sanskrit name should be used in all worldly dealings." (Caryacarya-1)

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