Why does evil exist? How can one recognise and avoid it?
Both good and evil originate in the mind. So do pain and sorrow, joy and happiness. Many times what is welcomed by one person as a great opportunity is shunned by another as a terrible adversity. Some love to speak in public, while others go to great lengths to avoid it. So, joy and sorrow are often subjective and relative. When we base our lives on likes and dislikes, “evil” comes into play. However, if we firmly anchor our lives on divine dharmic principles expounded by scriptures and seers, “evil” automatically disappears. Life becomes value-based. We stop harming others in the name of security. We no longer wage wars.
Even the feeling of achievement or loss is only a value assigned by the mind. When you are asleep, where is this sense of achievement, sorrow, or despair? None of these exists. So everything arises from the mind and ends in the mind. When we follow dharma, we transcend both good and evil.
Are people born evil or do they become evil?
People are born neither good nor evil. Impressions which envelop the soul make us seem good or bad. It is basically our past karma that makes us “good” or “bad”. We are not aware of our past nor are we certain about our future. So we lead our lives shrouded in the darkness of ignorance. When we follow the teachings of sages, the very core of our being changes. The light of wisdom banishes the gloom of ignorance. Our thoughts become noble and sublime. Our actions become naturally benevolent. All the ‘evil’ within us is dissolved. When we spend our time in the company of the enlightened, we are spontaneously tuning in to Divinity. Prayer, bhajans, satsangs and chanting the names of God also delink us from evil. The evil karma that would have otherwise manifested itself is thus completely eliminated.
Why did God create evil?
God did not create evil, but He did create anti-principles of Himself in order to highlight the value of goodness. We realise the value of light only when we experience darkness. We will not understand the value of goodness till we experience evil. In spiritual terms we call evil “adharma” and we call good “dharma”.
How can we trans form evil tendencies to divine ones?
Learn how to avoid evil and choose only the noble. A plant may have delicious fruits and rotten ones. We avoid the bad fruit and pluck the best ones. We must likewise choose between good and evil in our lives. Appreciate and nurture the best in others. However, we find it hard to do this consistently as we are conditioned by strong likes, dislikes, desires, impressions and habits.
Instead of focusing on shortterm pleasures, allow the mind to dwell on the ultimate purpose of life. When a diligent student joins a medical college, his heart is set on the goal of becoming a good doctor. He toils hard for years, sacrificing many pleasures in order to attain his goal. Likewise, if we constantly remember that self-realisation is the goal, it becomes easier to choose options that are best for inner growth.
Lovely Thoughts for Lovely People Just Like You