You must have heard the story that Pandavas did not go to heaven and that Duryodhana attained heaven. Do you really agree with this interpretation? I read somewhere that the reason why Arjuna did not enter heaven is that he was too proud. But, this was his ignorance. How can this be considered a sin? The Pandavas fought the war because Lord Krishna wanted them to. Then, how can Draupadi be blamed for the death of those killed? Another reason that is supposed to have led to Draupadi’s death before entering heaven is that she loved Arjuna more than other Pandavas. How can this be a crime? We respect all devis and devas but we have one ishtha dev. Why is this not a crime?

I often wonder what the definition of a good person is. Every person has good and bad qualities. Most parents are good to their children but they can be often harsh to kids forced to live on the streets. If I have had a difficult life, is it because of my past karma or because of bad luck? I am asking this question because I want to understand how I should lead my life.

There is no guarantee that if you are compassionate to others, they will return the favour. In fact, my experience in life is that even these people are abused by their colleagues, friends, and family. Therefore, you cannot be compassionate towards your abusers all the time. This is especially true if you are a sansari. For example, if you found your best friend bullied by someone all the time, sooner or later you would think of teaching the bully a lesson.

I have a feeling that we will be rewarded for all of our good karma and punished for all of our bad karma. But, we should try our best to avoid bad karma whose weight is so great that it nullifies all other good deeds. Perhaps, this is why you should walk out of violent relationships. Otherwise, one day you might end up badly-hurting or killing your abusive partner. Then, you get caught in the karma cycle for no fault of yours.

But, all of us encounter people in our lives who don’t mind hurting others.  This harm can be physical, or emotional. How do you keep your calm? I am not talking about people who will change their ways if you have a chat with them. I am talking about people who want to hurt you because they gain something out of it or because they are simply indifferent to how their actions affect others.

To summarise, please share your views on (a) what makes you a good person? (b) how do you keep your calm when you meet people who are trying to hurt you physically or emotionally?

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Susmita Das

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