What is good and what is bad?
Fools cannot see at all
With a garment tied to its tail
Can the rat enter its hole?
~ Sant Kabir (1398-1448)
Sant Kabir says that foolish people cannot discriminate between good and evil. Such men cannot be happy because the load of evil gets too heavy for them. Jealousy is one of those unnecessary evils we burden ourselves with. None of us could honestly say that we have not ever been jealous of more fortunate ones.
Ironically, however, jealousy is generally found among equals or near equals like friends of equal social status, colleagues in the office and relatives. We are not jealous of someone who is either too highly placed or too distantly connected with us. How many of us care who becomes the president of USA or prime minister of India?
Jealousy keeps us under a sense of discouraging frustration and disappointment. It makes us gloomy. It is such a depressing feeling that we cannot tell about it to even our best friends nor can we contain it within ourselves. Consequently, it leaves us with an inconvenience of a peculiar misery and if allowed to grow unchecked beyond a limit, it works like a slow poison to our healthy nature.
The question is how to annihilate this undesirable evil? The following three suggestions may help:
1. Stop comparing yourself with others. Comparisons are always harmful. If they are in your favor, they bring false pride in you; if against you, they depress you. Pride can make you overconfident and eventually can be the cause of your downfall. Conversely, with jealousy you lose self-reliance, seek unjust methods of putting down your friend, colleague or relative, and ultimately end up in frustration. So to bring jealousy under your control, avoid comparing yourself with others as much as possible. Think that you are unique because that is how God wanted you to be. Pursue in all seriousness your own ideal, whatever it is. Do not waste your precious time in idle and miserable envy.
2. Have patience and wait. No one is lucky or unlucky every time in life. Work hard and wait for your lucky days when fortune will take you up and others will look up to you in envy. This may sound like a defensive strategy, and a doubtful method. But use this waiting period in driving jealousy out of your mind. Thus, you can turn a mere defensive strategy of biding your time into a positive blessing. And…
3. Believe in, “May all people be happy”. You have said it numerous times in temples and other places of prayers. It is about time you practiced it. It is a golden principle that you must adopt if you wish to rise above petty jealousy. Think that you and others, being fragments of the Universal Soul, are the fingers of the same palm. Among whom no jealousy can exist in spite of differences in their lengths. If one of your children is more intelligent than you, you are not jealous of him or her. Are you? Why? Think, can’t you love others the same way. If your friend or your colleague or your relative is enjoying some advantages over you now, be happy for him or her. Surely your turn will also come. Full justice is meted out to all individual souls in the long run. This is the divine law. Have faith and adopt this spirit in action.
Etat Sarvam Ganesharpanamastu
~ Gyan Rajhans