“But, that’s so unfair!” How many times have you spoken these words, or at least had this thought? I know I often have. Maybe someone else got the praise for something that you did. Or maybe you got the blame for something you didn’t do. It’s hard to resist this thought when we see ruthless, selfish people gaining power over others, while honest, selfless people are left to struggle. Then it’s all too easy to lose faith and become cynical.

It was probably just such a reaction that led someone to comment, “No good deed goes unpunished.” When a devotee shared this statement with Swami Kriyananda, he corrected him, saying, “No, that’s not so. It would be truer to say, ‘No good deed goes unnoticed.’”

Recently I heard a wonderful story in this regard from the annals of India. There are many tales about Lord Krishna traveling with his devotee, Narada, giving him spiritual instruction along the way. In this account, Krishna and Narada are wandering through the countryside disguised as beggars, and they happen upon a town. Dusty and hungry, they come to the splendid house of a prosperous merchant, whom they ask for food. With heartless indifference, he coldly drives them away, saying, “Get you hence, you worthless beggars. I have nothing for you.” Narada looks at Krishna, but Krishna only smiles.

Eventually, on the outskirts of the town they come to the poor mud hut of an old farmer. He lives alone and has little to offer them, but kindly invites them to take rest in his hut. His one possession is an old cow, which he proceeds to milk; he then offers all the milk to the two beggars. Narada looks again at Krishna, who says nothing, but stares reflectively off into the distance.

The next day as they are leaving, they stop for water at the local well, and are surprised to find the townspeople all aflutter with some news. “Have you heard?” they ask. “The rich merchant had a big financial windfall and has doubled his wealth, while the poor farmer’s cow died, leaving him with nothing.”

This turn of fortune is too much for Narada. He pulls Krishna aside and cries, “My Lord, how can you allow such injustice? The rich man had plenty to spare, but he gave us nothing, and now he gets more riches. Yet the poor farmer gave us everything he had, and now he loses even his one possession. This seems so unfair!”

Krishna image Source: ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)Krishna smiles again, and this time he speaks. “The rich man believes that wealth and possessions will bring him happiness, so by receiving yet more, he will learn the more quickly that only suffering comes from worldly attachments. The poor farmer has great devotion for God, but his old cow was his last attachment. Now his soul is free.” Looking tenderly into Narada’s eyes, Krishna concludes, “Remember, the ways of God are filled with love and wisdom, and everything balances in the end.”

Patience, inner strength, devotion, and trust in God: these are attitudes that help us find peace and understanding in this confusing world of mirages. So the next time you’re tempted to think something is unfair, replace that thought with this one: “God is in charge of this world, and is lovingly bringing to each soul just what they need to find their freedom.”

With joy,

Nayaswami Devi

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  1. Thank you for sharing this story. It is challenging for me to readily identify. On the one hand, I find myself wrestling with the idea that this story leads one to believe that following the path leads to some form of social, if not devine justice. Is that the case? Does it boil down to does it matter? On the other hand, the farmer seems to be singularly focused on his own path which I infer leads to his own happiness. Do other paths lead.to tje same? Is the wealthy man equally happy?

    Please take no offense at my questions. They really are rhetorical. I have a difficult time coming to terms with just being and just doing versus going down a path with a goal which seems to be ego centric.

  2. Thank you my beloveds tears flowed down my face for most of That amazing story. Honestly the guru disciple relationship when written about like in these little stories is so touching and inspiring to me, but i guess thats thier purpose to touch uplft and inspire others. I just want to thank every guru and every obedient disciple who ever walked this earth. Thank you with all my heart with all my mind and with all my sole Thank you for being that which I aspire to be and become.

  3. Thank you so very much for sharing such an inspiring story! Great Blessings to you folks!

  4. Very well put Deviji. I doubt whether anyone of us has not felt that life has been unfair to us .
    If only each one of us can keep faith in the thought that God has a plan for each one of us and however inconvenient at that time , ultimately it works out to benefit us the most, either in the physical realm or thereafter.

  5. Thank you Devi,

    What a hard lesson to learn, and how we suffer in the learning, but when the answer is God, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

    Blessings, Gloria

  6. This is beautiful. Thank you. It was exactly what I need to hear today and at the exact moment I needed to hear it. I am so grateful!

  7. Yes,but still there arises the issue or question that one cannot help but consider & wonder about: what kind of love is it,if it can be considered as real or true love at all,when after a couple creates & has a soul child,the father-mother then casts it out & far away from
    the real,true home of lasting peace,joy & safety into a corrupted,contaminated & destructive world dominated by satanic delusion..
    making the child forget & then have to suffer countless & painful life after life…finding that it has been made near impossible for the
    soul child to get back to & unite with the father-mother & that true home of lasting peace,joy & safety from which it was cast away?
    And gosh darn it,I didnt ask to be born..so You must release me!

  8. Wowsa! This reminds me of a Bible verse: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
    Isaiah 55:8 This article is a real eye opener. Thank you!

  9. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful article. I left my job few months back due to all the unfair reasons in the company, and started my own business. I was under belief that I would get whatever is in my Luck. I have been reading many good books and articles during these days, but after reading this article, I am able to correlate many incidents which tells that its not the Luck, but its the God who was helping me to get the freedom. First attachment (Job security) has gone. I believe the same Almighty would help me to find a way to maintain my own personal balance in the midst of everything.

    Keeping myself centered, happy and healthy.
    Vipul

  10. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,
    What a lovely story :).
    “Remember, the ways of God are filled with love and wisdom, and everything balances in the end.” – Thank you for this quote. Just at times when we feel a bit down, remembering this line would encourage us 🙂

    In Master’s Love
    Prem

    1. I am well close to 80 I took my kriya about 1961. I never thought the expreesion UNFAIR of much worth. I saw most everything was or could be seen as “unfair “. AS compared to WHAT ? ——Your dreams my dream—-a experience you had — the Pain you feel , you see —-in the light of the doughts we have— is it SO because of the fear we have etal. On and on. ??? ……That frase is soo removed from the point … It…is weak…!!!…It is childs language. . Which may be used effectively before OUR FATHER ……ALONE!!!!………This world CARES NOT !!!………..This is why I spoke, at first about my begenings on this path. THIS comes of a witnesshood based on THAT.. long and hard !!! tHE ONILY HOPE of complaint is about CLEAR WRONG!!!! ……….If a thing is Wrong ……… Say So ……….TO prove it is another part of THIS would. —-Know the difference.!!! …………..Now please let me say what Little I have about to compare PAIN ……………..Just TO compare one pain to another is imposible . ie my pain greater then whom ever is unfair……………………..The great american Indian Master Cheif Joseph said ; There are three most important things in live. The first cannot be spoken of !….The is misunderstood Because it is about the first !!! ……And the third is what we are doing right NOW !…………………BUT to find out who has suffered the MOST PAIN is about the first there are NO WORDS FOR IT .!!!! …………………..AFTER all is said I simplely ….MEDITATE AND STRIVE FOR ATTUNEMENT
      there are too many things and changes . They say that is why the Chinese Book Of Changes was not burned in all the bookburnings of the thausands of years in hope to overcome such. ……..For my part attunmemt is Harder but better111 I AM yours ..in GODS LOVE, James

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