If someone puts in the same efforts as me but gets better results, how to avoid envy?
Transcriber: Suresh Gupta
Question: If someone puts in the same efforts as me but gets better results, how to avoid envy?
Answer: All of us are on a multi life-time journey where actions and results are not simply a linear connection. We see that a particular action done by us leads to a particular result and when someone else does the same action, it produces different result. Although causes and effects are connected, the connection between cause and effects is not simply linear or a one-to-one correspondence. For example, two farmers living in different part of the country may individually do the same action of sowing seeds, ploughing their land but if it rains only in one part of the country and not in the other part then the place where it rained, the farmer will get lots of harvest and the other place where it did not rain, the farmer may not get any harvest.
In Sanskrit, all these factors are described as karma (action), daiva (destiny), kaala (time) and phalah (fruit). We perform karma (action) to produce phalah (fruit) but actually there are two more factors involved: daiva and kaala. So, the entire equation is karma + daiva + kaala together lead to phalah. In this case, the karma is the farmer ploughing the land, sowing the seeds; daiva is the rains coming; kaala is the passage of time until the harvesting season and finally it leads to phalah.
Whenever we do any action, we need to understand that they alone do not determine the results. Our actions do play an important role – the farmer has to plough the land, sow the seeds but that alone does not bring the result. Sometimes, we may go through a phase when the daiva or the destiny is not favourable and because of that, even after doing the work, result does not come. If we look back at our life, we will remember situations where although we had put in small efforts, still we got a good result. Along with our hard work, many things would have fell right in place (e.g. we might have found the right contact, a particular thing happened on time etc.). The results achieved require not just our good performance but also other things. Thus, daiva is an accumulated sum total of the karma that we have done in the past.
When we do not get the results, it means that karma is not leading to phalah because daiva is not favourable. Daiva is like weather – sometimes cold, sometimes hot. It is not that daiva will always be unfavourable. One must learn to tolerate such events and be patient. There is no need to be envious of others because everybody has done a mix of good and bad karmas. With this understanding, we would not deem ourselves as failure for not producing a result.
Ultimately, nothing is gained by envy. Therefore, we should instead focus on doing our best then even when the results do not come, we are at least becoming better at what we are doing. We are growing internally. Einstein said, ‘’Strive to become a man of values, not a man of wealth”. Values are enduring and wealth is fleeting but if we develop the culture of discipline, dedication and values, then that will bring results in due course of time.
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