Why Bad Things Happen to Good People

ECKANKAR, Karma, Law of Love, Destiny, ReincarnationBy Harold Klemp

What do you suppose makes people unhappy?  A survey would probably list a hundred reasons, both real and imagined.

Now how many of those people do you think would like to hear the true reason for their unhappiness?  Just a guess—very few.

The choices you’ve made in the past are the direct cause of all your unhappiness today.

If this answer doesn’t suit you, don’t read another word.  You have better things to do.  But maybe you’re one of the few people who doesn’t absolutely reject the above explanation for your unhappiness.  Then keep reading.  Perhaps you’ll see how and why individuals make bad choices.

Most important, you may learn how to stop making them.

How We Get Here

Soul enters this world to pursue a series of tasks, for each is an exercise in spiritual purification.  Taken as a whole, these assignments make up one’s destiny.  To set the tone for Its mission, Soul enters a new lifetime with a body of strength or weakness, of great intellect or a simple mind, in a popular shade of skin or not, either as a male or a female, into wealth or poverty.

The idea of destiny as a concept is out of fashion in much of today’s Western society.  People want to be captains of their own lives.  They wish to run their own fate.  They will shape their own tomorrows.  Yet how can they do so without a knowledge of and an appreciation for the meticulous Law of Karma?

Or especially, of the Law of Love?

In spite of all fictions about who is the master of their own fate, they cannot even set the conditions of their birth.  So the rules of karma and reincarnation remain a mystery, and they find a great deal of sorrow and disappointment in the outcome of their plans.

How could the stiff rules of karma include them?

Many would like to think they don’t, sure of being above the common pool of humanity and thus exempt from these rules.

The Lords of Karma

By and large, though, the Lords of Karma—not the individual—select a family for each Soul.  They are responsible for the distribution of karma from the time each Soul first enters this world.

The Lord of Karma is like a minor’s guardian.  He administers a trust on behalf of a spiritual infant, arranging for him or her to join a family with the best prospect for that Soul’s unfoldment.  In selecting the time and place of reincarnation, the Lord of Karma is the sole judge.  He is the sole arbiter in the choice of a body, health, family, or future.  The Lord of Karma alone sets the conditions of most people’s fate.

Placement is a simple karmic detail.  The Law of Karma governs all such placements, and he is only its agent.

The primal seed for each incarnation exists under the umbrella of destiny, which we also call past-life karma.  On a practical level, genetic, cultural, and social elements combine to decide Soul’s place in this world.  For people on the lower end of the survival scale, the Lord of Karma alone chooses the time and place of rebirth.

Soul Follows the Script

Soul then follows the script of destiny and enters a physical body.

After birth, the name of the game is survival.  The survival scale, by definition, is a measure of one’s can-do instincts.

But karmic placement does set other standards for individuals on the high end of the spiritual scale.  Most of them enjoy a voice in the choice of a human body or place of birth.  They sense the need for spiritual freedom, a view gained from many past lives, and the self-responsibility that goes along with the package.  So these Souls demonstrate creative ideas and inventiveness in their incarnations.  For the most part they are cheerful, upbeat people.

Spiritual gains in past lives have given them a voice in choosing some of the conditions in their present incarnation.

They have earned the right.

Think of destiny as the equipment, talents, or gifts that one brings to this life.  They carry a divine mandate to use them for the good of all life.  It’s our responsibility to do so, with wisdom.

The idea of destiny, or fate, is poked fun at in many Western circles.  Yet it is an age-old principle of the spiritual life.

What is the basis for a cultural bias against fate?

People are in a state of confusion about it.  They wonder, How can fate and free will exist side by side?  Destiny controls the conditions at birth.  Much of what an individual does after birth is an open book, an exercise in free will.

To sum up, fate governs the conditions at birth; free will allows a choice as to how to move beyond them.

Free will can offset or even overcome the drawbacks of destiny, but only through the awakening of one’s consciousness.  One may thus reshape both his material and spiritual life.

Excerpted from Spiritual Wisdom on Karma and Reincarnation.


46 Responses to Why Bad Things Happen to Good People

  1. Jeremy Clayton says:

    I’ve been shocked at much that I found on my Spiritual plate. Yet we have both Good and Bad Karma. In all, some can be very tough, but it’s all a Spiritual Blessing if it takes us home again and allows us the Wisdom and opportunity to serve at this very moment.

    Thank You Master for the gift of this article and information.

  2. John says:

    It really is true. Every word of this article. I have had the privilege to experience it through the spiritual exercises of ECK. Do these spiritual exercises and they will begin to set you free, a true miracle called spiritual freedom from Karma and Reincarnation.

  3. Ameerat Bello says:

    Thank you all! Basically, you create your life. Everything you are and ever will be is as a result of the choices you make or made. Every single thing. After all, Karma is only cause and effect…MTBB

  4. Oluyemisi Lasubulu says:

    Where else could I have found this profound and true explanation to who I am and why I am here if not as your student, Mahanta. Thank you for your love Z.

  5. Véronique says:

    Thanks a lot Mahanta! This article is very inspiring and clarifying.

  6. Godfirst Ihe Ubochi says:

    Coming To Know SUGMAD, ECK and MAHANTA In This Way Of Self-Realization And God-Realization Has Really Changed My Way Of Thinking And Doing Things, Backed With The Personal Experiences. MTBB

  7. Ata says:

    I am new to this site. I have read so many this articles, I found some strange words like
    1) Mahanta
    2) SUGMAD
    3) HU
    Please, can any one tell me the origin of these words and there meaning. Also cant these works be translate to English?

    • Carol says:

      These are ancient, sacred word/sounds that go back to the beginning of time. They have their own intrinsic meaning, they take you out of your everyday experience of words and concepts, no matter what language you speak. The Mahanta is the Wayshower, the highest God Consciousness that can enter this physical world to show you the way home to God. The current Mahanta, the Living ECK Master, is Harold Klemp. The SUGMAD is the All That Is, without which none of us, or anything else, would exist. We exist because we are so loved, unconditionally, by SUGMAD. We are like cells in the body of God/SUGMAD. The HU is the Sound Current that connects us with the Divine to allow two way conversation. We sing it as a Love Song to God to open this channel of love and communication. To experience these answers for yourself, try sitting quietly, filling your heart with love, and softly singing HU. After a time ask your above questions of the Divine, then be still and listen. Try it daily for 10 to 15 minutes for a week and see what happens. May the blessings be.

    • Larry Kavanagh says:

      We live in states of consciousness and Mahanta consciousness is the highest state of consciousness. The living ECk Master is the leader of The path of Eckankar.

  8. ojong Etta says:

    When the time is right nothing can keep you from finding the MAHANTA. this is the spiritual law. the MAHANTA never forgets those who have ask him to be their spiritual guide. karma knows your address.

  9. Faranak says:

    We can change our karma with changing our consciousness.

  10. Clément pewan says:

    Thank you so much WAH Z for this beautiful explanation how the law of Kama affect our present life. This present article teach me alot.

    May the blessings be

  11. Sigrid says:

    Thank You, Mahanta! There has been one situation, at least, in my life, when I felt that someone’s purpose was to harm me. It ended up with a result that found myself in a different, but better and happier situation. A great gift for my confidence in SUGMAD, the ECK and in the Mahanta. TWBD

  12. Greg Mukumuku says:

    It is priceless sometimes for one to once again retrace his journey and have a knowing without barriers of his reason and purpose in life. I thank you Z.

  13. joan says:

    Life—Thank you to the Mahanta has taught me to appreciate every thing that i have including those that seem to be bad in my physical conditions. Thank you

  14. Michele Bluestone says:

    This Soul is grateful for the opportunity of life: a loving gift.

  15. Helena Keith says:

    I’ve learned to let people be. I used to think that I had to “help and help…” — a habit I found got me into a lot of turmoil throughout my adult life. I’ve learned to exercise the Law of Non Interference. Sometimes I still violate it and quickly correct myself. After 12 yrs. of studying it, the teachings of Eckankar still hold mysteries to me. I simply take one step at a time. TWBD.

  16. chijioke ukwuoma says:

    I thank you Mahanta for making this Beautiful Teaching available for mankind especially myself, which I don’t know how my life would have be like. For me life would have been meaningless without ECKANKAR Teaching! Having studied this Teaching for sometime now, I have come to see my life today, tomorrow, including the future and yesteryears of many past lives that brought me where I am today. Isn’t this a GREAT JOY? Let’s work with LOVE to pass this light (ECKANKAR TEACHING) to everyone that cares.

  17. Adeogun Adedamola says:

    I am grateful for knowing the Mahanta in this lifetime. This has helped me overcome many challenges that would have been crushing. Thank you Mahanta. May the blessings be.

  18. Peter Akpokodje says:

    Love surpasses karma. Thanks Z.

    @Simon, that is a very interesting question. “Is everyone living in this world today subjected to karma, considering people living in this world before now are fewer.”

    Sing HU and ask the Mahanta.

    Or put your question forward to the ECK (Holy Spirit) in contemplation or prayer. For with the expansion of consciousness comes a greater understanding of the varied forms Soul i.e. you and I, take to gain experiences of divine love and become someday Co-workers with God.

    You know animals are Souls. Some people sometimes treat them unkindly for instance. That’s karma. When this Soul moves on to become a person, past life karma definitely comes to play. Or imagine some being in another universe hussling for the opportunity to gain more love on earth in it’s next reincarnation for it heard that on earth, you can grow most spiritually. Love is all. We bypass the mind to experience the wonders of God and the Spiritual Exercises of ECK (such as singing HU) are the keys. May the Blessings Be.

  19. Peter Akpokodje says:

    Earn the life you want and live it with love divine.

  20. James Mary says:

    This is trying to give an answer to Adisa Simon, as I understand the question, ” Is everyone affected by karma, and are their more people inhabiting the planet then before?” As Eckist, we start the day by declaring, “All thoughts, words and deeds are done in the name of the Mahanta and Sugmad” thereby not creating any more karma for ourselves. Others, ruled by the Lords of Karma are continuing to create karma and stay on the Wheel of the Eighty Four (Lower Worlds) for further incarnations . Regarding the expansion of the planet with population, this is a normal, continuous progression of Soul. Since Eternity is forever, we forever live, and the Universes of the Sugmad are without limits.

  21. Adekunle says:

    Thank you Harold for this beautiful explanation on how the Lords of Karma determine our possible destiny in a Lifetime based on progression made in the past and our possible freewill using our God given awareness and creativity in the continuum of life . . It does answer some of the questions I have been struggling with recently.
    The knowledge of how things work allow me to take my adversities in life with dignity and calmness,accepting more responsibility for my encounters knowing them to be mostly what I have created for myself that need to be resolved with love learning my lessons well and progressing to higher levels of understanding and love..

    A special message came through as if meant for me and me alone.
    Thank you

  22. Alle roberte akotchayé says:

    We had broke a lot of spirituals laws in our past life. and that determine situation we live now. I have my own expériences and belive that i have my part of my responsability in sitautions i’am facing in my life. l love the mahanta and thank him for everything he is doing to help me understand my hole life. Dream and soul travel help is very important to deal every problem about that.

  23. Edito A. Chy says:

    To develop self-discipline and be aware of my responsibilities in exercising my free will are the lessons I learned from this teaching called Eckankar. To sum of all words, if the teaching can make me a better person what more can I ask?

  24. Will Goodwin says:

    I remember as a very small child thinking "these people are not my parents… these other kids are not my siblings." From as early as I can remember – from infancy really – I felt that I was "visiting" this world, and I've never really felt like a part of it. I have been keenly aware of my "observer" status throughout my life, always intrigued by the strange customs, actions and interactions around me. So the idea of being placed with a family, in a situation, in a life, and then having been "let go" to make of it what I will is both comfortable and terrifying! The utter final responsibility is awe-inspiring and humbling. I am so grateful to have found the Eck and the Mahanta in this lifetime.

  25. Zeta says:

    The study of consciousness through the Eck teachings is amazing…
    and when an individual has that Ah-Huh moment of awakening ones
    life changes forever for the better and there are those things needed
    self-responsibility…creativity…discipline etc. Thank you Mahanta for
    your love and guidance…always grateful. It is a never ending journey
    of learning about ones self and personal freedom..

  26. Len Campbell-Rossen says:

    Wonderful article. I’ve send the link to both my son and daughter.

    I wonder which one will read it through to the end 🙂 I’ll ask.


  27. Jonathan putieha says:

    I am equally enlightened to knowing that there is nothing good or bad, ugly or beautiful from the perspective of the Onnes of soul with SUGMAD and this has been helpful to me with the HU in my very own life and I am grateful to Mahanta for making it possible for me in this life time. May the blessings be!!!!

  28. gregory egbomuche says:

    I am so grateful to Sugmad, Eck and Mahanta for opening my eyes to the play of karma. At the birth of our second child many years ago, we noticed some malformation. Prior to delivery, I dreamt of where Mahanta the living Eck master collected the baby from my wife. So when I noticed the deformity in the baby at birth, it wasn't a surprise to me. Few hours after birth she died. My wife was bitter, but I encourage her to forget it. The master didn't want us to suffer a similar fate that played out with one of her siblings till date. As spoon as I brought the knowledge to her, she thanked the master for making the decision.

  29. Debbie Baron says:

    As a young girl in highschool I was nearly attacked by an estranged young man. As he drew closer to me with a knife, he suddenly looked past me and backed up. He quickly retreated, jumped back into his car and sped off, almost running me over. I was 16 years old and still 5 years away from knowing anything about Eckankar, but it was on that day I learned of the ECK master’s protection. We are born into this lifetime with an allotment of karma. I believe we are given choices and we are sometimes saved by the grace of God. Although, I didn’t see what he saw behind me that day, I know the ECK masters were there. They are always with you, you are never alone. Even if you don’t know it. With all my love and Gratitude, Debbie

  30. Johanna says:

    I had very difficulty to see my children making choices what was hurting them, but even more me so.
    I have learned over the years while joining Eckankar, that they have hardly changed, but I have changed my viewpoint in live which make things so much easier to deal with.

  31. Russ Button says:

    In 2003 we lost our older son to a motorcycle accident. Though he made a bad choice, we had to endure his loss.

    The protection of the Master came in the form of the love our son's friends gave us as they took us into their hearts and families. There were 20 people in our son's room when he passed. We have been to all of their weddings and they treat us as though we were family. Though we lost a son, we gained a vastly greater family and experience of love we couldn't have imagined.

    No matter what life brings to us, I *KNOW* that the spiritual help I need will always be there. That is what trust in the Mahanta means for me.

  32. Lynda J. Weber says:

    I love this knowing that our karma places us in a family for the best unfoldment of our spirit. I still have difficulty when loved ones are suffering under burdens that I would love to see relieved. I can understand their karma but when can my sister’s existence in a slavelike job that is almost killing her. I feel sad & helpless but there are endless obstacles to her leaving this situation.May she have a blessing Mahanta we all love her dearly.May the blessings be. Baraka Bashad

  33. adisa simon says:

    I’m so glad I joined Eckankar more than a year ago but I’m still new to the teachings and doctrines all because of my irregularities attending service. my area of puzzle is the area of ‘Karma’ and my question is-is everyone living in this world today subjected to Karma considering people living in this world before now are fewer. so I would like to be enlightened more about Karma. thanks

    • Adekunle says:

      Good you ask for it. Be Sure the answer is coming right at you . With Time and Patience.
      Know the Master and teacher is listening .
      May the Blessings Be

  34. Olufemi Olabisi says:

    All I can say is to thank the Mahanta the Living ECK Master for the golden opportunity to be a student of ECKANKAR, a great teaching. I advise any curious person to explore these teachings. If he or she is sincere, he will discover truths about himself or life generally and he needs not be told by anybody. Once more thank you Mahanta.

  35. Isaac Osei says:

    I am short of words to be grateful to the SUGMAD, divine Eck and the Mahanta for letting me know how to tap into the divine principle to use it to better my life.

  36. George Christopher says:

    If I’ve learned nothing else as a member of Eckankar beyond this particular writing of Sri Harold Klemp than I’m much better for it. Here lays a massive cornerstone for spiritual unfoldment having effects upon the physical, astral, causal, mental, and etheric bodies. The Eck Masters truth is for everyone’s benefit. Baraka Bashad

  37. Rama suryam says:

    Certain things in life are changable by realiging what they were …. When we have our awareness increases it is possible. when we cannot, surrender to mahnatha when we cannot change.
    Spiritual excercises are very important too.
    I’m greatfull to Mahnatha for this life .

  38. John Marikos says:

    Somewhere else Harold Klemp writes that the challenges or troubles we face encourage us to use creativity, which we have in common with God, to overcome, to get through, and to learn from these experiences. When we use our creativity well, we get a taste of what it means to be a co-worker with God. I also find it helpful knowing that if I created certain events or circumstances in my life, then I also have the ability to either change them or adapt to them or to use the lemons of life to make lemonade. When I do this well, I can move past the need to merely survive and into the ability to thrive. states that the word “thrive” derives from a Norse word meaning to grasp for oneself. Thriving, for me, means grasping and utilizing the circumstances of life to propel me further along my spiritual path back to God.

  39. mildred magcasi says:

    GOD is so GOOD and so LOVING, that HE Gives every SOUL all the chances and opportunities to make themselves become a BETTER Person, with the free will given to each one, tgat they may LEARN to USE it for the betterment of his Soul. See the Goodness of GOD and His LOVE, ENDLESS, ALWAYS AND FOREVER! BE GRATEFUL ALWAYS TO OUR LOVING GOD AND FATHER!

  40. Mehdi says:

    From my childhood I always asked myself, why I have different life than others or where is god when I need him . When I joined eckenkar I found out that we are responsible for good or bad things happening to us and not God. Know I have piece in my life. Thanks Sugmad & mahanta. You relieved my pains know I have piece.

  41. shakuntala says:

    It is heartening to know from Eckankar that ” Free will can …overcome …destiny ” through “the awakening of consciousness ” .And that can happen by regular and sincere practice of Spiritual Exercises in every day life. May the Blessings be.
    Thank you Mahanta for this realization

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