Trying to get even with others gets us at odds with ourselves

Whenever anyone hurts us, a natural human tendency is to want to get even with them, “The way you have hurt me, I will hurt you back.” If we go along with that tendency, we let ourselves become consumed by hatred and revenge fantasies.

Such obsession gets us at odd with ourselves. This holds true both metaphorically and literally. Metaphorically, our core self refers to the things that are truly important for us. Literally, we are souls who are on a multi-life journey of spiritual evolution. When revenge fantasies consume us, we forget both the things that are truly important for us as well as our spiritual evolution. Thus, we get at odds with ourselves.

Eventually, we end up losing ourselves in our desperate effort to make someone else lose. We become centered on bringing about the downfall of the other person and in that process we can’t have Krishna as our center. We can’t attain love for God if we are filled with hatred for any part of God.

When we strive to internally connect with Krishna and externally contribute to serving him according to our capacity, we may have to discipline others. But we will do so without become inimical, without seeking to get even with them. Such is the way of godly living. The Bhagavad-gita (11.55) exhorts us to not be inimical toward anyone while executing our material obligations and pursuing our spiritual evolution.

In mathematics, even numbers and odd numbers are non-overlapping categories; numbers that are even can’t be odd and vice versa. But in life, getting even with others and getting at odds are overlapping actions. Understanding this, we can avoid both and focus on getting on with our spiritual evolution toward Krishna and a meaningful, fulfilling life thereof.

Think it over:

  • How do we get at odds with ourselves while trying to get even with others?
  • How can we take action against those who have hurt us without losing ourselves?
  • Do you need to stop getting even with someone? How can you go about stopping yourself?

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4 Comments

  1. So very well explained, thank you!

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  2. Beautiful article, Prabhu. Through this article, you have wonderfully explained how revenge fantasies are created in the mind, thus paving the way for our own downfall.

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