If it wasn’t for the good people, evil would have destroyed the world
pahreen vor chee leenehr, chahruh ahskhahruh guh kahntehr
Mankind is embracing evil in an intelligent and organized way
mahrtgoutioun gahzmahgehrbuhvahdz yehv ousheem tzehvohv chahroutiahn dzotzuh gehrtah
This statement was coined by Patanjali, one of the greatest philosophers of yoga practice in India. He compiled 195 sutras (called the Yoga Sutras) or concise aphorisms that serve as a system for living a moral life and gradually elevating one’s consciousness to realize and see the presence of God within oneself. Patanjali inspired his students to meditate intensely until they actually see God situated in their heart. His purpose was to lead mankind to serve God eternally once they realize that the truth of God’s presence in their heart was the supreme truth that they are seeking.
Patanjali understood that without introspection about the nature of reality, promoted by strict self-control and gradual practice of meditation, mankind would condemn itself by progressive acts of evil and subsequent moral degradation. Thus he coined this profound proverb, “Mankind is embracing evil in an intelligent and organized way.”
He developed his yoga system to overcome the degrading forces of
evil and self destruction.
One mountain cannot topple another, but one person can destroy another
sahruh sahreen chee hahsnee, paiytz mahrtuh mahrtoun guh hahsnee
This proverb cautions that we should not mistreat a person thinking that there will never be any consequences in the future.
Evil exists only because there is good
chee gah chahreek ahrantz pahreek
In the face of one hundred good deeds, even one bad deed is too much
haiyrour pahroutiahnn teematz, mehg chahroutiounuh sahd eh
The destiny of evil persons – chahreroun jahgadakeeruh
There was and there was not an old woman who was reputed to be capable of more evil than the Devil. This seemed impossible even for the Devil to believe; but, seeing is believing. One day the Devil appeared before her and questioned why it was claimed that she was more evil than himself. She laughed and said he should not listen to idle gossip. Since he was present before her, she took the opportunity to ask him a favor. She said,
“I know that there is a pious young man in our village who is the most devout follower of God’s path. He is inspiring many others in the village to worship God Almighty. Obviously, you have tried to mislead that young man and have not succeeded up until now. Perhaps I can succeed where you have failed. If I do, can you give me one wish.”
The Devil was so anxious to see that devout man dishonored that he did not carefully think about the consequences of his granting her a wish. He agreed thinking that one wish would not do any harm.
Early one evening, the pious young man walked toward the church for prayer. As he passed the old woman’s house, she came out calling for help, “My only cow is roaming the streets of the village. Please help me bring her back before something happens to her!” The young man felt impelled to help her. She pointed in the direction where the cow went and he hurriedly ran to find the animal. After some time, he returned to her barn with the milk cow. The old woman was very pleased and thanked him,
“Dear son, you are truly a devout young man; the pride of your mother and the true servant of God. May your days be blessed always with the grace of God Almighty. Can I ask you one more favor. My daughter is very sick. She has been in bed for many days. Please go to her side and pray to God to be merciful on her. I have faith that God will hear your prayer because your heart is pure.”
The unsuspecting young man was trained to respect elders and his nature was to trust the faithful. He agreed and climbed the stairs to the sick woman’s room. He entered the room and as he bowed down, the old woman slammed the door shut and locked it from the outside. The young man was perplexed. The old woman spoke loudly from the other side of the door,
“Young man, you have three choices. There is a bottle of wine on the table, a baby in the crib and the young mother is sleeping in the bed. You can drink the wine, kill the child or have sex with the young mother!”
The young man was aghast at what he heard. He said, “I have never knowingly sinned in my life. I can’t any of those things. I came to pray for your daughter.”
“If you don’t do one of those three, then I am going to scream and summoned the village folk and say that you barged into my house and attempted to rape my daughter.”
The young man became confused and frightened by the old woman’s threat. He said, “Please do not scream.” He quickly thought of his choices of murder, rape or drinking wine. He said, “I will do the lesser of the three evils and drink the bottle of wine.” Please do not scream. I will drink it now and you please open the door.”
He had never drank an entire bottle of wine. At most, he had only taken little sips as part of communion. Now, he drank the entire bottle and soon felt very intoxicated.
He looked at the beautiful young woman and approached her. He embraced her and she protested. The baby began to cry and scream in fright. The young man in his state of intoxication became enraged and struck the child so hard that the baby died. The pious young man was seized by the outraged villagers who lynched him for his child murder and attempted rape of the mother.
The Devil was astounded by the evil woman. He regretted granting her one wish now that he could understand the extent of her evil capabilities. He was hesitant to approach her, but he had no choice. He timidly spoke to her from a distance,
“You are indeed astute at inflicting evil on believers. I will grant you one wish. Please speak your mind.”
The evil old woman said, “If you grant me one wish, then you must grant me two for I have served your purpose beyond the pale of your expectations.” The Devil felt obliged because the woman had accomplished something that he was not able to do. He agreed. He cautioned her by saying, “Remember, evil has its limits for all things in this world have a beginning and an end.” The woman replied, “What you call evil, I call justice. Even if the world comes to an end, justice will prevail.” Even the Devil was amazed by the evil woman.
The evil woman asked for her first wish. She said, “I have a neighbor who is a faithful believer in God. She owns two milk cows that give each a large quantity of sweet milk
rich with cream. She drinks the milk and has plenty left over to distribute to the poor. I am very disturbed by her piety and goodness. I want you to take those cows to the high cliff near here and push them to their death.
The Devil said, “Are you upset because the pious lady doesn’t give you any milk?”
“No,not at all. I am upset because she does give me milk everyday and wishes me well. I can even sense that she prays for my welfare. This is what infuriates me the most! You must kill her cows and put an end to her nonsense,” she said. The Devil was shocked.
He said, “What if I give you two milk cows that will give as much or more sweet milk than that woman’s cows?” Then you can do as she does and even better.”
“Even if you give me 2000 milk cows, I will not be satisfied until she loses her two cows,” said the evil woman.
The Devil understood the meaning of envy by witnessing the extent to which this woman was determined to ruin the pious lady. He kept his promise and killed the two milk cows. He shuddered to think what her next wish would be.
He informed her that the two cows were dead. She laughed wickedly and felt contented that her wish was fulfilled. She asked for the second wish,
“I want you to make me the queen of the world with an invincible army and all people subject to my will. I want this more than anything else so that I can destroy the Christian faith and turn all believers into faithless urchins of sin.” She looked at the Devil with a frightening mien of hatred and terror. He could barely look her in the face because she was so hideous and cruel.
He said, “I hesitate to grant this power to you because you will perhaps cull the wrath of God. She sneered at the word God and spate fire and hatred in her words.
“Who is this God. He is only as strong as the faithful that blindly follow him. If I destroy all the faithful, there will no longer be this fantasy God, He is dwelling only in the minds of the demented faithful!”
The Devil shuddered at her determination and the extent of her arrogance. He said, “So be it.”
She became the Empress of the whole world with an invincible army and power and dominion over all the peoples of the earth. She immediately ordered that a huge idol be made and set up in a public place. She commanded all the people of the earth to worship the idol. Whoever refused would be cast into an infernal furnace of fire. A Christian woman with her child was seized who refused to worship the idol. Her child was brutally thrown into the fire. The child cried out to her mother,
“Mother, don’t be afraid. The fire is not burning me. It is as cool as spring water.” The mother believed her child and also jumped into the fire. She smiled and hugged her child and both remained in the fire unscathed. The Evil Empress cursed the fire for not burning the Christians. The fire replied,
” Like everything else, I am also the servant of God. Therefore, I should not be used for an evil purpose. Then, in a mysterious way, the fire blazed with fury and burned the Evil Empress who screamed in agony and was totally consumed by the scorching flames.
Envy is one of the most terrible and destructive emotions that can rent asunder the soul of a person.
Due to envy, one is not satisfied until the person they are envious of is destroyed. There is a difference between envy and jealousy. If I am jealous of someone because they have something that I don’t have, then if, by some means, I can get what they have, my jealousy will subside and I will feel content. But, envy is a much stronger and evil feeling. If the person who I am envious of has something I don’t have, then I will not be content even if I get what they have or more until that person loses what they have and is destroyed completely.
The old woman in this story was envious of the pious woman and was not satisfied until she lost the two cows. Concerning the Christians, she wanted them completely eliminated off the face of the earth. Such extreme feeling of envy is most sinful and destructive for all concerned including the envious person.We should all pray not to fall into the dark abyss of envy by opening our hearts to forgiveness and goodwill to others. This can only happen if we are secure in our relationship with God. There is an interesting story that illustrates this point.
There was and there wasn’t a saintly man who always stayed in a meditative state of prayer and contemplation. This saint had received a large amount of precious gifts from a king who admired his
purity. The saint had no need for the wealth so he left it out in the open where anyone could take what they wanted for themselves. A group of thieves heard about the saint and his trough of wealth open for taking at his place of residence in the forest. They went to see for themselves.
They were amazed to see such wealth left in the open as if it had no value. The saint was meditating nearby. The thieves took everything they could get their hands on and decided to mutilate the saint in case he complain to the king. They cut off his arms and legs and threw him into a well to die.
He was an advanced yogi and was able to control his life airs and bodily functions so that he did not die. He remained suspended in trance in the well. Eventually, nearby villagers reported to the king about the saint’s misfortune. The king hurried to the well and pulled the saint out of the well. Everyone was astonished to see the saint was alive and smiling. The king asked him who mutilated his body. The saint replied,
“My Dear King, No one put me in this condition. It is due to my previous activities that I am suffering now in this abominable condition.” Out of respect for the saint, the king did not insist on knowing more. He realized that the saint was on a higher level of consciousness than ordinary men. He had no feelings of enmity or revenge due to his continual contemplation of God. He asked permission to take the saint back to his palace so that he could serve him intimately as his mentor. The saint agreed.
The king was instructed by the saint to build a school. The saint became the teacher and instructed the king and other students in spiritual knowledge. One day the same thieves that had mutilated the saint came to the court of the king dressed as mendicant saints. The king was naturally kind to saints.
He received them respectfully. The thieves did some magic tricks that bewildered the king into believing they were men of high spiritual caliber. He called the resident saint to meet the disguised four thieves.When he was carried into their presence, they were shocked to see him alive and well.The real saint immediately recognized them, but pretended he did not know them. He greeted them respectfully.
The king asked the saint what would be an appropriate way to honor the disguised thieves. The saint instructed him to reward them with great wealth and honor for their saintliness. He also praised them for their spiritual achievements. The thieves were uncomfortable expecting something terrible to happen. But, when they heard the saint’s instructions to the king, they were pleasantly surprised.
The king showered them with praise and precious gifts. He offered them a wonderful place to stay as long as they desired and many soldiers to guard them while they remained in his kingdom.
The thieves retired to their quarters with their new wealth and excellent residential quarters. On the way to their residence, the thieves began to talk to the captain of the guard accompanying them for their protection. One of the thieves said,
“Captain, the man who advises your king is actually a thief who is masquerading as a saint. On our travels, we stayed at a monastery where he was a servant. He stole some of our belongings along with those of other saints. He was apprehended by the local authorities with the stolen goods. When we were summoned to the jail to verify the stolen goods and identify the thief, he accused us of lying.
For his offenses of stealing and blaspheming saints, he was sentenced to have his arms and legs cut off. As the thief spoke these lies and the other thieves confirmed the false statements, the earth began to rumble as if an earthquake was taking place. The captain and his guards fell to one side by the heaving earth. The moving earth opened a gaping crack into which all the thieves disappeared. Mysteriously, the cracked earth closed. All the thieves were crushed by the sudden opening and closing of the ground.
Later, the captain narrated the extraordinary tragedy that befell the thieves. He explained the irony of how the earth rumbled and cracked just as the masquerading saints finished their derogatory blasphemy of the king’s personal saintly adviser. The king looked at the mutilated saint for an explanation. The saint reluctantly told the real history of the thieves.
It is said that the earth can bear the weight of countless millions of people, mountains, rivers, oceans and expansive lands. But, the earth cannot the bear the weight of envious liars who spread false information about innocent, saintly persons and desire their destruction.
The king’s adviser was a saintly person who heart was full of forgiveness and love. But, the thieves were full of deceit and envy. Such persons are destined to self destruct by their own evil acts and by the will of God. There is an Armenian saying, “the stronger the vinegar becomes, the sooner it breaks its container,
” kahtzaghuh eenchkahn oujehgh ullah, ehrehn ahmahnuh eenkuh guh juhghketchuhnee”
We should compare the evil old woman with the pious Christian woman and her child. Evil seems to get the upper hand in the short run, but as time goes on, evil is always defeated by virtue. We should be sure of this fact. The yogi saint seemed to be hopelessly left for dead. However, by his discipline and compassion he was able to literally rise from the dead and live gloriously as the advisor of the king. In the end, the thieves self destructed by their wicked lies and slander of the viruous yogi saint.
One who does good is never overcome by evil
ov pareekuhn eh kordzoum, yerpehk chareeken ou tjpahghtoutioun chen daradzvoum nra vruhah
One can expect to be protected by the mercy of God when they occupy their time doing good to others.One must do good without any selfish goal. The best good is to instruct by example how to serve God without any hesitation or doubt. Such faithful service without any any expectation of honor or recognition inspires others and eventually ignites their desire to also serve for the betterment of others.
When one develops the conviction that simply by serving God and sharing the fruits of such service with others, one may achieve the goals of all other endeavors for helping humanity. One need not engage in any subsidiary activities. Simply by serving God, all other goals and achievments will be obtained. Such conviction is the foundation of faith.
One need not separately endeavor to achieve any other goal. By God’s grace all other goals will also be achieved in due course of time.