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Why do Good People Suffer?

Once there were two friends, one was a Gurmukh and the other was a Manmukh. Their friendship was deep but Gurmukh believed in God while Manmukh did not. Gurmukh would wake up early in the morning, take a bath and recite the holy hymns while Manmukh would still be in bed sound asleep.

Once they were traveling through a forest. As they were passing through the forest, Manmukh found a bag of coal. He was very happy because he could sell it and make some money. As they further walked while talking about how lucky Manmukh was to find the bag of coal, Gurmukh screamed with pain. It appeared that a splinter went in Gurmukh’s foot. While Gurmukh was in pain, Manmukh started laughing. Gurmukh was surprise and asked him why was he laughing? Manmukh said, “You have been worshipping God everyday and what you got as a result is a splinter in your foot. I have never worshipped God and I still got a bag full of coal.”

An old wise man happened to be passing by when he heard Manmukh’s comments. The old man had a big ironic smile on his face. Manmukh was astonished when he saw the old man smile. Manmukh asked the old man about the reason for his smile. The old man replied, “You are na´ve. You do not worship God. You were destined to find a bag of diamonds today if you have been worshipping God. And Gurmukh, you were destined to die at the moment you got the splinter in your foot. Because you have been worshipping God, the pain of death simply turned into a splinter.”

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