Overcoming Jealousy


Divine Gurus, how do I conquer Jealousy ? I have had a very tough life struggling for everything, full of miseries and I see some people who are lucky and get all what they want very easily. I am not able to appreciate them for their success and happiness but feel a kind of hatred for them. Slowly I have lost hope and faith and into clinical Depression. please guide me.

—Rajesh Shankar, India


Dear Rajesh,

In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, he says that to “One who has overcome all desires and greed (and jealousy of others), all jewels come to him.”

In the Bhagavad Gita Krishna counsels that right action is that which is undertaken without desire for the “fruits” (results) of action.

Both of these together suggest that the key to success, even material success, is not to focus on the results of success (money, fame, etc.) but on the actions themselves that produce success. These begin with right attitude: being, for example, enthusiastic, energetic, creative, solution-oriented, and, of course, dharmic (meaning right action for our circumstances).

Another way to look at this goes like this: everyday we live in the belief that when we do something correctly, good results take place. We see in science (physics, biology, chemistry, etc.) the infallible law of cause and effect.

The law of action and reaction holds sway as much in the realm of metaphysics as in the realm of matter. If, despite our best efforts, we are not finding success then we must know that we simply have yet to overcome some past action or attitudes (karma). (In this case, it may be a old habit of jealousy that is what holds you back!)

It may take us longer (seemingly) than someone else to obtain success and someone else might appear to have success come to him without any effort, but we must know that the law of karma (action and reaction) is not only in operation but it is both specific and infallible.

That other person who obtains success without apparent effort has put out that effort sometime in the past: perhaps a past life, even. If for you success remains elusive it is because something in your past must be overcome before your magnetism changes and you are able to draw to yourself the success you seek.

Therefore, the yardstick of action is NOT how it appears in the lives of others but what is right for YOUR LIFE!

As to being jealous of successful people, consider this: some of the unhappiest people on the planet are those who are wealthy and successful. There are more suicides among such people than among poor people. No success that is measured only in terms like money or fame can satisfy our soul’s desire for freedom and true happiness. Easy success can make a person complacent or egotistical; or, fearful that it will be taken away just as easily as it came! There is no security in name, fame or wealth. At any moment the world (which gave you success) can snatch it away again.

Happiness is a state of mind within you. It is not dependent on outward forms of success. If you can learn valuable lessons from failure, than you can be happy to have learned them and ready to try again and do better the next time.

Ironically the best attitude for success is non-attachment. I once met a man who appeared ordinary but who had made and lost fortunes of money. It didn’t matter to him. He was an inventor and he loved inventing. The money came; the money went, but his abiding interest and love was inventing. He was a happy person and the money part of it held very little interest for him. He also had no interest in becoming famous or recognized. He simply liked what he did.

From now on, when you see or hear of someone success, clap your hands, smile and say WELL DONE! Then say to yourself, “I too will be successful some day if I keep trying to do my best and do what I love and love what I do!”

Better yet, pray and meditate for guidance as to what is the right thing for you to do each day. Don’t think of yourself but think, rather, “Dear God, what is your will for me today? In this situation? How can I make OTHER people happy today! How can I help others and by helping them to serve You?”

You must forget your self to find your Self! Your Self is the embodiment of success and happiness but success and happiness come when we have earned them and can receive them without attachment. Do you see? It is a game of mirrors and your mind is the mirror. As you think, so shall you be! When you see success, cheer! Congratulate! But remember that this is God’s dream and our role is to play our part as best as we can. If you condemn success in others you condemn it (and prevent it) in yourself. See?

Some people get to play the parts of successful people and others, well, not! It’s ok, for this too will pass and we’ll get our turn if we keep working at it with calm, even-minded, cheerfulness!

Paramhansa Yogananda would pray, “Naughty of good, Divine Mother, I am Thy child!” “Success or failure cannot change you for you are forever the Atman, the blessed, blissful, successful Soul made in the image of God!

Be of good cheer! Never give up!

Nayaswami Hriman