It’s crazy- imagine you fire bullets at another person and wound yourself. That’s what bitterness does to you! And you don’t realize this simple truth, when, as a mute spectator, you allow the disease to spread to the next level.
Daksha despised Lord Shiva and hurled insults at him. This led to a fratricidal conflict where Daksha’s daughter, Sati, ended her life. Infuriated, her husband, Shiva, cut off Daksha’s head. The episode reveals how envy, if unchecked, could trigger many reactions and before we realize, there could be mayhem all around.
At this level of envy, a person develops strong separatist tendencies; he doesn’t feel the pain of others’ suffering. As a result, he leads a wretched life centered on self- and he loses all peace.
Stage 4: Ninda- ‘I will destroy him.’
At this juncture, the Lord is displeased with the one spewing venom. A person goes all out on the internet to slander his object of envy. He may even plot to kill or harm, and in the process, he’d destroy his own Bhakti. The seed of devotion that was earlier planted in his heart now stays stunted.
Ironically, at this stage, the envious man needs no enemies- he’s successfully destroyed himself. Charles Colton, an English cleric and author of the nineteenth century, compared envy to a scorpion. When trapped within a circle of fire, the scorpion will sting itself to death. Likewise, if I am jealous and surrounded by the glow of another’s fortune, I will finish myself!
The first two periods of this cancer are manageable, but once it spreads rapidly, it’s often beyond human control.
Chitraketu was a pious king, and so were his wives. But after decades of failed attempts, at last one of his queens begot a child, and he showered selective attention on her and the baby. As a result, the other queens’ envy soared to such an extent that they poisoned the child to death. Scriptures are replete with examples of how the disease of envy, when unchecked, quickly spreads to the fourth level.
To be continued…