If everything is of brahman, then how come there are good and bad people?

If Ram and Ravan both are different forms of a brahman, then how come one is good and another is bad?

I dont accept that its because of Maya because a human will be born to a human only, a cat will be born to cat only similarly a dog or any other species, so it is not the matter of Maya here. Maya is not involved in this case at all.

In this universe, nothing will be born completely different from it's mother's nature, so it brahman is good so we all will be born good and if it's bad then we will be born bad but how come it's both good and bad?

Please explain with a suitable real world example.

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    If everything is brahman, then how there are good and bad people, is like asking, if everything is water, then how come there are cold and warm water in the ocean.
    – user29449
    Commented Nov 24, 2023 at 5:52

1 Answer 1


Definition of Brahman according to Taittiriya Upanishad:

Brahma-vid apnoti param, tad eshabhyukta, satyam jnanam anantam brahma (Tait. 2.1.1)

Source: Taittiriya Upanishad 2.1.1 - definition of Brahman

Satyam: Truth; jnanam (or Gyanam): All knower; anantam: It is everywhere, infinite.

Source: Translation of Satyam jnanam anantam

SAT (or Existence for Truth): What is the cause of truth? Existence of something. The existence of you, me, the universe, or literally any physical or non-physical (like thoughts, emotions, feelings, etc.) establishes truth. For anything to be true, it MUST exist. Hence, the existence of something is the source of its truth.

Chit (or Consciousness for gyaanam): How is the truth known? (or truth becomes gyaan), It is by consciousness. It MUST be percieved via consciousness for the truth to become gyaan. Hence, consciousness is the source of the knowledge (or jnanam).

Anandam (or infinite for anatam): The brahman is anatam or infinite. It means it MUST have no three limitations: 1. Spatial limitations: It is not limited by space. 2. Temporal limitations: It is not limited by time (he is timeless) 3. Attribute limitations: It is not limited by attributes (such as color, shape, etc.)

Hence, the only thing that is not limited by anything, and has the consciousness to perceive the truth is self (the consciousness that witnesses thoughts, emotions, intellect, mind, sensory organs, etc). A deeper exposition of the same is given here: Definition of Brahman: Sat-Chit-Ananda. The one who has realized the self (source of brahman), becomes jivanmukta or liberated or brahman himself (Tait. Upan.)

Bhagavad Gita

The offering is Brahman; the oblation is Brahman; offered by Brahman into the fire of Brahman. Brahman will be attained by him, who always sees Brahman in action. – Hymn 4.24

He who finds his happiness within, His delight within, And his light within, This yogin attains the bliss of Brahman, becoming Brahman. – Hymn 5.24

If everything is of brahman, then how come there are good and bad people?

To answer this question, you need to dive into Ashtavakra Gita, who was the guru of King Janank (whom Krishna praises in Bhagavad Gita and inspires Arjuna with him).

1.4 Abide in Awareness with no illusion of person. You will be instantly free and at peace.

1.5 You have no caste or duties. You are invisible, unattached, formless. You are the Witness of all things. Be happy.

1.6 Right and wrong, pleasure and pain, exist in the mind only. They are not your concern. You neither do nor enjoy. You are free.

1.7 You are the Solitary Witness of All That Is, forever free. Your only bondage is not seeing This.

Ashtavakra Gita

Brahman (or real self), that is not situated in the body, is beyond all good and bad. It is beyond that has attributes (right/wrong, good/bad, win/loose, hot/cold, etc). Attributes are the consequence of Maya that is the very nature of existence.

O Kesava, [ Kesava means the manifested Logos, the union of Visnu, Brahma and Mahesvara, or the combined Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas Gunas. The word "Kesava" is from Ka-isa-va] tell me the knowledge of that Brahman that is One, and without its like and rival, without Upadhi (attributes) beyond the Akasa, source of all purity, that which cannot be approached by argument, or reached by conception, the unknowable and the unknown, and that which is absolutely free from births and deaths. O Kesava, impart to me the knowledge of that which is Absolute, the only above ode Eternal Peace and Purity, the Instrumental (Nimitta) and Material (Upadana) cause of the Universe, though itself causeless and free from all connection. Tell me, O Kesava, the knowledge of that which dwells in every heart, and that which combines the fact of knowledge and the thing knowable in Itself.

Arjuna to Krishna. Uttara Gita, Chapter - 1, verse - 1,2 and 3.

The existence of Maya is self-established, just like Brahman. It is only due to delusion (or avidya) appears like objects with attributes (good/bad, hot/cold, red/black color, gold or copper etc). When Brahman is realized (enlightened), he starts treating duality as the same - treats all good and bad people well, eats all good or bad tasting food, whatever it is provided to him, and sees everyone the same, good people or bad people. This can be achieved through the path of karma yoga, bhakti yoga, gyan yoga, or raja yoga.

Krishna talks about the first three in the Bhagavad Gita, Gyan yoga in the Ashtavakra Gita, and the path of meditation, tantra in Uttara Gita. Yoga sutras of Patanjali discuss the Raja Yoga path.

Liberation is simply realizing you are in a dream of self (everything in life) and waking up from it.

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