Suppose a person becomes furious with someone and decides to hurt them. So, they drink poison themselves. Ridiculous, we would say: Who would do anything like that?
Sadly however, we often do something similar. When someone hurts us, we become resentful – all the more so if their life appears to be going on happily. Little do we realize that our resentful thoughts are poisoning us mentally by filling us with negativity. If we can’t do anything to hurt them back, we feel helpless and victimized. If we can do something, we become obsessed with revolting revenge fantasies. Even if we succeed in taking revenge, we subject ourselves to the misery of the negativity during that period. And after the short-lived elation of revenge fades, we find our mind becoming resentful about something else and revengeful towards someone else. Why? Because the prolonged contemplation on the negative has addicted the mind to obsessing on the negative.
The Bhagavad-gita (11.55) tells Arjuna to do his work of fighting without being hateful towards anyone. Though Arjuna and his family have been grievously wronged by their malicious cousins, the Gita urges him not to fight for revenge. he is encouraged to focus on the positive purpose of establishing dharma and do his duty as a martial guardian of society in the mood of devotional service.
In responding to atrocity, the Gita takes us beyond both resentful passivity and revengeful hyper-activity. It helps us focus on our spiritual evolution, on moving towards Krishna and contributing in this world in a mood of service.
Our life is meant to get back to Krishna, not to get back at others. If we meditate on this truth amidst resentment-inducing situations, we will be guided from within to respond appropriately.