06 Oct Why is there so much pain & suffering in the world?
Why is there so much pain & suffering in the world?
Happiness and suffering are known to be two sides of the same coin. No matter how often we refuse to accept and evade the idea of suffering, it cannot be denied as it leaps at us out of nowhere, in open arms with its whip of destruction. After all, a coin won’t be a coin with just one side to it. And between getting swayed away by happiness and swept away by sufferings, exists this horrendously beautiful phenomenon of life. Happiness exists in the littlest of things just as suffering does, but somehow; suffering is always pointed out to be the bad guy who has the overshadowing power to block our ability to find happiness. And you are not alone in this, vast majority of the population is dealing with some hardship at a particular given moment. The experience of Life and Death is the patent of basic human experience; but still we keep hoping for endless happiness, and when suffering gently nudges, we claim, “This is not what we signed up for!”
A time comes, when there’s nothing new left to experience; when all the thrilling ‘firsts’ are over and gone are the good old days, then hits the monotonous void. The epitome of all sufferings also called as, the mid-life crisis. When one realizes that there’s nowhere left to go now; no college to go to, no entrance exams to be cracked, no careers to be made, no partners to be found or new strangers to be befriended, no new-found love to be experienced, no more children to be birthed, sure we can spare you a couple of vacations to unique destinations but as you get back, there will be only EMIs, fees, bills to be paid, loans to be cleared, unrealistic expectations to be fulfilled whether your boss’s, parents’, partner’s or children’s, daily schedule and work to be repeated until the end of time, until you find yourself on your death bed. This is when suffering begins to really kick you in the gut and build its empire over you as you begin to drown in your worries and sorrows. Along with the weight being carried on your delicate shoulders, enter the annoying uninvited guests named illnesses, depression and medical bills. In the fast paced world of competition, modernization and artificial intelligence, even psychosomatic issues have found their ways in the younger age groups; many call it the quarter life crisis. Having the fear to face the inevitable emptiness and meaninglessness of life, we gravitate towards momentary gratifications; giving ourselves in to cravings, addictions, desires, building stone walled identities or unbreakable egos and piling up the self with more attachments which would be difficult to let go off at the last breath.
Ever wondered why we keep revisiting our innocent childhood memories — the best days of our life? And we still refuse to break the barriers of ego knowing that purity and bliss only accompany innocence. But the World is such a bad place isn’t it?.. Such is the nature of emotional baggage or accumulations. The genetic expressions from the past stick on to us like chewing gum, which direct our responses in the future. There’s always a shield through which we are operating, making every move as a defence mechanism, either living in the past or in the future. The self-help industry across the globe has overly emphasized the slogan of ‘Live in the moment’ as the genetic expressions from our past continue to rule our lives without our conscious awareness!
I don’t intend to intensify the sufferings more than they already are, but in order to comprehend and digest the life changing phenomenon you’re going to read next, this build-up was quite necessary. According to the Bodhmarga’s Advaita-Vedanta Philosophy, suffering exists only in ego, when one is deeply attached with the Self- the body and the mind. Your higher self (Bodh), is devoid of the body and the mind, hence it is devoid of all Happiness and Sufferings! The higher self is an infinite, immortal, eternally blissful phenomenon which cannot be comprehended by mind or logic but only by experience. It lies beyond the limitations of our logical understanding.
Suffering is inevitable when in ignorance or unawareness of this higher cosmic intelligence; when you as an individual ego refuses to accept that there’s a power greater than you operating the universe, and you have the access to that power within yourself! This access is not in your body or mind, but is in your own consciousness (Bodh).
A mystical secret as per the Advaita-Vedanta philosophy of Bodhmarga says, your consciousness (Bodh) will always drive you towards your liberation. It has the highest cosmic intellect; your intellect is nothing compared to that of the Cosmos. It will guide you towards all the experiences that are necessary for you to liberate. And that is why we see Suffering more than the Happiness in the World, reason being that our own consciousness wishes to awaken and help us shift toward the higher realms. After all, one learns to swim only when thrown in the water.
We suffer more when we aren’t aware why a certain event might be occurring in our life. Our minds first instinct is to reason, blame, pick out faults and get triggered by emotions such as fear, anger, and hatred. After Spiritual Awakening, one begins to realize why a certain event might be taking place and understands practically how to release it by creating a union with the higher self and the Universal consciousness. And that is the only way, there is no other escape from this endless cycle of births and deaths but to awaken. Your consciousness begins to guide you towards release of Karmic blockages and genetic accumulations on autopilot mode, after Awakening. And this is what we are teaching at Bodhmarga Foundation — starting from DNA Awakening, Navel Awakening to Vitthal Nada Yoga Kriya, Bodh Prakriya, Haripath and Pasayadaan.
In reality, there exist no sufferings and no happiness. It is just life as it is. It’s the brain & the body that has been given the functions to connect deeply with the externalities. Human mind has the unique ability to apprehend and perceive events, put them under different broader categories. As we advance in the process of Awakening, we realize that the phenomenon of happiness and suffering are just one; except events perceived in different ways.
The Advaita-Vedanta Philosophy talks about how suffering can be the greatest gift of your life! It readily serves you on a shiny silver platter the greatest opportunity of Awakening. With the Kali Yuga effect, the suffering in the world today has intensified greatly! In Happiness, you are comfortably alright with everything. But only in moments of Suffering, when you are on the verge of giving up, in helplessness and vulnerability, can you finally come to the stage of losing your ‘I’ness, your ego, your identity. And once what doesn’t exist is lost, that is found which is all-pervading, permanent and highest of all, the ultimate Universal Wisdom/Truth. Let me assure and guarantee you, that there’s a 101% chance of you evolving and awaking spiritually when in struggle, when all hell breaks loose, when there’s nothing to look forward to, when all distractions come to an end, when there’s no hope left but only a dense fog of inevitable dejection enveloping cracks and crevices of dried up hope.
The greatest news is, Enlightenment and further, Awakening has been the immediate response of our consciousness to suffering. When the physical, mental exertion of hope doses off, then ignites a tiny spark of faith; a spark that is enough to ignite the light of consciousness — the Vishwatmak Dev. Many Masters in the land of India have spiritually awakened in adversity. For example — Sant Dnyaneshwar Maharaj, the first ever and the only translator & elaborator of Bhagwad Gita (Dnyaneshwari written in Prakrit Marathi) in the entire World spiritually awakened and reached the peak of his consciousness (Bodh) after sustaining years of hardship, rejection from society and endless struggle of hunger & poverty. Gautama Buddha himself went through various phases of suffering before he awakened to his higher self. Similarly, Guru Nanak, Jesus Christ and many other Masters. These great saints have attained such a higher divine state of consciousness where their inner light has the capacity to engulf all sufferings.
This would sound quite maddening but it is the greatest news for all of us! There is absolutely no lack of suffering in this world, instead of negatively reacting to it let’s all utilize it to fuel our ultimate purpose of life; attaining the highest self-realization of liberation or Moksha. After all, we aren’t mortal beings restricted to our physical makeup. We aren’t limited to this body and mind. We aren’t limited to our Genetic vulnerabilities and programming. We aren’t limited to our past and future. The present can be found within. We are infinite, light and beyond. This is what we have come to realize.
Coming back to the original question, ‘Why is there so much suffering in the world?’As a fellow ‘Bodhmargi’, I would say, this is not the right question to ask. The real question is, ‘Are you willing to seek the ultimate and choose your consciousness (Bodh) over everything else? If yes, then I assure you, in complete surrenderance to your own Consciousness everything will be taken care of. Don’t try to understand that is beyond the limitations of logical interpretation, such a phenomenon can only be experienced in that what is unlimited, where all the answers are found, in the presence of a Master, a Bodhi, a Gyaani. I pray that the inner thirst for your seeking quenches soon.
With lots of love