Thursday, February 26, 2009


Misery is - well - a miserable thing. Sucked into its vortex, life takes many tumbles. Like clothes in a washing machine spin cycle, it turns me around and around. Like a whirlpool or quicksand, it sucks me into its fold. Like jeera or pepper just added to boiling oil in a cauldron it makes me jump, crackle and cry. Like freshly cut onions it makes me weep. OK enough analogies.......

More recently I've thinking a lot about misery. In those moments when I am not consumed by it just watching its ways provides some truly interesting perspectives into life.

What is Suffering ?

Guruji says that "Suffering is the product of ignorance". Ignorance of what ? Ignorance of myself. Ignorance of my purpose in this life and body. Not accepting people and situations (however horrible) as they are.

Now what prevents me from accepting situations and people as they are ? Lets see. Tough situations put life into a tailspin. My own plans for life have to be set aside. A lot of compromise is necessary. Sacrifice is necessary. I am forced to stop taking from life and start giving.

All the above are not easy. Why ? Desires Desires Desires Desires.

My own desires in the form of goals, ambitions, likes, dislikes, all subdued by the situation start a tug of war with the present moment. The situation demands I accept and be and do what is needed NOW, but desires pull me in the opposite direction. This tug of war tears my mind apart and results in my not being able to function fully in the NOW.

The Use Of Suffering

Suffering has been a great way for me to realize that pleasure is temporary and that more indulgence in pleasure will only bring more suffering. My own suffering also teaches me to look around and realize that there are others in deeper pain. By supporting them I see that my own pain is not that bad.

Why Suffering ?

Obviously karma has something to do with it :) Why would a benevolent God want to heap suffering on his children ? A good thing about thinking about karma is that is prevents the blame-game / self pity cycle from going on and on. I realize that I have dues to pay and that suffering is basically payback time.

But why does suffering even exist ?

This is a deep question. What if there were no suffering ? What would happen to this world ? Life would become one endless indulgence in the pleasures of life leaving no time or need to dwell into the true nature of who we really are. Nobody would have any problems and obviously removing the need for anyone to solve them. Would life have any meaning left ? Would it even exist ? The Yoga Vasishta chapter on Prahalada and Vishnu goes much deeper into this aspect.

Another Way ?

A baby struggles out of its womb causing pain to itself and its mother before that moment of bliss called birth. A butterfly struggles out of its cocoon before spreading its beautiful wings. Any achievement in life is preceded by a struggle of some sort. Just wondering, is this the only way life can evolve ? Chaos always preceding and resulting in bliss. Could it not have been easier ? Even possible ? Just wondering.

Jai Guru Dev,


  1. For that essential dose of spirituality, to just stop by and ponder for a while. :) Pain is essential to make that success sweeter. Lovely. :)

  2. life is a roller coater full of ups and downs and spirituality just makes the long bumpy ride smoother.. what beautiful knowledge...

  3. @tara : :) yep completely true...someone said "Pain means Progress" in the context of body-building. This path provides a completely new meaning to that statement. Jai Guru Dev

    @komal : yes totally this path makes the pain so much bearable, even ignorable at times of complete awareness. Jai Guru Dev

  4. opposites are complementary :) i think these are Guruji's pointers in this case

  5. @abhishek : Right ! Trust a teacher to put things in context :)

  6. any other way would be equally painful i guess.. :P

  7. @anusha : ;) I guess thats why we are asked to accept things as they are . JGD