Part I

//The following questions were answered by Sri Chinmoy at the Sivananda Yoga Society, San Francisco, California, on November 7, 1971.//

Question: What causes suffering?

Sri Chinmoy: Because of our wrong deeds, the negative, unaspiring, undivine forces have come into existence. When these forces enter into us, we suffer. This is one point of view. But again, whatever we call suffering, and whatever we call sinful, evil, undivine or unaspiring is also part of God. We experience God in and through everything. When we see suffering, immediately we feel that God is really cruel. This is our human way of judging God. But if we go deep within, we see that what we call suffering is nothing but an experience. And who is having that experience? God Himself. God is the Doer, God is the Action and God is the Fruit. This is what we realise from our inner spiritual life.

The human in us will see suffering as something horrible and undivine, but the divine in us will see it as God’s experience in the process of cosmic evolution. The higher we go, the clearer it becomes to our human mind that all the incidents that have taken place on earth are the experiences of God in and through each human being. Now, in God’s cosmic Lila (Game), we see multitudinous activities, countless forces operating all at once. But a day will dawn when the sincere seekers will realise the highest Truth and outnumber the unaspiring people, and then the undivine forces will have to give way. When a seeker consciously enters into the sea of Peace and Light on the strength of his aspiration, he becomes part and parcel of God’s Will. Then he does not commit the mistakes that unaspiring human beings commit. Unfortunately, right now, out of perhaps a million people, only one or two aspire; and again, out of those aspirants, a very limited few are extremely sincere in their spiritual life.

The world is progressing towards the Light, although this progress is very slow. Human suffering will come to an end, because God is all Delight. We came from Delight. On earth we are growing in Delight. At the end of our soul’s journey we shall return to Delight.

Our Vedic seers sang: Anandadd hy eva khalv imani bhutani jayante…: “From Delight we came into existence. In Delight we grow. At the end of our journey, into Delight we shall retire.”

This experience of Delight we develop when we meditate and pray. Most of us do not pray or meditate sincerely or soulfully; therefore, the existence of Delight is a far cry for us. But if we soulfully meditate and unconditionally surrender our day-to-day existence to the Almighty, to our Divine Father, then Delight will be our everyday reality. At every second we shall feel the presence of Delight. Our outer experience may be otherwise; it may seem painful or destructive. But in our inner experience we shall become inseparably one with the cosmic Will. In that Will there is no suffering. Suffering is in the human mind and in the earth-consciousness. But when we go beyond the earth-consciousness, when we offer our very existence to the Supreme and become part and parcel of His cosmic Will on earth, we see that there is no such thing as suffering. We see only an experience, a divine cosmic experience which God Himself is having in and through us.