Question: Is pain necessary?

Sri Chinmoy: There is a general notion that if we go through suffering, tribulations and physical pain then our system will be purified. This idea is not founded upon reality. There are many people who are suffering because of their past karma or because undivine forces are attacking them, but we can’t say that they are nearing their destination. No! They have to aspire more sincerely in order to reach their destination. We shall not welcome pain; we shall try to conquer pain if it appears. If we can take pain as an experience, then we can try to transform it into joy by our own identification with joy, which we then try to bring into the pain itself.

Physical pain, vital pain and mental pain have to be transformed into joy through our constant inner cry for something that will give us real and permanent satisfaction. In the spiritual life the best thing is to take pain as an experience which has to be transformed into an experience of joy. Joy is the only eternal reality, the only permanent and everlasting reality. But it is absolutely wrong to say that each time we suffer we go one step ahead towards our goal.

It is not necessary to go through suffering before we can enter into the Kingdom of Delight. Many people have realised God through love. The Father has love for the child and the child has love for the Father. This love takes us to our goal. Our philosophy emphasises the positive way of approaching Truth. We have limited light; now let us increase it. Let us progress from more light to abundant light to infinite Light.

The highest discovery is this: we came from Delight, we are in Delight, we grow in Delight and at the end of our journey’s close, we retire into Delight. Delight is now in the inner world. The outer world is all suffering. We see people quarrelling and fighting. We have many undivine elements in us: fear, doubt, anxiety, worry and so forth. But when we go deep within, on the strength of our highest meditation, we discover that Delight was our origin, our Source. In Delight we play the cosmic Game and at the end of the cosmic Game we again retire into Delight.