Question: Gurudev, when I come into contact with Mr. Friedman or anyone else in this everyday experience, I get a certain joy and sometimes a certain pain in that association. Now what do you experience when you are in union with God?

Sri Chinmoy: When we are in union with God, we experience Absolute Bliss. There is no suffering at all. At the same time, if you see, within God's Consciousness, the cosmic suffering, that suffering itself will be experienced as a kind of joy.

You have perhaps noticed that many times in a spiritual seeker's life, when he has a terrible headache or a stomach-ache, in the beginning he has unbearable suffering. Then what happens? He brings down Peace from above and that Peace touches the suffering itself. And when it touches the suffering, the suffering transforms itself into joy. The seeker gets enormous joy.

I remember once in India I was undergoing a small operation; I was having a boil opened. The doctor was an intimate friend of mine. He said, "Please be calm and quiet for a few minutes." And I did what he asked. While the doctor was performing the operation, I was actually smiling at him. It was not that I wanted to show that I was confident. No, I was actually deriving joy. The pain was unbearable, but while he was operating, I was getting joy and I was smiling. The doctor said, "What is the matter with you? Are you cutting jokes with me? " I said, "No, I am getting joy from the suffering."

In your case also, you will see that if you enter into God's Consciousness, the first experience will be Absolute Bliss. Then when you see that the universe and nature are within God Himself, you will see, from the human point of view, that the world is truly full of suffering. But the suffering world is also contained within God's Consciousness. Then you will see, in the period of a few seconds, that inside the suffering there is great joy. The suffering transforms itself into joy and there is no suffering as such.