Question: We know that our souls want the experience of life, no matter how brief and painful. But this is small comfort, especially where pain is involved. Is there any knowledge that is palliative?

Sri Chinmoy: It is not knowledge, but wisdom that is needed. There are quite a few ways that we can view suffering. One way is to feel, "I am suffering because of the law of karma. I did something bad yesterday or in my previous incarnation, so now I am suffering."

Another way is to feel, "I did not do something wrong, but I am taking the karma of my loved ones because I am more advanced. My soul is full of compassion and love for the members of my immediate family, so my soul is taking on their suffering. I am not doing it consciously, but my soul is thrusting it upon me." This happens very often.

Still another way is to say, "I am not suffering because of anything that I did. I am suffering because God wants me to have this experience. He wants me to identify myself with suffering humanity and take humanity's suffering as my own. If right now I can consciously become one with the suffering of the rest of the world, because that is God's Will, then tomorrow or the day after tomorrow God will give me another experience: the experience of His Ecstasy and Delight."

The fourth way requires wisdom. We have to be able to say: "I do not know and I do not want to know why I am suffering. I do not want to know whether the immediate past is involved or not. Only one thing I know: that I am willingly and cheerfully accepting this suffering because it is Your Will. I came to earth only to please You and fulfil You in Your own Way. I have no idea whether I am pleasing and fulfilling You, but that is my goal."

If I say, "Let Thy Will be done in and through me," then immediately I will feel that God is having the experience of suffering in and through me. If I can maintain that wisdom, then it is a great advantage. The very feeling that God's Will is being executed in and through my body, mind and vital means tremendous progress. If I feel that nothing can happen in my life without God's express Knowledge, Permission, Approval and Concern, then that feeling itself represents tremendous progress on my part.