Question: Why does a God-realised Yogi suffer?

Sri Chinmoy: There are two types of suffering. The first type of suffering is human suffering. In this suffering we feel either that we have lost something or that we are not getting something. In a human way, we lose something and then we suffer, or we don’t get something and we suffer. It is very simple. Also, we suffer if we have to have something which is painful.

Then there is another suffering that is a more subtle suffering: divine suffering. In divine suffering you see the vision of the ultimate Truth, but you see that the world is not accepting it. The world is rejecting it. The world needs the vision of the ultimate Truth, but it does not care for it, it feels that it does not need it.

You will ask, "How is this possible? If you see the Truth, if you are really dedicated and devoted to the Supreme, then why should you suffer?" A realised soul suffers in spite of seeing the Truth because the world not only refuses to accept Light, but actually stands in the way of Light. A realised soul has come into the world to offer Light, and the Supreme wants him to offer Light, but the world stands against him. It is for the world that he has come, but the world will not accept him; it rejects him at every moment. This suffering takes place on a divine level where the Reality itself is crying to fulfil itself. A realised soul is a channel for the Reality, but the ignorance-world does not want that Reality to manifest itself here on earth.

God has created this world. God is Love, God is Law. He has created the world, but now the world, His own creation, is not consciously trying to fulfil Him. He has created the instrument, but the instrument consciously and deliberately does not want to be played upon by the Creator.

A realised soul does not suffer in his highest Self. But he suffers just because he lives in his dearest ones, who still cling to the suffering world. He has two levels of consciousness. One level is his divine, limitless Consciousness, the other is his finite, limited consciousness. He has to have the finite consciousness; otherwise, it is simply impossible for him to enter into his disciples or for his disciples to enter into him. His limitless Consciousness flows through the finite in him to the finite in the individual seeker. Similarly, the individual seeker enters through his finite consciousness into his infinite Consciousness. During this period, when he has to separate his infinite Consciousness from his finite consciousness to play the cosmic Game properly, he is partially caught. Then he suffers.

Suffering can purify the heart. When does suffering purify the heart? When we aspire for the Beyond, when we cry for infinite Peace, Light and Bliss, then the suffering that comes to us as an experience along the way purifies our heart. In the ordinary human life, if someone suffers because a son or a close friend has died, this suffering is not going to purify him. But in the spiritual life, suffering comes to us as an experience to widen our consciousness, to expand our inner reality. At that time suffering purifies our heart.

If suffering comes, what suffers? The body suffers, the vital suffers, our worldly existence suffers. When the body suffers, when our worldly existence suffers, at that time we have to feel that we are not going to carry these things through Eternity. These are perishable things. In the physical world, suffering is a reality.

But in the soul’s region, suffering has no value. Let us think of God, pray to God, meditate on God, not because the world is full of suffering or because we are suffering, but because God is all Love, all Joy, all Blessing, all Compassion. Then suffering will automatically be transformed into Light and Delight.

From:Sri Chinmoy,The illumination of life-clouds, part 1, Agni Press, 1974
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