Question: Does suffering increase one's inner hunger?4

Sri Chinmoy: When the inner hunger is increased through suffering, I tell you, this hunger does not last. This hunger will be satisfied after a short time and then again you will enter into ignorance-life and immediately be assailed by more suffering. Real hunger constantly increases through inner joy, inner satisfaction. At that time you are constantly transcending yourself.

When one suffers, at that time God becomes real for him. There are many atheists; for them there is no God. But when their children fall sick and it is critical, immediately they invoke God or Light or some Power. Somebody is passing beyond the Curtain of Eternity, so they feel it is time to invoke some higher Power, some higher Light, something which they don’t have that comes from somewhere else. They invoke something and that something is God. They are stark atheists; they don’t believe in God at all. But at that time God comes into the picture just because they are suffering. But the moment their suffering ends, temptation-life or ignorance-life catches them and they forget God.

So if we have to go to God through suffering, then eventually temptation will come and take us away. If we feel we have to go to God by cutting off our arms or limbs, if we feel that when we suffer, at that time God will listen to us, we are making a deplorable mistake. The positive way to go to God is through love, through joy. Constantly we are loving him; that is why we are getting joy. Just because we are in joy we love Him. If we want to increase our inner cry, then we have to love God more and we have to be inwardly and outwardly cheerful. It is through constant cheerfulness that our love of God increases. By remaining always in a state of melancholy we will not make progress. We are only trying to draw sympathy from the world and become an object of pity. But that is not the way. The right way is always to have spontaneous joy. From Delight we came into the world, in Delight we grow and, at the end of our journey’s close, into Delight we retire. This is our philosophy.

Joy and cheerfulness is not a life of pleasure. No! It is the conscious awareness of our inner divinity. When we are happy, when we are really happy, we are making real progress. Through suffering one may make progress, but before he makes progress he curses God. “He is happy, she is happy, everybody is happy. How is it that I am suffering?” So before we actually cry for light, quite often we misunderstand God, we criticise God and find fault with Him. But when we are happy, at that time we don’t criticise God. On the contrary, we show our gratitude. He has made us happy, whereas there are many who are still unhappy because they are wallowing in the pleasures of ignorance. When we become a happy heart, we move forward, we dive deep within, we fly. At that time we make considerable progress. Progress is in movement, and this movement comes only when we have joy and we become joy.

SPO 10-19. Questions answered following the talk Heaven-Vision and earth-reality.