Caller: If God is all-loving, why does He permit suffering?

Sri Chinmoy: ‘Suffering’ is a term we see in the dictionary. When we suffer, we feel tremendous pain inside us; there is no joy inside us. But I wish to say that suffering is a state of consciousness. When we practise spirituality and yoga, we feel that this suffering is nothing but an experience. And when we dive deep within, we feel it is not we who are having this experience of suffering; it is God Himself. He is the Creator; He is the creation. He is the Doer; He is the action itself. So the more we identify ourselves with the Source, the more we feel that what we call suffering is not suffering at all. It is an experience that God Himself is having in and through us for the fulfilment of His infinite Vision. I call it suffering, you call it suffering, but God does not call it suffering. He calls it an experience. It is a state of His own infinite Consciousness.

Steve Powers: Nonetheless, the person who is suffering, in the common sense of the word, is in pain.

Sri Chinmoy: He is in pain because he has identified with the earth-reality. But if he identifies with God, then the suffering itself will be turned into delight.