"The truth that many people never understand, until it is too late, is that the more you try to avoid suffering the more you suffer because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you in proportion to your fear of being hurt."Pradhanath Swami addresses the existential question of 'why' there is suffering.
-- Thomas Merton--
Like the teachers of all ages, Pradhanath points out that suffering may be a hidden blessing in that it helps us to overcome our egoism and compels us to search deeply within for the higher, transcendental consciousness which is at the heart of all the world's great wisdom traditions.
"In many ways," he notes, "the sufferings in this world are blessings because they help us to take very seriously - if we make the choice to really understand - what is deeper, what is higher than all these temporary pleasures and pains: honor and dishonor, happiness and distress, health and disease, success and failure, birth and death."
"The nature of the world around us," he explains, "is constituted on the basis of dualities. One brings pleasure, one brings pain. And, to the degree that we are attached to something that gives us pleasure, to that same degree we suffer when it is lost. And, ultimately, because everything is under the consumption of time, everything will be lost."
So going through these experiences," he observes, "thoughtful people contemplate: 'Is there something higher? Is there something deeper? Is there something more to life than this?' And," he points out, "all the great saintly teachers, and all the great saintly scriptures . . . are leading us in that direction."
"This world," he points out, "is just a temporary place, but this world can be a launching pad to help us to realize the inner treasures within our own heart. And it is usually the sufferings of this world," he notes, "that serve as an impetus for us to not just theoretically try to understand what is beyond, but to feel the urgent need to do something about it, to realize and experience the essence of the Self."