Does suffering connect us with God?
by Swami Prasad Sharma
(Dona Paula, Goa, India)
Does suffering connect us with God?
Consider that, if there had been no suffering in the life of a man or if he had presumed everything happening to him as fate for his consolation, he would not have searched for God. As pleasure and pain are individually specific and one’s own creation of mind, the search for God is also individual. However, the search for God usually takes a considerably long time. But once started, the gains on the way are permanent and one achieves the target in due course of time, as proclaimed by the saints. A word of caution is found in the scriptures of Hinduism that if God (a permanent pleasure of mind) is not found in this very life then one has to continue to find Him in the next life (Please see: Self-realization and beyond and Life making a case for re-birth).
Customarily, most of us are religious to the extent of social binding or for the granting of wishes from God, when no alternative is left. Even though some of our wishes are fulfilled, the pleasure is not everlasting, and, secondly, later our mind may not feel it as a gift from God. Man, as one species among other living beings, is best known for his covetousness, and has recently developed an immense capacity to interfere with Nature. Now, this results in creating gigantic problems for the future of mankind and it is taking him away from Nature.
Presently, mankind is busy coping with the advancement of technology. Even now, in developing countries many a person finds it difficult to handle a mobile phone or computer, or doesn’t want to learn the same. Many uncertainties in life are forcing man to become more religious and, comparably, very few develop a relationship with God.
Here, it may be noted that each religion of the world has a code of conduct, which is not being followed by its many followers in practical life. Indulgence in physical comforts is increasing too, and many only feel satisfied by materialistic gains. However, man wishes uninterrupted pleasure, not
suffering, in life.
Suffering in birth, disease, old age, death (along with the problem of re-birth), and tragedies, leads one to find the truth, as it happened in the case of Lord Buddha. He found that the cause of suffering is due to worldly desires.
The process of self-realization leads one to be in the zero state, which is also known as Spirit merged in God without form. The mind becomes a spotless sheet of paper (unselfish) in the process of self-realization, and in the remaining part of life it makes pictures of true love through the devotional path (See: The spectrum of the love of God). When love of God is expressed through the body of a saint many eligible souls are attracted to it.
A self-realized one takes up the service of leading others to this state with an utmost kind nature. This state is also an indication of the final release from the cycle of rebirth, though it is not desirable by a devotee. A devotee with the help of a body is able to enjoy a superior kind of bliss without interruption.
A self-realized person could be identified possessing the following qualities: purity of heart, forgiveness, fearlessness, union of mind with the supreme soul, control of the senses, almsgiving, understanding of the true meaning of the scriptures, straight forwardness, absence of pride, anger, and crookedness, renunciation, tranquility of mind, compassion towards all, non-covetousness, avoidance of useless talks and actions, vigour, etc.
The absence of any of the above mentioned qualities labels us with incompleteness. Adoption of these qualities keeps our mind cool, healthy, and helps us in the pursuit of spirituality.
I was born on 8 December 1945 and had self-realisation on 20 August 1977 at the age of 32. Thereafter I automatically shifted to the devotion path and a sort of relationship developed with God. Starting as a servant to God, then friendliness with God and then started liking God in child form. There is nothing left except to enjoy divine love and feel its presence in the whole world.