We are consciously or unconsciously living in the state of pain and sorrow without caring to inquire into its cause and without examining it closely, writes Viloo H. Adajania
Pain and sorrow is perhaps the situation of all of us today. It has to be a matter of deep interest to everyone, as everyone comes in the way of it. We are all like reluctant students unwilling to enquire into this matter closely. We examine its crucial questions only when faced with crises. Even then, the impact of the shock is soon lost and we too often resign ourselves to it.
Lord Buddha has said that the first truth a man has to recognize is the truth of sorrow. If a man seriously attempts to understand and learn how to manage his life, he may perhaps not have to face difficult situations.
In order that a man discovers a new meaning of life, a new understanding of life, he should think beyond his needs for survival; he must perceive life from a different angle. It is a long struggle for an average man to learn to live; it is long struggle whereby he begins to learn by his inner sense the lessons of sufferings that he goes through in life. The most pertinent fact is that a personality which is highly selfish and desirous, if worst hit by pain and sorrow.
Unnecessary desires are the root cause of suffering. Any effort to seek pleasure does not give any joy; joy lies in peace and quietude which can be found in simple life.
Many times man does not become aware of the cause of his pain. He does not understand that his worst enemy is not outside that he can recognize, but the inner blindness that does not see the place of danger. Slowly he becomes aware of his unawareness as he grows in wisdom. He then turns away from that which is without. He turns within to understand his inner weaknesses and frailties.
The extent of perception of his weaknesses will depend upon the level of evolution of his consciousness. By degrees, little by little, from time to time, a wise person attempts to remove his own impurities as a smith removes the dross from silver. This he learns to do from the lessons of pain and sorrow.
The truth in other words is that the pain and sorrow that man undergoes, are created out of his own distorted perception of the phenomena of life and maybe also due to mistakes of his past lives. The evolving soul is educated by pain to acquire the right approach to reality and to understand the links between cause and effect which is governed by the Divine Laws of Nature. Not only are there Physical Laws that govern the material universe but there are also Spiritual Laws that govern the relationship in the human arena and which give exact justice. By the operation of this Law, man learns to rule himself from within.
The Path of Pain is the ‘path’ and not the ‘goal’. The Path of Woe and Sorrow is only the ‘means’ and not the ‘end’. Pain and sorrow are passing, not eternal. They are only the steps up the ladder to Perfection which the aspirant climbs over several lives in succession. They are akin to the scaffoldings that must be temporarily erected till the structure of a building is completed to perfection and later removed.
Therefore, as the soul progresses onward, it grows freer; peace takes the place of struggle, and joy takes the place of pain.