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The bliss of suffering

columns Updated: Feb 12, 2013 00:24 IST

Nature has a way of creating all living beings perfectly. Mystery, happiness and suffering exist only in the mind.

Ever since Ramana Maharshi spoke somewhat to this effect, other saints too have reminded us to realise that it is our own making - good or bad.

It is important to realise that having a body as a human being is a great boon; but it also means having a great deal of suffering. Suffering is there so long as you are not able to detach yourself from it. As the Buddha said, "Those who understand this, detach themselves from all that exists and stop imagining or seeking anything." The whole Buddhist philosophy of life and how to remain peaceful is based on the concept that to seek is suffering and to seek nothing is bliss.

But the point is if one has to undergo suffering, and one realises it as a part of life and considers it "a must" to enjoy certain "perks of life", then the pangs of suffering get tolerable.

Osho put it so beautifully, "Suffering does not hold you; you hold suffering. When you become good at the art of letting suffering go, then you will come to realise how unnecessary it was for you to drag those burdens around with you."

Some people 'love' suffering; and many of us take suffering as an essential part of life and we decide to go along as if we have to "carry the baggage of life anyway." Didn't Rumi say the wound is the place where the Light enters you?

Those of you who have read Charles Dickens' Great Expectations would be familiar with these words," Suffering has been stronger than all other teachings, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but - I hope - into a better shape."