Author Topic: Ramana Maharshi about Suffering  (Read 7793 times)


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Ramana Maharshi about Suffering
« on: May 10, 2010, 12:59:46 PM »
WHENEVER Sri Bhagavan was asked about the problem of suffering, he suggested a method to eliminate it. Most others trim the branches. Sri Bhagavan tackled the root of the problem. He said that whatever be the gravity of the suffering, we are not aware of it in deep sleep. When we have a terrible toothache, we can.t think of anything except the pain. But the pain is not felt in deep sleep. In deep sleep, we are not conscious of the body and hence there is no pain. When the mind merges in the Self, there is no body-consciousness and therefore there is no pain. Sri Bhagavan says: .Physical pain only follows body-consciousness. It cannot be in the absence of body-consciousness and pleasures. Pains are dependent on the ego; they cannot be without the .I. but the .I. can remain without them.

Even ordinarily, we notice that our pain is related to the attitude of our mind. When we have some acute pain, and a person we like walks in, our pain is relieved to some extent. When a person we dislike walks in, our pain becomes worse. In other words, our pain increases or decreases according to the state of our mind at a particular moment. Sri Bhagavan asks us to remove the mind altogether so that we won.t feel the pain at all. He says: .Therefore turn inwards and seek the Self and there will be an end both of the world and its miseries.. When body-consciousness goes, suffering goes. Prayer is good in that it makes us lose ourselves in the contemplation of the Supreme Being. When the mind is lost in contemplation, there is considerable reduction in pain. But prayer will not remove suffering totally. The individual will feel the suffering when his mind is not at prayer. Puja, japa, and prayer are all good in that they take our mind off our suffering for a while.

While they are all good as a temporary measure, removal of suffering is possible only through elimination of body-consciousness. Sri Bhagavan says: .If one remains free from pain thus, there won.t be any pain anywhere. The trouble now is due to your seeing the world outside yourself and thinking there is pain in it. But both the world and the pain are within you; if you turn inward, there will be no pain...

To the charge that those who eliminate suffering thus are selfish and do not worry about others, Sri Bhagavan says: .The world is not external to you. Because you wrongly identify yourself with the body, you see the world outside you and its suffering becomes apparent to you; but the world and its sufferings are not real. Seek the reality and get rid of this unreal feeling.. The understanding of oneself is the ending of suffering. The question of selfishness doesn.t arise as in that state, only the Self will be seen in everybody and everything.

But Sri Bhagavan doesn.t say we should be indifferent to the sufferings of others. So long as we have body-consciousness, we shall be conscious of our sufferings and those of others and would be interested in removing them. Compassion is really .your pain in my heart.. When we remove the sufferings of others, we become less .me.-centered. But in this way, we cannot remove all the pain in the world. As pain is dependent on the ego, Sri Bhagavan suggests the removal of the ego; pain will also disappear.

This is not just theory. Sri Bhagavan exemplified what he said. When he had cancer, he behaved as if it belonged to another. He was as serene as ever and gave darshan to all till the very end. There wasn.t a trace of pain on his face. His detachment from the body was total.



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Re: Ramana Maharshi about Suffering
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2010, 10:57:51 AM »

Dear prasanth,

Yes.  All sufferings are mind's work.  But it needs tremendous
efforts on a person to overcome this mind's very many manifestations.
But sleep, if one gets it regularly every night, is a boon that we
forsake the mind for a few hours and be with the Self.  It is Ananda-
maya Kosam, really.  The body does not need sleep.  It needs only
rest.  But the mind needs sleep definitely. 

After many years, I remembered one incident where Bhagavan Ramana's words about sleep were proved as truth.  My younger
sister died on the surgery table, in Bangalore, due to the doctor's
poor handing.  The dead body was brought to the house around 4 pm and ceremonies could be done only next morning.  My mother, my
father, my brother in law and others were weeping uncontrollably.
No food, some coffee in between.  Then the night came.  Someone
brought us food, since we could not cook.  My mother who cried
most became very tired.  It was around 11 PM.  One by one, everybody, including me, went to sleep.  Good deep sleep for a few hours, keeping the dead body nearby!  Around 4 am, people got
up one by one, and started chest beating and crying.  Those five
hours were bliss for everyone.

Arunachala Siva.