See pain as a protector and a pointer

Pain is rarely desired, yet it is universally experienced. Seeing its prevalence raises the question, “Why does pain exist at all?”

Gita wisdom explains that pain is often a protector and a pointer.

Pain as a protector: If our hand touches fire, the painful burning sensation makes us immediately move our hand away to safety. If we were desensitized to pain because of some disease, our hand might get burnt to ashes without our noticing it even. In daily life, the pain we feel on touching fire protects us from getting burnt.

Pain serves a similar protective purpose in our spiritual evolution. We are presently diseased, being largely desensitized to our spiritual side. Life’s major distresses remind us forcefully of matter’s temporariness. Such reminders protect us from becoming allured by the promise of lasting joy at the material level of reality where such joy can never be found.

Pain as a pointer: Just as the distress of disease prompts us to seek health, so too does the frustration coming from our material attachment prompts us to explore the possibility of a non-material, non-temporal level of reality.

When such promptings inspire us to study the Gita, we understand that we are eternal souls, parts of the all-attractive whole, Krishna. We are meant for a life of unending love with him. The Gita provides us the time-honored process of bhakti-yoga to experience the reality of his love and to express our love for him. When we practice bhakti-yoga diligently, we eventually go beyond this distressful world to his eternal abode (Bhagavad-gita 08.15).

Thus, pain protects us from material entanglement and points us towards spiritual engagement. When we become devotionally absorbed in Krishna, our pain becomes supremely purposeful – it inspires us to move faster towards the one whose proximity is the harbinger of eternal joy.


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1 Comment

  1. Pain is the probation time for a BHAKTA

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