The Ache of Pain – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Know your true self and you know joy If you look at all the pleasures you get in life, they all come with a ‘tax’! This tax is sorrow. Every event, however pleasant, causes pain in the end. Greater the joy, greater the pain. Longing for an event or waiting for a pleasurable event is again pain. Memories of pleasure also bring pain. Before you want something, the feverishness of wanting is painful. When you have it, the fear of losing it is painful.

When it is gone the memory of its joy is painful. So the whole thing is all-painful. But a Viveki — an intelligent person, one whose wisdom has awakened — sees the whole thing as pain. So there is nothing that is not painful. Everything is painful. You say love is so beautiful, but love is also painful. How much close can you get? Bodies can get closer, but still it is not satisfied. Soul is not satisfied by the physical body coming closer. It wants something more, it wants to merge, vanish and disappear. This is what you call love.

There are two expressions in love — One is ‘I want to disappear into you’ or ‘I want to eat you and you disappear’. But lovers don’t know why they are saying it. They say, ‘Oh you are so sweet I want to eat you up’. Love takes you to cannibalism! If that was possible each one would do that literally. Reduce their girlfriend or boyfriend into a small toy and gulp it through. So there is no more worry about where they are going, whom they are looking at, etc! Otherwise your mind is constantly engaged in finding where your friend is, what they are doing. Lovers become watchdogs after a while! Love also creates pain, tremendous amount of pain. Separation creates pain. A wish creates tremendous amount of pain/pressure in the mind. And then trying to please one, creates pain. To now if they are pleased or not, creates pain. You want to know how the other person’s mind is, how is that possible? You don’t know your own mind! Knowing what is somebody else’s wish and sitting on it is painful. If you experience some feeling of love and joy and suddenly it is not there, it’s even more painful. To do spiritual practices needs effort, and that is painful. Not doing it, creates more pain. If you really look from the eyes of wisdom there is nothing in this creation that is devoid of pain. Pain is the tail of everything in this world; comes along with anything you take. You take anything you get a free coupon — pain.

When you realise that everything is pain, then what do you do? You have to do something to stop this pain. How? The root cause of pain needs to be eliminated. That pain which has not yet come in life, which has not sprouted, should be nipped off right at the beginning. How do we do that?

Forgetfulness of oneself as separate from one’s environment is the main cause of pain. There are three things — the self, the seer and the seeing. Lack of perception causes pain. If you say, ‘This is me’, then there is a problem. We keep our life somewhere else; we don’t keep our life in us. Life is not in one’s self, life is somewhere else. For some people, life is in the bank account. If the bank closes, there he goes with a heart failure. Whatever you give more importance to in life that becomes the cause of pain. So when you see the difference, that the seer or the life is separate from surrounding eliminates the pain. Through meditation you can experience that you are not the body. That doesn’t mean that you have to run away from this world. This world is here for your enjoyment. But while enjoying it don’t forget yourself. You are separate from yourself. This is Viveka.

 That which is changeless is “Truth” that which changes is an illusion. Illusion does not mean non-existence, but it is ever changing – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

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3 Responses to The Ache of Pain – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

  1. Kapil says:


  2. Nitin Singhal says:


  3. hira hemnani says:

    dear bhaiyaji
    jai guru dev
    when u send this type of knowledge and after reading I feel there is something changing in me. what? I dont know.

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