Delight of Existence Confronts the Problem of Pain

Sri Aurobindo raises the question at this point of “why”. Why should the pure Existent, the Infinite Consciousness, the Absolute already perfect within itself, undertake to throw itself into the myriad forms of manifestation through time?

The answer of the ancient sages as propounded in the Taittiriya Upanishad clearly responds “For who could live or breathe if there were not this delight of existence as the ether in which we dwell? From Delight all these beings are born, by Delight they exist and grow, to Delight they return.”

The answer we have been exploring, framed by the terms Sat-Chit-Ananda, continues to maintain its importance for the questions being raised. Having reviewed the term “Sat” as the Pure Existent; and having reviewed the term “Chit” as Consciousness; we now come to the term “Ananda”, Bliss, the delight of Existence.

“In everything that is there is the delight of existence and it exists and is what it is by virtue of that delight.”

But what about pain? What about suffering? What about evil? What about grief? If everything is delight, how do we account for these apparent opposites. It is this apparently irreconcilable disparity between the philosophical understanding that Delight is the underlying foundation of all existence, and the existence in our daily experience of suffering, disease, pain, and death, the “4 Noble Truths” of the Buddha, to which we are chained by the law of karma, cause and effect, which needs to be worked out and resolved.

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Chapter 11, Delight of Existence: The Problem

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For Sri Aurobindo’s books, visit the US publisher Lotus Press Website

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