The Secret of Delight in the Experience of Suffering

If we now accept the concept that the entire world of Ignorance and Nescience is a power of the All-Knowledge and is able to work out the secret intention of the All-Knowledge, we return once again to the question of the role of suffering. The Rishis of the Upanishads concluded after very deep reflection and spiritual experience that the entire world is constituted and of the nature of delight, or bliss. Sri Aurobindo’s translation of the Taittirya Upanishad describes it thus: “When he has got him this delight, then it is that this creation becomes a thing of bliss; for who could labour to draw in the breath or who could have strength to breathe it out, if there were not that Bliss in the heaven of his heart, the ether within his being?”

The Upanishad continues: “He knew Bliss for the Eternal. For from Bliss alone, it appears, are these creatures born and being born they live by bliss an to Bliss they go hence and return.”

This brings us to the true nature of suffering as Sri Aurobindo explains in The Life Divine: “As to the suffering, which is so great a stumbling-block to our understanding of the universe, it is evidently a consequence of the limitation of consciousness, the restriction of force which prevents us from mastering or assimilating the touch of what is to us other-force: the result of this incapacity and disharmony is that the delight of the touch cannot be seized and it affects our sense with a reaction of discomfort or pain, a defect or excess, a discord resultant in inner or outer injury, born of division between our power of being and the power of being that meets us.”

“…for pain and suffering are a perverse and contrary term of the delight of existence and they can turn into their opposite, even into the original All-Delight, Ananda.”

Seekers throughout time in every part of the world have attempted to fathom the secret link between suffering and delight, to break through to the place where they are unified in the secret delight. It is beyond the scope of this discussion to trace these attempts to overcome suffering and replace it with a truer experience. As we gain access to the consciousness of the Eternal in our own experience, the consistent and ever-present Bliss of existence becomes real to us. So speak the Upanishadic sages who have experienced the Eternal.

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 4, The Divine and the Undivine, pp. 404-405 and Sri Aurobindo, The Upanishads, pp. 271, 278

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