Sunday, 11 March 2012

Does the Soul Suffer?

Often someone asks, when there is suffering 'who' actually suffers -The soul or the body?

The body in this case cannot suffer because all it actually is, is a bunch of chemicals and the soul can never suffer because it is sac-cid-ananda by nature, which means full of eternity, knowledge and bliss. The soul is always transcendental to this material nature; however when the soul 'identifies' with the happenings of this body which is a product of material nature, that's when the suffering takes place. This is due to the false ego of identifying with the gross body. Based on the level of identification with the body, the suffering varies.

The example can be given of the incidents we see in dreams. We might experience being chased by a tiger or we might experience falling from a mountain or we might experience drowning in the ocean or we might experience dying in a car accident. In the dream, we actually feel the suffering and in a helpless state we try to get some relief. But once we wake up, we think, 'Oh My, that was only a dream - an illusion which is over!' This is exactly what happens when we undergo so-called sufferings. To the degree we are attached to this material nature, to that degree we are identifying with all the happenings and experience the dualities of happiness and suffering.

We have to therefore, understand that this happens because we are placing our faith in material nature, in the plans of Maya. When we begin to place our faith in Krishna, we become tolerant and can see things as they are.

So Caitanya Mahaprabhu pleads to the living entities, 'Jiv Jago Jiv Jago Gauracandra Bole' - 'O Sleeping Souls, wake up! wake up! You are sleeping in the lap of Maya.'

Wake up to your true glory as an eternal servant of Krishna!

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