Related Questions

What is true suffering?

True unhappiness is when you are hungry and you do not get any food to eat for hours on end; it is when you do not get any water to drink when you are thirsty. Would you also not be miserable if you were desperate and were not allowed to go to the toilet? Such miseries can be considered true suffering.

Questioner:  That is all fine, but if you look at the world,  nine out of ten people are suffering.

Dadashri: Not nine out of ten, but possibly only two out of every thousand are somewhat happy. The rest all continue to suffer from inner turmoil day and night. If you roast sweet potatoes, how many sides will they roast from?

Questioner: How can one take advantage of this constant suffering?

Dadashri: If you analyze the nature of suffering, then it will not feel like suffering. If you do precise and exact pratikraman (the process of recalling mistakes, asking for apology and resolving never to repeat it) for your suffering, it will not feel like suffering anymore. People have haphazardly labeled everything as suffering without thinking or analyzing it. For example, you have a set of old sofas and your friend who never had any just bought a new set. When your wife sees them, she comes home and tells you how nice your friend's sofas look and complains that the ones you have at home have become old. Now the suffering has arrived in the home. There was no problem until she saw your friend's sofa, but the moment she set eyes on them, she brought the suffering with her.

If your friend builds a bungalow and you do not have a Bungalow, and your wife sees it, she will come home telling you how beautiful your friend's new bungalow is and that you never build anything. That is suffering. These are all self-created sufferings.

If I were a judge, I would first make everyone happy before I sentenced the prisoner. If I had to sentence someone for his crime, I would tell him that it would not be possible for me to sentence him for less than five years. Then if his attorney pleaded for a lesser sentence, I would gradually negotiate the sentence down from four years to three years to two years and finally down to only six months. This way he would go to prison feeling happy that he got away with having to serve only six months. Therefore, suffering is a matter of beliefs. If I were to say six months from the start, he would find it too long.

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