Symbols of the world's religions



Meher Baba

In response to the question by one of the group — "Why do we suffer?" — Meher Baba replied: Why should we be born; to take birth means to suffer. When suffering leads to real eternal happiness, we should not attach importance to this suffering. It is to eliminate suffering that suffering has to come. This suffering is unnecessary and self-inflicted, for ninety-nine percent of the world's suffering is self-inflicted; and then they ask, "Why must we suffer?" Great suffering means great liberation.

What is ignorance if not suffering? War is no special suffering, — do not people suffer all the time? It is the suffering due to ignorance that has to become less by war — which is one collective mass suffering. It is universal suffering which leads to war. People suffer because they are not satisfied, they want more and more. Ignorance gives rise to greed and vanity. If you want nothing, would you then suffer? But you do want. If you did not want anything you would not suffer even in the jaws of a lion. Even without war everyone suffers physically.

Mental suffering is worse than physical suffering. What the people of the world with limited vision think of suffering is only physical. They draw pictures of a bomb-stricken person, nose off, leg off, etc. Yet, sometimes physical suffering tends to ease mental suffering. The world's idea of suffering and of happiness is entirely limited. Of real happiness, you have no idea — that real happiness is worth all the mental and physical suffering of the universe. Then all suffering becomes as if it were not. It was due to ignorance. Ignorance makes you jump at the sight of a cockroach — real happiness does not make you feel the teeth of a tiger in your body.

Even those who are not God-realized and have no knowledge, they too, can control their minds to such an extent that nothing makes them feel pain and suffering even when being buried. One Yogi, who had not even the smell of knowledge, through Yoga had himself thrown into a tub of boiling oil, and not only did he not feel the pain but he was not even burnt. This is not the spirit's control over matter, it is even lower — it is breath control. When I talk of knowledge it is not ordinary knowledge, it is experience of Godhood. Knowledge of God means becoming God — then all else is zero. When the Master comes down from Godhood to normal consciousness, the Master brings down God. He is not aloof from God for one second, but he has to be on the level of all: so He eats, drinks, suffers. All this does not affect him personally but universally.

Meher Baba was asked by one of the group, 'Did Christ suffer physically on the Cross?' Meher Baba's reply was: If not — why the body? What need for Jesus if he did not suffer? Christ suffered or what would be the meaning of his taking a body? Through his universal mind, which the knowledge of Godhood continually gives, he experiences that all is nothing and is sustained by the Godhood's Bliss. He suffers but is not affected by the suffering.

Knowledge means perfect Union with God. The Master's suffering is universal suffering, but this universal suffering has no effect on the Master's Godhood.

How is it then explained when you have become God-realized? No more body, mind, ego, no more universe, only you as God experiencing bliss! You then experience Knowledge too, Power too, but you do not use power. You are one with this Power, this Knowledge, this Bliss. When you come down for the world, you take Universal Mind. Now, as God, you see all souls as your own; you see yourself in everything and your Universal Mind has all minds in one. What every mind suffers comes to your mind. Your mind suffers the suffering of all minds and experiences the happiness of all minds; but as ignorance is in all minds, the suffering is infinitely more than the happiness of these minds. So you suffer infinitely, but your soul, which is fully conscious and continually enjoys God's bliss which is also infinite, is not affected by this suffering.

At present, you as soul, are unconscious of God and God's bliss. Your mind now suffers or is happy according to your impressions. Soul, as it were, is not affected because through ignorance your soul is identified with your mind, so after knowledge your soul is consciously experiencing God's bliss. Your mind then experiences suffering or happiness, but soul is not affected. You are soul. When your mission is complete the universal mind goes. Universal suffering goes; then soul enjoys God's bliss. By knowing you must know and experience.

This war is necessary — necessary suffering, but most of the suffering is unnecessary and self-inflicted.

GLOW INTERNATIONAL, November 1993, p. 2, ed. Naosherwan Anzar
1993 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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