Karma Sutra: Suffering is a cleansing experience

Our sense of helplessness is existence’s way of humbling us.

Written by Ritu S | New Delhi | Published: June 6, 2016 7:20 pm
Karma Sutra, spirituality, suffering, karma, law of karma, past life karma, karmic trap, how to break free of karma, why we suffer, suffering and ego, ego causes suffering, ego-self, When we accept whatever our fate has served us — and go through life with equanimity — we cleanse ourselves. (Source: Thinkstock Images)

Our ailments — be they physical, emotional or psychological — cause us to suffer. While our physical and psychological ailments are relatively easy to address and diagnose, it is our emotional ailments that weaken us by sapping the life out of us. It could stem from the loss of a dear person, a sense of betrayal — or worse, indifference — from a loved one. They are all tough to deal with.

And then, there’s the ‘situational’ ailment — to be caught in a situation where we can’t relate to our surrounding or environment. It could come in the form of a boss or a nasty colleague, an incompatible partner, an unruly child, a bad neighbor, a city, locality, neighbourhood or a house that we find disorienting. Our compulsion to have to put up with our situation is a soul-squashing exercise. To suffer our individual compulsion day in day out gets the better of us.

  

This trap is also known as the “karmic trap” that we find ourselves in, from which — in spite of all our efforts — there is no escape. This gnawing feeling of so-near-yet-so-far is actually a Zen moment of our life.

As humans, we assume our wishes to determine our destiny and in youth we are inclined to call our wishes predestined. And as we move ahead — mistaking our conceit for our pride — our life unfolds in the exact opposite direction. We find ourselves in a no-man’s land, leading a stranger’s life. This is not the road we had intended to travel, this is not the situation we had ever imagined ourselves to be a part of…and yet here we are, suffering at the absurdity and incoherence of our life with our inability to manoeuvre the situation — in short, at the mercy of our fate. What about “free-will” we wonder?

“The moving finger writes and having writ, moves on. Neither your deity nor your piety can cancel a single line of it.” – Omar Khayyam

The reason behind our suffering are our past life karmas — whether they be physical, emotional or psychological. Our sense of helplessness is existence’s way of humbling us. We operate in the world entirely with our ego-self. Our suffering enables us to see beyond this ego-self which is the instrument self — a mere instrument in the hands of destiny.

The only free will that we have is to either fight it or submit to our current existential trap. When we accept whatever our fate has served us — and go through life with equanimity — we cleanse ourselves. We shed our ego and submit to the energy at play.

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