Pain versus Suffering:
How to Heal Both
Sri Bhagavan teaches us that there is a fundamental difference between pain and suffering.
We experience pain in the physical body through our external world, but suffering occurs in our inner
When there is uneasiness or discomfort in the external world of our physical body, we call it
pain. When the uneasiness occurs in the inner world of our mind, thoughts or emotions, we call it
Sri Bhagavan's Teaching on the Mind
Suffering comes from our inner world thoughts and perceptions, whereas pain comes from external factors. A
practical explanation of the difference between suffering and pain would be that pain is physical, such as what you
experience if you cut your hand. That is pain, not suffering. Suffering is internal, and Bhagavan
refers to it as "daydreaming and hallucination."
As a brief exercise, close your eyes just for a few moments and simply witness your thoughts as they pass
through. You'll probably notice that your thoughts are constantly in the past or in the future. You may
have thoughts of the errands you need to do tomorrow, what clothes you will wear, a conversation you recently had,
Thoughts come and go, sometimes wildly and erratically, but they're always non-stop. The mind is
constantly creating and projecting ideas to keep you busy. It needs to continuously think in order to
perpetuate and fulfill itself.
It is important to remember Bhagavan's teaching--
"Your mind is not your mind."
It is the Ancient Mind, and it flows through everyone. You are totally one with the Ancient Mind, and are
carried away and kept busy by whatever visions and goals it creates for you. There constantly seems to be
something you need to do, know, or strive for, but inwardly, you feel that you should be experiencing peace,
joy, love, less hate, less guilt, etc.
In all this conflict you can't experience reality as it is. There is no freedom in struggle. The
unawakened one is in constant struggle and suffering. Remember, too, that there should be no judgment
here. That's just the way it is.
On the other hand, when an Awakened person experiences the present as it is, when he is listening; he is just
listening. When he is eating; he is just eating. His total awareness is in the present. He is
When an Awakened One is eating an apple, he is just enjoying the apple. Unlike the unawakened, he's not
thinking, "I should have peeled this apple," or "This apple isn't very sweet, I won't buy this variety anymore," or
"I can't believe it was so expensive, I remember when apples were just 25 cents a pound." He's not in the
past or future, he's just experiencing the apple.
That said, you may wonder if an Awakened One ever thinks or plans for his future. Yes, he does, but when
he makes plans he isn't carried away by the process. He doesn't doubt and agonize over his decisions,
constantly vacillating and changing his plans out of fear of being wrong, as do the unawakened.
Another example is when an Awakened One has a frustration, he is aware of it and experiences it. He
doesn't try to change the content because he doesn't like frustration, or try to stop it. He experiences it
as it is, and through full awareness, the frustration turns to joy. He experiences no pain or suffering.
How does healing happen?
Bhagavan has given us three steps to healing--
1. Watch: Whether you have physical pain or inner suffering. you need to watch your
thoughts; watch the story that comes up. What is the inner conflict?
2. Stay in the pain: Even though it may be excruciatingly painful, don't run away from
the pain or try to stop it. When you stay with it, you will finally begin to truly experience the pain.
3. Experience the pain: The moment you actually experience the pain, it strangely vanishes
and you experience bliss and joy. The conflict ends and you are liberated from the pain.
More Ways to Heal
An Awakened One has no conflict. Sri Bhagavan says, "Man cannot make it on his own. It has to be
given to him." This means that man cannot become Awakened on his own, it has to be given through Grace.
That's where deeksha Oneness Blessings come in. You don't have to necessarily do anything, just receive
Divine Grace through AmmaBhagavan's deeksha Oneness Blessing.
Bhagavan also asks that we contemplate on his weekly teachings. Contemplating on the current teaching during the week before his
webcast will help you experience a wonderful state, because it helps you to under-stand what you're
experiencing. When you become Awakened, you will know exactly what a beautiful state you are in and what
it means to be in that state. There is no more pain or suffering.
Be sure to read the exact instructions on how to get the most growth and healing from
Bhagavan's weekly webcast here.