The only remedy for all human suffering: divine love.
The Mother – Words of the Mother: CWM, Vol. 14, p248
It is suffering which makes us conscious of a higher force.
That is true… If human beings did not suffer, perhaps they would never make any progress. Aspiration is quite lukewarm when one is perfectly satisfied.
The Mother – Questions and Answers: CWM, Vol. 4, p294
Suffering is not something inevitable or even desirable, but when it comes to us, how helpful it can be!
Each time we feel that our heart is breaking, a deeper door opens within us, revealing new horizons, ever richer in hidden treasures, whose golden influx brings once more a new and intenser life to the organism on the brink of destruction.
And when, by these successive descents, we reach the veil that reveals thee as it is lifted, O Lord, who can describe the intensity of Life that penetrates the whole being, the radiance of the Light that floods it, the sublimity of the Love that transforms it for ever!
The Mother – Words of Long Ago: CWM, Vol. 2, p21
Suffering is not inflicted as a punishment for sin or for hostility—that is a wrong idea. Suffering comes like pleasure and good fortune as an inevitable part of life in the ignorance. The dualities of pleasure and pain, joy and grief, good fortune and ill fortune are the inevitable results of the ignorance which separates us from our true consciousness and from the Divine. Only by coming back to it can we get rid of suffering. Karma from the past lives exists, much of what happens is due to it, but not all. For we can mend our karma by our own consciousness and efforts. But the suffering is simply a natural consequence of past errors, not a punishment, just as a burn is the natural consequence of playing with fire. It is part of the experience by which the soul through its instruments learns and grows until it is ready to turn to the Divine.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga: CWSA, Vol. 31, p670
….Each thing in the world has its place, its work, a real use; and if used for something else it creates a disorder, confusion, chaos. And that’s because in the world as it is, very few things are utilised for their true work, very few things are really in their place, and it is because the world is in a frightful chaos that there is all this misery and suffering. If each thing was in its place, in a harmonious balance, the whole world could progress without needing to be in the state of misery and suffering in which it is. There!
So there is nothing that’s bad in itself, but there are many things—almost all—which are not in their place.
Perhaps in the body also it is like that. There is nothing that’s bad in itself; but many things are not in their place, and that is why one becomes ill. There is created an inner disharmony. So the result is that one is ill….
The Mother – Questions and Answers: CWM, Vol.7, p56
There is no invariable rule of such suffering. It is not the soul that suffers; the Self is calm and equal to all things and the only sorrow of the psychic being is the sorrow of the resistance of Nature to the Divine Will or the resistance of things and people to the call of the True, the Good and the Beautiful. What is affected by suffering is the vital nature and the body. When the soul draws towards the Divine, there may be a resistance in the mind and the common form of that is denial and doubt—which may create mental and vital suffering….. If the psychic is strong and master throughout, then there is no or little subjective suffering and the objective cannot affect either the soul or the other parts of the consciousness—the way is sunlit and a great joy and sweetness are the note of the whole sadhana. As for the outer attacks and adverse circumstances, that depends on the action of the Force transforming the relations of the being with the outer Nature; as the victory of the Force proceeds, they will be eliminated; but however long they last, they cannot impede the sadhana, for then even adverse things and happenings become a means for its advance and for the growth of the spirit.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga: CWSA, Vol. 31, pp 668-69
You who weep, who suffer and tremble, who dare not expect an end to your ills, an issue to your pangs, behold: there is no night without dawn and the day is about to break when darkness is thickest; there is no mist that the sun does not dispel, no cloud that it does not gild, no tear that it will not dry one day, no storm that is not followed by its shining triumphant bow; there is no snow that it does not melt, nor winter that it does not change into radiant spring.
The Mother – Words of Long Ago: CWM, Vol. 2, p44
If ordeal or fault has cast you down, if you have sunk into the nether depths of suffering, do not grieve—for there indeed the divine love and the supreme blessing can reach you! Because you have passed through the crucible of purifying sorrows, the glorious ascents are yours.
The Mother – Words of Long Ago: CWM, Vol. 2, p45
…. Do not cherish suffering and suffering will leave you altogether. Suffering is far from being indispensable to progress. The greatest progress is made through a steady and cheerful equanimity.
The Mother – Words of the Mother: CWM, Vol. 14, p247
The secret is to emerge from the ego, get out of its prison, unite ourselves with the Divine, merge into Him, not to allow anything to separate us from Him. Then, once one has discovered this secret and realises it in one’s being, pain loses its justification and suffering disappears. It is an all-powerful remedy….
The Mother – Questions and Answers: CWM, Vol.9, p42-43
Of course, you can use your reason, if you have one which works. You can make use of the reason and can tell yourself something which is very true: that in our being it is only egoism which always suffers, and that if there was no egoism there would be no suffering, and that if one wants the spiritual life, one must overcome his egoism. So the first thing to do is to look straight at this suffering, perceive to what an extent it is the expression of a very petty egoism and then sweep the place clean, make a clean ground and say, “I don’t want this dirt, I am going to clean my inner chamber.”
The Mother – Questions and Answers: CWM, Vol.6, p405
Quite naturally we ask ourselves what this secret is, towards which pain leads us…if one can, instead of shunning suffering when it comes, enter into it with this will, this aspiration to go through it and find the luminous truth, the unvarying delight which is at the core of all things, the door of pain is often more direct, more immediate than that of satisfaction or contentment.
The Mother – Questions and Answers: CWM, Vol.9, p41
Turn towards the Divine, all your sufferings will disappear.
The Mother – Words of the Mother: CWM, Vol. 14, p248
Do not take the sorrows of life for what they seem to be; they are in truth a way to greater achievements.
The Mother – Words of the Mother: CWM, Vol. 14, p248
That is an experiment you can make if you are just a little conscious. There is something in you which you don’t want, something bad—for one reason or another you don’t want it, you want to pull it out—well, if you identify yourself ever so little with that thing, you feel the pain of the extraction; if, on the contrary, you identify yourself with the divine Force which comes to liberate you, you feel the joy of the divine Grace—and you experience the deep delight of the progress you have made.
The Mother – Questions and Answers: CWM, Vol.8, p84
Pleasure is a deceptive and perverse disguise which turns us away from our goal and we certainly should not seek it if we are eager to find the truth. Pleasure vaporises us; it deceives us, leads us astray. Pain brings us back to a deeper truth by obliging us to concentrate in order to be able to bear it, be able to face this thing that crushes us. It is in pain that one most easily finds the true strength again, when one is strong. It is in pain that one most easily finds the true faith again, the faith in something which is above and beyond all pain.
The Mother – Questions and Answers: CWM, Vol.9, pp 41-42
…. to seek suffering and pain is a morbid attitude which must be avoided, but to run away from them through forgetfulness, through a superficial, frivolous movement, through diversion, is cowardice. When pain comes, it comes to teach us something. The quicker we learn it, the more the need for pain diminishes, and when we know the secret, it will no longer be possible to suffer, for that secret reveals to us the reason, the cause, the origin of suffering, and the way to pass beyond it.
The Mother – Questions and Answers: CWM, Vol.9, p42
It is true that doctors have said that if one can teach the body to bear pain, it becomes more and more resilient and less easily disrupted—this is a concrete result. In the case of people who know how to avoid getting completely upset as soon as they have a pain somewhere, who are able to bear it quietly, to keep their balance, it seems that the body’s capacity to bear the disorder without going to pieces increases. This is a great achievement. I have asked myself this question from the purely practical, external standpoint and it seems to be like this. Inwardly, I have been told this many times—told and shown by small experiences—that the body can bear much more than we think, if no fear or anxiety is added to the pain. If we eliminate the mental factor, the body, left to itself, has neither fear nor apprehension nor anxiety about what is going to happen—no anguish—and it can bear a great deal.
The second step is when the body has decided to bear it—you see, it takes the decision to bear it: immediately, the acuteness, what is acute in the pain disappears….
And if you are calm—here, another factor comes in, the need for inner calm—if you have the inner calm, then the pain changes into an almost pleasant sensation—not “pleasant” in the ordinary sense, but an almost comfortable feeling comes….
And the last stage, when the cells have faith in the divine Presence and in the sovereign divine Will, when they have this trust that all is for the good, then ecstasy comes—the cells open, like this, become luminous and ecstatic.
The Mother – On Thoughts and Aphorisms: CWM, Vol. 10, p169
…. if you become aware that it is only the Grace which can do that, that the situation in which you find yourself, from there the Grace alone can pull you out, can give you the solution and the strength to come out of it, then, quite naturally an intense aspiration awakes in you, a consciousness which is translated into an opening. If you call, aspire, and if you hope to get an answer, you will quite naturally open yourself to the Grace.
And later—you must pay great attention to this (Mother puts her finger on her lips)—the Grace will answer you, the Grace will pull you out of the trouble, the Grace will give you the solution to your problem or will help you to get out of your difficulty. But once you are free from trouble and have come out of your difficulty, don’t forget that it is the Grace which pulled you out, and don’t think it is yourself. For this, indeed, is the important point. Most people, as soon as the difficulty has gone, say, “After all, I pulled myself out of the difficulty quite well.”
There you are. And then you lock and bolt the door, you see, and you cannot receive anything any more. You need once again some acute anguish, some terrible difficulty for this kind of inner stupidity to give way, and for you to realise once more that you can do nothing. Because it is only when you grow aware that you are powerless that you begin to be just a little open and plastic. But so long as you think that what you do depends on your own skill and your own capacity, truly, not only do you close one door, but, you know, you close lots of doors one upon another, and bolt them. You shut yourself up in a fortress and nothing can enter there. That is the great drawback: one forgets very quickly. Quite naturally one is satisfied with one’s own capacity.
But Mother, even when one tries to think that one is powerless, there is something which believes one is powerful. So?
…. Ah, it is very difficult to be sincere… That is why the blows multiply and sometimes become terrible, because that’s the only thing which breaks your stupidity. This is the justification of calamities. Only when you are in an acutely painful situation and indeed before something that affects you deeply, then that makes the stupidity melt away a little….
How many blows are needed in life for one to know to the very depths that one is nothing, that one can do nothing that one does not exist, that one is nothing, that there is no entity without the divine Consciousness and the Grace. From the moment one knows it, it is over; all the difficulties have gone. When one knows it integrally and there is nothing which resists… but till that moment… And it takes very long.
The Mother – Questions and Answers: CWM, Vol.6, pp 322-24
Sri Aurobindo writes here: “… Few and brief in their visits are the Bright Ones who are willing or permitted to succour.” Why?
This comes back to the question why the adverse forces have the right to interfere, to harass you. But this is precisely the test necessary for your sincerity. If the way were very easy, everybody would start on the way, and if one could reach the goal without any obstacle and without any effort, everybody would reach the goal, and when one has come to the end, the situation would be the same as when one started, there would be no change. That is, the new world would be exactly what the old has been. It is truly not worth the trouble! Evidently a process of elimination is necessary so that only what is capable of manifesting the new life remains. This is the reason and there is no other, this is the best of reasons. And, you see, it is a tempering, it is the ordeal of fire, only that which can stand it remains absolutely pure; when everything has burnt down, there remains only the little ingot of pure gold. And it is like that. On the contrary, for each one it is the best and most favourable conditions which are given. … it is only his friends whom God treats with severity; … it is true. It is only to those who are full of hope, who will pass through this purifying flame, that the conditions for attaining the maximum result are given. And the human mind is made in such a way that you may test this; when something extremely unpleasant happens to you, you may tell yourself, “Well, this proves I am worth the trouble of being given this difficulty, this proves there is something in me which can resist the difficulty”, and you will notice that instead of tormenting yourself, you rejoice—you will be so happy and so strong that even the most unpleasant things will seem to you quite charming! This is a very easy experiment to make. Whatever the circumstance, if your mind is accustomed to look at it as something favourable, it will no longer be unpleasant for you. This is quite well known; as long as the mind refuses to accept a thing, struggles against it, tries to obstruct it, there are torments, difficulties, storms, inner struggles and all suffering. But the minute the mind says, “Good, this is what has to come, it is thus that it must happen”, whatever happens, you are content….
The Mother – Questions and Answers: CWM, Vol. 4, pp 352-54
Are even physical sufferings ascribable to the ego?
…. Physical sufferings? One thing is certain, you know; I think this was in the system, in the nature, that it was invented as an indicator; because, for example, if the body was disorganised in some way or other and this caused no suffering at all, one would never look for a way to stop the disorganisation. One thinks of curing an illness only because one suffers. If it caused you no unpleasantness, you would never think of being cured of it. So, in the economy of Nature I think that the first purpose of physical suffering was to give you a warning.
Unfortunately, there is the vital which pokes its nose into the affair and takes a very perverse pleasure in increasing, twisting, sharpening the suffering. Now this deforms the whole system because instead of being an indicator, sometimes it becomes an occasion for enjoying the illness, for making oneself interesting, and also having the opportunity to pity oneself—all kinds of things which all come from the vital and are all detestable, one more than another. But originally I think that it was this: “Take care!” You see, it’s like a danger-signal: “Take care, there’s something out of order.”
The Mother – Questions and Answers: CWM, Vol.6, pp 405-06