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What is your relationship with pain?

Disciple: Pain is not acceptable.

Maharaj: Why not? Did you ever try? Do try and you will find in pain a joy which pleasure cannot yield, for the simple reason that acceptance of pain takes you much deeper than pleasure does. The personal self by its very nature is constantly pursuing pleasure and avoiding pain. The ending of this pattern is the ending of the self. The ending of the self with its desires and fears enables you to return to your real nature, the source of all happiness and peace. The perennial desire for pleasure is the reflection of the timeless harmony within. It is an observable fact that one becomes self-conscious only when caught in the conflict between pleasure and pain, which demands choice and decision. It is this clash between desire and fear that causes anger, which is the great destroyer of sanity in life. When pain is accepted for what it is, a lesson and a warning, and deeply looked into and heeded, the separation between pain and pleasure breaks down, both become experience - painful when resisted, joyful when accepted.

Disciple: Do you advise shunning pleasures and pursuing pain? 

Maharaj: No, nor pursuing pleasure and shunning pain. Accept both as they come, enjoy both when they last, let them go, as they must. 
Disciple: How can I possibly enjoy pain? Physical pain calls for action. 
Maharaj: Of course. And so does mental. The bliss is in the awareness of it, in not shrinking, or in any way turning away from it. All happiness comes from awareness. The more we are conscious, the deeper the joy. Acceptance of pain, non-resistance, courage and endurance - these open deep and perennial sources of real happiness, true bliss.

Disciple: Why should pain be more effective than pleasure?

Maharaj: Pleasure is readily accepted, while all the powers of the self reject pain. As the acceptance of pain is the denial of the self, and the self stands in the way of true happiness, the whole hearted acceptance of pain release the springs of happiness.

-- I Am That, Nisargadatta Maharaj

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  • Christine D.

    The meeting was helpful. The topic was significant to me.

    March 31, 2014

  • Nathan L.

    Hey everyone... We'll be in study room C tonight! Looking forward to it.


    March 31, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Very true. Maharaj's saying resonates with me. Awareness is the key to awakening.

    1 · March 28, 2014

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