Question: Acharya ji, would it be an act of compassion, to suffer with the one who is already suffering?
Acharya Prashant ji: It depends totally on you. There can be no principles in this matter.
The one who is suffering, is suffering, because he is deluded.
Remember that suffering is always a choice.
The one who is suffering, because of delusion, he has chosen suffering. He must be having his reasons. Every one, who chooses anything, always has some reason to quote. The fellow who is suffering, surely must be having some reasons to offer. And now, you too start suffering with him. You too have a certain reason to offer. The reason is compassion.
What do you think, the other fellow, the one you intend to help, is an utter fool? He too has his reasons. You know what he is suffering for? If you will ask him, “What are you suffering for?”, he will say, “Love.” So, he is suffering for love, and you are suffering for compassion, and seeing the two of you suffer, a third one comes to rescue both of you. And what is he suffering for? Wisdom. And then a fourth one? What’s his reason? Responsibility. And then a fifth one? We never suffer without reason. It’s just that our reasons are a bit stupid.
Nobody likes to be proven stupid in front of the mirror. We always find something, to justify ourselves.
If we are in sorrow, we would always have an excuse to offer.
Rare is the one who admits, that his sorrow is his own doing.
And this rare one, is the spiritually initiated one.
It might surprise you, but most of our suffering, is an effort towards goodness. Be good, do good. Be nice, help others.
Listener: So, to stop suffering, we must stop doing good to others?
Acharya ji: Examine what your goodness is all about. But, see how you come up with another display of the same tendency. You would remain stubbornly fixated to your definitions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’. If pointed out that goodness is not working out for you, you would say, “Ah! Should I turn bad then?”
A drunkard is hobbling, and stuttering, when he is moving to the left. How would he move, when he moves to the right?
Listener: Same way.
Acharya ji: But you just don’t want to change your fundamental condition of drunkenness. You just want to change your direction. Yes! Instead of then stumbling towards the left, you would now be stumbling and falling towards the right. The hurt and the sorrow would remain the same, because the internal condition as remained the same.
‘Good’ or ‘bad’, how do they matter, if the one, deciding goodness, and badness, is not examining herself deeply and honestly enough. It is easy, and it is possible. And all of us, deserve it.
Here is a little bit of advice.
If you find that you are hitting against people, hitting against the poles, stumbling against stones, falling into ditches, have a bleeding knee and a bleeding nose, the entire being is bruised, don’t change direction.
A change of direction won’t help.
It is not the direction that has gone wrong.
Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Books by the Speaker are available at: