Krsna krishna

How do material world inflicts miseries on the conditioned soul?

There are three types of suffering in the material world: adhyatmika, adhibhautika and adhidaivika. Adhyatmika refers to the body and mind. Today I have a headache or some pain in my back, or my mind is not very quiet. These are sufferings called adhyatmika. There are other forms of suffering called adhibhautika, which are sufferings imposed by other living entities. These living entities need not even be large, for there are many – such as bugs – that can make us miserable even while we are sleeping in bed. Apart from this, there are sufferings called adhidaivika, over which we have no control whatsoever. These are caused by the demigods or acts of nature, and include famine, pestilence, flood, excessive heat or excessive cold, earthquakes, fire and so on. Nonetheless, we are thinking that we are very happy within this material world, although in addition to these threefold miseries there is also birth, old age, disease and death. Thus there are three types of miseries within the material world, and everyone is suffering from one, two, or three of them. No one can say that he is completely free from suffering.

We may then ask why the living entity is suffering. The answer is: out of ignorance. He does not think, “I am committing mistakes and am leading a sinful life; that is why I am suffering.” Therefore the guru’s first business is to rescue his disciple from this ignorance. We send our children to school to save them from suffering. If our children do not receive an education, we fear that they will suffer in the future. The guru sees that suffering is due to ignorance, which is compared to darkness. How can one in darkness be saved? By light, the guru takes the torchlight of knowledge and presents it before the living entity enveloped in darkness. That knowledge relieves him from the sufferings of the darkness of ignorance.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2007 edition), “Teachings of Lord Kapila, The Son of Devahuti”, Page 62
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “The Science of Self-Realization”, Page 63

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