Question: If all of life is suffering what is the purpose of existence?


Actually all of life is happiness. It’s only due to the identification with the false ego that we get implicated in suffering. Enlightened people are para dukhi dukhi. That means the happiness of others is their happiness and the sufferings of another is their suffering.

The greatest charity is not just to give someone food. We do have to take care of people’s bodies, and try to give people encouragement and emotional support is very important as well. While we are doing these things we need to help people connect to their eternal soul with the all beautiful love of God. That is the greatest compassion.

We see the sufferings of this world. They come and they go like the seasons. We know that both the winter snow storms and the summer heat is coming. These changes are always coming. Suffering comes when we try to find our happiness in the ever changing experience.

We all ultimately enter old age, and experience disease and death. And if you talk to old people it can really be a good lesson. I was just with my father and he is 91 years old. He is such a nice person, very positive. But there are so many aches and pains and he knows at his age that it’s not going to get better.

When you are young and get sick you just have faith that you are going to get better and that you will get through it. But when you are 91 and you get sick you realize that there is only more to come. That is reality. The sufferings of this world can be seen as an impetus to open the doors to realize the real happiness we are looking for, and that is in spiritual truth. That is in loving devotional service.

The laws of karma are very intricate, inconceivable and difficult to understand the details of although the principles are pretty simple. What goes around comes around. If we are kind to someone that kindness will come back to us.

Radhanath Swami

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