Why Does a Loving God Allow His Children to Suffer? And How to Break Free from Suffering

The Law of Life and Happiness

“The law of life is designed to teach us how to live in harmony with objective Nature and with our true, inner nature.

“If you touch your fingers to a hot stove, they will be burned. The pain you feel will be a warning, put there by Nature to protect you from injuring your body.

“And if you treat others unkindly, you will receive unkindness in return, both from others and from life. Your own heart, moreover, will grow shriveled and dry. Thus does Nature warn people that by unkindness they do violence to their attunement with the inner Self.

“When we know what the natural law of life is and conduct ourselves accordingly, we live in lasting happiness, good health, and perfect harmony with ourselves and with all life.”

Why Does a Loving God Allow Suffering?

“If we are God’s children, and He loves us, why does He allow us to suffer?”

To this frequently asked question, Yogananda once replied, “Suffering is a reminder that this world is not our home. If it were perfect for us, how many people would seek a better one? Even with things as imperfect as they are, see how few people would seek God! Out of a thousand, said Krishna, perhaps one.

“The law of life is this: The less one lives in harmony with the truth within, the more he suffers, but the more he lives in harmony with that truth, the more he experiences unending happiness. Nothing can then touch him, even though his body wastes away with disease and people ridicule and persecute him. Through all the vagaries of life, he remains ever blissful in the indwelling Self.”

The Wise Seeks Happiness in the Self Within

“What is the use of spending all one’s time on things that don’t last? The drama of life has for its moral the fact that it is merely that: a drama, an illusion.

“Fools, imagining the play to be real and lasting, weep through the sad parts, grieve that the happy parts cannot endure, and sorrow that the play must, at last, come to an end. Suffering is the punishment for their spiritual blindness.

“The wise, however, seeing the drama for the utter delusion it is, seek eternal happiness in the Self within.

“Life, for those who don’t know how to handle it, is a terrible machine. Sooner or later, it cuts them to pieces.”

Excerpted from The Essence of Self-Realization: The Wisdom of Paramhansa Yogananda

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