Ok, so I understand the concept of consciousness and it is awareness witnessing across 3 bodies namely physical, subtle and one corresponding to deep sleep. And since "we" are ignorant of it, we believe that problems of this body and mind are our problems and we suffer. But I am not clear about concept of suffering, i.e just because someone is ignorant and believes himself to be something else, why the problems of "someone/something else" is experienced by him. Analogy :
When we watch Lion tearing apart some other animal, we don't feel physical pain of animal being killed, maybe we feel sometimes pity but not actual pain of animal and no matter how hard we try to believe that we are someone else (in this case animal being killed), maybe their mental pain we can understand or may feel little but their physical pain can't be experienced. So how come just by ignorance of our true self or by believing that we are not who we are and something else we experiences the pains/suffering??

  • 1
    Your title and end of question gives different meaning. Please be clear further! Jun 2, 2019 at 17:12
  • @AkshayS is it correct now??
    – Jay Patel
    Jun 2, 2019 at 17:16
  • R u asking how come ignorance leads to suffering? Jun 2, 2019 at 17:38
  • Yes. How believing leads to suffering.Just because we are ignorant of our true self, and believe that we are something else i.e mind and body, how just believing that something leads to suffering.No matter how much I believe that animal being torn aprt is me only I will not feel it's physical or mental pain
    – Jay Patel
    Jun 2, 2019 at 17:45
  • Because thats the power of Maya Shakti. A woman appears to be attractive to a man, but suppose that man is given a X-ray goggles and than told to look at her, what will he see? Skeleton and bones. Now the girl wont appear to be attractive to him. Similarly, some food like sweets appear to be delicious, but if you see through a microscope, only bacteria and microbes would be seen. Similarly, mind and body are superimposed over immortal Soul, which is the real self and the world appears beautiful only with senses, so that creation, started by 7 Manus, born from Brahma sustains itself.
    – user16530
    Jun 2, 2019 at 18:37

3 Answers 3


Pain to the body does not differentiate between persons attaining consciousness and non-attaining consciousness.

The concept of consciousness is very subtle. Unless one achieves detachment of senses and attains highest level of SPIRITUALITY, one cannot experience consciousness.

Sri Krishna says in BG, as follows;

समदुःखसुखः स्वस्थः समलोष्टाश्मकाञ्चनः।

तुल्यप्रियाप्रियो धीरस्तुल्यनिन्दात्मसंस्तुतिः।।14.24।।

He to whom sorrow and happiness are alike, who is established in his own Self, to whom a lump of earth, iron and gold are the same, to whom the agreeable and the disagreeable are the same, who is wise, to whom censure and his own praise are the same;

Pain to the body will remain the same to everyone. It applies even to Yogis also. However, the Yogis/saints will remain unperturbed to the pain of the body, as they attained detachment.

1) Once Sri Shirdi Sai, a renowned saint saved a child from falling into fire and his hand got burnt.


2) Sri Ramana Maharshi suffered with cancer, but remained unperturbed to the pain.

Towards the end of 1948 a small nodule appeared below the elbow of his left arm. As it grew in size, the doctor in charge of the Ashram dispensary cut it out. But in a month’s time it reappeared. Surgeons from Madras were called, and they operated. The wound did not heal, and the tumour came again. On further examination it was diagnosed that the affliction was a case of osteosarcoma, an extremely painful form of bone cancer. The doctors suggested amputating the arm above the affected part. Ramana replied with a smile:

“There is no need for alarm. The body is itself a disease. Let it have its natural end. Why mutilate it? Simple dressing of the affected part will do.”


  • I my sorry if you misunderstand the question. My question is : 1.) We are ignorant of our true reality. 2).Due to that ignorance, We believe our mind and body are our true reality but it is not. Question is that, So why "just" BELIEVING IN SOMETHING ELSE out of ignorance or out of knowledge or anything would lead me to experience "SOMETHING ELSE" Here "Something else" is Physical Body/Mental Body??
    – Jay Patel
    Jun 3, 2019 at 6:13
  • @JayPatel: Basically, your question has a flaw, in my opinion. You are accepting that you are believing our mind and body are our true reality. And, you had further stated that in reality it is not. How do you know that your mind and body are not your true reality? Jun 3, 2019 at 6:33
  • @srimannarayanakv As far as I remember, in nyaya sutras, established tenets are a means to right knowledge. Hence if he comes across the established tenet that mind and body are not the true self, he can obtain true knowledge from it. Also, discussion and doubt are a means to right knowledge, hence there is no flaw in his question.
    – user17858
    Jun 3, 2019 at 10:48
  • @srimannarayanakv he accepts that mind and body are not the real self, he is saying why is there suffering if someone believes the body is the real self.
    – user17858
    Jun 3, 2019 at 10:54
  • @Shashwat: understanding the idea thatmind and body are our true reality through books is different from that obtained through REALISATION. The OP on one hand said that believing our mind and body are our true reality and on the other he said that in reality it is not. So unless one REALISES this idea for oneself, the other thing cannot be understood. Whether one believes one concept or not, the pain will be equal to all. The only difference even between the one who accepts this idea and a sage is that a Sage remains unperturbed even there is pain to the body, while ordinary person suffers Jun 3, 2019 at 14:59

When you watch a movie for three hours, you get so much involved in it that you forget who you really are and also that you have nothing to do with the Hero in the movie. Whether he lives or rots and dies you have nothing to do with it. Even then when he wins the fight with villan how much of joy is derived by you! You forget that you are not the one you are looking at. Also you feel bad (suffer) when hero loses the fight. In your question:-

"maybe we feel sometimes pity but not actual pain of animal and no matter how hard we try to believe that we are someone else (in this case animal being killed), maybe their mental pain we can understand or may feel little but their physical pain can't be experienced. So how come just by ignorance of our true self or by believing that we are not who we are and something else we experiences the pains/suffering??"

These feelings are only your construct of what your imagination chooses to show you. There is nothing that you are physically feeling but just feeling pity should be true not only in the case of seeing an animal but also in the case when athman sees the individual. Those feelings of physical pain and pleasure are not present after you have lost all attachment to the body and given up body consciousness.

One three hours movie can do so much to you then what not can a 30 years human movie (life) do to you! One human lifetime is way too much to get us attached to it.

Ashtavakra Geetha compares life with a movie and a dream. On that basis this answer was written. All perceptions of the individual as a human is just a dream. Yes it looks Real because of maya. Wake up and know that it was a dream.


Actually, your body is a part of your soul but most of the people/animals in ignorance/Maya Shakti think that body is the only truth and purpose of life is to eat, sleep and gratify senses for temporary pleasures. Thats why they fight for food, mate and shelter. But spirituality, Vedas, Puranas say that spirit/Aatma is the real root and is the cause of body and mind to exist in the very first place and the reason of person's suffering is not knowing his real Self.

Brahman Satyam Jagat Mithya - Vedas

This verse does not mean that world is unreal and you can do anything like kill someone or steal something for your personal interest as the universe is ruled by Law of Karma/nature/Prakriti. This verse simply means that world/Prakriti is temporary but the self/Brahman/soul is permanent. Your body, ego and mind are sock-puppets of immortal self Purusha, who is witness of everything. A perfect being does not desire for body nor reject it and moves in Jeevanmukta(liberated with body) or Videhamukta(without body) state because of being in continuous Turiya(witness state of consciousness), also called Nirvana(no attributes) in Buddhism .But a bound soul experiences only 3 states, waking, sleeping and deep sleep and thinks his temporary body and its ego born of Prakriti to be his real self. This is also called Adhayasa or superimposition of Prakriti/ego over Purusha/consciousness.

Na Tasya Pratima Asti - Yajurveda 32.3

This verse talks about the real self Purusha consciousness and he has no image, no form as the body, ego and mind are all parts of Adhayasa or superimposition of Prakriti/energy over Purusha.

In Hindu philosophy, turiya (Sanskrit: तुरीय, meaning "the fourth") or caturiya, chaturtha, is pure consciousness. Turiya is the background that underlies and transcends the three common states of consciousness. The states of consciousness are: waking consciousness, dreaming, and dreamless sleep

Not inwardly cognitive, nor outwardly cognitive, not both-wise cognitive, not a cognition-mass, not cognitive, not non-cognitive, unseen, with which there can be no dealing, ungraspable, having no distinctive mark, non-thinkable, that cannot be designated, the essence of assurance, of which is the state of being one with the Self the cessation of development, tranquil, benign, without a second, such they think is the fourth. He is the Self (Atman). He should be discerned.

— Mandukya Upanishad 7,

Actually your horoscope is an image of your past Karamas done through previous bodies as explained by Yukteshwar Giri, teacher of Paramhans Yogananda, but self is untouched pure and immortal than also and now also, thats why Jain Digambars and Avadhuts dont even wear clothes as when the truly realized sages have realized their higher self, clothes are not even needed for fake self. But doing so without going in Turiya is hypocrisy.

Astrology is the study of man’s response to planetary stimuli. The stars have no conscious benevolence or animosity; they merely send forth positive and negative radiations. Of themselves, these do not help or harm humanity, but offer a lawful channel for the outward operation of cause-effect equilibriums which each man has set into motion in the past. A child is born on that day and at that hour when the celestial rays are in mathematical harmony with his individual karma.

  • “ Actually your horoscope is an image of your past Karamas done through previous bodies” <—— This is helpful, thx ! 🕉 Jan 5, 2023 at 8:20

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .