Posting Essays

Pain Without Suffering

Update: 17/07/2015
There is a most venerable, having a serious cancer in bed and incessantly groaning in pain.

Pain Without Suffering


  Some curious disciples came and asked him: “Didn’t you always say ‘Four elements of physical body are empty?’ Why do you look so painful?

The most venerable replies: “Empty has its own business and pain also has.”

In fact, the pain which created by physical body is the general matter that everyone has to suffer, even a most venerable, who does a thorough cultivation.


 People normally associate pain with suffering. They mean whenever pain comes, suffering also comes and if someone gets suffering, he certainly gets pain. Few of them know that their concepts are different, not the same thing and there is a big gap between them. Pain indicates the physical body pain. For example, when the body is injured, ill-treated will arise some certain physical reactions. This is the natural physical phenomenon for sentient beings excluding plants, wood, stone. According to historical scripts, Buddha sometimes gets bellyache, backache, headache, which means Buddha is also a human being as others, who suffers some pains from the physical body. However, Buddha just gets pain by physical body without any relation to suffering in spirit.

For suffering, there are many kinds such as suffering by birth, by old age, disease, death. Greediness, attachment and holding everything of mind also create suffering; facing to the body’s sickness and ruining without any way to resist it is suffering. In addition, if our mind don’t want to face these natural phenomena but try to hide, we will get much more suffering. In fact, when people face to death or witness their relative’s death, they certainly will get serious shock in mind and it’s really unable to with stand it. This is nothing but suffering.


Besides the suffering of birth, old age, illness, death, it still contains the suffering of not to get what one’s desire, the suffering of being separated from those whom one loves, having to meet the hateful, the mental and physical sufferings arising from the full-orbed activities of the five skandhas, and the gathering of anxiety, fear, envy, hatred, doubt, etc. All these things cause feeling of life’s suffering.

 From these mentioned above, we recognize that pain is manifestation of body and suffering is expression  of spirit. The physical pain is unavoidable thing which everyone will be suffered, but it will end when the body disappears. Meanwhile, the suffering will forever exist because it belongs to spiritual aspect. If we can’t cease the spiritual pain, whether the body is destroyed, suffering still follows. In addition, when people get the utmost suffering, they also get the painful body, it means the depression is the cause of illness. For example, when people say “it breaks my heart”, in fact, because we are heart-rending, or pitiful before something happened. When the feeling of heart-broken just comes, it is called spiritual pain.

However, if our suffering has repayment, we will get consolation in some parts. For people, despite spending how much suffering they still hope it will be the end in someday. In this case the hope is the consolation, the happiness would be come and the suffering would be end in someday. It means suffering is not a certain or permanent feeling but it will be changed according to the circumstances outside.

Therefore, if we ideologically prepare well for having sense of responsibility, have bravery of facing impending reality, and handle the situation with the self-possessed mind, we will not flee but facing to what is happening and put the most effort to deal with any case without paying much attention to the results, there will no suffering more to get, no more mentality pressure.

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