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The Cause of All Suffering

Continuing our presentation of the upcoming release of Sharanagati, this post describes the original cause of all suffering and the means to transcend it.
bhuliyā tomāre,    saṁsāre āsiyā,
peye nānā-vidha vyathā

tomāra charaṇe,    āsiyāchhi āmi,

baliba duḥkhera kathā

(Sharanagati: 2.1)

bhuliyā–forgetting; tomāre–about You; saṁsāre–in the material world; āsiyā–coming; peye–experiencing; nānā–various; vidha–forms; vyathā–of suffering; tomāra–Your; charaṇe–at the feet; āsiyāchhi–have come; āmi–I; baliba–will say; duḥkhera–of distress; kathā–tale. [1]

(1)    Forgetting You and coming to the material world, I have undergone all sorts of suffering. Now I have come before Your feet and will express my tale of distress.

bhuliyā tomāre … nānā-vidha vyathā: “Forgetting You … exper­iencing all sorts of suffering.” Undergoing the miseries of material existence is the result of forgetfulness of the Lord. This is described in Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya-lila, 20.117) and Srimad Bhagavatam (11.2.37):

kṛṣṇa bhuli’ sei jīva anādi-bahirmukha
ataeva māyā tāre deya saṁsārādi-duḥkha

“When a jiva outside the realm of time and space turns away from Krishna and forgets Him, Maya subjects them to the various miseries of worldly existence.”

bhayaṁ dvitīyābhiniveśataḥ syād
īśād apetasya viparyayo ’smṛtiḥ
tan-māyayāto budha ābhajet taṁ
bhaktyaikayeṣaṁ guru-devatātmā

“By the influence of the Lord’s maya, those who are intent upon selfish enjoyment and turn away from the Lord become forgetful of the Lord, consider themself to be the opposite of their true self, and 
become stricken with fear. Thus the wise should serve the Lord with unalloyed devotion, knowing Sri Guru to be the Lord’s non-different manifestation and the primary recipient of their affectionate love.”

nānā-vidha vyathā: “All sorts of suffering.” This refers to the threefold miseries (lit. burning heat) of material existence: adhyatmik-tap, miseries caused by one’s own body and mind; adhibhautik-tap, miseries caused by other jivas; and adhidaivik-tap, miseries caused by the demigods and demons.

The suffering mentioned in this verse also refers to a fivefold state of affliction (klesh): (1) avidya: ignorance of one’s true identity as an eternal soul and servant of Krishna; (2) asmita: identification with the mundane ego, mind, and body; (3) abhinivesh: absorption in mundane experience; (4) rag: obsession with mundane pleasures and their paraphernalia; and (5) dvesh: revulsion to dissatisfaction and its causes.

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