IIT Bombay: If suffer you must, suffer rightly

Acharya Prashant
6 min readMay 30, 2022

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Questioner (Q): Acharya Ji, painful thoughts are common to us all. Sometimes, even though we might be aware of them, we are not able to overcome them. What kind of benefit does the mind see in these painful thoughts? Is it a tactic of the ego to keep itself alive? Is it seeking the pleasure of being alive even in the pain?

Acharya Prashant (AP): Yes, obviously. The thing with pain is that you cannot have pain if you don’t exist. So, even pain ratifies your existence.

The ego is such an insecure thing that to prove to itself that it exists, it can even put itself in pain. And it says, “Because I can experience pain, so I exist. Don’t tell me that I am fake. Don’t tell me I am a myth.” Because, you see, ultimately the ego is a myth, and therefore it is always scared that somebody will call the bluff and say, “Oh, you are such a fool. You don’t even exist!” So, it keeps trying all kinds of tricks. That is the first thing.

Next, you remember only the pain that comes with thoughts. What you don’t remember is something more important. Let’s say you remember that you lost rupees hundred in the past, and that pains you. Let’s say you are in the thought process right now; you are repeatedly thinking about those…