Why do innocent people suffer?

Acharya Prashant
3 min readJul 14, 2020

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

Questioner: Dear sir, why do innocent people suffer?

Acharya Prashant: So as usual — I’ll dig into the question first.

What’s the assumption behind this question? Yes?

Listener: Innocent people should not suffer.

AP: That innocent people should not suffer.

What’s the assumption behind your answer?

The questioner says, “Why do innocent people suffer?”

I asked, “What’s the assumption behind this?”

Anshu (listener) says, “The assumption behind this is that innocent people should not suffer.”

Now, even Anshu is coming from an assumption. What’s the assumption?

That innocent people exist.

The assumption is that being a person you can still be innocent, that there is something called an innocent person. Wake up. There is nothing called as an innocent person. To be innocent is to be free of all blemishes, bondages. To be innocent is to be perfect. There is nothing called an innocent person and that’s why we all have to suffer and we will suffer.

The very child that is born is not at all innocent. How can you have an innocent grown up?

Innocence is something very rare and very expensive.

Innocence is not something that prakriti distributes freely.

It’s just that we use the word ‘innocence’ in a very loose and casual way. So, our language tricks us into believing as if innocence is something common and widespread and usual; it is not. There is nobody innocent here. The infant born five minutes back is not innocent, the fetus in the womb even that is not innocent.

You’ll have to meditate and wonder, “Why it has been variously said that to be born itself is the first sin?” That’s how it was said in the testament. In the Indic scriptures they said, “Had you really been innocent why would you be born at all? Or that only unfulfilled desires and unsettled tendencies take birth.” So kindly come down from your high throne, that great pedestal doesn’t quite suit you. Just the fact of your birth, just the…

Acharya Prashant