Do Those in Christ Consciousness Suffer and Feel Pain?

Question

Do those in Christ consciousness suffer and feel pain? Did Yogananda say anything about it? I have read that Meher Baba said that he (as an avatar) suffered terribly in his mind. Christian mystics report that Christ has been suffering until today. Logically, the highest love means the highest heroism of eternal suffering of unlimited pain, for the welfare of others. Is the Ultimate Goal only delight as it is widely believed? What will you say?

—Tom, Poland

Answer

Dear Tom,

As you can read in Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi, “Saints who realize their divinity even while in the flesh know a similar twofold existence. Conscientiously engaging in earthly work, they yet remain immersed in an inward beatitude.”

All great Masters know that twofold life. Inwardly, in their soul, they are established in Christ Consciousness, which never suffers but is full of bliss. Yet outwardly they also live in a body and personality, which can experience physical pain and human feelings of sadness, loss, or suffering.

The difference between us is that they know that these sensations are not who they really are. They watch it like a movie and can immediately detach from any suffering whenever they want. They are free. Yes, Jesus was suffering but in an instant, he could have pulled away from it and returned to his true nature of Christ Consciousness, full of bliss. Out of pure love he didn’t do so, as you mention: he consciously took on (and is still taking on and, therefore, he is still suffering) the karma of his devotees.

Meher Baba, as you said, suffered terribly but as a Master, he knew perfectly well that it was only the mind, not himself, who was suffering.

Yogananda, in the same way, lived his human side with all kinds of pain but, as he showed his disciples, whenever he wanted to he could concentrate on his spiritual eye, withdraw into Christ Consciousness and all pain was instantly gone.

So, in short – no.  There is no suffering in Christ Consciousness, nor pain. But Masters who have achieved it still live in a body and a mind which can suffer.

It’s just like God himself: In His essence He never suffers, being transcendental and aloof in the blissful uncreated void beyond the worlds of vibratory phenomena. At the same time, He is active in the world. His body is creation.  In creation, He too can suffer – especially when we suffer, or when nature suffers.

Go, go, go to the delight, to the Ultimate Goal,
Jayadev