Why does pain exist?

You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing, and dance, and write poems, and suffer, and understand, for all that is life. – Krishnamurti

I am sure you will agree with me that nature created everything, you, me, plants, flowers, animals, birds and everything else in the universe with a purpose.

In that case, even pain and sufferings exist for a reason. The important thing about pain is that at the time of suffering, we fail to understand, or rather lose power of analysis of the underlying cause of misery. Our full attention is on freeing ourselves from the painful situation.

In the past couple of years, I’ve been spending my free time pondering over the possible importance of nature creating pain and sufferings for the living beings.

  • Were they meant to be the punishments of our wrong doings?
  • Were they designed to frighten us of the possible consequences of our deeds?
  • Were they made to help us realise the contrast of happy times and bad times (just like the night helps us appreciate the importance of day-time)?
  • Or, were they created to give us a hint, a clue to get into the realm of deep thought and see the unseen reality of everything happening around us?
  • Or, was pain created as a reality-check of our friends, family, relatives and even neighbours at times.

Though all these possibilities appear to be true in perspective from time to time, giving things a deeper thought; I came up with yet another revelation.

Pain and sufferings come our way not because the supreme power wanted us to suffer or be punished, but as a stumbling block to point us in the direction we have not been paying heed to despite the hints that we were missing on an important point.

We are sometimes so engrossed in our lives that we fail to take note of some of the warning signs, life sends our way. That’s when, nature decides to pinch us hard or steps on our toes to seek our attention.

Pain is amongst the strongest stimuli /emotion known to living beings. It’s intensity and impact is not just lasting, but also seeks an instantaneous response from the subject in question.

I have come to feel that nature had one more intention behind creating this emotion ~ a way to help us realize our hidden/unexplored strengths. Something, I have personally experienced from time to time.

In the current phase of my life, this realization has come to me as a startling revelation helping me face life differently than I was, say a year ago. Physical (not just the pain experienced by the body), emotional, spiritual, financial and every other aspect. Pain  & losses exist in a wide variety of forms and magnitude. But, a better understanding sure makes it bearable and keeps me hopeful of a better day tomorrow.

What’s your take?

The song on my mind: Rahi manwa dukh ki chinta ~ Dosti

3 thoughts on “Why does pain exist?

  1. I believe pain is there to move us in the right direction. It’s there in the first place because we are not thinking the right thoughts. A first sign of pain is to make one aware so that we may change course. Suffering, why would someone have to suffer? Maybe because they have let the pain go too long? I don’t know anyone who suffers. Usually the pain doesn’t last-it ceases when we get clear and change direction.


  2. Carvaka

    “I am sure you will agree with me that nature created everything, you, me, plants, flowers, animals, birds and everything else in the universe with a purpose.”

    Actually, no. All my questioning into this issue has led me to believe that nature has not created anything with any purpose. The laws of physics and biology, even evolution which has led to all organisms, rely on randomness and probability. We have absolutely no evidence of any ‘intention’ in nature or even any capacity of intention. We invent reasons because as human beings, our brains are designed to find patterns. A biological fact is that we cannot accept randomness, hence we find shapes in clouds, invented different gods/ myths to explain disease and so on. I find comfort in knowing that there is no reason for me to be in pain and hence no reason for me to stay in pain. It frees me to try and move away from it, as far as possible.


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