PHILOSOPHICAL PRAXIS COUNSELLING AND SPIRITUAL HEALING
(Registration No.477, 2000-2001)
FIFTH NATIONAL SEMINAR ON "LIFE AND SUFFERING"
(February 11-12th , 2017)
REGISTRATION IS OPEN
(It includes lodging & boarding)
♦ Registration fee for foreign delegates is $ 200/
(It includes lodging and boarding)
These rates are applicable till the 30th November, 2016
Send D.D. in favour of Secretary, Philosophical Praxis, Counseling and Spiritual Healing, Jaipur (Rajasthan) Contribute your research paper on one of the topics mentioned below.
Post Address: C-207, Manu Marg, Tilak Nagar Jaipur 302004
Pan No. AABAP3656R
Account No. 674701293437
IFSC Code ICIC0006747
MICR Code 302229018
ICICI Bank, Rajasthan University Campus, JLN MARG, JAIPUR-302004
LIST OF TOPICS
1 Meaning of Suffering
2 Everyday life and concerns
3 Nature and modes of suffering
4 Overcoming suffering
5 Suffering, Will and Desire
6 Suffering and Action
7 Suffering, Evil and Justice
8 Suffering and Duty
9 Suffering, Peace and Happiness
10 Suffering and Attitude
11 Approaches to suffering
12 Ageing, death and suffering
13 Mind, Suffering and Transcendence
14 Boredom, activity and suffering
15 Fear, lust and suffering
The above listed sub-topics are only indicative and not exhaustive. Participants are free to present views on any aspect they consider associated with the general theme.
Note:We would need to receive your completed paper by 31st October. 2016. There are plans that we will publish the accepted articles in a book form.
"The world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming it." ~Helen Keller
"Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional." Buddha
Do you ever feel as if your life is about suffering? Do you ever feel that you suffer needlessly?
It is good to remember that while there is self-generated suffering, there is also self-generated happiness.
These are the questions generally comes to mind of every thinking being. To answer these questions it will be good to understand the message given in the following story :
"A woman carried her dead son to Gautam Buddha and asked the Buddha to revive him. The Buddha told the mother to go to each house in the village and obtain a mustard seed from each family that had never known suffering. On her return with the mustard seeds he would consider her request. The distressed woman began knocking on each door in search of the family that had never known suffering but could not find one."
In our contemporary society, we are told that if only we have the latest gadget, dress in the latest fashion, or stay current with the latest news, then we will know happiness and no longer suffer. If the latest gadgets, fashions, or news don't alleviate our suffering or bring us happiness, there are pills and beverages (some legal, some not) that we can take to bring us happiness and eliminate our suffering. What modern society fails to accept is that suffering is the part of life that makes us more fully human. Suffering ( dukkha)* is an inescapable and integral part of normal life.
*"Dukkha" is a Pali, word (a variation of Sanskrit) means a lot of things. For example, anything temporary is dukkha, including happiness. It is a different matter that suffering may differ in kind and measures.
Every one of us experiences many things during our life, such as illness and poverty, joy and happiness. It might seem like some of those things happened by accident. However, because you were at a certain place and time, those things occurred and you experienced them. In fact, all the things that we experience are the result of what we have done over a great number of years. It's just that when they return to us, they tend to have a different appearance, so we don't recognize them.
What we receive today is the outcome of what we did in the past, but how we react to this outcome determines what our future will be. So it is wrong to think that the difficulties someone is facing happened by chance. However, even hardships are another face of one's true self, one should think of it as a good opportunity to complete himself ;it tries to teach you. So, don't blame others or the time for the difficult situation you are in. Instead, you should be grateful to your true self, which is giving you another chance to change things. Forgetting about your inner self and being depressed because of difficult circumstances cannot be excused. Which way you approach things is entirely up to you. But your future depends upon the decisions you make.
In all the traditions and world religions the problem of suffering or evil has been discussed at length and all have expressed the view that suffering is inescapable and integral part of life.it is also true that all the religions or philosophies of the word have also shown ways to over come the worldly suffering or the suffering of life. For example, according to India philosophy ( or Hindu religion), suffering or dukkha means the physical, mental and emotional instability and afflictions( klesas) that arise from the dualities and modifications of mind and body. These modifications manifest variously in human life as pain and suffering, attraction and aversion, union and separation, desires, passions, emotions, ageing sickness, death, rebirth etc.
It's true Shakyamuni Buddha said, "The world is full of suffering," and, "the world is like a burning house."-He approached the problem in different perspective and also tried to resolve it in his own way. We all need to understand and recognize the meaning of this statement "Human life is suffering" ( Buddha), it means we all experience the conditions of sickness and suffering. But all human and sentient beings cannot avoid illness and suffering. The only differences are less suffering, or more suffering, less sickness, or more sickness! However, these were warnings given to people who chased after material things only, to people who never reflected upon the truth. It is also a warning to them who are hoping for happiness without suffering, and health without sickness.
There are two types of sufferings: suffering of the physical body, and suffering of the mind. Physical suffering may include a lack of basic necessities, or natural disasters, or injury to the body from a weapon, diseases, burns, abuse, or poison. We all experience this bodily pain no matter what our status is in life. The mental suffering of our mind can be caused by many things, including disappointment, hatred, frustration, fear, anger, and loneliness. However, everybody experiences suffering differently. The suffering of our mind is derived from karmic conditions the present influences or past habits. **
Vedic philosophy did not focus on suffering initially. Securing peace and happiness in the mortal world by sacrifice, by the help of Gods through rituals and sacrifices was the main concern of this school of thought. The performance of obligatory duties, recommended by Vedas, was compulsory to achieve mundane goals. Upanishads emphasized the hidden causes of suffering. Suffering can be removed internally by realizing the self, equanimity, detachment and indifference through austerities, restraints and renunciation.
**According to Samkhya system of philosophy dukkhas ( sufferings) are of three kinds :1. Adhyatniika:It is due to physical, mental and intra-organic causes. It includes all kinds of bodily and mental ailments. Disease, anger and hunger, etc., are adhyatmika sufferings,2. Adhibhautika:These sufferings are induced by natural causes such as human beings, animals, birds, insects, etc. They are caused by external physical objects and are extra-organic and
3. Adhidaivika: these proceed from external but extraordinary causes such as stars, physical elements, ghosts, witches, etc.
The Bhagavatgita rightly identifies the instability of mind as the chief cause of suffering. The root of mental instability is desire, which arises by the attachment to sense objects. Individual's outgoing nature, dependence up on things , which gives rise to duality, is the cause of the experience of suffering.
The above mentioned metaphysical bases of suffering directly or indirectly suggest that suffering is the normal part of human life and the individual may and may not be responsible for his own sufferings( both physical and mental).
Suffering and adversity have existed since human beings existed . On the other hand it is also true that suffering makes us human. When we suffer we are connected to the common fate of the people. It is only when we believe that we are entitled to a life of comfort, and that life consists of suffering then it seems simply unfair. Who likes an unfair world?* But if we believe that life is about growth and that growth entails a degree of pain and suffering, then there appears to be nothing unfair about it. Suffering enables us to appreciate the moments of comfort. For example if there were no discomfort in running a marathon there would be no pleasure, and certainly no sense of accomplishment, in crossing the finish line.
We often think of suffering and happiness as exclusive to each other. This couldn't be farther from the truth. Often the greatest happiness is found for having suffered for a cause. Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and other great persons had to face hardships for the liberation of their countries.
• German philosopher G.W.Leibnitz has said that "this is the best possible world created by God". If suffering (dukkha) is bad then how it could be in the best possible world? In reality the major part of the world is full of suffering. Suffering (dukkha) is like uninvited guest and pleasure, on the other hand, leaves without giving notice. Not only this, it does not stay even after our great persuasion. Suffering is essential aspect of human life. Therefore, for some a question arises: Is suffering really an evil? or fearful or dreadful? Some ask is suffering a bad result of our bad actions? or is a punishment given by destiny? or a mistake of the creator? Generally we all believe in all these things. If the suffering is bad then why it comes in our lives?
Suffering is not an indictment of our self-worth. The belief that any type of suffering, whether it be financial, physical, emotional, familial, etc., is the result of being "unworthy" does in no way reflects on being human. If we had faith in such a belief, it will compound our suffering with suffering that comes our way and we will start thinking in the same way. Our Successes and failures are like two wheels of life. Those on top will one day be at the bottom and those who are on the bottom will one day be on the top.
There are people who generally talk about their sufferings related to daily living. Suffering is a normal part of parenting, marriage relation, working, and every other phase of life. If we are in a constant state of suffering and anguish then something is most likely not as it should be. However, periodic suffering in all areas of life is normal. Every good marriage has periods of discord and doubt. Every parent/child relationship passes through phases of disharmony and resentment between children or parents. Parents think the children are not doing what one ought to be doing and the children think the parents ought to think differently. Jobs, homes, neighborhoods, and communities enter and leave our lives based on need, interest, and a variety of other factors, which often involve some kind of conflict or disagreement. The bottom line is that periodic suffering is part of every aspect of our lives and it need not be "bad." Suffering is what it is and what we make of it. Take a moment and ask yourself what you accomplish through the suffering you endure? The main thing to remember is that comfort or suffering is very much a state of mind involved in attaining self-growth, personal development, and doing good for others and for ourselves.*
* There is a view that the suffering is not the result of bad actions, it should be taken as the grace of God .What is the meaning of this statement? To understand this position we should explain the meaning of suffering and its positivity. If you are alarmed by the signs of suffering and start working for the removal or overcoming of suffering that would be the positivity of suffering.
This is the perspective in which thinking and discussion seems to be imperative and for which we wish to invite the views of our proposed invitees.