Integral Musings | Towards a Holistic Vision

An Integral Approach to management and human development based on the spiritual vision of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother with an emphasis on its application to various domains of knowledge and life.

The Role of Pain in Human Evolution – M.S. Srinivasan


“And the deep need of universal pain.”

– Sri Aurobindo


The average mentality looks at pain and suffering as evil or a punishment for wrong action or bad karma. There may be an element of truth in this popular conception. In a karmic angle, pain is the natural consequence for going against the universal laws of life, like for example when a child touches fire, for the first time, it burns and the child learns not to do it again. So pain is not a punishment but part of the learning process in the school of Nature. However there is a deeper evolutionary need of pain.

Most of us instinctively seek for pleasure and try to avoid pain. But as Buddhist yogis have repeatedly pointed out, pleasure and pain are like two sides of the same coin. In our present condition of earthly life pleasure and pain are inseparable part of the dualities of life. So this urge for seeking pleasure and avoiding pain, which means to want life to be nothing but pleasure without pain is an instinct of ignorance—ignorance of the nature of life as it is. Here again there may be a deeper truth behind this instinct. According to Upanishad, an eternal delight is the spiritual source of Life and this Delight is the intrinsic nature of the human soul. So this instincts for seeking endless pleasure without pain is probably a deformed expression—in our ignorant mind—of the deeper truth of the Delight-self in us and the world.

But eternal delight is not the present fact of life, pleasure and pain are an inseparable part of human life in its present condition. Pain comes to awaken us to this facts of life and tells us “Look you ignorant fellows, your instinctive longing for everlasting pleasure is a stupid desire. You cannot avoid me because I am an intrinsic part of life.”

From the point of view of evolution and progress, pain is better than pleasure. Indulgence in pleasure sinks us more and more into a dark, self-satisfied and dissipated condition. When we are in a state of pleasure we never ask any questions, don’t think and no urge to act, move forward or overcome. But pain leads to reflection, thinking and action. When we are in pain we ask, why this pain? What is the cause of it? How to overcome it? Most of the modern science of medicine is the result of the attempt to understand and overcome physical and mental pain and suffering.

Similarly, when we make a conscious attempt to bear, endure and rise above pain, it brings out the inner strength within us. We come out stronger by the ordeal. As Mother explains: why pain is a greater power for progress than pleasure:

“Pleasure is a deceptive and perverse disguise which turns us away from our goal and we certainly should not seek it if we are eager to find the truth. Pleasure vaporizes us; it deceives us, leads us astray. Pain brings us back to a deeper truth by obliging us to concentrate in order to be able to bear it, be able to face the thing that crushes us. It is in pain that one most easily finds the true strength again, when one is strong. It is in pain that one most easily finds the true faith again, the faith in something which is above and beyond all pain.” [The Mother, CWM, Vol. 9, p. 41]

This doesn’t mean we have to invite pain and suffering which is a perverse attitude. But when the pain comes we should not run away from it, avoid it by superficial and frivolous amusements or plunging into degrading pleasures like sex or drugs. We have to face it, bear it and overcome it with a positive evolutionary attitude that it has come to give and teach us something. Again, as Mother elaborates further,

“I have already told you many a time that to seek suffering and pain is a morbid attitude which must be avoided, but to run away from them through forgetfulness, through a superficial, frivolous movement through diversion, is cowardice. When pain comes, it comes to teach us something. The quicker we learn it, the more the need for pain diminishes and when we know the secret, it will no longer be possible to suffer, for that secret reveals to us the reason, the cause, the origin of suffering and the way to pass beyond it.” [The Mother, CWM, Vol. 9, p. 42]

The third evolutionary utility of pain is for breaking the tamasic inertia or resistance to effort and change. In most of us there is the tamasic pull downwards to sink into a state of pleasant and dull inertia, which doesn’t want to make any effort, but wants to rest eternally in this state, which Sri Aurobindo describes as “a natural poise of fall.” There are only two things which can goad and provoke this stone-like inertia in us to make the effort and move forward. First is personal desire and ambition and the other is pain. As Sri Aurobindo describes in a beautiful verse in Savitri,


“Pain is the hammer of the Gods to break

A dead resistance in the mortal’s heart,

His slow inertia as of living stone.

If the heart were not forced to want and weep,

His soul would have lain down content, at ease,

And never thought to exceed the human start

And never learned to climb towards the Sun.”

Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Vol. 33-34, p. 443


We may think that when we progress further beyond tamasic and rajasic states of consciousness to sattwic light and harmony and making a conscious effort to raise still beyond towards the spiritual consciousness, the utility of pain ceases. But even in these higher stages of development, this dreadful teacher seems to have a role to play. In this more advanced stages of growth, pain prepares the human instrument to manifest the higher, more intense and powerful forces of the Spirit or Nature and also more intense joy.   As Sri Aurobindo explains in Life Divine, pain is the result of an imbalance between the power and intensity of a Force which is acting on or trying to manifest though the human organism and the ability of the organism to bear, assimilate and express it. When the ability of the organism is not commensurate with the power or intensity of the force, there is pain. When the ability matches the intensity of the force, the same sensation that is felt as pain is now felt as joy. But as long as there is some imbalance between the ability of the human instrument and the force which is trying to express itself through it there will be pain. This balance has to be achieved by conscious discipline of endurance and mastery over pain. This is probably the reason why there was much pain and suffering in the lives of many of the great instruments of God, Vibhuthis. As Sri Aurobindo describes in verses of exquisite beauty:


“Pain is the hand of Nature sculpturing men

To greatness: an inspired labour chisels

With heavenly cruelty an unwilling mould.

Implacable in the passion of their will,

Lifting the hammers of titanic toil

The demiurges of the universe work;

They shape with giant strokes their own; their sons

Are marked with their enormous stamp of fire.

Although the shaping god’s tremendous touch

Is torture unbearable to mortal nerves,

The fiery spirit grows in strength within

And feels a joy in every titan pang.”

                                                Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Vol. 33-34, p. 444

75 comments on “The Role of Pain in Human Evolution – M.S. Srinivasan

  1. Ramageethan
    December 28, 2015

    How can you articulate in such a beautiful way! Thanks for this article.
    These wonderful Lines of Savitri soothing my heart.

  2. conttfulov
    January 30, 2016

    So pain is not a punishment but part of the learning process in the school of Nature. However there is a deeper evolutionary need of pain. Where did you get this information?

  3. hd video
    April 6, 2016

    I really love your website.. Very nice colors & theme.
    Did you create this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m planning to create my
    own personal website and want to know where you got this from or
    what the theme is called. Cheers!

  4. article
    April 9, 2016

    I every time spent my half an hour to read
    this blog’s articles or reviews every day along with a mug of coffee.

  5. blog article
    August 13, 2016

    There is definately a lot to learn about this subject.
    I love all of the points you’ve made.

  6. online
    August 31, 2016

    I have been surfing online more than 3 hours today,
    yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me.
    In my opinion, if all web owners and bloggers made good
    content as you did, the net will be much more useful than ever before.

  7. Bibi Ferandez
    May 13, 2017

    Wonderful article Thanks for sharing.

  8. Poornima Yadav Ji
    August 29, 2017

    Great ¡V I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your web site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs as well as related info ended up being truly simple to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or something, web site theme . a tones way for your client to communicate. Nice task..

  9. Yugal Sarkar
    September 12, 2017

    very cool website. I liked the articles and particularly some of the comments posted.. Just stumbled upon your website while doing a Google search. Great info BTW. A shapely Agreeable A shapely.

  10. Reciprocal Link Checker
    September 16, 2017

    You need to join in a contest for example of the greatest blogs on the internet. I’ll suggest this blog!

  11. Banner
    September 20, 2017

    Would love to perpetually get updated outstanding website ! .

    January 24, 2018

    Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!
    Many thanks

  13. I really like it when people get together and share views.
    Great site, keep it up!

  14. I am regular visitor, how are you everybody? This post posted
    at this web site is actually good.

  15. A fascinating discussion is worth comment.
    I believe that you ought to write more about this issue,
    it may not be a taboo matter but usually folks don’t talk about such subjects.

    To the next! Many thanks!!

  16. Combat 3 Fps Unblocked
    January 26, 2018

    Right here is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic.
    You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally would want to…HaHa).

    You certainly put a fresh spin on a topic that has been discussed for years.
    Wonderful stuff, just excellent!

  17. Hello there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay.
    I’m undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

  18. My relatives all the time say that I am killing my time here at
    net, however I know I am getting know-how all the time by reading thes pleasant content.

  19. Tbilisi Guest
    January 31, 2018

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter
    to be really something that I feel I’d never understand.
    It seems too complex and very broad for me. I am looking forward
    in your subsequent submit, I’ll attempt to get the cling of it!

  20. Thanks to my father who shared with me concerning this weblog, this webpage is really awesome.

  21. Tbilisi Hotels Price
    January 31, 2018

    Fantastic site. A lot of useful information here. I am sending it to some friends ans additionally
    sharing in delicious. And naturally, thanks to
    your sweat!

  22. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our
    community. Your site provided us with helpful
    info to work on. You’ve done an impressive activity and our whole group will likely be grateful to

  23. Hotel Varazi Tbilisi Georgia
    January 31, 2018

    Ahaa, its nice conversation about this article here at this weblog,
    I have read all that, so now me also commenting at this place.

  24. Tbilisi Hotel Old Metekhi
    February 1, 2018

    I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish.

    nonetheless, you command get got an shakiness over
    that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come
    more formerly again as exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this increase.

  25. Tbilisi Tourist Bus
    February 1, 2018

    After I initially left a comment I appear to have
    clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I recieve
    4 emails with the exact same comment. There has to be an easy method you are able
    to remove me from that service? Many thanks!

  26. free mp3s
    February 5, 2018

    “Hello! I simply want to make a huge thumbs up for the great info you might have here for this post. I will be coming back to your blog site to get more soon.”

  27. Easy Workouts For Abs
    February 8, 2018

    This is the perfect blog for anybody who would like to understand this topic.
    You understand so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really would want
    to…HaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a topic which has been written about for a long time.
    Great stuff, just wonderful!

  28. hello!,I like your writing very a lot! percentage we
    communicate extra approximately your article on AOL?

    I require a specialist on this area to resolve my problem.
    May be that is you! Looking forward to look you.

  29. Type Of Body Shape
    February 9, 2018

    Yesterday, while I was at work, my sister stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a forty foot drop, just so she
    can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now destroyed and she has 83 views.
    I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  30. What Are Jump Squats
    February 10, 2018

    Hello there! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my old room
    mate! He always kept chatting about this.
    I will forward this post to him. Fairly certain he
    will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

  31. Bicep Workouts Without Weights
    February 10, 2018

    I used to be suggested this web site by way of my cousin. I am no longer positive whether or not this publish is written by way of him as nobody else recognise such particular about my problem.
    You are incredible! Thanks!

  32. Best Full Body Workout
    February 10, 2018

    It is appropriate time to make some plans for the long run and it is time to be
    happy. I’ve learn this post and if I may I desire to suggest you some interesting issues or tips.

    Perhaps you could write subsequent articles relating to this article.
    I wish to learn even more things approximately it!

  33. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz reply as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to know where u got this from.

  34. Biceps And Triceps Superset
    February 10, 2018

    This website definitely has all the information I needed about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  35. Forearm Pain When Lifting
    February 10, 2018

    Fastidious answers in return of this query with solid arguments and describing everything regarding that.

  36. Best Muscle Enhancer Pills
    February 10, 2018

    Hi there! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers?

    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard
    on. Any recommendations?

  37. Body Fortress Pre Workout
    February 10, 2018

    Hello there, I discovered your web site by way of Google while
    looking for a comparable matter, your web site got here up,
    it appears to be like great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    Hello there, simply changed into aware of your weblog via Google, and found
    that it’s truly informative. I am going to watch out for brussels.
    I will be grateful if you continue this in future.
    Many folks will likely be benefited out of your writing.


  38. Quotes About The Body
    February 10, 2018

    Whats up very nice website!! Guy .. Beautiful ..
    Superb .. I will bookmark your web site and take the feeds additionally?
    I’m happy to find numerous helpful info right here within the publish, we want work out more
    techniques on this regard, thanks for sharing. .
    . . . .

  39. How Does Creatine Work
    February 10, 2018

    These are in fact great ideas in about blogging. You have touched some nice points here.

    Any way keep up wrinting.

  40. Bane From Batman Actor
    February 10, 2018

    We’re a bunch of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
    Your web site provided us with valuable info
    to work on. You’ve done an impressive activity and our whole community will likely be thankful to you.

  41. Skinny Guy In Gym
    February 10, 2018

    What a material of un-ambiguity and preserveness of valuable know-how about unpredicted emotions.

  42. P90x Ab Ripper Video
    February 10, 2018

    What’s up, every time i used to check website posts here early in the daylight, as i love to learn more and more.

  43. Meal Plans For Men
    February 11, 2018

    I have been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It’s pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much
    more useful than ever before.

  44. Did you miss out on Bitcoin?
    February 20, 2018

    Hi, You probably saw how Bitcoin increased over 900 over the course of last year. It was wild – but not totally unprecedented if you’d been watching cryptocurrency over the last several years. And here’s the crazy thing; There are many other coins that still have tons of room to grow. You may have heard of Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, and others… …but there are more coins – and many more opportunities – Follow this link to get the full story. Best regards

  45. Starbucks Nyc Gift Cards
    February 22, 2018

    Hello! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would
    be ok. I’m undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

  46. Great post! We will be linking to this great article on our site.
    Keep up the great writing.

  47. Starbucks Gift Card Lawsuit
    February 23, 2018

    Greetings, I think your blog could be having browser compatibility problems.
    When I look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine however,
    when opening in I.E., it’s got some overlapping issues.
    I just wanted to provide you with a quick heads up!
    Apart from that, excellent website!

  48. Excellent goods from you, man. I’ve understand your
    stuff previous to and you’re just extremely magnificent.
    I actually like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like
    what you’re stating and the way in which you say it. You make it
    enjoyable and you still care for to keep it
    wise. I can not wait to read far more from you.
    This is actually a terrific site.

  49. Starbucks Gift Card Mobile
    February 23, 2018

    Howdy! I know this is kinda off topic however I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or
    vice-versa? My blog discusses a lot of the same subjects as yours
    and I believe we could greatly benefit from each other. If you are interested feel free to shoot me
    an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you! Fantastic blog
    by the way!

  50. Win Starbucks Gift Card Uk
    February 23, 2018

    Thanks for a marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it,
    you happen to be a great author.I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and
    will eventually come back from now on. I want to encourage
    continue your great posts, have a nice morning!

  51. Starbucks Coupon April 2015
    February 23, 2018

    For most recent news you have to pay a visit the web and on world-wide-web I found this site as a finest web page for most
    up-to-date updates.

  52. I blog quite often and I seriously thank you for your content.

    This article has really peaked my interest. I’m going to take a note of your website and keep checking for new information about
    once per week. I subscribed to your Feed as well.

  53. Starbucks Itunes Gift Card
    February 23, 2018

    Somebody essentially help to make seriously articles I might state.
    That is the very first time I frequented your website page and up to now?
    I surprised with the research you made to make this particular publish amazing.
    Fantastic activity!

  54. Do you have any video of that? I’d care to find out some additional information.

  55. Starbucks Nz Coupon
    February 23, 2018

    Thank you for any other informative site. Where else could I am getting that type
    of information written in such an ideal manner?

    I’ve a mission that I am simply now running on, and I have been at the glance out for such information.

  56. Starbucks Gift Card Granny
    February 23, 2018

    Your style is so unique compared to other people I
    have read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you
    have the opportunity, Guess I’ll just book mark this blog.

  57. Starbucks Register Gift Card
    February 23, 2018

    I am truly glad to glance at this web site posts which consists of tons of useful
    facts, thanks for providing these data.

  58. Gift Baskets From Starbucks
    February 23, 2018

    Today, I went to the beach with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to
    my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic
    but I had to tell someone!

  59. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to claim that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Any way I will be subscribing for your feeds
    or even I achievement you get admission to consistently rapidly.

  60. Starbucks Gift Card Granny
    February 23, 2018

    I am curious to find out what blog platform you have been working with?
    I’m having some small security problems with my latest
    website and I’d like to find something more safe.
    Do you have any suggestions?

  61. Starbucks Qr Coupon
    February 23, 2018

    I have been surfing on-line greater than 3 hours these days, yet I never found any interesting
    article like yours. It’s lovely value sufficient for me.
    In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made excellent content as you did, the web will be a lot more helpful than ever before.

  62. Starbucks Gift Card On Sale
    February 23, 2018

    Hey! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website
    with us so I came to look it over. I’m definitely enjoying
    the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting
    this to my followers! Superb blog and excellent design.

  63. Hi there to every , as I am really eager of reading this website’s post to be updated daily.
    It includes nice stuff.

  64. Hello Dear, are you really visiting this web page daily, if so after that you will definitely obtain pleasant knowledge.

  65. That is very attention-grabbing, You are an overly skilled blogger.
    I have joined your rss feed and sit up for in quest of extra of your great post.
    Additionally, I have shared your web site in my social networks

  66. Starbucks Flat White Coupon
    February 23, 2018

    Keep on working, great job!

  67. Starbucks Coupon Lyft
    February 24, 2018

    Thanks in favor of sharing such a good thought, post is
    fastidious, thats why i have read it fully

  68. Starbucks Via Coupon 2016
    February 24, 2018

    Fine way of explaining, and pleasant piece of writing to obtain data
    about my presentation topic, which i am going to deliver in university.

  69. Starbucks Gear Coupon Code
    February 24, 2018

    WOW just what I was searching for. Came here
    by searching for will

  70. Starbucks Coupon Rate
    February 24, 2018

    I’m amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across
    a blog that’s equally educative and entertaining, and let me tell you,
    you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is an issue that not
    enough people are speaking intelligently about. Now i’m very happy
    I came across this during my hunt for something regarding this.

  71. Starbucks Gift Card To Paypal
    February 25, 2018

    I am not certain the place you are getting your information, however great topic.
    I must spend a while finding out much more or figuring out more.
    Thanks for fantastic information I was searching for this information for my mission.

  72. Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources
    back to your weblog? My website is in the exact same niche as yours and
    my users would definitely benefit from some of the information you provide here.
    Please let me know if this alright with you. Regards!

  73. Starbucks Gift Card Deal
    February 25, 2018

    What i don’t understood is in reality how you’re no longer really a
    lot more neatly-appreciated than you may be right now.
    You’re very intelligent. You recognize thus considerably in the case of this matter, made me for my part
    believe it from so many various angles. Its like men and women are not interested until
    it is something to do with Lady gaga! Your personal stuffs
    great. At all times handle it up!

  74. Если вы упражняетесь спортивными
    нагрузками и стремитесь привести себя в достойное состояние, предлагаем начать принимать спортпит.
    Выбор спортпита на гормон роста вермотропин очень

    Вы сможете заказать BCAA, л-карнитин и другие препараты для спортивного питания по интересной цене.

    Если вы увлекаетесь фитнесом и хотите быстро сбросить вес,
    советуем начать употреблять жиросжигатели.
    Сделать выбор и заказать их возможно через

    На портале можно приобрести разные препараты по приемлемым ценам дешево.
    Ко всем брендам прикреплены фотографии.

    Вы имеете возможность посмотреть полное описание и
    советы на странице какого-либо товара,
    как на 5lb.

    Спортивные добавки продаются как
    в форме жидкости, так и в капсулах.

    Если вы давно мечтали стать благополучным
    в бодибилдинге, советуем начать пользоваться услугами самого дешёвого магазина
    Качоси в Москве, СПб или всему РУ

  75. Mannabase a new Cryptocurrency is actually giving away FREE coins every week to new users. The best part is they are a Humanitarian organisation set to be bigger than Bitcoin. This could be the Biggest Free Investment you ever make. If you have 5 Minutes spare read the Whitepaper these Guys are something else.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This entry was posted on December 22, 2015 by in Harnessing the Human Potential.