Every time we turn on the News, look at a Newspaper or open up our Web browser, we are bombarded with news of natural disasters; forest fires,flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes. Some people blame it on climate change or global warming, others say it is a result of to much sinful activity. But whatever the cause, it is clear we are all in danger, and are all susceptible to the threefold miseries; miseries caused by the mind and body, miseries caused by other living entities, and miseries caused by natural disasters.
The following post deals with the threefold miseries and a spiritual approach to understanding “What am I, and why am I suffering from the threefold miseries?”
All schemes are only useless scraps of paper in the face of war, famine, earthquakes and other disasters. All these disasters are warnings from Mother Durga, and by them she confirms her eternal superiority over the illusioned planmakers.
[Excerpt from Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Ch 3]
It is the duty of a disciple approaching a spiritual master to inquire about his constitutional position. In conformity to that spiritual process, Sanatana has already asked, “What am I, and why am I suffering from the threefold miseries?”
The threefold miseries are called adhyatmika, adhibhautika, and adhidaivika. The word adhyatmika refers to those miseries caused by the mind and body. Sometimes the living entity suffers bodily, and sometimes he is distressed mentally. Both are adhyatmika miseries. We experience these miseries even in the womb of our mother. As we well know, there are many types of miseries that take advantage of the delicate human body and give us pain. Miseries inflicted by other living entities are called adhibhautika. These living entities need not even be large, for there are many—such as bugs—that can make us miserable even while we are sleeping in bed. There are many insignificant living entities, like cockroaches, that sometimes give us pain, and there are also other living entities who are born on different kinds of planets and who give us miseries.