Why Is Pain An Essential Element Of Life?

Have you ever given it a thought?

Long back when I was young, I had heard these couplets:
“Gulshan ki faqat phoolon se nahin, kanton se bhi zeenat hoti hai
jeene ke liye is duniya mein, gham ki bhi jaroorat hoti hai”
(The glory of a garden is enhanced not just by flowers but by thorns too
pain/sorrow too is required to live in this world)

At that juncture of life, full of adventure, energy and determination, I thought pain could never touch me. I wondered why pain is essential…why has this poet written such words! Now, humbled by the experiences of life, I know the significance of these words.

It may be hard to accept pain, I know it is tormenting, it leaves us numb, it leaves indelible marks and mental agony may give unseen wounds, deeper than they appear.
Nobody likes pain but it is only after we experience it that we know its nuance and purport.


It is a great teacher:
We detest pain but it loves us, its attachment to us is everlasting as it introduces itself to us at the time of our birth. It slowly grows with us though we fail to notice its entity.

The wisdom it endows us with, is real and profound. The strength it gives us, is unprecedented. The meaning of life it reveals, is so accurate and true!

It acquaints us with people:
Some people inflict pain, some soothe and assuage the wounds but most of them just pass by. We get to know these facts of life only when we are in distress.

Painful experiences redefine our relationships. We realize that many who surround us, calling themselves as our friends or well-wishers are actually charlatans. Hence we can do away with such people, without any guilt.

It ennobles us:
It makes us appreciate the little joys, which we fail to notice otherwise. The blessings of life assume a special connotation after we emerge victorious from our suffering. It helps us develop patience, forbearance and calmness. It gives us the gift of introspection.

It connects us with our faith:
It is during our difficult times that we remember to pray. I know how selfish I have been, testing my faith during the worst of times but my prayers have always been answered, strengthening my conviction that we can always overcome whatever miseries we stumble upon.

“I know that pain is the most important thing in the universes. Greater than survival, greater than love, greater even than the beauty it brings about. For without pain, there can be no pleasure. Without sadness, there can be no happiness. Without misery there can be no beauty.
― Harlan Ellison


So it is better to make peace with pain, befriend it, embrace it and conquer it before it vanquishes you. You will soon realize that it will make you benevolent, perceptive and forgiving.

What are your experiences with pain? Have you ever thought of befriending it? You can share your valuable thoughts here.
If you have liked it, please share it.

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Balroop Singh


18 thoughts on “Why Is Pain An Essential Element Of Life?

  1. A very deep and wise post here, Balroop on the role of pain in our lives. I was just thinking about this subject earlier today so was nicely surprised to see it here on your blog.

    I think having gone through the utmost pain in my life in the recent couple of years, all of the items you speak about applied to my life. It has taught me so many lessons and has led to greater insight and wisdom, as you point out. It’s led to experience, growth and self-awareness.
    It has helped me remain patient, calm and even resilient. And it has most certainly connected me with my faith and spiritual self.

    I would not have asked for this pain or chosen it but since I’ve had a great transformation in my life, I am so very grateful for the experiences. There is so much to learn, understand and grow when facing painful circumstances. It may not make sense to us when we are going through it but it makes a lot of sense later in time and in life. Pain spurs growth, persistence and heartens us into our true nature and greatest self.

  2. Vishnu, if we had a choice, we would never accept painful and unpleasant experiences that we have to encounter in life but the very fact that we emerge stronger and better individuals, testifies that it is essential. One of my young friends had grown up in such an affectionate home that she couldn’t bear a shouting person around her [ that was our boss, habitual of driving home her point of view] and this friend of mine was literally trembling when she saw it for the first time!
    Thanks Vishnu, for sharing your point of view. It is immensely valuable to me.

  3. I agree with this as I think some painful experiences make us strong and make us realise the importance of happiness in life and the things we are blessed with.

  4. With every rose you find many thorns yet raat jitnee gangor hogi subhah utni hi rangeen hogi. P.B Shelly rightly said if winter comes can spring be behind. Happiness and sorrow are two sides of the same coin. We cannot have peace without turmoil. We can appreciate sunshine only when we have experienced harsh winter. Our creator wants us to appreciate His gifts, so time to time he keeps us exposed to unpleasant circumstances. Just as gold is put into fire before it is purified it is important to experience pain to become truly humane.

  5. So many analogies! Love your explanation, Baldeep! However, we forget all this prudence when we have to experience unpleasant circumstances. So let the pain strike…let the tears flow as they bring catharsis and give us the heart of gold. Thank you for adding depth to the topic.

  6. Hi Balroop,

    Lovely post indeed 🙂

    I enjoyed those lines right in the beginning and they are so true. Pain is a part of our lives, and there can be actually no progress or growth without pain. What matters most is that we learn to accept the pain gracefully and learn to adjust with it.

    Given a choice, no one would like to go through pain or the painful experience, but I wonder how does one really carry on just being happy. I think pain makes you wiser, it matures you, it makes you whole and gives you a deeper understanding of life.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice weekend 🙂

  7. Thank you Harleena! I am so obliged that you spared some time from your busy blog for my post.
    I have been reading so much good thoughts, dripping with benevolence and love that I thought I must write about the hardest facts of life…it mitigates the effects a bit and gives you energy to move ahead.
    Thanks for adding your grace to it. Wishing a nice weekend to you too!

  8. Hi Balroop, thanks for stopping by to visit earlier. I’ve enjoyed browsing your blog.

    This post is very relatable for me. It’s true once we’ve gone through the painful experience we gain incredible insight and perspective. We can become better people because of pain, although some choose to become bitter.

    To avoid pain is to avoid life. When we are willing to ride to the valley, we will also ride to the mountain tops. A journey without deviation is flat-lined.

    1. Hi Denise, welcome to my blog…much appreciated! Thanks for your valuable insights, they seem to come straight from the heart.

      I completely agree with you Denise, without pain we can’t live this life and the mountain tops hold a special charm when you experience all the obstacles to reach them. A real journey is the one that is adventurous!

      Look forward to keeping in touch.

  9. Hi Balroop, This is a very insightful and profound reminder that speaks to my day and heart. Pain can be a teacher, especially when we humble ourselves to it’s lesson. Too often I have resisted, creating more suffering and pain. Thanks for the reminder. Brad

  10. Hi Brad, I am honoured to have you here. Welcome!!
    Pain has given me greater insight…I have learnt to appreciate suffering but we can’t resist it as it strikes at its own time and will. It is prudent to accept it the way it comes, it always vanishes the moment we make peace with it.

    Thanks for adding your perspective here…will look forward to it.

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