It will be good if hunger, etc., do not afflict us. But why do they afflict us?
Let us see through which course they come. They will come as long as the body lasts. But if this body goes, another takes its place. For that body also, hunger, thirst, disease, etc. will come. So, if we could do without body, then these miseries will disappear.
We take many births. What is the cause of those births? On account of what do we take a body?
We have to reap the consequences of the good and bad deeds done in the previous births. The self cannot reap them. Fire cannot burn the self, nor the application of sandal paste makes it cool. Therefore, the body is needed. As a result of the good and bad deeds done by us, God endows us with a body, and punishes us by making us imagine that the body is “I”.
If a boy commits a mistake, he is beaten for that. By his side, there is a doctor. If the boy swoons not being able to bear the pain, he is revived and again beaten. He is given food and beaten back.
For the sins we have committed, God gives us a body and thus punishes. If this not enough, He endows us with another body and punishes. Thus, the sins that we commit are the cause of the body. If we do not commit sins anymore, we shall not be endowed with a body hereafter. Constantly we should remember that we should not commit sin.
HH Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamigal
(From the book Preceptors of Advaita)