Affliction is multiplied in thousands of shapes in the progress of conception, birth, decay, disease, death and hell. The tender animal exists in the embryo surrounded by abundant filth, floating in water and distorted in its back, neck and bones and enduring severe pain even in the course of its development. Hence it can be said that pain commences in the life of an individual just from the time of its life inception.
It has been stated in the Vishnu Purana that ignorance, darkness, inactivity influences those devoid of knowledge so that pious work is neglected; but hell is the consequence of neglect of religious acts. According to the great sages the ignorant therefore suffer affliction both in this world and in the next world.
Vishnu Purana says that a person who does not walk in the path of righteousness suffers a number of punishments even after his death. After his death he is subject to a number of harsh punishments because of the wrong deeds which he has done during his life time and it has been said that the pain is so harsh that it becomes unbearable. Hence it has been advised in the Purana that a man should follow the path of virtue during his life time. Rather it can be said that it should be the assiduous endeavour of wise men to attain unto god. The means of such-attainment are said to be knowledge and works. Knowledge is of two kinds, that which is derived from scripture, and that which is derived from reflection. Ignorance is utter darkness, in which knowledge, obtained through any sense shines like a lamp; but the knowledge that is derived from reflection breaks upon the obscurity.
There are two forms of spirit or god, the spirit, which is word, and spirit, which is supreme. He who is thoroughly imbued with the word of god obtains supreme spirit. According to the Vishnu Purana the essence of the supreme is defined by the term Bhagavat. The word Bhagavat is the denomination of that primeval and eternal God: and he who fully understands the meaning of that expression, possesses of holy wisdom, the sum and substance of the three Vedas.
Vishnu Purana propagates the thought that true wisdom can be achieved by an individual if he traverses in the path of goodness and dedicates his life to the cause of god. An individual who undergoes the three kinds of universal pain in life also is able to achieve the true wisdom in life.