Although frustration and sorrow are basic to human life, there is no school, college or university in the country which teaches us how to face problems.
It was Buddha who, so intimately concerned about human suffering, he renounced everything to seek a cure to these universal problems. He was concerned about problems facing you and me – our frustrations, our sufferings and our feelings of hopelessness.
In his enlightenment, the Buddha found that man suffers because of his wrong views. Being ignorant of the nature of things, he gets infatuated with them – his life, his ideas, his family, his property, his pride. Only after developing wisdom to see and experience the truth of all things will he be able to put an end to suffering.
The Buddha realized that the phenomena rise and fall away immediately. From the largest to the smallest, all are in the state of flux. On a clear night we see millions of twinkling stars. What we do not see are the clouds of gas coalescing into stars and galaxies, the myriad stars and planets in various stages of evolving and decaying, the planets circuiting in their solar systems. The smallest of things, the atom, is in constant flux with the electrons orbiting around its nucleus.
Our physical body replaces its old tissues with new cells. Our thoughts, impressions, perceptions, experiences, wants and desires are changing day-by-day and moment-by-moment. Toy guns and dolls which once made us happy are no longer satisfactory now. Our happiness is short lived. If we emerge top in an examination, the rejoicing will last at the most for a few days. Such happiness evaporates like the early mist in the morning sun.
Because of wrong views, man clings and desires for pleasurable things, and avoids unpleasant things. Things which please the senses – fragrant smells, beautiful sights, pleasant sensations, delicious tastes, soothing sounds – he pursues for more. Unpleasant things are avoided. He dislikes people who hurt his ego and turns away from bores. He pursues someone who has captivated him and he tries to possess everything pleasing.
Man then builds his world on concepts which he calls “I”, and “Me” and “Mine”. He will say, “These are my wealth, my property, my children, my youth and beauty, my knowledge.” “Look here,” he shouts, “You are hurting my feelings. Don’t you know who I am?” He clings to things and tries to own them.
Does he realize that in reality none of these things belongs to him? No, when he dies, all his wealth and property pass on to others. There is nothing he can bring beyond the grave – not even his own body.
- Author Unknown