Author Topic: Cause of suffering ...  (Read 801 times)

Offline TruthSeeker123

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Cause of suffering ...
« on: June 19, 2016, 12:37:02 pm »
I am someone who is interested in spirituality and "meaning of life", etc. I am trying to learn the teachings of Buddha to help me with my understanding. I have a question about the "Four Noble Truths", specifically the part about the cause of suffering. Buddha says that the cause of suffering is "Desire". Basically, if you desire things, you're bound to be dissatisfied in life because there is no end to desire. Which makes sense, as far as it goes. I understand that.

But my question is this: What about physical suffering? There are people who get horrible diseases and suffer from them. There are babies who are born with terrible diseases or deformities. Even healthy people could be injured in accidents and suffer badly. I don't see how "desire" could be the cause of these kinds of suffering. How could a diseased/deformed baby/embryo/fetus desire anything ? What did it do to deserve its horrible fate? Even people who have led good, moral lives could get diseases and suffer. What is the cause of that ?

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Cause of suffering ...
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2016, 01:53:23 pm »
Quote
TruthSeeker123
« on: Today at 12:37:02 pm  What about physical suffering? There are people who get horrible diseases and suffer from them. There are babies who are born with terrible diseases or deformities. Even healthy people could be injured in accidents and suffer badly. I don't see how "desire" could be the cause of these kinds of suffering. How could a diseased/deformed baby/embryo/fetus desire anything ? What did it do to deserve its horrible fate? Even people who have led good, moral lives could get diseases and suffer. What is the cause of that ?


Buddha differentiated between suffering due to the karmic consequences of "clinging" to that which is desired, due to our own mental attitudes and addictions, and that caused by natural causes.  For example weather events, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, planet busting comets and asteroids, snake bites, predation due to the hunger of animals and diseases are all natural causes, which have nothing to do with our personal actions.  Even desire itself is not going to cause suffering if we choose not to cling to that which we desire.  Here is a a reading, which might be of help to you in this regard:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nyanaponika/kammafruit.html

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/study/kamma.html
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Cause of suffering ...
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2016, 07:01:20 am »
Everything arises on conditions. Mental suffering arises through greed, hatred and delusion. Physical suffering arises on the condition of being a human animal. We can ease physical suffering through good sanitation, diet, medicine, and so on, but the consequence of being alive is that eventually we wont be any more. It is part of the mental delusion that we will go on forever, maybe as some kind of everlasting soul. We are lucky that we have Buddhism, which has developed meditations to help ease this aspect of suffering.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline TruthSeeker123

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Re: Cause of suffering ...
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2016, 04:26:52 pm »
So basically you're saying that The Buddha had no answer to (or did not address) the problem of physical pain and suffering ? So if someone is in a lot of physical pain, they're supposed to take a pain killer medicine and hope it works ?

I could say that the problem of dissatisfaction brought on my greed/ignorance is a smaller problem for many people than the physical pain and suffering that they go through in life.

Why would the Buddha leave out the bigger problem like physical pain while focusing his attention on the smaller problem like dissatisfaction?

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Cause of suffering ...
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2016, 07:29:34 pm »
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truthseeker:  Why would the Buddha leave out the bigger problem like physical pain while focusing his attention on the smaller problem like dissatisfaction?


Dukkha is more than dissatisfaction.  Here is what he described: 
Quote
The definition
"Birth is dukkha, aging is dukkha, death is dukkha; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, & despair are dukkha; association with the unbeloved is dukkha; separation from the loved is dukkha; not getting what is wanted is dukkha. In short, the five clinging-aggregates are dukkha."

— SN 56.11
  Source:  http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sacca/sacca1/dukkha.html

My experience is that pain, aging, disease, and death are inescapable, but clinging to that which is impermanent is what Buddha called the root cause of dukkha.

For what is the point of desiring freedom from aging?  We begin aging as soon as we are born.

What is the point of clinging to good health?  All it takes is contact with someone with an infectious disease, or ingestion of a parasite, or a toxin and we will get sick, or even die.

What is the benefit of believing in an everlasting life after death, when all of that which is formed will eventually deteriorate?

Clinging to anything impermanent will only end up in suffering. :dharma:

What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Cause of suffering ...
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2016, 03:14:54 am »
Good thread. The horrible fate of being born! Seriously, though, the physical suffering of the human condition arises from these rather fragile bodies. Pain is essential to keeping us alive and aware of our environment, although a lot of pharmaceutical companies are making big money pushing a 'pain free life'. Should we go that route or use meditation techniques to come to terms with pain? I don't think there is any one answer to that, but what do others think?

But imagine a future where the thing that makes us 'us' is fitted into some kind of machine that can go on forever and has no pain input. Would things be perfect then, or would there still be problems. I think that this is key to understanding the Buddha's idea of suffering. Unless we allow ourselves to become enlightened beings, we would still 'suffer' dissatisfaction. And even if we could do that, the universe will itself end someday. Nothing lasts forever, and if you don't see this in the right way you will continue to suffer.

If you know the meaning of life, you understand everything and come to terms with all that life throws at you. So from this point of view, the Buddha was indeed right to point out the bigger problem of dissatisfaction.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline pornisbad1967

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Re: Cause of suffering ...
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2016, 07:17:58 am »
I am someone who is interested in spirituality and "meaning of life", etc. I am trying to learn the teachings of Buddha to help me with my understanding. I have a question about the "Four Noble Truths", specifically the part about the cause of suffering. Buddha says that the cause of suffering is "Desire". Basically, if you desire things, you're bound to be dissatisfied in life because there is no end to desire. Which makes sense, as far as it goes. I understand that.

But my question is this: What about physical suffering? There are people who get horrible diseases and suffer from them. There are babies who are born with terrible diseases or deformities. Even healthy people could be injured in accidents and suffer badly. I don't see how "desire" could be the cause of these kinds of suffering. How could a diseased/deformed baby/embryo/fetus desire anything ? What did it do to deserve its horrible fate? Even people who have led good, moral lives could get diseases and suffer. What is the cause of that ?


Every suffering you see is the result of bad karma, including people that are born blind. There is no true coincidence, as everything within the six paths is based on karma. Some people are born blind, because they've made other people become blind in their previous lives. Also, karma tends to take some time to come, unless the thing you do is significant; this is why you see some good people suffer; they suffer, because they've done bad things in their previous lives. Many good people have done bad things when they were kids, and that's not even during their previous lives. I notice that you're only looking at bad results. There are good results in this world too. Bill Gates is rich, because he used to donate in his previous life. Albert Einstein was smart, because he used to learn 淨土宗 Buddhism in his previous life:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaSdUTkuNLo
张学良 lived a long life, because he selflessly helped the Chinese to unite against the Japanese during WW2. His karma came during his lifetime, since what he did was very significant.
If you want to become smart, learn Buddhism, or teach others to do good things. If you want to become rich, donate to others what others need. If you want to live a long and healthy life, help other beings (which includes animals, as animals are beings too) to end suffering.
I suggest you to help humans as well as animals, since animals are suffering more than humans do. I like to buy and release small and cheap animals, so I can save more lives. Remember, all lives are equal, because even the smallest animals have souls just like yours and mine. Don't forget to make sure that the animals you release won't cause any harm to the environment, and/or other animals, or else you'll have to bear karma. Buying and releasing harmless animals that are about to be killed/tortured, then do 皈依 for the released animals has been practiced in China for thousands of years. The point of doing 皈依 for released animals is to make sure that the souls of the released animals will go to a good place, thus helping them to end suffering permanently. Playing Buddhist videos on the computer is good too, since ghosts can see and hear the videos, and receive benefits; even if the volume is low, ghosts can still hear. I like to play this one on my computer before I'm away:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJOvPk7qYpY
To help young kids that are addicted to watching unhealthy stuffs online, check out my first post on this site:
http://www.freesangha.com/forums/introduction-time/hi!-need-help!/msg83743/#msg83743

If I were you, I'll let my children learn Chinese, and go study at the new Buddhist university created in Sri Lanka, supported by the master in the video I just linked, Master Jingkong. Master Jingkong has donated millions to the new university. The president of Sir Lanka has bowed to Master Jingkong.
http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_5937873001019bir.html
http://www.nibu.lk/?page_id=21
Call: 0094 11 2905596 to get more information about this university.
What you need is to find people with positive energy, because people's energy can influence you. If you are a real truth seeker, learn Chinese, and read ancient Chinese scriptures; all of your questions will be answered. If you really want to help this world, translate all of the ancient Chinese scriptures to English.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2016, 11:33:31 am by pornisbad1967 »

Offline ECS

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Re: Cause of suffering ...
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2016, 08:05:30 pm »
Perhaps Buddhism is the natural process of realization not determination of knowledge.....is you realizing emotion that causes your existence not the knowledge that you hold

 


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