The Meaning of Suffering in Buddhism The Meaning of Suffering in Buddhism In Buddhist teachings suffering isthe inevitable truth of life. Even though such an approach seems to be pessimistic, it teaches people to be strong when they face suffering in their lives. Suffering is the most common translation of the word “dukkha” used in Sanskrit. Basically, “dukkha” means anything temporary in peoples life. The First Nobel Truth of Buddhism says that “life is dukkha” that is it translated as life is suffering. According to Harvey (2012), “dukkha” has a wide range of meanings starting from pain up to dissatisfaction.
Many processes in human life are “dukkha” (painful or problematic); death, birth, aging or dissatisfaction are painful but one cannot skip them. Realistic outlook on life is required in Buddhism to look at all these things philosophically. Such states as happiness and joy are also temporary and when they pass they lead to mental or physical pain. Overall, there is no word in English that renders full meaning of “dukkha” (Harvey, 2012). The cause of suffering is the fact that people always seek satisfaction outside themselves and they ignore their self.
Buddhism teachings state that people can overcome suffering by diligent practice. There Forth Nobel Truth of Buddhism prescribes people to follow the Eightfold Path to Enlightenment by controlling their views, speech, intention, livelihood, action, mindfulness, concentration and effort (Harvey, 2012). Buddhism requires not only believing in the doctrine, but following the exact rules which lead to the desired state of body and mind. As a result, “dukkha” is not a predetermination for all. Those who follow the right way of life can eliminate suffering and be happy.
ReferencesHarvey, P. (2012). An introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, history and practices. Cambridge University Press.