What is Suffering? Why There is Suffering in The World?

The Buddha is a great teacher and master. He propounded four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path. The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism are:

  1. There is suffering in the world.
  2. There is a cause of suffering.
  3. There is an end to suffering.
  4. The Eightfold Path is the solution to suffering.

We will discuss the Eighfold Path later. In this article, we will focus on suffering. The article will answer questions like:

  • What is suffering?
  • Why there is suffering in the world?

What is Suffering?

Suffering is the scheme forced upon us by the nature. Sadly, we lack the spiritual illumination to understand suffering.

Generally speaking, suffering is not visible to us until it leaps upon us like a crouching tiger.

We are besotted with our family and complacent in our own little world. Suddenly death or disease comes and happiness is replaced with agony.

Today we have a dear friend who is with us through thick and thin. Tomorrow, he abandons us, or becomes an adversary. This is one of the sufferings that we always face in our life. And we know no reason for this change.

Sometime back we had wealth and the luxuries. Something strikes and now we face poverty and misery. We seek reasons for this suffering, yet we do not know why this has happened to us.

Once we were healthy and full of virility. We lose our health, we lose our virility, and we do not see any reasons of this suffering.

These are just a few examples of suffering that we face in our everyday life. In fact, there are even greater sufferings on our life. Every day, every moment, miseries and sufferings are coming in our life.

We want to get away from sufferings, however, we never see the suffering. We see suffering only when it grabs us. We experience suffering only when we stumble upon in the darkness of our ignorance.

Why There is Suffering in the World

Before becoming the Buddha, Siddhartha was a prince. He abandoned royalty because he saw suffering in the world. Siddhartha’s father tried everything he could to provide pleasures and luxuries to his son. Yet, the moment, Siddhartha came out from his palace, he saw death, disease, old age. He saw suffering around him, he knew about suffering around. In order to find out the answer why there is suffering in the world, Siddhartha abandoned the palace. Siddhartha found why there is suffering in the world, when he became the Buddha.

We lack the spiritual illumination of Siddhartha that can help us to see far and wide, find the hidden causes of human suffering, and reveal the methods that help us to avoid suffering. Until we reach illumination, our journey in this world cannot be comfortable because suffering grabs on our each steps.

The world we are living in is just like a dark room where furniture are scattered around. There is dark, therefore, we cannot see the furniture and every now and then we bounce with furniture and hurt ourselves.  If we could press the button and light the room, we will see everything, and we can walk through the furniture. If this can happen, our journey will be safe and free from suffering.

We are living in ignorance, that’s why there is suffering in the world.

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