Now, we start to analyze the eight sufferings according to the Buddha’s teachings: Being born, old age, illness, death, love but separated, hatred but having to meet, not get what to desire, full-orbed activities of five cumulation.
Being born is suffering of people’s life.
When talking about suffering of being born, the Buddha didn’t only talk about individual’s suffering, but He talked about relatives’ suffering being involved with that person as well. A person’s suffering always influences people around it.
For example, there was a person being ill at home, his/her relatives would suffer with their caring and worrying. Perhaps, a person got into an accident, then his/her relatives would be worried and scared. People working in the hospital would suffer having to spend time caring him/her. Therefore, suffering never comes to only one person. If we know that, we should try to live in a life of right practice, so that our mental balance is not disturbed from people’s suffering.
The way of living without suffering is the life of doing good deeds. If we have blessing from that, we would live peacefully and wealthily, and we would have a lot of chances to help people. Most of our rich Buddhists often find a way to help others. For instance, they support charities, and give donations, so the poor can get benefit. Yes, we can see that suffering and happiness interact.
It seems we are pessimistic when we suppose that life is suffering so much that people think Buddhism is a pessimistic religion. Sometimes we are sad, other times we are enjoyable. Poor people are supposed to be suffered while the rich are supposed to be happy.
In fact, the whole life is suffering. Although Buddhist philosophy seems to be pessimistic, it is still true. Even though we suppose something in life to be happy, pleasurable, we never know that it turns out to be miserable.
The value of suffering and happiness is as relative as Einstein’s theory of relativity. It is up to individual’s subjective feeling. If a poor person has no house, living in porches, then his desire is a hut. When his dream comes true he feels so happy. On the other hand, another person lives in a hut and sees a nice house, his desire arises with that house, and he feels suffered to live in his hut. Thus suffering and happiness is up to every single situation.
Sometime, we meet a person who has beautiful house, has a stable job, and we ask him if he feels happy. His saying “no” might shock us. Why? Because there is so much problem, so much anxiety in life, with which people must deal and solve. Clearly, suffering and happiness are relative and temporary.
We may widely analyze beings such as a flock of ants. We see them trying to get food, and even with only a seed of rice, they are still happy. With human beings’ view, they are supposed to be so miserable. They work very hard to get a tiny food dropped down, creeping from this corner of a house to that one.
Like that, Gods (Devakaya) in heaven have seen us being as miserable as the ants. All people’s desires, and striving for success are nothing to the Gods. They could create any luxurious palace or life by their minds only, and by their blessings. They accumulated a lot of blessings when they lived in the earth. In fact, many people in the world have the blessings, since they have done so much good deeds, and accumulated merit of charity and donation for their whole life.
Suffering and happiness are relative, depending on each person’s feeling or situation. Thereby, life is combined with suffering and happiness.
On the other hand, in the top of supreme wisdom, the Buddha stated that life is completely miserable. Even though Gods’ life is supposed to be suffered by the Buddha.