(11) SAKYAMUNI BUDDHA TAUGHT
"LIFE IS SUFFERING"

Soon after Sakyamuni became Buddha, he looked at humanity and concluded that "life is suffering." He analyzed its nature and its cause in order to lead us to salvation from our suffering.

Although this statement was made in India 2,600 years ago, today we have the same situation. In Japan, more than ten thousand people die every year in traffic accidents. More than twice this figure commit suicide. All people suffer without knowing the cause. Ignorance of the root cause of our suffering stops us from eliminating it and attaining true happiness.

Shogun Ieyassu Tokugawa, considered one of the most successful figures in Japanese history, described his life as follows: "Life is a long journey with a heavy burden on one's back."

Ieyassu unified a country torn apart by provincial wars. In 1600, Ieyassu imposed a new hegemony over Japan when he established the Tokugawa shogunate, which lasted until the late 19th century. Nonetheless, in the twilight of his life, he sadly noted that he was unable to put down his heavy burden. This heavy burden he spoke of is the root cause of suffering.

Most people think that they suffer because they lack the appropriate means of life. Some think that they suffer because they are not popular. Married people think that they suffer because of their spouses. Hence, they try to solve their problems by getting divorced. Some think they suffer because of their children while others think they suffer because they are childless. Some people think that they suffer because of political or economic situations, so they organize themselves to make changes. Without exception, people are looking for happiness, but are never able to find it.

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