EVALUATION OF THE BUDDHAS SOLUTION TO HUMAN SUFFERING

EVALUATION OF THE BUDDHAS SOLUTION TO HUMAN SUFFERING

ABSTRACT

Suffering and its opposite, happiness, are the basic push and pull of every human action, thus their centrality in human existence. In the 6th century B.C, Gotama Siddhatta, who later became the Buddha, was struck by the reality of human suffering. For this, he abandoned all in his youth in the search for a solution to this problem. Following his enlightenment, he came to the conclusion that: firstly, life is simply suffering; secondly, the cause of human suffering is desire or craving; thirdly, the solution to the problem of human suffering is the destruction of desire; and finally, that the means to eliminate suffering can be found in the ‘eightfold path’ or ‘the middle way’. The purpose of this research is therefore to verify: firstly if life is simply suffering; secondly if desire is the actual cause of human suffering; thirdly, if desire is the cause of human suffering, can it be eliminated? And finally, to find out if the Buddha’s solution to human suffering can be relevant today both locally and globally. The research showed that; life is not only suffering but both happiness and suffering; desire is not the real cause of suffering and if it were; it cannot be eliminated in life; however, his ideas of the Middle Way and the Eightfold Path can still be relevant today in the areas of ontology, knowledge production, social relations, environment and peace resolution.