sometimes accused of being pessimistic because
it speaks so much about suffering, but it shrugs
off such criticism with a smile, and asks: "What
do you say?"
Sir Edwin Arnold wrote an account of the Buddha’s
life in poem-form, entitled, The Light of Asia.
Here is a verse from it:
Ask of the sick,
the mourners, ask of him
on his staff, lone and forlorn:
thee life?"—these say the babe is
say there is more happiness and enjoyment in
life than pain and sorrow—or even as much?
We have only to look around us, at the overflowing
hospitals, Homes for the Aged, Asylums for the
insane, deformed, mentally-retarded, at the
unspeakable horrors of war, and man’s
inhumanity to man, etc., to realize that Hell
is not a myth.
of the suffering that always accompanies life,
however, human beings—unlike other animals,
which live by instinct—have developed
and made progress. Indeed, had it not been for
the suffering to impel and motivate us, coupled
with our ability to criticize, visualize, imagine
and assess, we might still be living in caves!