Life in this world is not what it appears to be. It is plagued by pairs of opposites, such as pain and pleasure, birth and death, and hope and disappointment.
It is subject to six changes:
Birth, Subsistence, Growth, Maturity, Decline, Death.
Dangers and difficulties pursue us everywhere. Uncertainties at every step of life create anxiety, fear, and hopelessness.
As we grow older our optimism turns into pessimism. Youthful dreams of happiness and fulfilment rarely come true.
It is said that a human individual is born crying, lives complaining, and dies disappointed. Asked by a king about the meaning of life, a sage once replied. “A man is born, he suffers, and he dies.”
More than twenty-five hundred years ago, Buddha said that if all the tears that had flowed from human eyes since the beginning of creation were gathered together, they would exceed the waters of the ocean.
… to be continued.
SWAMI ADISWARANANDA, in Meditation and Its Practices, Introduction, xi-xv