People often say that the way Buddhism teaches constantly about the suffering of living beings is unpleasant to them and makes them so depressed that they get no joy out of listening to the Dhamma. They feel as if the sufferings and discontentment being talked about were joining forces with the sufferings and discontentment already inside them, making them despondent and sad. If that weren’t enough. The basic principles of the Buddha’s teaching of the Buddha’s teaching – the four Noble Truths (ariya sacca) – start out with suffering as their primary theme, since that’s what the religion teaches about far more than anything else. It’s as if the Buddha were driving away the people who, out of fear of suffering, come running to the Dhamma.
Actually, when people say things like this, it shows that they haven’t had enough training in the religion to understand its true aims. The fact that the religion teaches about suffering is completely in line with the way things are. This is in keeping with the name ‘Noble Truths’. These truths are the religion’s basic principles. They’re true. The Buddha was a person who truly knew. This is why he was able to point out the lacks and deficiencies in living beings – for the sufferings we experience all have deficiencies as their basic cause.