A lot of factors were there that led to the emergence of Buddism. When we talk about Buddhism, we associate it with words like desire, peace or suffering. Most of the people believe that Buddhism is very pessimistic in nature as it talks about the killing of Desire.
According to Buddhist principles, the cause of suffering is desire and if you want to end suffering, put end to your desires. It talks about detachment. We must keep in mind two things: First, Happiness and Suffering are extreme states and second, they both are state of mind.
People think that by ending suffering they will be happy. But that is not absolutely true. It may be true in the relative sense in some cases for a short period of time but absolute happiness comes when you fulfill desires. Buddha asks us to abandon desires not because he expects people to be happy but because he wants people to achieve something greater, he expects people to find a life that exists between this happiness and suffering. This life exists exactly in between. It lies in Madhya and can be attained by following Madhyamarga.
Happiness and suffering are both states of mind. That’s why buddha emphasizes on control of thoughts and this is the reason meditation is emphasized so much because it helps us in attaining stable mindset and clear thoughts. The attainment of this life lying in ‘Madhya’ is ‘Nibbana’. People attach themselves to desires. Then they try to fulfill these desires. If they fulfill, they get happy. If they fail, the get sad and inflict emotional suffering upon themselves. In the case of depression, this takes the form of physical self-harm.
I remember, I once heard in one of the SLS AMG advertisements that “Desire is something you can’t control.” It comes natural to people and it is necessary for the progress of humankind. Buddhism also talks about rebirth. This makes people think that Buddism has some sacred elements attached to it and somehow over centuries it took the form of a religion. Buddhism clearly denies the existence of the soul. It does not talk about the rebirth of the soul. It talks about ideas and our personality marks and our impressions that we leave upon this world. These marks and impressions appear in one form or another even after our death.
Buddhism in its purest form is 4 noble truths. People have misunderstood and misinterpreted it. If we all try to achieve Nibbana, we will detach ourselves from each other including desires. That will lead to the collapse of worldly social structure and eventually end of humankind. As no one of us will be attached to each other, even when we die, we will leave no impact on other humans. How can one follow Buddhism if Buddha clearly stated to detach thyself from desires which include the desire to follow Buddha?
Desire is something that can’t be controlled. This explains everything. Buddha put forward a very complex reality in very simple words. It’s probably the most scientific ‘religion’ (religion as per the world). Now it has lost its true essence. He put forward everything cleverly in 4 truths. Nothing is false in them yet they present a win-win situation blanketing wider complex realities into its fold.