In history, Sakyamuni, the founder of a religion, explained the human essence of annoyance and suffering most profoundly and clearly. Did he also demonstrate the close relationship between the subconscious and religion? Because through the subconscious, we know that the essence of humans is trouble and pain. From the ordinary people’s perspective, Sakyamuni, a prince, has nothing to worry about and suffer. He possessed power, wealth, fragrant carriages, precious horses, and beauty, all ordinary people’s long dreams. But it is he who points out that there are eight hardships in life, birth, old age, illness, death, resentment and hatred, inability to seek, love but separation, and the prosperity of the five netherworlds.② Moreover, he was the first to enlighten and become a Buddha. Perhaps only at his level, after enjoying all the glory and splendor of life, he could truly understand life and feel the real pain of life, some pain that people could no longer avoid. It is said that one day Sakyamuni went out and met a funeral procession. The scene of life and death was overwhelmed with grief; everyone cried their heart out. No one could escape death. The fear of death deeply touched him, but who could escape the fear of death? As a prince, he did not have this privilege. Death is the ultimate pain of which human beings can never get rid. Therefore, he decided to become a monk and seek the ultimate way to eliminate this ultimate pain. Of course, these are just legends. Sakyamuni can’t choose to become a monk because of a scene or an insight.
More likely, as a wise man with sensitive feelings and profound thoughts, he had been thinking about what humans are? Where did life come from, and where would death go? These problems and the fear of death had lingered in his mind for ages. In every night of singing and dancing in the lap of luxury, every day of drinking and sleeping away his life with dreams, the shadow of death never quitted him for a moment. He knew that no matter how these high-and-mighty heroes and striking women were, they could not escape death. In the end, they were a pile of bones, and death lay in front of each of us. Therefore, he may have long regarded transcending death as his greatest goal in life.
We have talked about transcending death and pursuing immortality and eternity as the direct cause of all religions. It must also be the real reason why Sakyamuni decided to become a monk. It is the biggest dream hidden in his heart. When he met the funeral procession, it made him finally determined to realize his dream. The funeral procession only was a decisive factor. Sakyamuni determined to become a Buddha or die; he sat under the bodhi tree for seven days and seven nights and finally comprehended the realm of Nirvana, obtained the true meaning of life, and transcended death. What insight did he get? Did he really surpass death? He transcended into the nirvana realm without death, which we may never achieve, but some of his epiphanies could give us much enlightenment.