Harvey (1990) pointed out that “If there were a creator of the world, he would be regarded as responsible for the suffering” (Harvey, 1990, p.36). In other words, sufferings in human life are given by the God himself. Humans cannot do anything to avoid it. In other words sufferings are inherited in human life. Buddhists also believe that activities in the previous birth or past karma are the major cause of sufferings in human life. Buddhists argue that the origin of suffering is attachment. In their opinion, desire is the cause of misery. It should be noted that humans have many desires in their life and the destruction of desire is the only way of attaining happiness. Desire for physical and psychological pleasure may not be fulfilled all the time. Since destruction of desire is practically difficult human forced to lead a life of misery most of the time. “The cessation of suffering can be attained through nirodha. Nirodha means the unmaking of sensual craving and conceptual attachment. Attaining and perfecting dispassion is a process of many levels that ultimately results in the state of Nirvana” (The Four Noble Truths, n.d) Nirvana is the ultimate state of human life. It is similar to the concept of heaven. It is a state in which human experiences full happiness. “During life or beyond death, Nibbana is the unconditioned cessation of all unsatisfactory, conditioned phenomena (Harvey, 1990, p.62) “There is a path to the end of suffering - a gradual path of self-improvement” (The Four
Noble Truths, n.d). Buddhists believe that the cycle of rebirth would end only after a person attains nirvana. The long cycle of rebirths may help a person to control his desires and lead a purified life. What is Nirvana? Why is it important? Nirvana is the ultimate stage of human life. As mentioned earlier, human life develops through plenty of rebirths. In other words, the death of current life results in the rebirth of another life. The destiny of new life would be highly dependable on the activities in the present life. In other words, those who commit fewer sins may get a better new life whereas others may get a worst life. On the other hand, if a person was able to defeat his desires fully in his present life, he will get Nirvana, the ultimate goal of human life. Nirvana is similar to heaven which is explained earlier in this paper. Basic differences between Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism Pali Canon is the scripture of Theravada Buddhism whereas Theravada Tripitaka is the major scripture of Mahayana Buddhism. Maitreya is the Bodhisattva of Theravada Buddhism whereas Maitreya, Avalokitesvara, Mansjuri, Ksitigarbha and Samanthabadra are the Bodhisattvas of Mahayana Buddhism. Arhat is the goal of training for Theravada Buddhism and Buddhahood via bodhisattva-path is the goal of training for Mahayana Buddhism. Mahayana Buddhists speak Sanskrit language. At the same time pali is the language for Theravada Buddhism. Theravada Buddhism has only few rituals even though Mahayana Buddhism has plenty of rituals (Theravada vs. Mahayana Buddhism, 2013) The challenge of happiness in Buddhism As mentioned earlier, desire is the cause of misery according to the beliefs of Buddhists. Humans have inherited traits for a material life. When a human fails to get such a life, misery will develop in his life. Both physical and psychological displeasures may arise because of the failure to fulfil the desire.