Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Four Noble Truths

The Four Noble Truths, together with The Noble Eightfold Path forms the backbone of Buddhism. 

The Truth will liberate you! 

The Noble Truth of Suffering
The Noble Truth of Arising of Suffering
The Noble Truth of The Cease of Suffering
The Noble Truth of The Approach to the Ceasing of Suffering

The Truth of Suffering
Everybody knows there is sorrow and suffering in the world; even a hungry street-dog knows that. It is a truism. But the Buddha and He alone of all thinkers of all times points out that everything is sorrow-fraught. He shows that not only Death is sorrow, but even birth a necessary condition from which all sorrows spring, and life itself is but a process of change. For it is in change that lies Disharmony which is the root of sorrow. The very fact of striving for better, for rest, for satisfaction, proves the existence of evil, of unrest of dissatisfaction. And that is found in everything because everything which is composed tends by it very nature to decompose. In the permanent nature of a process of change is found the reason of sorrow and Disharmony.

The first truth of the universality of 'suffering' teaches us in short, that all forms of existence are of necessity subject to suffering. The cause of feeling of sorrow is 'selfishness.'

The Truth about the origin of Suffering
All suffering is rooted in selfish "craving " and "ignorance". Nothing in the world can come into existence without reason and cause; not only all our latent tendencies, but our whole destiny, all weal and woe result from causes which we have to seek partly in this, partly in former states of existence. The future life, with all its weal and woe must result from the seeds sown by this and former lives.

The cause of sorrow, therefore is that craving which gives rise to re-birth and , bound up with greed for pleasure, seeks ever fresh delights. It is the sensual craving, that craving for individual existence, the craving for temporal happiness.

The Truth about the path leading to cessation of sorrow
Our desires beget discontentment. The only way to remove that discontentment or disharmony is, by means of the removal of its cause, namely, craving. The cessation of Craving will produce the end of sorrow.

The Truth about the path leading to cessation of sorrow
It is the Noble Eightfold Path which shows the way or means by which the goal is reached. It is the middle path avoiding all extremes of self indulgent materialism and self-mortifying idealism. It is a path of understanding and practice, a culture of intellect and will.

Pilgrims in this Middle Way, avoiding the two extremes, who weary of the "fretful fever" life, have seriously set their faces away from its illusions towards the freedom and the silence of Nirvana. 

No comments: