First Noble Truth is the Truth of Dukkha which has been
generally translated as 'suffering'. But the term Dukkha,
which represents the Buddha's view of life and the world,
has a deeper philosophical meaning. Birth, old age, sickness
and death are universal. All beings are subject to this
unsatisfactoriness. Separation from beloved ones and pleasant
conditions, association with unpleasant persons and conditions,
and not getting what one desires - these are also sources
of suffering and unsatisfactoriness. The Buddha summarises
Dukkha in what is known as the Five Grasping Aggregates.
lies the deeper philosophical meaning of Dukkha for it
encompasses the whole state of being or existence.
life or the whole process of living is seen as a flux
of energy comprising of the Five aggregates, namely the
Aggregate of Form or the Physical process, Feeling, Perception,
Mental Formation, and Consciousness. These are usually
classified as mental and physical processes, which are
constantly in a state of flux or change.
we train our minds to observe the functioning of mental
and physical processes we will realise the true nature
of our lives. We will see how it is subject to change
and unsatisfactoriness. And as such, there is no real
substance or entity or Self which we can cling to as 'I',
'my' or 'mine'.
we become aware of the unsatisfactory nature of life,
we would naturally want to get out from such a state.
It is at this point that we begin to seriously question
ourselves about the meaning and purpose of life. This
will lead us to seek the Truth with regards to the true
nature of existence and the knowledge to overcome unsatisfactoriness.
the Buddhist point of view, therefore, the purpose of
life is to put an end to suffering and all other forms
of unsatisfactoriness - to realise peace and real happiness.
Such is the significance of the understanding and the
realisation of the First Noble Truth.
Second Noble Truth explains the Origin or Cause of suffering.
Tanha or craving is the universal cause of suffering.
It includes not only desire for sensual pleasures, wealth
and power, but also attachment to ideas', views, opinions,
concepts, and beliefs. It is the lust for flesh, the lust
for continued existence (or eternalism) in the sensual
realms of existence, as well as the realms of form and
the formless realms. And there is also the lust and craving
for non-existence (or nihilism). These are all different
Forms of selfishness, desiring things for oneself, even
at the expense of others.
realizing the true nature of one's self, one clings to
things which are impermanent, changeable and perishable.
The failure to satisfy one's desires through these things;
causes disappointment and suffering.
is a powerful mental force present in all of us. It is
the root cause of our sufferings. It is this craving which
binds us in Samsara - the repeated cycle of birth and`
Third Noble Truth points to the cessation of suffering.
Where there is no craving, there is no becoming, no rebirth.
Where there is no rebirth, there is no decay. no, old
age, no death, hence no suffering. That is how suffering
is ended, once and for all.
Fourth Noble Truth explains the Path or the Way which
leads to the cessation of suffering. It is called the
Noble Eightfold Path.
Noble Eightfold path avoids the extremes of self-indulgence
on one hand and self-torture on the other. It consists
of Right Understanding, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right
Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness
and Right Concentration.
path factors may be summarised into three stages of training,
involving morality, mental culture and wisdom.
or good conduct is the avoidance of evil or unwholesome
actions -- actions which are tainted by greed, hatred
and delusion; and the performance of the good or wholesome
actions, - actions which are free from greed, hatred and
delusion, but motivated by liberality, loving-kindness
function of good conduct or moral restraint is to free
one's mind from remorse (or guilty conscience). The mind
that is free from remorse (or guilt) is naturally calm
and tranquil, and ready for concentration with awareness.
concentrated and cultured mind is a contemplative and
analytical mind. It is capable of seeing cause and effect,
and the true nature of existence, thus paving the way
for wisdom and insight.
in the Buddhist context, is the realisation of the fundamental
truths of life, basically the Four Noble Truths. The understanding
of the Four Noble Truths provide us with a proper sense
of purpose and direction in life. They form the basis
message of the Buddha stands today as unaffected by time
and the expansion of knowledge as when they were first
matter to what lengths increased scientific knowledge
can extend man's mental horizon, there is room for the
acceptance and assimilation for further discovery within
-the framework of the teachings of the Buddha.
teaching of the Buddha is open to all to see and judge
for themselves. The universality of the teachings of the
Buddha has led one of the world's greatest scientists,
Albert Einstein to declare that 'if there is any religion
that could cope with modern scientific needs, it would
teaching of the Buddha became a great civilising force
wherever it went. It appeals to reason and freedom of
thought, recognising the dignity and potentiality of the
human mind. It calls for equality, fraternity and understanding,
exhorting its followers to avoid evil, to do good and
to purify their minds.
the transient nature of life and all worldly phenomena,
the Buddha has advised us to work out our deliverance
with heedfulness, as 'heedfulness is the path to the deathless'.
clear and profound teachings on the cultivation of heedfulness
otherwise known as Satipatthana or the Four Foundations
of Mindfulness, is the path for the purification of beings
- for the overcoming of sorrows and lamentation, for the
destruction of all mental and physical sufferings, for
the attainment of insight and knowledge and for the realisation
of Nibbana. This has been verified by his disciples. It
is therefore a path, a technique which may be verified
by all irrespective of caste, colour or creed.