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BUDDHIST GEM FELLOWSHIP. BUDDHIST GEM FELLOWSHIP. FUNDAMENTALS OF BUDDHISM. Datuk Dr Victor Wee 5 -August-2012 (Sun). LESSON 7 4 Noble Truth. FUNDAMENTALS OF BUDDHISM. THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS ( Cattari Ariya Sacca ). FUNDAMENTALS OF BUDDHISM. CENTRAL TEACHING.

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BUDDHIST GEM FELLOWSHIP

BUDDHIST GEM FELLOWSHIP

FUNDAMENTALS OF BUDDHISM

DatukDr Victor Wee

5-August-2012 (Sun)

LESSON 7

4 Noble Truth

FUNDAMENTALS OF BUDDHISM

JKQuek/18092011

central teaching
CENTRAL TEACHING

For 45 years, the Buddha said, over and over again,

“I teach only suffering and the transformation of suffering.”

central teaching1
Central Teaching
  • When we recognise and acknowledge our own suffering, we will realise what caused it and what to do to transform it into peace, joy, and liberation.
  • Suffering is the means the Buddha used to liberate himself. It is also the means by which we can be free.
the four noble truths cattari ariya sacca
The Four Noble Truths(CattariAriyaSacca)

1.Dukkha: All forms of existence are unsatisfactory and subject to suffering

2.Samudaya: All suffering, and all rebirth, is produced by craving (tanha)

3. Nirodha: The extinction of craving results in the extinction of rebirth and suffering, i.e. Nibbana

4. Magga: The Eightfold Path by which Nibbana is attained

first noble truth
First Noble Truth
  • And what is the Noble Truth of Suffering? Birth is suffering, ageing is suffering, sickness is suffering, death is suffering, association with the things which we dislike is suffering, separation from the things which we like is suffering, not to get what one wants, that also is suffering. In short, the five aggregates, which are the objects of grasping, are suffering.

SamyuttaNikaya, V:420

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meaning of dukkha
Meaning of “Dukkha”
  • Ordinary meaning of dukkha is ‘suffering’, ‘pain’, ‘sorrow’ or ‘misery’
  • Dukkha also connotes a deeper philosophical meaning such as ‘imperfection’, ‘impermanence’, ‘emptiness’, ‘insubstantiality’.
  • The Buddha does not deny happiness in life when he says there is suffering. Even the very high and happy spiritual states of meditation are impermanent and subject to dukkha.
three aspects of dukkha
Three Aspects of Dukkha
  • Dukkha as ordinary suffering (dukkha-dukkha). Birth, old age, sickness, death, association with unpleasant conditions, etc.
  • Dukkha as produced by change (viparinama-dukkha). A happy feeling that is impermanent.
  • Dukkha as conditioned states (samkhara-dukkha). The five aggregates of mind and matter which are subject to attachment.
happy buddhists
Happy Buddhists
  • Although the Buddha taught about dukkha, that does not make a Buddhist melancholy or sorrowful.
  • The Buddha was described by his contemporaries as ‘ever smiling’. He always has a happy, serene, contented and compassionate face.
  • The Buddha’s disciples were described as ‘joyful and elated, jubilant and exultant, enjoying the spiritual life, with faculties pleased, free from anxiety, serene, peaceful, and light-hearted.’ (MajjhimaNikaya, II)
transforming suffering
Transforming Suffering
  • Without suffering, you cannot grow. Without suffering, you cannot get the peace and joy you deserve. Please don’t run away from suffering.
  • The Buddha called suffering a Holy Truth, because our suffering has the capacity of showing us the path to liberation.
  • Embrace your suffering, and let it reveal to you the way to peace.
second noble truth
Second Noble Truth
  • This is the Noble Truth of the Cause of Suffering, i.e. ‘thirst’ or ‘craving’ (tanha), which produces rebirth
  • Three categories of craving:
    • craving for sensual pleasures (kamatanha)
    • craving for existence and becoming (bhavatanha)
    • craving for non-existence (vibhavatanha)

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not first cause
Not First Cause
  • Craving is not the first or the only cause of the arising of dukkha, but the most immediate cause
  • In some Pali texts, the origin of dukkha includes other defilements and impurities (such as anger, ignorance, suspicion, arrogance, and wrong views) in addition to craving, which is first in the list
  • Craving not only mean desire for sense pleasures, wealth, power. It also includes ideas and ideals, views, opinions, theories, conceptions and beliefs.
should we not strive for anything
Should We Not Strive for Anything?
  • We need to distinguish craving arising out of ignorance and striving based on understanding. The Buddha mentions that we should be energetic, have strong determination and have a passion to attain Nibbana
  • When wants, desires and aspirations are based on understanding and positive behaviour, they lead to happiness and are encouraged.
third noble truth
Third Noble Truth
  • This is the Truth of the Cessation of Suffering, i.e. attaining the freedom and happiness of Nibbana
  • Nibbana (Pali) or Nirvana (Sanskrit) means ‘to blow out’ and refers to cooling or blowing out the fires of greed, hatred, and delusion
  • This stage referred to as: the Immortal, the Safe Refuge, Peace, Protection, the Ultimate Happiness, Destruction of Craving, and Eternal

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nibbana is not annihilation
Nibbana is Not Annihilation

The Buddha says: ‘When one has freed the mind, the gods cannot trace him even though they think: “This is the consciousness of the Tathagata.” And why? It is because the Tathagata is untraceable. Although I say this, there are some ascetics and Brahmins who misrepresent me falsely, contrary to fact, saying: “The ascetic Gotama is a nihilist because he teaches the cutting, the destruction, the disappearance of the existing entity,” but this is exactly what I do not say.’ MajjhimaNikaya, I:140

beyond description
Beyond Description

Once Upasiva asked the Buddha: ‘One who has gone (to Nibbana), does he cease to exist, or does he remain unimpaired forever? Explain this to me, O Sage, For you know this truth well.’

The Buddha answered: ‘There is no measuring of one who has gone that by which one might speak of him no longer exists. When all phenomena has been removed, then all ways of describing are removed also.’ SamyuttaNikaya, 1075-76

nibbana is beyond words
Nibbana is Beyond Words
  • Once a wanderer called Vacchagotta asked the Buddha whether one who has attained Nibbana arises, that is, continues to exist, or whether one does not arise, that is, ceases to exist. The Buddha refused to give an answer, and he tells us why he refused because the Nibbanic state is beyond words.

Majjhima Nikaya, I: 486-488

characteristics of nibbana
CHARACTERISTICS OF NIBBANA

Nibbana is where corporeality and all the pairs of opposites--long and short, great and small, pure and impure--disappear.

The mind is signless, boundless, and all radiant.

It is an unchanging state of purity, freedom, and supreme happiness.

nibbana is
Nibbana Is
  • There is an Unborn, an Unbecome, an Unmade, and Uncompounded. If there were not this Unborn, Unbecome, Unmade, Uncompounded, there would be no escape from the born, the become, the made, the compounded. But as there is an Unborn, an Unbecome, an Unmade, an Uncompounded, there is escape from the born, the become, the made, the compounded.

--Udana, 80

fourth noble truth
Fourth Noble Truth
  • It is the Way leading to the ending of dukkha, and this Way is the Noble Eightfold Path (ariya atthangika magga).
  • It is called ‘Noble’ because when practised, it leads to an ennobling of human life.
  • It is called ‘Eightfold’ because it has eight constituents
  • It is called ‘Path’ because it leads from samsara to Nibbana.

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noble eightfold path
Noble Eightfold Path

Wisdom (Panna)

  • Perfect Understanding
  • Perfect Thought
  • Concentration (Samadhi)
    • Perfect Effort
    • Perfect Mindfulness
    • Perfect Concentration

Morality (Sila)

  • Perfect Speech
  • Perfect Action
  • Perfect Livelihood
the middle path
The Middle Path
  • The Eightfold Path is the Middle Way (Majjhima Patipada) between extremes of self-indulgence and self-torture.
  • Avoid extremism of views and beliefs that lead to inflexibility and intolerance
  • Practise the Path with flexibility and a willingness to consider other points of views
complete system for transformation
COMPLETE SYSTEM FOR TRANSFORMATION
  • The Eightfold Path is a complete system of spiritual training containing everything needed for ethical living, developing Wisdom, and attaining Nibbana.
  • It is a eternally valid Path that transcends time
  • Analogy of a man discovering a path in a forest that leads to an ancient city
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THANK YOU

DATUK DR VICTOR WEE

ddvictorwee@gmail.com