A lot of people love to talk about compassion and peace regarding home, foreign and domestic affairs. But did not have the compassion and peace in mind, then how will the true compassion and peace be formed?


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"All that we are is the result of what we have thought." The Buddha. "..Religion without Science is Blind, Science without religion is crippled." Albert Einstein 1879-1955

Sunday, 17 July 2011

The Four Noble Truths (四圣谛) - Part 2/2

Why is there so much “Suffering”  in Buddhism? 

The use of the word “suffering” in Buddhism can be misleading. When we hear Buddhists say “life is suffering,” we wonder what it means, as most of us don’t experience extreme misery most of the time. 

The actual word used by the Buddha is “Dukkha”, which means that “things aren’t completely right in our lives, as there are many unsatisfactory conditions in our existence; something always seems amiss.” “Suffering” in Buddhism thus refers to all kinds of dissatisfactions big and small. 

What about happiness? 

To live unenlightened is to experience a greater or lesser degree of dissatisfaction. The Buddha never denied that there is joy and happiness in life. But the nagging problem of dissatisfaction is always around, while happiness is always swiftly fleeting by. This is the only problem in our lives. But it is also the biggest problem as it encompasses all problems we face. The Buddha was only drawing our attention to the fact that suffering is an inevitable part of life, that it is a problem that all experience, and wish to avoid, and that it can be overcome with the attainment of Nirvana (True Happiness). 

Are the four noble truths pessimistic? 

Some say Buddhism is a pessimistic religion— that it keeps talking about suffering. This is definitely untrue. But neither is Buddhism a blindly optimistic religion. It is however, realistic and full of hope, as it teaches that True Happiness is achievable through personal endeavour, one being the master of one’s life. 

Problems and difficulties exist whether we think of them or not. But only with honest recognition of them, is solving them possible. The Buddha stated the indisputable truth that life is full of dissatisfactions so that He could teach us the way out of dissatisfactions, towards True Happiness! 

How are the four noble truths important? 

To realise the Four Noble Truths is the central task of the Buddhist life as they lead to True Happiness. You will discover that the structure of the Four Noble Truths is the most simple, logical, scientific and systematic problem-solving formula possible. As these truths solve the ultimate problem of suffering, they are very important indeed. 

How do the four noble truths work? 

The first truth states our problem of suffering. The second states the cause of the problem. The third states the ideal state without the problem, and the fourth truth states how this ideal state can be achieved.

What is the origin of the four noble truths? 

The Four Noble Truths were first taught by the Buddha during His first sermon at the Deer Park in Isipatana (of ancient India near today’s Benares) after He attained Enlightenment—that was more than 2,500 years ago. 

The sermon was called the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (Setting in Motion the Wheel of the Dharma). All the teachings that the Buddha later gave were either further indepth elaborations of the Four Noble Truths, or teachings that led to them. He used a wide variety of skilful means and methods in teaching them to different people. 

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Due to this merits,
May I soon,
Attain the enlightened state of Guru Buddha,
That I may be able to librate all sentient beings from their suffering.

May the precious bodhi mind, Not yet been born in me, will arise and grow.
May the birth have no decline, and will increase forever more.

Namu Myo Ho Renge Kyo
Namo Buddhaya
Namo Dharmaya
Namo Sanghaya