Four Noble Truths of Suffering: The Truth of Suffering, The Truth of the Cause of Suffering, The Truth of the End of Suffering, The Truth of the Path leading to the End of Suffering.
- The Truth of Suffering (dukkha ariya sacca)
- The Truth of the Cause of Suffering (dukkha samudaya ariya sacca)
- The Truth of the End of Suffering (dukkha nirodho ariya sacca)
- The Truth of the Path leading to the End of Suffering ( dukkha nirodha gamini patipada ariya sacca)
What is the Noble Truth of Suffering? Birth is suffering, aging is suffering, sickness is suffering, dissociation from the loved is suffering, not to get what one wants is suffering: in short the five categories affected by clinging are suffering.
Suffering or dukkha is the common bond we all share. Everybody everywhere suffers. Human beings suffered in the past, in ancient India; they suffer in modern Britain; and in the future, human beings will also suffer. What do we have in common with Queen Elizabeth? – we suffer. With a tramp in Charing Cross, what do we have in common? – suffering. It includes all levels from the most privileged human beings to the most desperate and underprivileged ones, and all ranges in between. Everybody everywhere suffers. It is a bond we have with each other, something we all understand.
What is the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering?
It is craving which renews being and is accompanied by relish and lust, relishing this and that: in other words, craving for sensual desires, craving for being, craving for non-being. But whereon does this craving arise and flourish? Wherever there is what seems lovable and gratifying, thereon it arises and flourishes.
The Second Noble Truth with its three aspects is: ‘There is the origin of suffering, which is attachment to desire. Desire should be let go of. Desire has been let go of.’
The Second Noble Truth states that there is an origin of suffering and that the origin of suffering is attachment to the three kinds of desire: desire for sense pleasure (kama tanha), desire to become (bhava tanha) and desire to get rid of (vibhava tanha). This is the statement of the Second Noble Truth, the thesis, the pariyatti. This is what you contemplate: the origin of suffering is attachment to desire.
What is the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering? It is the remainderless fading and cessation of that same craving; the rejecting, relinquishing, leaving and renouncing of it. But whereon is this craving abandoned and made to cease? Wherever there is what seems lovable and gratifying, thereon it is abandoned and made to cease.
The whole aim of the Buddhist teaching is to develop the reflective mind in order to let go of delusions. The Four Noble Truths is a teaching about letting go by investigating or looking into – contemplating: ‘Why is it like this? Why is it this way?’ It is good to ponder over things like why monks shave their heads or why Buddha look the way they do. We contemplate…the mind is not forming an opinion about whether these are good, bad, useful or useless. The mind is actually opening and considering. ‘What does this mean? What do the monks represent? Why do they carry alms bowls? Why can’t they have money? Why can’t they grow their own food? We contemplate how this way of living has sustained the tradition and allowed it to be handed down from its original founder, Gotama the Buddha, to the present time.
What is the Noble Truth of the Way Leading to the Cessation of Suffering? It is the Noble Eightfold Path, that is to say: Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration.