most of you must have heard about Buddhism, and that it was founded, in India by a person called Buddha, when you learnt about religions in your school years.
and if that’s all you know
let me tell you a bit about Buddhism.
Buddhism is considered as a religion by most people, but to me it is more of a philosophy, or a lifestyle. Buddhism teaches us how to get into the path of enlightenment, the path to happiness.
In this article we are going to talk about the basis of Buddhism, the concept that bears all the weight of Buddhism ,the four noble truths. Lord Bhudda has explained these four truths in his first dhamma sermon, the dhamma chakka pavattana sutta, told to paswaga mahanun (few of buddha’s old colleagues who helped him in his hard times) after he became enlightened.
okay let’s get in to the first truth,the truth of suffering.(dukka arya sathya)
Suffering can be referred to as pain,sickness or worries that we have to go through as a being. We face different kinds of pains from the moment we get born in this world. The pain of birth, which of course we can’t remember and our mothers can. The pain of getting sick, the pain of mental breakdowns, pain of stress, pain of getting old and pain of getting away from people that we love and there are many more pains and worries in our lives that we have come across.
So the first truth refers to this pain . No matter what we do, how successful we are in this world, we still have to go through these pains, from a poor beggar to Elon musk everyone has to go through pain in their lives. That is an eternal truth. No one can be happy all the time unless you are enlightened. Everyone will have to suffer in life regardless of their wealth. Thats why billionaires and well recognized pop starts suicide or go in to jail for life time, money and wealth alone cannot buy happiness. This is referred to as the truth of suffering.
Okay, now let’s move on to the second truth ,
the truth of the cause of suffering, thanha
Lord Buddha has shown that the reason for this suffering , this pain is one reason for all beings and that one reason is greed, or thanha in pali : for those of you who don’t know, pali is the language that lord buddha had used to convey his teachings. So all the original texts are in pali. Back to the second noble truth. Okay we learned that Greed is the reason for pain. But for us, the normal beings , we see greed as a good thing. The greed to get a good job, greed to get a partner,greed to build a house, greed to get a nice car , greed to get the best in the world ,we see these as great things. But if we actually get each of these and see, we have to put so much work, pain and stress in order to attain these. In order to get a good job you have to write many exams, in order to get a nice car we have to earn money, and making money can be a stressful and painful process to many.
Of course some people may get things with less pain than other people. In bhuddhist world we give all the credit of that to good karma that the person has done in his/her previous lives. Now for those of you who are new to Buddhism, might not know about karma or rebirth, I will write an article to explain about karma in future ,so you can learn what karma is and how it works. If i put it in simple words, karma is the payback for every thing that we did (good or bad) we will get good things happening to us in the case of good karma and bad things as a result of past wrongdoings. It can span across many lifetimes : samsara : another concept in Buddhism that you have to understand in order to fully grasp the second noble truth. I will include the concept of samsara in my future article about karma.
As long as we have greed for things, we will have to go in samsara to achieve those, which causes birth and which causes pain and suffering. In order to remove suffering from our lives or in other words samsara we have to get rid of greed, the cause of suffering.
So if you remove the reason for suffering from your life, the only thing that remain in you, will be “happiness”.
And let’s explore how to get out of greed and to enter the path of enlightenment in next article , the part two of this article which will explain the next two noble truths ,
3. The truth of the end of suffering
4.the truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering.
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