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The Four

Noble Truths
DHAMMA COMMUNICATIONS
Teacher : Dr. Phra MEDHIRATANADILOK

Faculty of Buddhism
International B.A Degree Programme
1st Year, 2nd Semester, 2012

01. Ven. Indacara


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02. Ven. Pannasiri
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03. Ven. Bulnawe Dhammika
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04. Ven. Vo Huu Danh
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A prominent aspect of the Buddhas


teachings is the Four Noble Truths. If
we fail to understand these truths,
then we keep going round in the
cycle of birth and death (sasra).
No one is free from this suffering
without completely understanding the
Four Noble Truths.

(1) The Noble Truth of Suffering


(Dukkha Ariya Sacca)
(2) The Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering
(Samudaya Ariya Sacca)
(3) The Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering
(Dukkha Nirodha Ariya Sacca)
(4) The Noble Truth of the Path leading to the
Cessation of Suffering
(Dukkha Nirodha Gminipaipad Ariya Sacca).

(1) The Noble Truth


of Suffering
(Dukkha Ariya
Sacca)

The first noble truth is the truth of dukkha. The


Pli term dukkha is typically translated as
"suffering", but the term dukkha has a much
broader meaning than the typical use of the
word "suffering". Dukkha suggests a basic
unsatisfactoriness pervading all forms of life,
due to the fact that all forms of life are
impermanent
and
constantly
changing. Dukkha indicates a lack of
satisfaction, a sense that things never
measure up to our expectations or standards.

Ida kho pana bhikkhave dukkha ariyasacca jtipi

dukkh

jarpi

dukkh

maraampi

sokaparidevadukkhadomanassupyspi

appiyehisampayogo

dukkho

dukkha
dukkh

piyehi

vippayogo

dukkho yampiccha na labhati tampi dukkha sakhittena

pacupd-nakkhandh dukkh.

Dukkha includes physical and mental


sufferings: birth, old age, illness,
death, association with the dislike
ones, separating from the beloved
ones and not to get desirable things
are suffering, dukkha contains the
whole of existence, in our happiness
and sorrow, in every aspect of our
lives.

1. Birth is dukkha.
And what is birth?
Birth: the discomfort
of
birth
and
experiencing
the
world for the first
time;
and
the
discomfort of relating
to new demands or
experiences.

2. Aging is
dukkha.
And what is aging?
Old age: the discomfort
involved in the process
of aging and growing
old; this can apply to
psychological as well as
physical discomfort of
aging.

3. Death is
dukkha.
And what is death?
Death: includes the

pain
separation and not being able
continue on in your endeavors,
well as the physical discomfort
dying.

of
to
as
of

4. Sorrow, lamentation, pain,


grief, & despair are dukkha.
Besides physical suffering, there are also
various forms of mental suffering. Mental
suffering such as sadness, distress, jealousy,
bitterness, unsatisfaction, unhappiness, etc.
There are mental sufferings such as the
suffering of separation from what is dear to us,
the suffering of contact with what we despite,
and the suffering of not getting what we desire,
etc.

People feel sad, lonely or depressed when


they lose someone they love through
separation or death. They become irritated or
uncomfortable when they are forced to be in
the company of those whom they dislike or
those who are unpleasant. People also suffer
when they are unable to satisfy their needs
and wants, etc.

5. Association with
the unbeloved is
dukkha.

Meeting with what we hate is suffering. People who


get along well can work together without any
conflict. But sometimes we may detest a person
and want to get away from him. Yet, no matter
where we go, we keep meeting up with him. This is
no different from encountering enemies. This is
indeed suffering!

6. Separation from
the loved is dukkha.
"Parting with what we love is suffering. No one
wants to be separated from the loved ones;
however, this is inevitable. We still lose our loved
ones to the demon of death, leaving them helpless
and forsaken. Separation from loved ones, whether
in life or through death, is indeed suffering.

7. Not getting what is


wanted is dukkha.
When we want something but are unable to get it,
we feel frustrated. When we expect someone to live
or to work up to our expectation and they do not, we
feel disappointed. When we want others like us and
they dont, we feel hurt.

8. The five clingingaggregates are dukkha.


All the illnesses of the five kandhas is
suffering. To have a body means to
experience pain and diseases on a daily
basis. Pain and disease also means
suffering. The five kandhas or aggregates
are form, feeling, perception, volition and
consciousness. The kandhas of form relates
to the physical body, while the remaining
four concern the mind. Simply speaking, this
is the suffering of the body and the mind.

(2) The Noble Truth of


the Origin of Suffering
(Samudaya Ariya Sacca)

The second noble truth is the truth of


the origin of dukkha. Within the
context of the four noble truths, the
origin (samudaya) of dukkha is
commonly explained as craving
(tah) conditioned by ignorance
(avijj).

It is craving (tah) which rises to rebirth,


and bound up with pleasures and lusts
now here and there, finds ever fresh
delight. This craving is of three kinds:
(i) Craving
for
sense
pleasures
(kmatah)
(ii) Craving for existence (bhvatah)
(iii) Craving for non-existence (vibhavatah).

(3) The Noble Truth of the


Cessation of Suffering
(Dukkha Nirodha Ariya
Sacca)

The third Noble Truth is the truth of


the
cessation
of
dukkha.
Cessation (nirodha) refers to the
cessation of suffering and the causes
of suffering.

The end of suffering is non-attachment, or


letting go of desire or craving. This is the
state of Nibbna, where greed, hatred and
delusion
are
extinct.
Freedom from attachments to the five
aggregates of attachment is the end of
suffering. This freedom is not conditioned by
causes, as are the conditioned states:
Nibbna
is
the
non-attachment
to
conditioned experience.

(4) The Noble Truth of the


Path leading to the
Cessation of Suffering
(Dukkha Nirodha
Gminipaipad Ariya
Sacca)

While the first three truths are primarily


concerned with understanding the nature
of dukkha and its causes, the fourth truth
presents a practical method for
overcoming dukkha. The path consists
of a set of eight interconnected factors or
conditions,
that
when
developed
together, lead to the cessation of
dukkha.

1. Right
View
Right view refers to understanding of the
Four Holy Truths. It also can refer to
insight into the nature of the Dharma
Body of the Buddha.
Right view refers to your manner of
regarding something, your mental outlook
and your opinions, not to what you view
with your eyes.

2. Right
Thought.

Right thought means that our reflection must


be consistent with common sense, useful both
to others and ourselves. We must strive to
correct our faults, or change our wicked
opinions. While meditating on the noble
formula of Precept, Concentration, and
Wisdom, we must realize that ignorance is
the main cause of suffering, the root of all
wicked acts; therefore, we must look for a way
to get rid of suffering for us and for others.

3. Right Speech
Right
speech
implies
sincere, sound, impartial,
direct,
not
distorting,
cautious, affable, harmless,
useful
words
and
discourses.
Avoidance of lying, slander
and gossip (false and idle
talk)Abstaining from lying,
tale-bearing, harsh words,
and foolish babble.

4. Right
Action.
Right action involves action beneficial to
both others and ourselves. We must always
act for the happiness of the community,
conforming to our sense of duty, without any
ulterior motive for damaging others
interests, occupations, positions, honors, or
lives. We must also keep strict control of our
"action, speech, and mind," carrying out ten
meritorious actions and avoiding ten evil
ones.

5. Right
Livelihood.

Right livelihood is abandoning wrong ways of


living which bring harm and suffering to others.
Right livelihood means not to live on work that
would in any way bring harm to living beings.
Buddhists are discouraged from engaging in
the following five kinds of livelihood that are
involved in negative actions: trading people,
weapons, animals for slaughter, intoxicating
drinks and drugs. The Buddha said: Do not
earn your living by harming others. Do not
seek happiness by making others unhappy.

6. Right Effort
Right effort means to try to avoid the arising of evil,
demeritorious things have not yet arisen. Try to
overcome the evil, demeritorious things that have
already arisen. At the same time, try to produce
meritorious things that have not yet arisen and try to
maintain the meritorious things that have already
arisen and not let them disappear, but to bring them
to growth, to maturity and to the full perfection of
development. Right effort also means cultivation of
what is karmically wholesome and avoidance of what
is karmically unwholesome.

7.
Mindfulness

Right

Right mindfulness means to be always


aware and attentive. We should always be
aware of what we think, say and do. We
must concentrate on everything we do
before we can do it well. For instance, if we
concentrate in class, we would not miss
anything the teacher says.

8.
Concentration

Right

Right concentration is the intensified


steadiness of the mind comparable to the
unflickering flame of a lamp in a windless
place. It is concentration that fixes the
mind right and causes it to be unmoved
and undisturbed. The correct practice of
samdhi maintains the mind and the
mental properties in a state of balance.

Inclusio
n
They are truth because they are real and
form an evident fact of life. Although the
Buddha arises or not, they even exist in the
world. It is the Buddha revealed them to
mankind. They are called Noble because
they were discovered by the great Noble
Being or Enlightened One.

The Buddha shows the world the sufferings


caused by craving, and the absence of
sufferings thanks to the power of the
Eightfold Path. Among them, the first Noble
Truth should be known; the second Noble
Truth should be eradicated; the third Noble
Truth should be gained; and the fourth Noble
Truth should be developed in order to dry off
the ocean of Sasra and attain the
foremost happiness, Nibbna. This is the
essence of Buddhism.

Thanks for
your listening!

The end