Teachings Of Buddha – Positive Reflection Of The Week
The Noble Teachings of Buddha
Many of us may not be aware but this month is dedicated to Buddha. He was born on Taurus full moon and it’s celebrated all over by the Buddhist monks and spiritual practitioners. 27th April 2021 celebrated such a full moon. So what did Buddha do and teach? What was his purpose and contribution to Humanity?
The word Buddha means “The Awakened One.” It comes from the Sanskrit root “budh” meaning “to wake.” Therefore, Buddha refers to someone who is fully awake, as if from a deep sleep or illusion to discover that “suffering,” like a dream, can be ended.
There are many Buddhas, but one of the most important ones is Gautama Buddha, also known as Siddhartha Buddha, who was an enlightened sage whose teachings have impacted thousands of lives. No matter what religion you follow, there are universal truths in the teachings of Buddha!
This important doctrine teaches the interconnectedness of all things and in particular the law of Karma. It enlightens us about the mechanisms by which we create a world of suffering for ourselves and others. It then guides us to follow a lifestyle that reduces suffering for all and leads to liberation.
The Three Universal Truths
There are 3 universal truths at the core of Buddha’s teachings:
1. Law of Oneness (Also known as Nothing is Lost in The Universe)
2. Law of Change
3. Law of Cause & Effect
The first basic truth – the Law of Oneness – deals with the fact that nothing is ever lost in the universe and we are all connected to one another. If we destroy something around us, we are destroying ourselves. If we hurt another, based on the principle of oneness, we are hurting ourselves. Understanding this basic truth, helps us to be kind to others, to nature and animals.
The second basic truth – the Law of Change – reveals that everything changes and keeps changing. Nothing is permanent. Not realizing this fact sometimes leads to anger, grief, and suffering.
The last basic truth – the Law of Cause & Effect – is referring to the Law of Karma – What we plant, we will harvest! The Law of Karma is universal and it is discussed in different cultures and religions.
“The kind of seed sown will produce that kind of fruit. Those who do good will reap good results. Those who do evil will reap evil results. If you carefully plant a good seed, you will joyfully gather good fruit.”- Dhammapada
The Four Noble Truths
In Buddhism, the Four Noble Truths contain the essence of Buddha’s teachings and are often called “the truths of the Noble Ones.” It was these four principles that the Buddha came to understand during his meditation under the Bodhi tree.
1. The Truth of Suffering or Dukkha
2. The Truth of the Origin of Suffering or Samudāya
3. The Truth of the Cessation of Suffering (Nirodha)
4. The Truth of the Path to the Cessation of Suffering (Magga)
The Buddha is often compared to a physician. In the first two Noble Truths, he diagnosed the problem (suffering) and identified its cause. The third Noble Truth is the realization that there is a cure while the fourth Noble Truth, in which the Buddha set out the Eightfold Path, is the prescription, the way to achieve release from suffering.
Buddhism begins with the fact that suffering exists. However, before we can do anything about it, we must know its cause, which is often the deeply-rooted sense of ‘I’ that we all have. Because of this, we are often struggling to get things that are pleasurable and avoid things that are painful to find ease and security, and generally to manipulate people and situations to be the way ‘I’ want them.
And because the rest of the world does not necessarily fit in with what “I” want, we often find ourselves cutting against the general flow of things, and getting hurt and disappointed in the process. Suffering may be therefore brought to an end by transcending this strong sense of ‘I’ so that we come into greater harmony with things in general. The means of doing this is The Noble Eightfold Path.
The First Noble Truth – Dukkha
Suffering comes in many forms. Three obvious kinds of suffering correspond to the first three sights the Buddha saw on his first journey outside his palace: old age, sickness, and death.
However, according to Buddha, the problem of suffering goes much deeper. Life is not ideal: it frequently fails to live up to our expectations. Human beings are subject to desires and cravings, but even when we are able to satisfy these desires, the satisfaction is only temporary. Pleasure does not last; or if it does, it becomes monotonous.
Even when we are not suffering from outward causes like illness or bereavement, we sometimes feel unfulfilled or unsatisfied from the inside. This is the truth of suffering. Some people may find this viewpoint pessimistic, but it is rather realistic!
Buddha’s teachings do not end with suffering; it goes on to tell us what we can do about it and how to end it.
The Second Noble Truth – Samudāya
Our day-to-day troubles may seem to have easily identifiable causes: thirst, pain from an injury, sadness from the loss of a loved one. In the second of his Noble Truths, though, the Buddha claimed to have found the cause of all suffering – and it is much more deeply rooted than our immediate worries.
The Buddha taught that the root of all suffering is desire, tanhā. This comes in three forms, which he described as the Three Roots of Evil, or the Three Fires, or the Three Poisons:
1. Greed and desire, often symbolized by a rooster
2. Ignorance or delusion, symbolized by a pig
3. Hatred and destructive urges, symbolized by a snake
The Third Noble Truth – Nirodha
The Buddha taught that the way to extinguish desire, which causes suffering, is to liberate oneself from attachment. Therefore, the Third Noble Truth is the possibility of liberation and the Buddha himself was a living example that this is possible in a human lifetime.
The Fourth Noble Truth – Magga
The final Noble Truth is the Buddha’s prescription for the end of suffering. This is a set of principles called the Eightfold Path. The Eightfold Path is also called the Middle Way or The Middle Path, which leads to harmony.
The eight parts of the Eightfold Path can be grouped into Wisdom (right understanding and intention), Ethical Conduct (right speech, action, and livelihood), and Meditation (right effort, mindfulness, and concentration).
The Buddha described the Eightfold Path as a means to enlightenment, like a raft for crossing a river. Once one has reached the opposite shore, one no longer needs the raft and can leave it behind.
To know more about the inner teachings of Buddhism explore Master Choa Kok Sui’s Inner Teachings of Buddhism Revealed.
www.pranaworld.org Article courtesy
Article Submitted by Shahwana Khanam – Pranic Healer