Gautama became “Buddha”,
the Enlightened One in the grooves of Bodh Gaya,
the event marked his attainment of the answers to the problem of human
suffering. Inspired to share the pearls of ultimate wisdom with others, the Buddha
gave his First Sermon, known as- “Dhammachakrapravartana” (turning of the Wheel
of Dhamma) at Sarnath, where he uttered the Four Noble Truths, which are the
root map for human beings, to guide them away from the continuous cycles of
life and death and take them to the blissful experience of Nibbana or Nirvana.
The First Noble Truth
Dukkha or suffering is
the first noble truth of human life. Aspects of being a human- birth, age,
death, and human emotions, everything causes a person to suffer. The source of
this suffering is the knowledge of impermanence, pain, and lack of any control
over one’s condition. The strong attachment to one’s self ‘I’ and ‘Me’ and
seeing it above the rest but never finding true happiness ensures that Dukkha
is a part of human life as long as a person lives.
The Second Noble Truth
According to the
Buddha, the samudaya or source of Dukkha are the cravings or thirst that
surrounds a human being. The pleasure of the sense, attachment to life, and the
thoughts of the afterlife crowd the mind, and for gratifying these, a human
being forever searches his surroundings. When the needs and wants remain
unsatisfied, frustration, anger, and conflict become a part of life.
The Third Noble Truth
The way out or nirodha
from a spiral of suffering in life is annihilating the thirst or the origin of
dukkha. This as per the Buddhist traditions is possible only by Nibbana or Nirvana- the complete
extinction of petty gratifications and attaining proximity to the enlightened
principle. The Fire Sermon of Vinaya Pitaka describes the “fires” of attachment,
animosity, illusion, birth, getting old, and the deceased, which are quelled by
Nirvana. The state of Nirvana usually associated with death is possible while a
person lives on the earthly plain and is experienced by Buddhist followers who
become “Arahat” (the Worthy One).
The Fourth Noble Truth
The holy fourth truth
prescribed by the Buddha is known worldwide as the “Ashtangika Marga” or the
Eight-Fold Path, more commonly as the “Madhyam Marga” or the Middle Path.
Practicing these eight virtues leads one to the enlightened state of Nirvana.
34" Large Brass Medicine Buddha with Inlay Work | Handmade
The Eight Fold Path
The first two
components of this list are associated with wisdom, 3-5 are moral qualities,
and 6-8 assist in the spiritual growth of the Chitta (mind). The Eight Fold
path is a guide in the everyday life as well as in the journey of spiritual
upliftment. There is a natural progression in the order of the factors of the
path, with each one leading to the other, and the last one- Right concentration
laying the groundwork for Enlightenment.
Entering The Stream Of Enlightened Bliss
A person who does not
follow the path laid by the Four Noble Truths is called “puthujjana” or an
ordinary man. When one is initiated into Buddhism by proclaiming refuge in Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha, the
journey to enlightenment begins. Practicing the Eight-Fold Path unwaveringly
makes a person a “Once Returner”- who is born only once in the human realm and
their other rebirths occur in the abode of the gods.
Buddhists with higher spiritual merit win over the urges of subtle sensual
desires and animosity and become Non-returners. Moving further, a holy person
reaches closer to becoming an Arahat and finally attains Arahathood. All gross
and subtle sources of dukkha are overpowered by an Arahat and he endlessly
enjoys the sweet stream of Nibbana’s bliss.
Four Noble Truths in the Buddhist faith are one of the most ancient, sacred,
and simplest methods for a human being to rise above the murky waters of
dukkha. Just as medical methods observe, identify and heal the ailment that
causes physical pain, the Noble Truths in Buddhism answer the question of what
ails the mind. Following these invaluable teachings of the Tathagata, human
life becomes meaningful, and one leaves the petty concerns of self-gratification
behind to become a fulfilling presence in the lives of others.
by the incomparable life and preachings of the Buddha, Exotic India Art houses
a vast treasure of Buddha
made by following ancient techniques and Buddhist textual traditions, in pure
and durable materials and pious Buddhist
as well as other related literary. Visit our collection and find a serene
Buddhist icon or knowledge rich book on Buddhism, to fill your space and mind
with sublimity of Enlightenment.
Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices by Peter Harvey
(Cambridge University Press)
The Enlightened One by Gabriel Mandel Khan (Thunder Bay Press)
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