What are the 4 noble truths?

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shanyin
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What are the 4 noble truths?

Post by shanyin »

What are the 4 noble truths? I realize I can look it up (on the internet), but I am suspicious of certain information that says "there is suffering" or "Life is dukkha". I am not a secular Buddhist at the time, nor am I a religious person.
Malcolm
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Re: What are the 4 noble truths?

Post by Malcolm »

shanyin wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 3:30 pm What are the 4 noble truths? I realize I can look it up (on the internet), but I am suspicious of certain information that says "there is suffering" or "Life is dukkha". I am not a secular Buddhist at the time, nor am I a religious person.
1) Suffering
2) The cause of suffering
3) The cessation of suffering
4) The eightfold path
Momento mori.
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Seeker12
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Re: What are the 4 noble truths?

Post by Seeker12 »

shanyin wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 3:30 pm What are the 4 noble truths? I realize I can look it up (on the internet), but I am suspicious of certain information that says "there is suffering" or "Life is dukkha". I am not a secular Buddhist at the time, nor am I a religious person.
FWIW, the four noble truths are the truths that are realized by those who have genuine insight into the nature of phenomena.

The first noble truth is basically that samsaric existence is unsatisfactory. This may be due to gross, acute, terrible suffering, or more subtle suffering, or because samsaric phenomena are unreliable and even the most exquisite pleasure one might find with the deluded mind will end, and if one does not uproot ignorance at the root, one also does not uproot affliction, and one basically necessarily will fall into lower states as a result. So one comes to see that even the highest, most long-lasting state is still not desireable ultimately as long as ignorance is not overcome.

The second noble truth relates to basically karma and the consequences of karma, and includes discussion about all of the realms of being within samsara, whether 'high' or 'low'.

The third noble truth relates to how with genuine insight, the root of ignorance is cut, and one finds cessation of the mundane mind, instead tasting the bliss of deathlessness.

The fourth noble truth basically relates to how once this is tasted, the mind is oriented towards realizing it fully, and that which leads to the full realization of deathlessness is the path. More or less.

If one simply has a basic intellectual understanding of such things, this is not actual realization of the four noble truths, or the four 'truths realized by the aryas', but is only an intellectual approximation which at best points in the right direction.

Basically. :anjali:
This truth of the Self-Sprung Ones is to be realized through faith.
The orb of the sun blazes with light, [but] is not seen by the blind.
Nothing whatsoever is to be removed. Not the slightest thing is to be added.
Truly looking at truth, truth is seen. When seen, this is complete liberation.
The element is empty of the adventitious [stains], which are featured by their total separateness. But it is not empty of the matchless properties, which are featured by their total inseparability.

Uttaratantra Shastra
Jeff H
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Re: What are the 4 noble truths?

Post by Jeff H »

It sounds like you might be stuck on the concept of dukkha, which is often translated as suffering. Buddha identified three kinds of suffering.

Manifest Suffering is what English speakers usually mean by “suffering”. It’s any pain or gross discomfort that significantly disrupts our lives. When the pain goes away, we think the suffering has stopped. But that is not the meaning of dukkha.

The second level of suffering, according to Buddha, is Changing Suffering. It’s what we think of as pleasure, good fortune, well-being. For arya beings, Changing Suffering is merely a temporary respite from Manifest Suffering, and more to the point, it necessarily leads directly to more Manifest Suffering.

Because of our innate and learned misconceptions about how phenomena exist, we get the causes of suffering and happiness mixed up. By striving to establish well-being based on our ignorant understanding of phenomena, we just generate Changing Suffering and thereby create Manifest Suffering.

Round and round we go in that vicious cycle of craving the impossible. Even when this body gives out, the mental continuum still craves another life to repeat the same process. And that is the third suffering: Pervasive Suffering which is the very nature of samsara.

The first noble truth says we must recognize suffering in this sense (what it is). The second identifies the cause of suffering (why it is). The third says cessation of suffering is possible (it isn't necessary). The fourth says to apply the correct method to accomplish cessation (how to stop it).
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva
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Aemilius
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Re: What are the 4 noble truths?

Post by Aemilius »

One need not take a merely negative attitude toward duhkha or "suffering". Duhkha is the cause for the development of most or all of the sciences like chemistry, anatomy, medicine, psychology, etc.. and their practical applications, which have hopefully helped the humanistic, political and spiritual development of humankind. Thus duhkha is the cause for the arising of knowledge, hopefully also and including the knowledge of truth and the knowledge of the nature of reality.
Last edited by Aemilius on Sun May 01, 2022 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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