Thursday, 31 March 2011

Unsatisfactoriness is the Essence (the Centre of the Four Noble Truths)


It is well known that the Four Noble Truths is one the fundamental teachings in Buddhism. Not only Buddhism at the time of its birth but also all the other India religions mainly discussed this issue of unsatisfactoriness. Many of the ascetics at the time of the Buddha entered into homeless in search of everlasting happiness. Some of them lived meaningful lives. Therefore, in Buddhism those positive practices are not totally condemned. In the ñandasutta of the ßuttanipAta, the Buddha says the following on some of his contemporary religious people.

ñAhaM bhikkhave sabbeva samaNabrahmaNAse jAtiyarAya nivutAti brUmi
= O monks! I don’t say that all other recluses and Brahmins are over well birth and decay.

A teaching for the cessation of suffering in followers came in practical into existence with Buddhist teaching. The realization of Four Noble Truths with special focus on unsatisfactoriness is regarded in high staying in Buddhism. In the KotigAmasutta of SN says the followings.
CatunnaM bhikkhave saccAnaM ananubodhA appaTivedaM dIghamaddhAnaM saMsaritaM mamaJceva tumhAkaJca
=O monks! By not knowing and realizing of Four Noble Truths along distance like was journeying and wondering of me and of you.
The first truth of the Four Noble Truth talks about the true nature of existences the being never comes to experience a permanently existing satisfactoriness. This is explained with the first truth. The second talks about cause or origin of unsatisfactiriness. The third is its cessation, the unsatisfactoriness. The fourth truth is the path leading to the cessation of that unsatisfactoriness. In the ∂hammacakkapavattanasutta of SN the Four Noble Truth is given in three circle (tiparivaTTa) and twelve fold (dvadasakAra) analysis. There the first level is called saccaJANa that is realized the Four Noble Truth as true. The second circle is called kiccaJANa the four things that should be done in relation to Four Truth. The last circle kataJANa is the knowledge that the best is done in relation to Four Truth.

Tiparivattam DvAdasakAram Ariyasacca
sacciJAna (knowledge of the truth)
kiccaJAna (knowledge the things to be done)
kataNAna (knowledge of the done)
dukkha ariya sacca (the truth of suffering)
pariJeyya (to be known fully)
pariJJAtaM (known fully)
dukkha samudaya ariya sacca (the truth of cause of suffering)
pahAtabbaM (to be given up)
pahInaM (given up)
dukkha nirodha ariya sacca (the truth of cessation of suffering)
sacchikAtabbaM (to be realised)
sacchikataM (realized)
dukkha nirodha gAmanipaTipada ariya sacca (the truth of path leading the cessation of suffering )
bhavetabbaM (to be cultivated)
bhAvitaM (cultivated)


Yato ca kho bhikkhave imesu catusu ariyasaccesu evam tiparivattaM dvAdasakAraM yathAbhUtaM JAnadassanaM suvisuddhaM ahosi. athAhaM bhikkhave sadevake  loke samArake sabrahmake sassamAnabrahmaniyA pajAya anuttaraM sammasambodhiM abhisambuddho pajaJAsi
(Dhammacakkapavatana sutta, DN)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
= O monks! When the Thrice Circle and Twelve-fold Vision of knowledge in things as they are, was well purifief this Four Noble Truth, then I proclaim O monks!the enlightenment of fully enlightenment which is incomparable in the world with gods, evil ones, brahmas and the population with recluses and brhamins.

      This occurrence in the ∂hammacakkapavattanasutta shows that the unsatisfactoriness is the co-concept in the Four Noble Truth.
PariJJeyyaM pariJJAtaM bhAvetabbaM ca bhAvitaM
sacchikataM yathAhaM tasmA Buddhosmi brahmaNa
= What should be known is known, what should be developed is developed
Then what should be realized is done I, therefore O Brahmin I am the enlightened one.

      This knowledge of reality which is supreme in entire of human thoughts is centered round one basic principles of human existence. That is the unsatisactoriness.

Lectured on 06.02.2006  
      The realization of unsatisfactoriness means understanding fully the unsatisfactoriness related to five aggregates of grasping which is beyond normal suffering. The origin of suffering, that is classified as craving for sensual pleasure (kAma taNhA), craving for becoming (bhava taNhA) and craving for non-becoming (vibhava taNhA). The cessation of suffering is the appeasement (nibbAna). The path leading to liberation is Eight-fold Noble Path (ariyATThaGgikamagga). The Buddha says he is the Buddha only when he realizes the Four Noble Truth of which central point is unsatisfactoriness.

      Buddhism explaining the nature of the life and the world based on its analysis on classification and its synthesis on the theory of causality. Although there are different steps in understanding the truth at all those levels, there is the central point of unsatisfactoriness. All such discovery that is related to unsatisfactoriness is subject to depending co-origination. The Buddhist discovery of truth therefore depends on the two methods of analysis and synthesis. 
      This Four Noble truth is common to entire world. They are combined to a particular religion. Any one from any religion is able to discover them if they are intelligent and interesting to do so.

      When the person is attached and attracted by grasping, the craving grows. Depending on that craving grasping (upadAna) arises becoming(bhava), depending on becoming birth (jAti) arises depending on birth decay (jarA) arises depending on decay death arises (maraNa) and the like form of suffering are born. This shows the cause of samsric existence. When the person saw the danger of grasping craving ceases. With the cessation of craving grasping, becoming etc are too ceasing. The two processes are explained in ñidAnasutta of SN as follows.    

üpAdAnIyesu dhammesu assAdAnupassino viharato taNhA pavaDDhati, taNhA paccayA upAdAnaM, upAdAna paccayA bhavo evametassa kevalassa dukkhakhdandhassa samudayo hoti

=When (the person) is living following the good results of grasping things, craving grows, due to craving there is grasping, due to grasping there is becoming,  … thus is the arises of the mass aggregates of unsatisfactoriness.

The same sutta continues to say:
üpAdAyesu dhammesu AdInavAnupassino viharato taNhA nirujjhat,. taNhA nirodho upAdAna nirodho, upAdAna nirodho evametassa kevalassa dukkhakhandhassa nirodho hoti  

=When (the person) lives seeing the bad effects of grasping things, craving ceases, by the cessation of craving grasping ceases, thus this mass aggregates of suffering ceases.

      In this way, not only the nature of suffering is classified but also the path out of it is clearly shown. The cove of Buddhist philosophy thus deals with the major problem that is faced by humanity and the solution for it. As in the case of many European philosophies apart from analyzing the situation, some Indian thinkers had no proper solution to the basic problem of existence. The uniqueness of Buddhism lies in the fact that while analyzing the basic problems that directs path to find out the solutions within oneself without contacting supra-mundane agencies.

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