Four noble truths
Though we are citizens of a free nation, there is a different kind of bondage experienced by most of us because of suffering born of various worldly ills. Spiritual masters have often linked such suffering to the ignorance of their disciples and suggested the path of experience-based knowledge as the best possible remedy to deal with these dilemmas.
This approach does not deny the existence of misery and pain. On the contrary, it accepts misery and pain asa part of life and teaches us to handle the situation with enlightenment, with realisation of truth. This may be referred to, in exalted terms, as “attainment of nirvana” or moksha, which is possible while we are still alive and part of this world.
The Buddha’s earliest and most well-known sermons are based on the same premise.
The gospel about the Four Noble Truths points to the same facts about painful bondage of humanity, its causes, analysis and prescribed solutions. Let us examine this spiritual approach so that we can find limitless freedom, joy and ultimate liberation.
The First Noble Truth accepts the existence of suffering, as Siddhartha experienced in before Gautama Buddha. The old age, sickness and death, we can add poverty, destitution, corruption, pollution, unrest, crime, unemployment and other malaises of modern era, which when not experienced directly, lead to often suffering of the subtle form suffered at the intellectual and emotional level.
The Second Noble Truth analyses the cause of this suffering, which lies in human ignorance and other emotions like desire, hatred etc.
The Third Noble Truth offers hope that there is a way out of this suffering through cessation of its cause.
The Fourth Noble Truth is the eight-fold path through which seekers find liberation while leading a normal life. The eight-fold path is about the right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right meditation.
The Four Noble Truths are not just theory but provide practical training to attain freedom from human suffering through doable steps that have been successfully tried out by others.
Revisiting the teachings of masters is a very useful exercise as their application helps us deal with our daily issues. The wisdom or gyan of saints protects us from worldly suffering.
Poonam Srivastava’s new book T-Junction Crossing Over for Change has been published recently. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org