October 15, 2023 at 5:54 am #46434TobiParticipant
Thoughts on the Absolute Truth hidden in the Four Noble Truths.
I would like to share a few thoughts on the Buddha Dhamma.
It is about the 4 Noble Truths that the Absolute Truth reveals.
The Absolute Truth, which the Noble Disciple would call Ariya paramattha.
Because there are several truths in this world, and only a Samma Sambuddha can and comes into this world to reveal the Absolute Truth to us. This is because the Satta is not able to know the Absolute Truth with his five senses plus the mano. Anyone who tries to know the Absolute Truth with his six senses will fail miserably and continue to suffer in infinite samsara.
These four noble truths were revealed to the yogi Siddhartha Gotama on the night of his enlightenment.
The first Noble Truth is about dukkha, which is an inherent feature of this world and of three kinds.
1. Dukkhadukkhatā, “dukkha lakkhana,” for it refers to the three intrinsic qualities (tilakkhana) of the nature of this world with its 31 realms and the saṅkhata and kamma Vipaka contained therein.
2. Saṅkhāradukkhatā “Loka/Dukkha Samudaya” is related to sense impressions (ārammaṇa) and thoughts saṅkhāra about them. These include Mano, Vaci, and Kāya Saṅkhāra. Since an (ārammaṇa) can also be called the seed of the world, birth (jati) in any realm (loka samudaya) is also equated with the origin of suffering.
3. Vipariṇāmadukkhatā “dukkha mano” is related to mental suffering and pīḷana, i.e., attachment to what one has or craving for what one desires. Which has to do with the Anicca nature of this world.
These three dukkha are all interdependent and interconnected.
Dukkhatā Sutta (SN45.165)
“Tisso imā, bhikkhave, dukkhatā. Katamā tisso? Dukkhadukkhatā, saṅkhāradukkhatā, vipariṇāmadukkhatā – imā kho, bhikkhave, tisso dukkhatā. Imāsaṃ kho, bhikkhave, tissannaṃ dukkhatānaṃ abhiññāya pariññāya parikkhayāya pahānāya … Pe… Ayaṃ ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo bhāvetabbo”ti.
In the Second Noble Truth, the cause of future suffering is indirectly implied in the First Noble Truth and is based on Sam/San (see San – A Critical Pali Root). Saṅ – Adding/prolonging the process of rebirth through the consumption of sensual pleasures. All the Dhammā that give rise to the process of rebirth arise from causes that arise from the saṅ”s: rāga, dōsa, mōha.
But since these sensual pleasures are subject to Tilakkhana. These three features of our world which say that in the long run, we cannot maintain anything to our satisfaction (not even “our” own body), that is anicca. And that’s why we despair, and that’s dukkha. And since we can’t prevent this sequence of events, we’re really helpless in the long run (in the end, there’s nothing left of real substance), that’s anatta. Since we know nothing about the wider world of the 31 realms, with those suffering in the four lowest realms, we focus only on what is easily accessible to our six senses.
And with Idappaccayatā Paṭicca Samuppāda, which is triggered by an easily accessible (ārammaṇa), we provide for the accumulation of kammic energies in the present life. And so, countless times over the course of a lifetime, we are born in different temporary “existences”. (IPS)… and in Paṭicca Samuppāda, the initial ignorance is rooted in avijjā, always about saṅkhāra, viññāṇa, nāmarupa, salāyatana, phassa, vedanā, taṇhā, upādāna, bhava in jāti of rebirth. These 11 concepts should be understood.
In the Third Noble Truth, if one reduces the types of gati, āsava, anusaya, or samyōjana, one can reduce the “saṅ,” accumulating or dasa akusala, and in the end completely abandoning it, culminating in the ahrantship.
Once one has removed the strongest of the dasa akusala (and especially the ten types of micchā diṭṭhi), one will be able to grasp the tilakkhana.
Then the puñña kamma becomes kusala kamma, which leads to the four stages of nibbāna.
The cessation of suffering “dukkha nirodhaya” is accomplished by understanding the concepts and understanding of Paṭicca Samuppāda, which removes san gati, whereupon taṇhā is stopped.
The Buddha defined the cessation of suffering with the phrase; “Idaṃ kho pana, bhikkhave, dukkhanirodhaṃ ariyasaccaṃ – yo tassāyeva taṇhāya asesavirāganirodho cāgo paṭinissaggo mutti anālayo.”
Venerables, what is the Noble Truth of the cessation of suffering – it is the complete cessation & abandonment of taṇhā. Abandonment, liberation from it by losing all desires (also called āsava) for things in this world (anālayo)
In the Fourth Noble Truth, the Noble Four-Step Path is followed with the help of the Noble Eightfold Path, which culminates in the Arahntship at Parinibana, which means the Absolute cooling and the detachment from pathavi, āpo, tējo, vāyo.
Here, the eight points of the Noble Path intertwine.
1. Right view (samma-ditthi)
2. Right Intention (samma-sankappa)
3. Right speech (samma-vaca)
4. Right action (samma-kammanta)
5. Right livelihood (samma-ajiva)
6. Right Effort (samma-vayama)
7. Right mindfulness (samma-sati)
8. Right concentration (samma-samadhi)
If we apply this eightfold Noble Path, which is like a gear, where the gears interlock to move forward. Will we be able to find out the Ariya paramattha, which is the ultimate paramattha truth, in order to break the conventional truth or worldly truth? Which is not the truth known by the six senses. This kind of truth exists in many religions, and you don’t need a Samma Sambuddha to know it.
This worldly truth that keeps us trapped in an existence that is experienced or identified by 6 senses, this curse that has kept us in samsara for infinite times, can only be uncovered by a Samma Sambuddha.
Only a Samma Sambuddha can explain to us the noble Absolute Truth, which cannot be understood with the 6 senses.
The way an ordinary person takes things for the truth is not the Absolute Truth as attained by practicing the Noble Eightfold Path. Worldly truth arises from thinking that is conditioned. Only the practice of the Noble Eightfold Path makes the conditioning, which I understand as gati, āsava, anusaya, disappear.
One must penetrate into the depths of the Dhamma that has “not been heard before in this world” by learning and practicing the Noble Eightfold Path in order to attain the Absolute Truth rooted in Nibbānadathu.
May you find THE TRUTH!
I have two guesses as to what this statement of the Buddha means; “has never been heard in this world.” Could it be that the choice of words of many terms/concepts was integrated into the Magadhi language by the Samma Sambuddha himself and then explained in detail for understanding? Are these concepts/words to be understood as scientific formulas? Therefore, since his words/concepts were only phonetically present (not optically like writing), they should not be explained in Sanskrit because many sounds of the two languages are similar.
Thus, many words rhyme that have a relationship with each other but can still belong to different concepts. I don’t know anything like this from any other language. I’ll give a few examples of rhymes.
1. Vatthu – Dathu = Both refer to elements but are different concepts.
2. Gati – Jati = Gati is a polluted character, and Jati is the birth of a polluted character.
3. Nimitta – Ittha = Both refer to objects.
4. Attā – Anatta = attā has two meanings, and together they refer to properties of the world.
5. Assa – Passover = taking in and giving up, such as morality
6. Upādāna – taṇhā = Both words are related to the Gati and attachment to sensual pleasures.
And I’m sure many more words rhyme like that. Could it be that one who studies languages and examines ancient Magadhi songs that were not written down as Pali in the discourses will find other terms for birth, death, love, etc.?
And secondly, such concepts did not exist in any religion in the world until the appearance of the Samma Sambuddha, for example, duality of mind and two truths. Are these concepts/words to be understood as scientific formulas? These concepts did not even exist in the deva realms. As we know, Abhidhamma was first delivered in a Deva realm.
October 15, 2023 at 6:58 am #46436
Nicely done, Tobi! Thank you for sharing it with us.
I can make a few comments, but I need to read it carefully first.
October 15, 2023 at 5:32 pm #46437
1. Tobi wrote: “Anyone who tries to know the Absolute Truth with his six senses will fail miserably and continue to suffer in infinite samsara. “
That is exactly right. There is a deep point here. Normally, an average human (puthujjana) thinks that “pleasures” (assada) are in external objects perceived with five physical senses. Then they use the sixth sense (mind/mano) to come up with ways of acquiring more “things in the external world” in the hope of enjoying more assada. For example, one makes money to buy better houses, cars, cell phones, and watch movies, listen to music, eat delicious foods, try to marry a beautiful partner, etc.
- Even though it seems first that those efforts bear fruit, in the long run, none of those efforts lead to a “permanent satisfaction.”
- It is not easy to understand that any sukha experienced has a “hidden dukkha” embedded. This world can be thought of as a coin with sukha on one face and dukkha on the other. If one likes to get rid of even a trace of suffering, one should not be “attached to” (or have tanha) those external things. Dukkha cannot be eliminated without giving up “worldly pleasures.” In return, one will get a “permanent sukha” that is not a “vedana” since it cannot be expressed in terms of this world. It is the ‘absence of even a trace of suffering,” and it can be experienced in this life! That experience comes in stages where one can experience the loss of “dukha vedana,” mostly the “mind-made dukha vedana” (one obvious aspect of this is depression, which is of common occurrence these days despite the availability of so many ways of experiencing sensual pleasures.
2. Under the “First Noble Truth,” Tobi wrote: “3. Vipariṇāmadukkhatā “dukkha mano” is related to mental suffering and pīḷana, i.e., attachment to what one has or craving for what one desires.”
That is correct. But there is another way to look at it, which I have tried to emphasize recently.
- Vipariṇāma is the opposite of pariṇāma. Let us understand the meanings of those two words. In English, evolution (pariṇāma) means the time progression of something where it gets better with time. For example, Darwin’s “theory of evolution” (“pariṇāma vāda” in Pāli/Sinhala) says monkeys progressed with time to become humans. Vipariṇāma is the opposite of evolution (devolution), where things move in the wrong/opposite direction with time. When one uses the eyes to enjoy sensory pleasures, one moves away from Nibbāna.
- Every time we engage in an action seeking sensory pleasure, we move away from the “hidden pure mind” or the pabhassara citta; that means we move away from Nibbana.
- I tried to explain that in “Aniccaṁ Vipariṇāmi Aññathābhāvi – A Critical Verse.”
- It requires learning about the “pure mind” in a “pabhassara citta.” One needs to spend some time on the series “Does “Anatta” Refer to a “Self”?” including the section referred there on the pabhassara citta: “Recovering the Suffering-Free Pure Mind.”
3. You wrote toward the end: “I have two guesses as to what this statement of the Buddha means; “has never been heard in this world.”
- The simplest explanation is the following: When encountering an “unpleasurable situation/sensory input,” an average human (puthujjana) knows only two responses: (i) to try to avoid it or (ii) to compensate for it by seeking a “pleasurable sensory input.”
- However, that approach only takes one away from the “suffering-free pure mind,” as explained in #2 above. I explained this in the post “Anicca Nature- Chasing Worldly Pleasures Is Pointless.”
- However, no one knows about this “suffering-free pure mind” (pabhassara citta) unless explained by a Buddha!
4. Regarding Tobi’s question on the double meaning of Pali words, that issue is there with any language.
- I tried to explain that in many posts; see the recent post, “Etaṁ Mama, Esohamasmi, Eso Me Attā’ti – What Does It Mean?“
5. At the very end of Tobi’s post: “These concepts did not even exist in the deva realms. As we know, Abhidhamma was first delivered in a Deva realm.”
- The Buddha delivered discourses in ways compatible with the listener. Devas probably have their own “language” or way of communicating. They likely do not understand Pali.
- On each day of delivery in the Deva realm, the Buddha came to the Earth and met with Ven. Sariputta and summarized that day’s concepts to him (in probably Magadhi, the language spoken at that time by most). This is explained in “Abhidhamma – Introduction.” See #7 there.
- The concepts are the same regardless of the language used. Each language has its own issues. This is a serious issue in translations since a translator needs to be versatile in both languages to do a decent job. Of course, one must also understand the concepts; that is the first requirement.
6. Overall, I am quite impressed by your progress, Tobi. May the Blessings of the Triple Gem be with you in your efforts!
October 15, 2023 at 10:33 pm #46438
October 16, 2023 at 8:43 am #46440
I found a sutta that expresses what I tried to explain in #1 of my above comment. The basic idea is that a puthujjana believes that ultimate happiness is in external “things” like houses, cars, etc.
But a Noble Person (Ariya) sees it precisely the opposite way. Attachment to such worldly things is the cause of future suffering.
I found a sutta that expresses it well: “Paṭhamarūpārāma Sutta (SN 35.136).”
The English translation there is good enough except for the following verse to make it more clear:
@ 4.2: “sakkāyassa nirodhanaṁ” means “stopping the sakkāya (pancupadanakkhandha.) The first step in doing that is to remove sakkāya ditthi (the wrong view that pancupadanakkhandha is beneficial; one tries to acquire luxury houses, fancy cars, etc, on that wrong view).
The following is a critical verse (and the translation is good) @ marker 5.1:
“Yaṁ pare sukhato āhu, tadariyā āhu dukkhato“
Translated: “What others say is happiness, the noble ones say is suffering.” (Here, tadariyā is “tad” (that) + “Ariya” leading to “that one conventionally accepted as “happiness” an Ariya sees as suffering.”) Also, “pare” means “others” or “non-Ariyas” or puthujjana.
In the above example of acquiring luxury items (fancy houses, cars, and things that exceed one’s basic needs), one goes through much effort (sankhara dukkha) to acquire those. But at death, there is nothing to show for it. Because of any immoral deeds done in that process, one may even get a bad rebirth (leading to more dukkha dukkha.) A subtle aspect there is the embedded “viparinama dukkha” because just the process of cultivating such sankhara takes one away from the “pure mind” (pabhassara citta), i.e., in the wrong direction of “viparinama” (read my explanation of parinama/viparinama in the above comment).
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