The following excerpts on Buddhism: The Four Noble Truths
are taken from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso' recent book, How to Solve
our Human Problems.
"In Sutra of The
Four Noble Truths, Buddha says:
You should know sufferings.
These instructions are known as the ‘four noble truths’.
They are called ‘noble truths’ because they are superior
and non-deceptive instructions."
You should abandon origins.
You should attain cessations.
You should practice the path.
You should know sufferings
In general, everyone who has physical or
mental pain, even animals, understands their own suffering. But
when Buddha says ‘you should know sufferings’, he means
that we should know the sufferings of our future lives. Through
knowing these, we shall develop a strong wish to liberate ourself
from them. This practical advice is important for everybody because,
if we have the wish to liberate ourself from the sufferings of future
lives, we shall definitely use our present human life for the freedom
and happiness of our countless future lives. There is no greater
meaning than this. If we do not have this wish, we shall waste our
precious human life only for the freedom and happiness of this one
You should abandon origins
This is also very practical advice. ‘Origins’
refers mainly to our delusions of attachment, anger and self-grasping
ignorance. Normally we have a sincere wish to avoid suffering permanently,
but we never think to abandon our delusions. However, without controlling
and abandoning our delusions, it is impossible to attain permanent
liberation from suffering and problems. Therefore, we should follow
Buddha’s advice and, through our concentration on the profound
meaning of Dharma and the force of our determination, emphasize
controlling our attachment, anger, and other delusions.
You should attain cessations
This means that we should attain the permanent
cessation of suffering. Generally, from time to time, everybody
experiences a temporary cessation of particular sufferings. For
instance those who are physically healthy are experiencing a temporary
cessation of sickness. However, this is not enough because it is
only temporary. Later they will have to experience the suffering
of sickness again and again, in this life and in countless future
lives. Every living being without exception has to experience the
cycle of the sufferings of sickness, ageing, death and rebirth,
in life after life, endlessly. Following Buddha’s example,
we should develop strong renunciation for this endless cycle, and
make the strong determination to attain enlightenment, the permanent
cessation of suffering, and to lead every living being to that state.
You should practice the path
In this context, ‘path does not mean
an external path that leads from one place to another, but an inner
path, a spiritual path that leads to the pure happiness of liberation
and enlightenment. A detailed explanation of the stages of the path
to liberation and enlightenment can be found in Transform
Your Life and The
New Meditation Handbook.
to Solve Our Human Problems by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Further information on Buddhism: The
Four Noble Truths can be found in Geshe Kelsang Gyatso's recent
to Solve Our Human Problems and for a more extensive explanation
see (from tharpa.co.uk) Joyful
Path of Good Fortune.
If you would like to attend meditation classes near you and learn about Buddhism, visit the main website for Kadampa Buddhism which has details of Buddhist Centres around the world.
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