The basic orientation of Buddhist philosophy can be expressed by having a mindful investigation about the Four Noble Truths as declared by the lord Buddha. And also, this is the essence of right understanding that guides living beings to the path of Nibbhana as well as which helps living beings to withstand on their day-to-day troubles, pains and sufferings. First of all let’s get to know about what are the Four Noble Truths and then we will discuss how to apply that teaching to drive our lives by overcoming pains, sufferings and difficulties.

The truth of suffering (Dukkha) – First, we have to identify what is suffering and what are the forms of suffering according to preachings of the lord Buddha. Birth, going old (old age), illnesses and death are common sufferings for all living beings in the universe.

The truth of the origin of suffering (Samudhaya) – This teaches us what causes suffering or what’s the reason behind suffering. According to the lord Buddha, the root of all sufferings is desire (Tanha). We all are looking for a healthy life, wealth, fortune, comfort and many things which support our lives without understanding the reality of the world because of our unsatisfactory desire. This causes us to suffer.

The truth of cessation of suffering (Nirodha) – This is the permanent solution that extinguishes desire which causes suffering. The solution is known as Nibbhana.

The truth of the path to the cessation of suffering (Magga) – This teaches us the right pathway to attain Nibbhana. The pathway is called the Noble Eightfold Path or the Middle way which consists of eight principles. This is regrouped into wisdom, ethical conduct (virtue) and mindfulness.

Now we discuss how these four steps help us to solve and overcome our day-to-day troubles, pains, sufferings and difficulties. Therefore let’s simplify those steps like this; question, reason for that question, solution and the path for that solution. Let’s take a simple example to understand the procedure. Question: Someone doesn’t have enough money for his expenses. So he is suffering a lot. Now think about some valid reasons for his suffering. Reasons: He has many desires that either useful or useless, or he wastes his money, or he doesn’t have a sufficient income or knowledge to have a proper employment. Now think about some solutions to overcome his suffering. Solutions: He can manage his income by cutting off unnecessary expenses, or he can do a part time job in addition to his main employment, or he can think about his own business. Finally think about an appropriate pathway to achieve those solutions. Pathway: He can reduce the cost of meals, travelling, accommodation, clothing and communication by moving into cheaper sources. He can borrow some money from his friends to invest for a new business (Not to eat, drink and for other individual expenses). And especially, he should need a strong effort to follow the selected path. If someone is effortless, he is unable to make use of the Four Noble Truths to have a strong and stable mindset to withstand on sufferings.

KWD Sandun Sirikumara (6/8/2018)

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