Meditation for BeginnersThe Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering # 1Lord Buddha continued with an explanation of the origin of suffering.After explaining the Noble Truth of Suffering, Lord Buddha continued with an explanation of the origin of suffering. He pointed to craving as the origin of suffering craving for rebirth in the Cycle of Existence leads living beings to continue to be reborn again and again in the various planes of existence.He taught the being enamoured with sense pleasures i.e. images, sounds, perfumes, tastes and touch keeps beings prisoner.The sense pleasures are like fetters which force living beings to continue to arise and pass away in the Cycle of Existence, and to have to endure the implicit suffering, all the way from the suffering of birth, to old age, illness and death just as if one were being stalked end lessly by the grim reaper who is ready at all times to terminate one’s life with a slash of his sickle.The life of beings is thus unspeakably difficult,,dying in suffering from one realm and being born into more suffering in another realm dying from there into yet another, and the cycle goes on and on. For as long as beings are subject to crabbing, the fetter that keeps all beings as captive travelers in the Cycle of Existence.The Lord Buddha taught that there are three sorts of cravingThe Three forms of CravingThe Lord Buddha taught that there are three sorts of craving: craving for sense-pleasure [kamatanha], craving for the form realms [bhavatanha] and craving for the formless realms [vibhavatanha].1. Craving for Sense-Pleasure [kamatanha]Craving for sense pleasure is the grasping of the mind when it is under the influence of greed or desire for the objects of it is under the influence of greed or desire for the objects of the senses i.e. images, sounds, perfumes, tastes and touch. It is the craving of those who think that true happiness can be obtained via sense pleasure. Such people may wish to be reborn in the human realm or one of the heavens, all of which are in the Sphere of Sense Pleasure [kamabhava]. Those with such an attitude to life, try to do as many meritorious actions as possible (e.g. keeping the Precepts or being generous) in order to be reborn in heaven. Such is the attitude of one motivated by craving for sense-pleasure and the Lord Buddha enumerated it as one of the Noble Truths of the Origin of Suffering.2. Craving for the Form Realms [bhavatanha]Craving for the Form Realms is the attitude of those who wish to be reborn in the Brahma-world or the Realms of Form [rupabhava]. Such people believe that being able to attain the Brahma-world will allow them to escape from the suffering of birth, old age, sickness and death. Such people devote all their efforts to the attainment of the form absorptions [jhana] in order to pass away into the Brahma world at death.Craving for sense pleasure is the grasping of the mindThe ascetics who subscribe to this dogma and who have developed a certain degree of meditation, may acquire the ability to recollect their previous lives and will know what form they had taken in previous lives. When passing away, the highest realm in which they can be reborn will be the Form-Brahma world. Ascetics subscribing to this dogmas believe that Brahma is the Ultimate Truth. Thus, having taken human birth, they spend all their time trying to develop the absorptions in order to try to be born in the Brahma world next time round. Such an attitude is driven by craving for the Brahma world and the Lord Buddha enumerated it as one of the Noble Truths of the Origin of Suffering.3. Craving for the Formless Realms [vibhavatanha]Craving for the Formless Realms is the dogma of those who wish to be reborn in the formless Brahma-world or the formless Realms [arupabhava]. Such people believe that being able to attain the formless Brahma-world will allow them to escape eternally from rebirth in lower realms and that it will allow them to attain Nirvana.The ascetics who subscribe to this attitude, who have developed a certain degree of meditation, may acquire the ability to know what awaits them after death. The limits of the knowledge of such ascetics are the Formless Brahma World are the origins of all the suffering connected with rebirth in the Spheres of the Form-Brahmas and the Formless-Brahmas respectively. It is for this reason that craving is explained as being the sole cause of all forms of suffering suffering cannot be blamed on any other thing. If craving can be avoided, the suffering of birth, old age and death will be escaped.Craving has been responsible since the beginning of time for keeping beings in the cycle of existence without offering any possible refuge. It is for this reason that craving has been called ‘samudaya’ the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering.Craving for Sense Pleasure leads to the Hell RealmsCraving for Sense Pleasure leads to the Hell RealmsThe origin of craving is the desire of the unwholesome mind and following such craving leads to evil acts. Desire was characterized by the Lord Buddha as being attached to the things we like. It is like a monkey trapped by glue in a monkey trap. Normally it sticks to the trap when it sits down. and trying to prise its body free, it uses its legs to push however,it only succeeds in sticking its feet to the glue as well. Trying to bite its way free, its mouth sticks to the glue as well. In the same way, when we become enamoured of something, at first we think we are simply showing approval for that thing, but later we find that we have become sentimentally attached to that thing and can no longer let go .The action of desire on the mind is to supplement one’s attachment to an object of desire until we find it impossible to extricate ourselves any more just like a piece of meat that is thrown into a burning hot pan will burn and stick to that pan as soon as it comes in contact. Once attachment and desire become the habitual way of thinking for a person, their personality changes to become more and more materialistic.Once materialism or habitual craving becomes engrained in a person’s heart, it becomes difficult for them to give away any of their wealth, even for charitable purposes. They become so attached to their wealth, that they feel nothing for the plight of monks, hermits, the poor, beggars or orphans. It is like taking a clean white cloth and dying it a different colour even if you were to rinse that cloth a hundred times in clean water, you would be unable to reatore it to its origin clean water, you would be unable to restore it to its original whiteness. In the same way as dye in a cloth, desire tends to impregnate the mind almost irrevocably making one attached to one’s wealth.The risk of entertaining such desire in the mind is that it may be the reason for a person to be reborn in one of the four unfortunate realms [abhayabhumi]. Just as the swift currents of a river tend to sweep away all things to the ocean that foll within its reach, desire will tend to pull all beings who entertain it in their mind, away to the hell realms.
The Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering #1
After explaining the Noble Truth of Suffering, Lord Buddha continued with an explanation of the origin of sufferingDhamma Articles > Meditation Articles and Techniques > Meditation for Beginners
[ Aug 16th, 2011 ] - [ : 11565 ]