Buddhism11 Essay

This essay has a total of 1016 words and 4 pages.


 Dukkha is the first of the four noble truths of Buddhism. The word means suffering, but just
to state suffering as the entirety of the first noble truth, is not enough because the expression of
dukkha is the first truth that is needed for salvation. Moreover, dukkha is the conclusion of a
logical chain of ideas that explains the life and death cycle of mankind. Before a person
recognizes the truth of dukkha, he lives in a space of ignorance and with ignorance he seeks the
fulfillment of his desires, yet with every demand met, he soon finds dissatisfaction. The longer a
person lives the more apparent the truth of demise. With birth comes pain; with living comes
pain and suffering. In life there is despair, confusion and grief. In just one day a man experiences
hunger and failure and sickness and at every moment that man knows that no matter how
successful, or rich, or famous, or healthy he is; he will die. There is nothing externally that is
safe because everything is temporal; even we are temporal. The knowledge of this truth is the
first part of the Buddhist salvation. Knowing that all is futile and there is nothing externally that
can release us from the truth is the acceptance of dukkha. Hidden in the first noble truth is the
idea of dependence. The human is completely dependent on all that is around him and all that is
not in his control. Even death brings a new cycle of rebirth, but it is not really new because the
re-birth gathers all of the dependent conditioning activities of the last life cycle. The truth of
dukkha has to be an absolute. It is foundational for salvation because it is release from
ignorance. In addition, dukkha is unshakable and constant. Though it be the truth in the negative,
it is the only safe harbor that one can cling.
The second noble truth is the answer to the first noble truth. That is, what is the root cause of
dukkha? In fact, to leave man with dukkha alone there is no salvation. Gautama concluded that
tanya is at the heart of dukkha. Tanya, translated-craving, or desire gives a logical explanation
for suffering and another releasing truth. Man is born with thirst. Thirst for physical and
emotional satisfaction. Man loves friends and family that all perish with man. It is the love that
is the problem, not the temporary nature of life. In addition, it is the desires of man that causes
sufferings. The book of James stated the truth of tanya in James 1:14, “But every man is
tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” Gautama’s discipline in the
second noble truth is to extinguish the craving. It is man’s lusts, desires and cravings that are the
cause of dukkha, certainly not the dukkha itself. Tanya also contains the concept of ignorance.
Ignorance is the inability to see the truth about things, to see things as they really are. It is true
that ignorance is a component of dukkha, but Gautama states that ignorance sits in the root cause
of dukkha. Therefore, ignorance begins with tanya. Plainly stated, ignorance is not the casual
western definition of the word, but it is a link in a chain. For example, man strives for
permanence and fulfillment, but he is ignorant of the fact that existence will never bring true
satisfaction. The practices of satisfaction often times carries an evil type of karma that just fuels
the fire for more karma due to the unsatisfied nature of man. So, it is self defeating to attempt to
satisfy the desire. Although knowledge is an important aspect for the Buddhist way to salvation;
it is not parallel to the Hindu belief that through knowledge-jnana salvation can be achieved. In
Buddhist theory, knowledge is a tool that is utilized to achieve the basics of the need for nirvana.
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