Buddhist philosophy is made up of two truths

Hinduatan Times:Dalai Lama

As a follower of Buddha, I have learnt a few things. But I am still learning and gaining knowledge. I am not an expert but a Buddhist monk who is sincerely trying to follow his faith in his daily life. Especially when I face a problem, this teaching is very useful in maintaining my mental stability. These teachings give me flexibility and inner strength. So whenever someone asks me to explain these philosophies or teachings, I regard it my responsibility and duty to try to do so.

The basic foundation of Buddhist philosophy is made up of two truths: if you find something useful in these teachings, you should investigate it for yourself and try to implement it in your daily life; if you find nothing important, then you should leave it. Most of you know about the Four Noble Truths (true suffering, true cause of suffering, true cessation, and true path). They are the foundation of Buddhism.The goal of every sentient being is happiness - permanent happiness. It is both wonderful and worthwhile if permanent happiness can be achieved.

That means no more suffering, lasting peace and satisfaction. Usually after a moment of happiness and pleasure, some problem or the other arises. That kind of pleasure is not permanent. Hence, these Four Noble Truths become significant. Because we do not want suffering, it is most important to investigate their causes. Is it possible to eliminate them? If so, it is worth the attempt. Otherwise, there is no point in trying.

The third Nobel Truth is the truth of cessation. If it is indeed possible to achieve cessation of the causes of suffering, then it is fruitful to find out ways and means to purify one's own or to eliminate the causes of suffering. That is the fourth truth. It also indicates the law of cause and effect and interdependency, and is the basis of shunya. The theory of shunya is based on the idea that things are interdependent. For every things has different aspects, and if you compare these aspects you find that all things are related. Its very nature is relative, and emptiness refers to its ultimate nature. Thus there is the possibility to create new things, and these will change since things depend upon other factors. If things exist absolutely and by themselves, then there is no way to effect changes by any means. This is the essence of the two truths. Excerpted from The Transformed Mind: His Holiness the Dalai Lama compiled and edited by Renuka Singh (Viking)

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Referred by: Mukandan CM
Published on: July 6, 2001
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