Marga - Fourth Noble Truth, The method of relieving from sorrow, suffering
The fourth noble truth is the way to relieving from sorrow, suffering. It doesn't belong to the two endings of life which are the state of excessive comforts and the state of excessive discomforts. So, it is called as The Middle Path or The Noble Eight Fold Path.
There are eight sections in the middle path. Those are,
- Perfect vision, understanding (Samma Ditti).
- Perfect thought (Samma Sankappa).
- Perfect speech, word (Samma Vacha).
- Perfect act, task (Samma Kammantha).
- Perfect livelihood (Samma Ajeeva).
- Perfect effort (Samma Vayama).
- Perfect mindfulness (Samma Sathi).
- Perfect concentration (Samma Samadhi).
Actually, the essence of Tripitaka is the Noble Eight Fold Path. It can be categorized into three sections (Thrishiksha).
- Sila (moral conducts / virtues).
- Samadhi (concentration).
- Pragna (wisdom).
One can follow these three to achieve completeness of the life. It is easy to understand, when these three are describe separately.
Sila (moral conducts / virtues) was builded on the foundation of Buddhism which was limitless kindness of Lord Buddha. One who likes to attain the highest state should develop two qualities. Those are kindness and wisdom. Kindness is explained as qualities such as pity, sacrifice, patience. Wisdom can be explained as intellectual qualities.
If a person develops kindness without wisdom, he or she will become a stupid person who is possessed of good qualities. If a person develops wisdom without kindness, he or she will become an unmerciful intelligent person. So, it is better to improve those two qualities simultaneously.
Sila (moral conducts / virtues) consists of three sections of The Middle Path.
Concept of "Sila" should be followed by our body. It helps us to control our body.
- 3rd one - Perfect speech, word (Samma Vacha).
- 4th one - Perfect act, task (Samma Kammantha).
- 5th one - Perfect livelihood (Samma Ajeeva).
Perfect speech, word (Samma Vacha)
One who follows this section, should refrain from,
- Telling lies. (Musavada).
- Telling scandal which causes hatred, destruction of unity among people. (Pisuna Vacha).
- Telling filthy words. (Parusa Vacha).
- Telling idle talks. (Sampappalapa).
One, who refrains from these sins, tells the truth. Those which come from his or her mouth are good words. We should be careful, when we are speaking.
Perfect act, task (Samma Kammantha)
Objective of this section is development of virtue and peace. When we follow this, we should,
- Not destroy living creatures.
- Not do dishonest acts such as taking that which is not given.
- Refrain from sexual misconduct.
- Live peacefully.
- Help others.
Perfect livelihood (Samma Ajeeva)
For a perfect life, we should refrain from,
- Selling arms, weapons.
- Selling alcohol.
- Selling intoxicants.
- Selling animals and animals for meat.
- Doing cunning occupations, businesses.
One who needs to follow the perfect livelihood (Samma Ajeeva) should do righteous occupation.
Every spiritual development depends on Sila (moral conducts / virtues). So, there is no any spiritual development without moral conducts.
Samadhi (concentration) consists of three sections of the middle path.
- 6th one - Perfect effort (Samma Vayama)
- 7th one - Perfect mindfulness (Samma Sathi)
- 8th one - Perfect concentration (Samma Samadhi)
Perfect effort (Samma Vayama)
We should use our effort,
- To prevent origin of unborn evils (Bad qualities).
- To remove born evils (Bad qualities) which we already have.
- To build unborn good and wholesome states (Good qualities) within us.
- To improve born good and wholesome states (Good qualities) which we already have.
Perfect mindfulness (Samma Sathi)
When one follows this section, he or she should be mindful regarding,
- The activities of the body (Kaya).
- Sensations or feelings (Vedana).
- The activities of the mind (Chiththa).
- Ideas, thoughts, conception and things (Dhamma).
Meditation on breathing in and out (Anapanasathi) is one of the meditations which cause development of our mind. This is mindfulness about our body.
Mindfulness regarding sensations or feelings is thinking of origination and disappearance of sensations or feelings within us.
Understanding of lustfulness, anger, ignorance, and agreed or disagreed nature of mind is known as mindfulness regarding nature of the mind.
Mindfulness about ideas, feelings, and intentions is thinking of the origination, disappearance and development of them.
These four sections are Buddhist meditations which have been explained in Sathipattana Sutra.
Perfect concentration (Samma Samadhi)
This section leads to attain four ecstasies by meditation. One who attained first ecstasy has no lustfulness (Kamachchanda), hatred (Vyapada), weakness of the mind (Thinamiddha), rude and repentance (Uddhachcha Kukkuchcha), and doubt (Vichikichcha). Consequently, one who attained the fourth ecstasy has only undistracted indifference and mindfulness in his or her mind.
So, we can improve the quality of our mind by following Samma Vayama, Samma Sathi, and Samma Samadhi.
Pragna (Wisdom) consists of two sections of the middle path.
- 1st one - Perfect vision, understanding (Samma Ditti)
- 2nd one - Perfect thought (Samma Sankappa)
Perfect thought (Samma Sankappa)
- Thought to abandon lustfulness, desire (Nekkhamma Sankappa).
- Thought to abandon hatred improving kindness (Avyapada Sankappa).
- thought to abandon violence and destruction of living creatures ( Avihinsa Sankappa )
Perfect vision, understanding (Samma Ditti)
This explains the need to understand reality. Understanding of reality can be attained through The Four Noble Truths. According to Buddhism, understanding can be divided into two parts.
First one is understands which we consider generally. This is understands according to our knowledge.
Second one is understands of reality by escaping from all evils (Bad qualities) through meditation. So, one who likes to attain the Nibbhana (an enlightened state), should control own mind, body, and speech.
When we follow The Four Noble Truths, we should do four tasks.
First one is understands of the nature of life, sorrow, suffering, instability of our feelings.
Second one is understands the cause of sorrow, suffering. It is desire. We should destroy it.
Third one is the Nibbhana (the enlightened state). We should understand it.
Fourth Noble Truth - Marga