1. ‘This, O bhikkhus, is
the Noble1 Truth of Suffering:
objects we hate is suffering;
from objects we love is suffering;
obtain what we desire is suffering.
The fivefold clinging to existence
2. ‘This, O bhikkhus, is
the Noble Truth of the Cause of Suffering:
Craving, that leads to
re-birth, Accompanied by pleasure and lust, Finding its delight here and
This craving is
craving for pleasure,
craving for existence,
craving for prosperity.’
3 ‘This, O bhikkhus, is the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering:
the complete cessation
of this craving –
a cessation which
consists in the absence of every passion –
with the abandoning of this craving,
with the doing-away with
with the deliverance
with the destruction of
4 ‘This, O bhikkhus, is the Noble Truth of the Path which leads to the Cessation
that holy eightfold
right means of livelihood,
No one knows what the
Pali term: sama (or samma) originally meant. Christian translators of the 19th century, such as
Rhys-Davids, chose the English term ‘right’, thereby giving it a moral tone.
Currently the most efficient translation of sama (or samma) is @best.
The above list is high
quality social engineering. The ending of dukkha differs completely from
that described by the Sakya Buddha to his ascetic initial converts.
Note 1: The epithet ‘Noble’ as been inserted as translation for the
Pali word arya, and whose precise meaning is unknown.
Note 2: There is no
statement as to the fact of suffering.
Note 3: 7 specific
causes of dukkha are listed. These can be easily verified through daily
experience in Indian villages. It’s a very primitive but effective pitch.
Five more causes (i.e. the asavas) are added from the lately invented 3 characterisitics sutta preached to bhikkus (i.e. the homeless
Here craving for rebirth
is decided as THE cause of dukkha. Moreover, craving for pleasure is
singled out. The second threefold part
reprises the first, hence is redundant. Here the social engineering aspect
of the 3 Noble Truths schedule becomes apparent. This dour opinion mirrors
the one presented by St Paul to his Christian converts. Elsewhere the
Sakyan Buddha elaborates on the torments of indulging in sensory pleasure.
This view of the origin
of dukkha does not match the more abstract and universal causes given in
the 3 characteristics sutta where anicca and anatta are provided as causes.
Nor does it reflect the content of the 8 characteristics sutta. Nor does it
reflect the Dependent Origination schedule of causes, starting with
The expanded list of the causes of dukkha
‘ending of suffering’ Noble Truth the fact of cessation (noble Truth 3) and
the cause of cessation (Noble Truth 4) are conflated, a serious logical
A new cause
of dukkha is added to that of craving, namely passion. Its cessation
monumental cock-up: The 4th Noble Truth of the Sakya Buddha
should read, ‘Ending craving (or ending the asavas) ends suffering’, and
which is already given in Noble Truth No 3.
Noble Truth as presented in the standard list emerged in a later era,
possibly in an urban environment when an awakened bhikkhu saw the need for
a serious theoretical upgrade and radical change of the Buddha dharma of
‘Suffering and release therefrom’. The primitive and detailed village pitch
no longer worked because it lacked universal application. So he introduced
the Maitreya Buddha notion of the
ending of dukkha, namely @best performance. He thereby indirectly conceded
that dukkha happened as a performance regulating operation, namely that it
arose if and when an individual under-performed any one of n operations.
That was modern indeed.
Consequently, the Maitreya Buddha’s 4 Noble Truths
1. There is dukkha
(unpleasantness = sorrow = suffering)
2. Its cause is
3. There is an end to
4. @ best performance ends