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Episode 5 Transcript: Gautama Buddha’s Third Truth

Episode 5, 5 December 2014, Gautama Buddha’s Third Truth. [05:36]

 

Intro: Welcome to Buddhism Guide’s Audio blog.

This Episode: Gautama Buddha’s Third Truth. [00:17]

1. This Truth is called Nirvana, liberation, enlightenment, and so on. [00:22]

  • It is hotly debated these days.
  • Some think, that if you reach Nirvana you will never be born again, others think you will be reborn, but you can pick where.
  • For people who do not believe in rebirth, they see it as something we can achieve in this lifetime.
    • I have no idea who is right and who is wrong.
    • It may be they are all wrong.
  • I will just write my thoughts here and you can decide for yourselves what you believe.
  • I will show you that there are two good bits of news in this Third Nobel Truth.
  • I do not see Nirvana as some mystical or metaphysical thing.
  • I do however, believe it is beyond our concepts of right and wrong, good and bad, existence and non-existence.
    • All these are positions relative to each other.
    • Mere labels created by language.
    • This means it cannot be fully realised through language alone, and is only reached through meditation and implementation.

2. The Highest Happiness. [01:46]

  • Gautama Buddha said that Nirvana is the highest happiness, but he wasn’t talking about mundane happiness we strive for in our everyday lives.
  • He was talking about absolute freedom from evil, freedom from craving, attachment, desire, hatred and unawareness.
  • All of this we can achieve in this very lifetime by truly understanding the Four Nobel Truths, and following the Eight-fold Path.
  • Once we start mediating on these teachings and turning them from knowledge to wisdom, we will start to change our actions of body, speech and mind.
  • Remember, knowledge is something learned, something intellectual, whereas wisdom is a part of our very lives.

3. The first bit of good news. [02:39]

  • So this is the first bit of good news.
  • Nirvana can be reached by anyone, whether they call themselves Buddhist or not.
  • You just have to put in the work.
  • People think that Nirvana is like Heaven:
    • Full of happiness.
    • The opposite to this world.
    • They imagine that the sun shines brightly every day;
    • only good people are around them;
    • one doesn’t have to work, there are no money worries;
    • everybody is friendly, and
    • every moment is filled with happiness.
  • However, this is just a projection of our dualistic minds.
  • Trying to fill heaven with all the things we like best.
  • But what about all the things other people like, and we don’t?
    • I would want a heaven where no one eats meat,
    • while others would want one where they could eat a big, fat, juicy steak every day.
  • Do we each get a heaven of our own?
    • I believe if people really gave some thought to their concept of heaven, they would understand they were just changing one conditioned world for another.
    • That way, heaven, like this world, would be equally impermanent.

4. A Second Bit of Good News. [04:02]

  • So this is a second bit of good news.
    • We do not have to die to attain Nirvana.
    • It can be obtained during this lifetime.
    • Death is irrelevant to Nirvana.
    • People feel like this life is full of discontentment and causes them nothing but suffering, and the only way out is death!
    • They feel at death they’ll be miraculously transported to a better place.
    • But Nirvana is not a place.
    • It is the cessation of the Three Poisons.
    • Namely:
      1. Desire,
      2. Anger, and
      3. Unawareness.
    • The Buddha defined it as:
      • Perfect peace, or
      • A state of mind that is free from craving, anger and other afflictive states.

5. We do not have to die to realise Nirvana. [04:54]

  • So in a nutshell I believe Nirvana isn’t a metaphysical thing, it isn’t a place to go to, and we do not have to die to realise Nirvana.
  • It is an extinguishing of our afflictive states of mind and can be reached by anyone in this very lifetime.

Outro. [05:14]

  • You can find more information about this subject in Karma Yeshe Rabgye’s books at http://www.buddhismguide.org/books/
    1. The best way to catch a snake – A Practical Guide to the Buddha’s Teachings;
    2. Life’s meandering path – A Secular Approach to Gautama Buddha’s Guide to Living;
    3. Ripples in the stream – A Pragmatic Journey Through Gautama Buddha’s Teachings.
  • They’re available now, from Amazon and Kindle.
  • Thank you for listening, and I hope you enjoyed this blog post.

 

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