Episode 5, 5 December 2014, Gautama Buddha’s Third Truth. [05:36]
Intro: Welcome to Buddhism Guide’s Audio blog.
- A contemporary look at Gautama Buddha’s Teachings, from Karma Yeshe Rabgye.
- Find out more, at http://buddhismguide.org
- A transcript of this episode is available at http://buddhismguide.org/audio-blog-archive/audio-blog-transcripts
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.
- Anger, and
- 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.
- You can find more information about this subject in Karma Yeshe Rabgye’s books at http://buddhismguide.org/books/
- The best way to catch a snake – A Practical Guide to the Buddha’s Teachings;
- Life’s meandering path – A Secular Approach to Gautama Buddha’s Guide to Living;
- 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.