Fujisan's Kyareng

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Nalanda Certificate Course 1 Session 4

Tibet House New Delhi Nalanda Certificate Course / NCC1

4th Session (15/06/2022) Wed

 Review: This is the truth of sufferings that we have studied. Buddha was referring to the pervasive suffering as truth of suffering. The third pervasive exist in all the realms. It is said to be conditioned because Afflictions and Contaminated Karma condition the beings existence in the Samsara. Mundane happiness is bait; good and attractive, which leads to loss of freedom and the loss of freedom mean misery. Affliction and contaminated karma are the root causes our suffering. We are the sway of affliction and contaminated karma.

  Three things determine our being under the third pervasive sufferings:

1.      Being under the sway of Contaminated Karma and Afflictions

2.      Involuntary birth in Samsara

3.      All the contaminated neutral feeling that we feel in Samsara.

 These 3 things are example of pervasive conditioned sufferings. Total fearlessness and infinite happiness is our two aspirations.

 Suffering of suffering exits only in desire realm. Suffering of change exist in desire realm and the first three of the form realm. Pervasive suffering exist in all the three realms.

 Arya Nagarjuna in Mulamadhyamikakarika, Fundamental of Middle Way, (Chapt.18) has said:

When ceasing of action and affliction leads to nirvana

Action and affliction arise from conceptual thought.

This arises from (mental) elaboration.

Elaboration ceases through emptiness. 

 Ceasing of karma and affliction is Nirvana. Karma and affliction arise from inappropriate conceptualization which in turn arises from elaboration of self grasping ignorance. Elaboration ceases through wisdom of emptiness.

 Opposite of Nirvana is Samsara. Samsara is an existence where you lack freedom, a system where there is no freedom. There is no external Samsara. It is your mind which makes the lack of freedom. Because of ignorance, Samsara is nothing but printing of your mind, prison of ignorance.

 1.      Samsara: Samsara is the result of contaminated karma

2.      Contaminated Karma: It arises from mental afflictions

3.      Mental afflictions: It arises from inappropriate attention

4.      Inappropriate attention: It is arises from ignorance

5.      Ignorance: It arises from the elaboration of self grasping ignorance

 We are discussing this in relation to what Buddha said "This is the truth of the cause of suffering".

 Let's say you dream of an Iphone 13 mobile, you crave for it and someone too wants it. There is a fight, police comes, and put you in prison. Fighting activates karma, affliction, elaboration of the mobile, and ignorance. Not to see the dream mobile could have saved all the fight and leading into the prison. You wake from the dream, all the problems are gone.

 Of the 5 points, Samsara is the resultant state, other four are causal state. This is what Buddha meant by the truth of the cause of suffering.

 Afflictions that we discussed here is the gross afflictions, not the subtle afflictions. The afflictions are of three kinds:

1.      Gross afflictions

2.      Inappropriate attention

3.      Self grasping ignorance

 Contaminated karma and afflictions are what Buddha meant by the truth of the cause of suffering. Within the afflictions there are three category as above.

 Now, the truth of the cessation of suffering, remember the sound of suffering due to the clapping of two hands metaphor. If on hand is removed, there is no sound, suffering stops. This is the truth of the cessation of the cause of suffering.

 Cessation of suffering, what needs to be ceased and what needs to be stopped. We need to stop our mental defilement and remove afflictive obscuration and cognitive obscuration. When you remove afflictive obscuration, you attain Nirvana. When you remove afflictive obscuration as well as cognitive obscuration, you attain perfect enlightenment, the Buddhahood.

 Cessation of afflictive obscuration and cessation of cognitive obscuration is the truth of cessation of suffering. Within the cessation of afflictive obscuration, there are two, one of Shravakas and other of Preteyakabuddha. In total there are three cessations:

 1.      Cessation of Shravakas

2.      Cessation of Preteyakabuddhas

3.      Cessation of Buddhas (Mahayaha practioners)

 This is the truth of the cessation of sufferings.

 The path leading to the cessation of the causes of suffering is the five paths: Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, boddhisaha. They are:

1.      Path of accumulation (Tib:tshogs lam)gate

2.      Path of preparation (Tib:sbyor lam) gate

3.      Path of seeing (Tib:mthong lam) para gate

4.      Path of meditation (Tib:sgom lam)para sam gate

5.      Path of no more learning (Tib:mi-lob lam) boddhisaha

 The path 3rd, 4th, and 5th are what Buddha meant by the truth of the path leading to cessation of the cause of sufferings. The path in general are five, first two are conducive path and the last three are the paths leading to the cessation of sufferings.

 The path Arya beings are those above the 3rd path, the path of superior beings, seeing ultimate reality, emptiness. We can say there are 15 paths, 5 each of Shravakas, Prateyakabuddhas, and Mahyanists. There are qualitative difference in the 3 groups' path.

 After the identification, what are the practices associated with the four Noble Truths.

1.      Truth of the suffering is to be identified (3 sufferings)

2.      Truth of the cause of suffering is to be abandoned. (Contaminated karma and afflictions)

3.      Truth of the cessation of suffering is to be actualized or experienced. (3 cessations of afflictive obscuration, and cognitive obscuration)

4.      Truth of the path leading to the cessation of suffering is to be meditated upon. (Last 3 of the 5 paths: gate, gate paragate, parasamgate, bodhisaha)

 The first four paths are learner's path. When you are at the first four stages, you are at the conventional stage. You need to identify, abandon, actualize, and meditate. But at the fifth stage, the ultimate level, there is nothing to identify, nothing to abandon, nothing to actualize, and nothing to meditate upon. Therefore, third the set associated with the Four Noble Truths:

 1.      Although the truth of suffering is to be identified at conventional level, there is nothing to identity at the ultimate level

2.      Although the truth of the cause of suffering is to abandoned at conventional level, there is nothing to abandon at the ultimate level

3.      Although the truth of the cessation of suffering is to actualized at conventional level, there is nothing to actualize at the ultimate level

4.      Although the truth of the path leading to the cessation of suffering is to be meditated upon at conventional level, there is nothing to meditate upon at the ultimate level.

 When a projection is created, it is samsara. When the projection stops, it is Nirvana. You projected a dream, you projected as dream samsara. You wake up and stop projecting the dream, it is Nirvana.

 Example, Mount Kailash is pure and beautiful. Seeing through two goggles, one clean and one dirty, you see different Mount Kailash. One seen through a clean goggle is Nirvana and one seen through dirty goggle is samsara. Same object is seen through two difference lenses or glasses of goggles, wisdom. Dirty Mount Kailash seen through dirty goggle is our mental projection, Mount Kailash is not dirty.

 Note: This is a student's note. Error and omissions are bound to be there. A serious student should study the actual teachings of the teacher, Geshe Dorjee Damdul la, from www.tibethouse.in website. I write these notes to help my understanding and recollections. (Tib:Rang gi yid la nges phyir ngas dhi brtsams).



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