Planes of Existence - The Four Ariyan Truths

It is a danger to be subject to birth. No rebirth at all in any plane of existence is to be preferred to birth even in the highest heavenly plane. If one wants to have no more rebirth one should know the Four Ariyan Truths; realizing these leads to the end of rebirth.


The First Ariyan Truth is the truth of dukkha. If we could experience, for

instance, that seeing at this moment, hearing, attachment or any other nāma

or rūpa which appears now is only an element which arises and falls away, we

would have more understanding of the truth of dukkha. What arises and falls

away cannot give satisfaction, it is dukkha.


The Second Ariyan Truth is the truth of the origin of dukkha. Craving is the

origin of dukkha. Through the development of the Eightfold Path there will be

less craving, less clinging to nāma and rūpa. When finally there is no more

craving, there will be an end to rebirth, which is the end of dukkha.


The Third Ariyan Truth is the extinction of dukkha, which is nibbana, and the

Fourth Ariyan Truth is the Path leading to the extinction of dukkha, which is

the Eightfold Path. 


We read in the 'Mahā-parinibbāna-sutta' (Dialogues of the Buddha II, No. 16,

Ch.II, 1, 2):

  The Exalted One proceeded with a great company of the monks to Kotigama; and there he stayed in the village itself. And at that place the Exalted One addressed the monks, and said:


'It is through not understanding and grasping Four Ariyan Truths,

O monks, that we have had to run so long,

to wander so long in this weary path of rebirth, both you and I!'


'And what are these four?'


'The Ariyan truth about dukkha;

the Ariyan truth about the cause of dukkha;

the Ariyan truth about the cessation of dukkha;

and the Ariyan truth about the path that leads to that cessation.

But when these Ariyan truths are grasped and known

the craving for future life is rooted out,

that which leads to renewed becoming is destroyed,

and then there is no more birth!'


Topic 193