Title- Magga Sacca: The Path Leading to the Cessation of Suffering (2nd Explanation)


All true Ariya-Noble-Saints achieve this true, original method to win final liberation, by following only the Eightfold Noble Path diligently. So to get this “cessation of suffering” one must practice Eight Factors of the Noble Path:

 

(1)    Right Speech,

(2)    Right Conduct,

(3)    Right Living or Right Means of Livelihood,

(4)    Right Effort or Endeavour,

(5)    Right Mindfulness,

(6)    Right Concentration,

(7)    Right Aim or Aspiration,

(8)    Right Understanding or Right View.

 

This is the only way to Nibbana, avoiding two extremes, namely, self-torture and self-indulgence.

 

First extreme to avoid by all renunciates (bhikkhus) are to avoid sensual pleasures of the laymen and laywomen, as this is base, vile, low, degrading. Sensual pleasures are not real happiness.

 

The second extreme to avoid by all renunciates (bhikkhus) are extreme asceticism, or self-mortification. Such deeds do not lead to true nobility, peace and purity even for rishis, hermits, wanderers and mystics. So bhikkhus under Buddha’s Dispensation avoid this useless practice of asceticism. This practice do not lead to nibbanic peace and purity.

 

Avoiding these two extremes, the true bhikkhus follow the path of moderation and peace, as taught by the Buddha in his first sermon. This path brings complete liberation, sanity, morality, fulfilment. All Buddhas teach this Eightfold Noble Path to win true, everlasting happiness for all. In essence, all the Buddha’s teachings centre on this Middle Path of Sanity and Sanctity so that this alone, this Noble Method alone is the true, original teaching of the Omniscient Buddha. The essentials and main points come from the practice of these eight sacred factors in the only Noble Way.

 

Eight Factors of the Method For Liberation

 

(1)    Sammavaca Right Speech means we must speak truthfully avoiding lies, harsh speech, slander, frivolous talk, backbiting, speech connected with grudge, abusive words, divisive words, and other false speech. In daily life useless talk is very harmful. Slanderous words bring disunity, disharmony, conflict in social and political affairs.

 

(2)    Sammakammanta Right Conduct means we must avoid killing living beings, stealing, sexual misconduct (adultery). Even dishonest dealing, unlawful sensual pleasures must be shunned because they lower and downgrade the status of a human being, which means failure to attain peaceful and noble life. Moreover, the transgressors violate civilized custom and tradition of a good society or a nation. So Right Action must be practiced by “avoidance” (restraint).

 

(3)    Sammaajiva Right Living (Right Means of Livelihood). This means and signifies the crucial importance for both bhikkhus and laity. One must avoid earning a living by telling lies, by killing animals, by selling poisons, intoxicants, harmful drugs, arms and ammunitions, etc. These trade and commerce are harmful, dangerous, unethical in the true original Dhamma Teaching. By avoidance one’s life is pure. Noble living is gained. No one should harm another in trade and commerce.

 

(The above three factors under the Eightfold Noble Path show all persons the nature of the sphere of morality. Since morality is the basic foundation of noble life under Ariyan Dispensation, to win super-normal state of mind called lokuttara cittas and higher standard of ethical life, those interested in true pure Dhamma should strictly practice the virtue of self-restraint or discipline. No one will win supramundane state of mind if Sila Morality is lacking).

 

(4)    Sammavayama Right Effort (Right Endeavour) in the Noble Path. Right Effort means-

(i) Effort to prevent evil, low thought, word and deed

(ii) Effort to eradicate the evil that has arisen

(iii) Effort to give raise to unrisen good, virtues

(iv) Effort to continue to develop these good virtues that have arisen.

Note right desire is essential.

 

(5)    Sammasati Right Mindfulness points out all to keep watchfulness-mindfulness-bare awareness on thoughts, words, deeds, main and minor movements, inside us. All of us have bodily features with consequent, suitable vibrations, waves, changes. These bodily reactions and waves generate simultaneously a group of feelings (sensations) with intense vibrations (Vedanakkhandha). Then we all face movements of cittas/consciousness/minds as arisings and disappearings second by second. So everybody uses or experiences “thinking”, “cognitions”, “speculations”, “ideas”, etc. In the discipline of Right Mindfulness we must watch these existential items with great care, with keen interest, because all these factors of life can become Dhamma-Nature objects of deep mindfulness. Hence for Perfect Mindfulness all right-thinking persons take physical bodily behaviors, feelings, minds, mind’s contents. (Fourfold Factors or Objects of Mindfulness every moment).

 

(6)    Sammasamadhi Right Concentration or Right Ecstasy of Mind. Sometimes it means Right Absorption as in jhanic concentration. Hence, if ordinary concentration gains fulfillment one can attain First Jhanic Samadhi which generates and helps one to have holy detachment from five sensual pleasures as well as from mental, spiritual, defilements. Practically at such sacred moments of spiritual development, one discards or rejects for a long time wrong thinking, lustful thoughts, harmful thoughts, laziness, worry, flurry, wandering, and doubt. At the same time both ordinarily concentrated state and jhanic state help all aspirants and devotees to limit the thoughts and speculations within bounds. Hence meditators under this Right Concentration Magga Path (Discipline), enjoys super-normal happiness and holy bliss (piti and sukha).

When one reaches the stage of Second Jhana under sacred, original method, all ideas (thoughts) and speculations (sustained application and applied thought) are suppressed as long as this type of jhana remains within. So this second stage gives calm mind with jhanic joy and happiness in continuation.

When one reaches the stage of Third Jhana under sacred, original method, all jhanic joys are suppressed as long as this type of jhana remains within. Hence one lives in jhanic happiness in continuation.

When one reaches the stage of Fourth Jhana under sacred, original method, all feelings are suppressed; all joys and distresses, happiness and sadness are suppressed as long as this type of jhana remains within. Thus one lives in Jhanic Equanimity state of mind here and now.

 

Note: Since without Right Effort no one attains Right Mindfulness and since without Right Mindfulness no one attains Right Concentration, these three factors of Magga Path are classified under Samadhi concentration group in the Eightfold items leading to supreme peace and purity. Calmness of mind is essential both in mundane and supra-mundane affairs.

 

(7)    In the case of Sammasankappa, Right Aim or Right Thinking (Right Thought), one must sacrifice self-interest or selfishness. By this means one must extend thoughts of loving-kindness (divine abiding=metta) to all living beings without discrimination: also cruelty and harmful thought must be banished as much as one can.

 

(8)    In the case of Sammaditthi, Right View or Right Understanding, one must watch and know truthfully the realities of life, internally and externally. This noble factor on the sublime path means understanding facts, experiences, feelings, minds, etc. as they really are at each moment of occurrence. This also signifies the understanding of the Four Noble Truths of Life, realistically and purely. These highest truths are also called Pramatthas (Ultimate Natures of Life) which have to be cognized and penetrated only with Vipassana and Magga Insight-wisdom.

 

Note: Since Right View (Understanding) and Right Aim (Thinking) are related closely on the Noble Path, they are joined together under “Wisdom” sphere of or Wisdom Discipline. Realities (Panna Sikkha) must be watched and known by mindful wisdom-insights in maturity, in fullness.

 

All Eight Sacred Factors, being holy, must be practised by each individual by himself or by herself. The Noble Magga Path must be trodden by each and everybody. This means self-help, self-purification and self-deliverance (vimutti). Everyday life also needs the Discipline of Magga, briefly taught as morality, concentration and wisdom. If these three spheres of Noble Discipline (Sikkha) reach the fullest state one shall take sacred super-normal delight in daily life. So, the Eightfold Noble Path brings to all persons of good will, patience, tolerance and endurance the unique bliss of calm, happiness, freedom, fulfilment, wholeness. This means, practically, the realization of Nibbana in this very life.

 

 

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Related Article:

Title- The Four Ariya Truths
https://web.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10207143245872568&set=g.414213265302134&type=1&theater

 

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