What does the word Dhamma really mean?
The Dhamma means “the truth about the reality of life”.
This truth can only be proclaimed by a supreme being who surpasses the ordinary individual, who reaches the ultimate realization, and understands this world by coming out of the shell of ignorance.
Now think for a moment….
Have you ever seen a new born? It is likely that you have. Maybe you have a new born yourself. But after five years, is he still a new born? Of course not, that infant has grown up to be a toddler. Then you see that same toddler that you just saw after twenty years. Is he still a toddler? Your answer must be the same as mine. “Of course he’s not a toddler”; he’s now a young man. He’s a handsome young man who is about to get married. As time passes you see that same young man, whom when you last saw him was in his prime youth. But now, it has been 35 years. You see him, yet you cannot recognize him, for now he looks nothing like the day he got married. His face is wrinkled, his hair grayed, he is fragile. He cannot walk well and his eyesight so weakened. You wonder, “Is this really that same baby that I saw, sixty years ago?”
What has happened to that baby? That baby experienced what every being that is born into this world experiences. Aging! Yet do we know that we age? Do we know that with age we become sick? Do we know that with sickness we die? Of course we know, but we hide it, we try to deny it. Don’t we?
Why do we dislike aging? Why do we dislike being sick? Why do we try to deny that we too will one day die? It is because Aging, Sickness and Decay results in sorrow, lamentation and suffering.
The Supreme Buddha, the shining star that illuminates this darkened world, taught us that this is the truth; this is the reality of life. This is the first Noble Truth.
Aging, Sickness and Death are realities of life. With birth follows these three things. But is there no escape from this? Is there no freedom from suffering? Is there no liberation?
“As a tree cut down sprouts forth again if its roots remain uninjured and strong, even so when the propensity to craving is not destroyed, this suffering arises again and again”
-Supreme Buddha- (Dhammapada-338)
Let us think for a moment. Why is it that we cry? Why is it that we lament? Why do we mourn and grieve? Is it not because we have lost something or someone we have loved? Don’t we grieve because we have lost something we craved? Think about your own lives? Is this not true in life, both yours and mine?
We cry, we lament and we grieve because we have lost what we desire. This is the teachings of a Supreme Being that surpasses this ordinary world. Hence, the Supreme Buddha, the knower of the world, taught us that there exists suffering, sorrow in life due to craving, desire and lust.
Think for a moment. If we did not have a desire towards something, would we be sad if we lost it? If we were not attached to someone, would we be filled with sorrow in the event we loose them? We wouldn’t would we? We wouldn’t’ be sad because we never craved it in the first place. Hence, the Supreme Buddha taught us the second Noble Truth “Sorrow, lamentation and grief is caused by our own craving”
If the cause of sorrow and lamentation is craving, then how can we be free from sorrow? Isn’t desire a part of life?
“Whosoever in this world is overcome by this wretched clinging thirst, his sorrows grow like a Bīran̩a grass after rain”
-Supreme Buddha- (Dhammapada-335)
The teachings of the Supreme Buddha are complete. It is complete with a perfect beginning, a perfect middle, and a perfect end. Therefore, the Dhamma is Svākkātho, meaning that the Supreme Buddha’s doctrine, the Dhamma is well proclaimed.
So the Supreme Buddha, having escaped from all suffering, sorrow and lamentation taught us that, it is in fact possible to be free from all suffering. The Supreme Buddha taught us that to be free from suffering is to eradicate all forms of desire within us. Hence, the Supreme Buddha expounded on us, the Third Noble Truth, “freeing from suffering is attained through eradicating desire”. With continued effort, you too can come to this realization for the Supreme Buddha’s Dhamma is Sandittiko, it can be realized here and now, in this very life.
Now we know, that all beings born brings with them a pre-packaged gift, the gift of aging, sickness and death. But unlike other gifts, this gift brings us sorrow and grief. This is the First Noble Truth. It’s a noble truth because it is true today, it is true tomorrow, and it was true yesterday. Therefore, the Supreme Buddha’s Dhamma is Akāliko, meaning this Noble Truth does not change with time. As long as birth exists, this Noble Truth will always be in effect.
Now you must wonder, if we are able to be free from this suffering by eradicating desire, then HOW do we eradicate desire? How do we let go of our attachments? How do we let go and be free from craving?
“Following this Way you shall make an end of suffering. This verily is the Way declared by me when I had learnt to remove the arrow (of suffering).”
-Supreme Buddha- (Dhammapada-275)
The Supreme Buddha, the Sublime one discovered and followed the path that leads to the ultimate freedom and taught us that there exists a path, a path if followed, results in the ultimate freedom, the Supreme Bliss of Nibbāna.
What is that path? The supreme Buddha taught us that it is the Noble Eight Fold path, that if practiced will lead us to that ultimate bliss of happiness. Hence, the Exalted One expounded on us, the Fourth Noble Truth, the path to being free from all sorrow, from all lamentation and from all suffering.
If you too, would practice the Eight Fold Path, then you too can attain that ultimate bliss of happiness, for this Noble Dhamma can be realized here and now, in this very life.
So we invite you to “come and see” this Noble Dhamma, for this Dhamma is Ehipassiko, it is open to everyone to come and see through their own lives. This noble teaching is Opaniko, it is to be experienced through your own lives. And most importantly, this Noble teaching is Paccattam Veditabbo Viññuhīti, it is to be understood and realized by the Wise in accordance with their own level of wisdom.
So what then is the truth? What then is the reality of life? It is none other than the Four Noble Truths!
May you always be Well and Happy!
SEEK The truth in a world of conceit;
LEAD A righteous life in a world of immorality;
SPREAD Loving kindness in a world of hatred;
FIND Wisdom in a world of delusion.