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The Fourth Noble Truth: Dukkha-Nirodha-Marg

The Fourth Noble Truth: Dukkha-Nirodha-Marg

The fourth noble truth states that there is a path that leads to the cessation of misery. This is the Noble Eightfold path (astangika-marga), which is the perfect blending of knowledge and conduct. The eightfold path suggests that the two extremes of self-indulgence and self-mortification be avoided and the middle path be adopted. Buddha’s ethical middle path is like the golden-mean of Aristotle.

The eight disciplines constituting the path are not successive steps, they are to be cultivated together.

  1. Right Views ( samyak drishti): Right view is defined as the correct knowledge about the four noble truths. It enables one to see empirical existence in its true nature as being sorrowful, impermanent and unsubstantial. Wrong view about the self and the world is the root cause of our suffering.
  2. Right resolve (samyak sankalpa): Right resolve means making a serious commitment to reform life in the light of truth.
  3. Right speech (samyak vak): Right speech consists in abstention from lying, slander, unkind words and frivolous talk. It means telling the truth and speaking in a thoughtful and sensitive manner.                                                  The Fourth Noble Truth: Dukkha-Nirodha-Marg
  4. Right conduct (samyak karmanta): Right conduct includes non-killing, non-stealing, non-sensuality, non-lying and non-intoxication (pancashila). Right actions are those which do not bring remorse and which do not result in sorrow.
  5. Right livelihood (samyakajiva): Right livelihood means not engaging in an occupation which causes harm to others. It states that one should earn livelihood by honest means and not through prohibited means.
  6. Right effort (samyak vyayama): Right effort means gaining control over one’s thoughts and cultivating positive state of mind. One cannot progress unless one makes a constant effort to root out old evil thoughts, and prevents new evil thoughts from arising.                            The Fourth Noble Truth: Dukkha-Nirodha-Marg
  7. Right mindfulness (samyak smrti): Right mindfulness means cultivating constant vigilance. That is, the aspirant should constantly bear in mind the things he has already learnt. It is through constant contemplation on the perishable nature of the body, the mind, sensations and mental states that one can develop detachment from all objects that bind us to the world.
  8. Right concentration (samyak Samadhi): Right concentration means developing deep levels of mental calm through various techniques. One who has freed himself from passions and evil thoughts is eligible to enter into the deeper stages of concentration, which eventually leads to cessation of suffering and the attainment of nirvana.