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Buddha Purnima: The four worthy realities and the eightfold courses

Gautam Buddha’s birth is honored in the Baisakh month of the Buddhist calendar the precise date of which differs every year, however, according to the Gregorian Calendar, it typically falls in the month of April or May. This year Buddha Purnima will be celebrated on 7th April. Referred to as the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha, it celebrates his birth, enlightenment (nirvana), and death (parinirvana).

Birth, nirvana, and parinirvana

The creator of Buddhism, Lord Buddha was born in 566 BC at Lumbini. Born as Prince Siddharth, he left his palace one night to look for fact and after obtaining enlightenment (nirvana) at Bodhgaya he became known as Buddha, the informed one. His very first sermon provided at Sarnath is known as dharma chakra pravratana (turning of the wheel of law). His samgha was developed in Sarnath. Lord Buddha died (parinirvana) at the age of 80 in 486 BC at Kusingara near Gorakhpur.

The 4 honorable truths and the eightfold courses

The prime teaching of Buddha was to avoid both the extremes of life. Neither to enjoy worldly pleasure nor to practice stringent abstaining and asceticism. Rather he supplied the madhyama marga (the Middle Course) to follow.

Buddha’s knowledge depends on the essence of four worthy facts of life, thearya satya. The first noble reality is suffering (dukkha) which is the essence of the world. It is to understand the life is absolutely nothing however an ocean of sufferings. The second worthy reality is cause (dukka samudya). Suffering is not unwarranted. Every suffering has a cause. The 3rd noble reality is suffering can be snuffed out (dukkha nirodha). The fourth noble truth is to understand that there is a course causing the termination of dukkha (dukka nirodha gamini pratipada).

This is where he stated that everybody in this world who takes birth, gets old and dies has to suffer. To eliminate suffering, one has to conquer the desire (trishna) which is the sole factor behind suffering. He recommends the eightfold course to get rid of desire, the asthangik marga. The eightfold courses entail the right faith, the ideal willpower, the right speech, the right action, the ideal living, the right effort, the best though, and the right self-concentration.


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