Why aren’t there 5 Noble Truths?

MN 19 Dvedhavitakka Sutta:

Prior to my self-awakening, back when I was still simply an unawakened Bodhisatta, the idea struck me: What if I divide all my thoughts into 2 groups?’ So I made thinking imbued with sensuality, negativeness, harmfulness etc. one group, and believing imbued with renunciation, non-negativity, & harmlessness and so on – another group.

So yes, if you comprehend karma as dividing all your action (physical, spoken, and psychological) into wholesome and unwholesome, and after that decreasing one and taking full advantage of the other – then yes, this is a key teaching. And in a way, it’s a complete teaching – one might follow it without asking additional questions, and by finding out all ramifications reach Buddha’s result.

Nevertheless, a description like “To avoid all evil, to cultivate great, and to cleanse one’s mind– this is the teaching of the Buddhas.” (Dhammapada) lacks context: WHY? Why do excellent? What’s incorrect with evil? What will I get if I follow this teaching?

So Four Noble Realities structure the mentor like a physician would structure an assessment with the client. Initially it goes over the symptoms, then the diagnosis (the origin of the symptoms), then it states that getting rid of the root cause will fix the problem, then it offers a methodical strategy of healing.

The 4th fact, the Eighfold Course, is 100% based upon the “two kinds of thoughts” and the idea of good vs. bad karma. Every item in Eightfold Course starts with the word Samma, which suggests “properly done, good quality”. So every item explains right and wrong, not simply used to Physical, Verbal, and Psychological action – however likewise used to View, Income, Practice, Mindfulness, Meditation and so on.

Lastly, as Buddha explained in MN 101, it is wrong view to assume that freedom happens as an outcome of great karma. Instead, according to Buddha’s teaching in MN 101, liberation from dukkha is accomplished by “deserting of unskillful psychological qualities and the attainment of skilled psychological qualities in the here-&-now”:

When I apply a [physical, spoken, or psychological] fabrication versus this reason for tension, then from the fabrication of effort there is dispassion. When I search with equanimity at that reason for tension, then from the advancement of equanimity there is dispassion.’ So he exerts a fabrication against the reason for tension where there comes dispassion from the fabrication of exertion, and establishes equanimity with regard to the cause of stress where there comes dispassion from the advancement of equanimity. Hence the stress coming from the cause of stress for which there is dispassion through the fabrication of exertion is exhausted & the tension arising from the cause of tension for which there is dispassion through the development of equanimity is exhausted …

On seeing a form with the eye, he does not understand at any theme or information by which– if he were to dwell without restraint over the faculty of the eye– evil, unskillful qualities such as greed or distress may assail him. On hearing a sound with the ear … On smelling an odor with the nose … On tasting a taste with the tongue … On touching a tactile sensation with the body … On cognizing a concept with the intellect, he does not grasp at any theme or details by which– if he were to dwell without restraint over the professors of the intellect– evil, unskillful qualities such as greed or distress might assault him. Endowed with this honorable restraint over the sense faculties, he is inwardly conscious the pleasure of being blameless. …

Deserting covetousness with regard to the world, he stays with an awareness lacking covetousness. He cleans his mind of covetousness. Deserting ill will and anger, he stays with an awareness without ill will, understanding with the welfare of all living beings. He cleanses his mind of ill will and anger. Deserting sloth and sleepiness, he dwells with an awareness lacking sloth and drowsiness, mindful, alert, percipient of light. He cleans his mind of sloth and sleepiness. Deserting restlessness and anxiety, he stays undisturbed, his mind inwardly stilled. He cleanses his mind of restlessness and stress and anxiety. Deserting uncertainty, he stays having crossed over uncertainty, without any perplexity with regard to skilled mental qualities. He cleanses his mind of uncertainty. …

Having abandoned these five hindrances– imperfections of awareness that deteriorate discernment– then, rather withdrawn from sensual pleasures, withdrawn from unskillful psychological qualities, he gets in and remains in the very first jhana … second jhana … third jhana … 4th jhana …

With his mind hence concentrated, cleansed, and brilliant, unblemished, devoid of problems, pliant, malleable, steady, and achieved to imperturbability, the monk directs and inclines it to the understanding of the ending of the psychological fermentations. He recognizes, as it has happened, that … These are psychological fermentations … This is the origination of fermentations … This is the cessation of fermentations … This is the way causing the cessation of fermentations.’ His heart, hence understanding, therefore seeing, is launched from the fermentation of sensuality, the fermentation of ending up being, the fermentation of lack of knowledge. With release, there is the knowledge, ‘Launched.’ He recognizes that ‘Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the job done. There is nothing further for this world. …

Such is the teaching of the Tathagata.


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