Critically discuss the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism, explaining the reasons or arguments given by Buddhism to support these Truths and discussing at least one objection that could be raised against the first Noble Truth and one objection that could be raised against thesecond Noble Truth. The four noble truths of Buddhism take an important role in this religion. As it is called forth noble truths, it mainly divided in 4 parts: Dukkha, Samudaya, Nirodha, and the last part is the Magga. The four noble truth were discovered by Sakyamuni and it were also announced by him. (Tsering, 2010) the main purpose of the Four Noble Truth is to tell people that the world is full of suffering and the reason that the people suffer is because of human’s crave and desire.
That causes all of the suffering. (Bodhi, 1994) In this essay, I will be discussing them and to see if there are any contradictions between them. First of all, the first noble truth is “the truth of dukkha.” According to the observation of that was done by Sakyamuni, the Buddha. He noticed that there are many different kinds of sufferings on the world: women suffer when they are giving birth, people suffer when they are getting old, suffers when they got disease, suffers when they die, suffers when they are in love.
From those examples above, it clearly shows that the essence of those suffers are “something you extremely unwanted”, and also the feeling of “unsatisfied”. In the perspective of Syakamuni, he thinks that it is a problem that human enjoys their lives — it is problematic to feel “pleasant” during our lives because the happiness on earth will never last forever. (Bodhi, 1994) Although Buddha said there are sufferings in this world, he did not doubt that there are pleasant in this world. Oppositely, he admitted that Lay and monks can have a variety of material and spiritual pleasure.
In Sutta Pitaka, there is a writing which is called Anguttara Nikaya, and it contained a list of enumerated various happiness: The joy of family life, the joy of five desires, the joy of abandoning something, the joy of holding on to something, the joy of human’s body, and the joy of soul.(Carus, 2012) However, all of these different kind of joy are contained in suffering.
Even when a monk is very well trained and having a very deep understanding to the doctrine of Buddhism, in a very pure and high-leveled mental status, they are still suffering.(Carter, 1993) In the Majjhima Nikaya, there is a kind of happiness that has been praised by the Buddha and that his the happiness of meditation. (Carus, 2012) However after praising the happiness of meditation, he stated out that the happiness that occurred by meditation is not constant and eternal — it will be terminated eventually and it will turn to suffering. (Tsering, 2010) To conclude from this point, the meaning of suffering that had been pointed out in this paragraph is “impermanence.”
That is the main point that the Buddha wanted to point out in Dukkha. Secondly, the second noble truth is Samudaya. It is about the origin of the suffering and the essence of the suffering. (Carter, 1993) The origin of suffering is “thirst”. And the thirst here means “thirst for love”. (Bodhi, 1994) And the thirst for love that is being discussed here can be divided into 3 parts: the first part is thirsting for sensory love, the second one is thirsting for surviving, and the last part is the vanished thirst. (Bodhi, 1994)
As discussed above, thirsts can be appeared in different forms — desires, greed, and giving up on thirsting for something. And this is the reason that suffering exists and the reason that the cycle of life keeps looping. (Tsering, 2010) However, this cannot be considered as the first cause. This is because referring to the doctrine of Buddhism, everything in this world is related and they are relying on each other. (Carus, 2012) That’s why the origin of suffering is also occurred on relying different causes. And the cause that has been discussed here is Vedana, which means feeling in English.
At the same time, Vedana is occurred due to Phassa, which means senses in English. From the discussion above, it is proved that “Thirst” is not the unique reason that makes suffering exists but it is the most obvious and the most direct reason. Therefore, the definition of Samudaya that is written down in Pali Canon, it noticed that beside of Thirst as the main reason, there are still many different reason that makes suffering exists.
The meaning of Thirsty in this second noble truth is not just about the dedication to desire, richness and power, but it also about the dedication to idea, dreams, perspective, theories, concepts and religious. (Tsering, 2010) Due to the analysis by Buddha, all of the disputes on this world such as quarreling at home or even world wars, are all occurred by the feeling of “Thirsty”. From this point of view, it is obvious that the essence on this world is all related to the principle of “thirsty”: When people are thirsting to improve, then it occurs war. (Engle, 2009) In fact, Buddha pointed out a point that he thinks” Human being always have the feeling which is called “unsatisfied”. That makes them to become the slave of Thirst.”(Engle, 2009)