Asalha Puja – Dhamma Day

July 7, 2009

It’s Asalha Puja today, when we remember the occasion of the Buddha’s First Discourse: The Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta – ‘The Setting in Motion the Wheel of Dhamma’.

The Rains Retreat (Vassa) begins tomorrow. I won’t be determining to drink just one cup of tea a day. I am planning on determining to read the first four nikayas of the Sutta Pitika: the Digha, Majjhima and Samyutta (plus an anthology of the Anguttara).

I’ve just come back from Banbury where I gave a talk on the Buddha’s First Discourse. It’s late now so I think Dhamma Diary will have to wait until tomorrow.

Until then,we should contemplate the Four Noble Truths, the focus of the Buddha’s first discourse:

1. The Noble Truth of Dukkha: Birth is dukkha, sickness is dukkha, old age is dukkha, death is dukkha; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair are dukkha; association witht the loathed is dukkha, dissociation from the loved is dukkha, not to get what one wants is dukkha; in short, the five aggregates affected by attachment are dukkha.

2. The Noble Truth of the Origin of Dukkha: the craving that produces renewal of being, accompanied by passion and lust, in other words: craving for sense pleasures, craving to be, craving to not be.

3. The Noble Truth of the Cessation of Dukkha: the fading and ceasing, giving up and letting go of that same craving.

4. The Noble Truth of the Way Leading to the Cessation of Dukkha: The Noble Eightfold Path, that is: Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration.

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