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Encyclopaedia of Buddhism : A World Faith : World of Sorrows and Sufferings (Volume XII)

M.G. Chitkara (Author)
Synopsis Every one of us is full of anxieties because of this material existence. Our very existence is in the atmosphere of non-existence. Actually we are not meant to be threatened by non-existence. Our existence is eternal. But somehow or other we are put into asat. Asat refers to that which does not exist. Unless one is awakened to this position of questioning his suffering, unless he realizes that he doesn’t want suffering but rather wants to make a solution to all sufferings, then one is not to be considered a perfect human being. Humanity begins when this sort of inquiry is awakened in one’s mind. Every activity of the human being is to be considered a failure unless he inquires about the nature of the absolute. Therefore those who begin to question why they are suffering or where they came from and where they shall go after death. Since every living entity is an individual soul, each is changing his body every moment, manifesting sometimes as a child, sometimes as a youth, and sometimes as an old man. Yet the same spirit soul is there and does not undergo any change. This individual soul finally changes the body at death and transmigrates to another body; and since it is sure to have another body in the next birth—either material or spiritual—there is no cause for lamentation on account of death. Rather one should rejoice for his changing bodies from old to new ones, thereby rejuvenating their energy. Such changes of body account for varieties of enjoyment or suffering, according to one’s work in life. As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered any such a change. The activities of the body, or the figurative city of body, are conducted automatically by the particular modes of nature. The soul, although subjecting himself to the conditions of the body, can be beyond those conditions, if he so desires. Owing only to forgetfulness of his superior nature, he identifies with the material body, and therefore suffers. Suffering caused by living entity, due to body identification, due to forgetfulness of Krishna in material existence maya as cause of suffering. The root cause of suffering is the ignorance that misconceives the nature of phenomena and apprehends oneself as self-existent. This ignorance leads us to exaggerate the status of phenomena and create the categories of self and others. These bring about experiences of desire and hatred, which in turn result in all sorts of negative actions. These in turn bring about all our undesirable sufferings. The four noble truths—The Buddha’s first teaching, are the truth of suffering, the truth of the origin of suffering, the truth of the cessation of suffering, and the truth of the path leading to cessation. The Buddha’s decision to teach the truths in this sequence has great significance for our practice. In order to underline the importance of understanding that what we ordinarily regard as happiness is in fact suffering, the Buddha taught the truth of suffering. The truth of suffering at the initial stage may not be very obvious, but as we get closed to it, it becomes increasingly self-evident. Something false at the initial stage might seem very vivid and firm, but eventually, as we probe it further, it becomes more flimsy and eventually dissolves. Delusion is separate from consciousness; it is not part of the essential nature of mind. Human existence is said to be the best form of existence to practice the Dharma and try to bring an end to this cycle.
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About the author

M.G. Chitkara

M.G. Chitkara's pursuit for knowledge has no limits. After sacrificing the lucrative practice of a lawyer he is a rishi in his chambers as Hermit Crab. For him caste, religion and political affiliations do not matter. Since 1950, he has been associated with RSS, actively up to December 1974 and thereafter if appreciating it from the core of his heart. He has been continuously studying Sangh, it's working and is proud member of Sangh Parivar. Writing has developed his most favourite expression. His published works include more than fifty books.

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Bibliographic information

Title Encyclopaedia of Buddhism : A World Faith : World of Sorrows and Sufferings (Volume XII)
Author M.G. Chitkara
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2002
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8176481912
length xxiii+629p.