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Suffering and the end of suffering

By the Monk Sásana

Monday 18 April 2016

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Suffering and the end of suffering

What does Buddhism mean to you? In your opinion, what is the heart of the philosophy?
It is not a philosophy.
Thus, I will be in trouble saying that it is the heart of a philosophy.
The heart of the teaching?
It is simple, Buddha does himself claim it.
When somebody came to see him one day, by asking him:
"And among all these things, after all, what do you teach then?"
Buddha answered him(her): "My teaching is all about suffering and the end of suffering".
Here is the sentence that summarises the core of Buddha’s teaching. Suffering,
and the end of suffering.

What does bring suffering to an end?
That which is the cause of the end of suffering is the attitude
that is opposite to the one which does beget suffering.
That which does beget suffering, it is ignorance.
Hence, that which is the cause of the end of suffering is the cessation of ignorance, simply.

And what is the root cause of ignorance?
When somebody asked this question to Buddha, he answered:
"That which is the root cause of ignorance, that is consciousness".
The person asked him then: "But then, what is the root cause of consciousness?"
He answered: "That which is the root cause of consciousness, that is ignorance".
This simple small sentence deserves three hours of discussion to be suitably explained.
However, without getting involved into these too technical considerations,
let us roughly say:
That which is the root cause of ignorance, it is the simple fact to be here.

What does cause suffering to arise, apart from ignorance? Is there not attachment too?
Yes, naturally. Basically, the source, that is ignorance, but ignorance is mainly found among three kinds of behaviours, which he calls factors of perpetuation, which maintain the world into its ceaseless revolving cycles.

In the first place, it is the set of our philosophic beliefs, our religious beliefs too, our views and opinions.

Secondly, it is the set of our attachments, our desires, our fascinations.

Thirdly, it is our pride – which does prevail within all beings (except arahantas). It is interesting to notice that Buddha says: "humility is another form of pride".

When one has eliminated these three things – which does imply the fact of having eradicated ignorance –, one has reached the end of all our pains, problems and difficulties.

- by Monk Sásana
- Source : www.dhammadana.org

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