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Research Officer

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Vol. 1, No. 2, 1981


         The goal of Buddhism is Nibbana which is also known as Santi sukha, the supreme peace. Of course there are other synonyms for this incomparable bliss such as Kheman (free from from danger), sivam (freedom from disturbance) dipa (island of refuge), Visuddhi (freedom from mental defilement), asankhata dhatu (the element which is the opposite of sankhata nama and rupa), dukkha nirodha (the cessation of suffering), etc. There are descriptions of the same asankhata Nibbana which can be known and realized by means of the practice of the eightfold noble path. This path consists of sila (moral discipline), Samadhi (concentration of mind), and panna(wisdom). Anyone, who practises this eightfold noble path, can tastethe truth of Nibbana for a short moment, a long moment or a final duration moment accordingly. The best way is, of course, the practice of Satipatthana (the way of mindfulness) because it contains all the elements of morality and wisdom. it brings purity of conduct (sila Visuddhi), purity of mind (Citta Visuddhi) as soon as mindfulness on the mind and matter occurs.

         Sometimes Nibbana may seem very remote and very difficult to attain. Actually this is not so. It is not difficult to attain the tadinga Nibbana (Nibbana for a moment) because virtuous conduct always brings peace and happiness in this life and in this moment. So long a the good life is lived, freedom from fear is attained. So also a man, who is full of concentration, enjoys freedom from mental defilements. If right understanding is developed through mindfulness, freedom from wrong belief is attained.

        All people want the boom of the cessation of suffering. No one likes suffering. Therefore everyone can know through Sati and Samadhi the appearance of suffering (dukkha) such as anxiety, fear, longing, and other mental defilements. Similarly through sila, Samadhi and panna, one can eradicate the mental defilements called kilesa. If one practises virtuous conduct, one immediately frees oneself from all Kinds of dangers and their attendant sufferings. At the same time one instantly enjoys the bliss of peace for so long as sila remains. If one wishes to attain Nibbana permanently, right understanding of the four noble truths is necessary. In other words, everyone needs to practice Vipassana meditation to acquire wisdom (panna). Moha (delusion) obstructs the way to Nibbana. So one should be aware of the evils and dangers of moha. As soon as moha ceases, one attains the bliss called the cessation of moha.

         In the same way all putthujana (worldlings) have to face the arising of dosa (anger), lobha (greed or attachment) as the occasion demands. Then one must know that the cessation of anger or the cessation of greed must be found and realized, for Nibbana means cessation of kilesa, (mental defilements). It will be seen that, once the Lobha, Dosa and Moha arise; they are the truth of suffering. Without the aid of mindfulness, many will not realize this truth. Therefore awareness of the fact of suffering is necessary. It is taught by the Buddha that the way to banish Suffering is no other than the way of the eightfold noble path. Mere thinking will not bring the end of suffering. As soon as greed or confusion arises, one must, with the aid of Sati, carefully meditate on this phenomena. This is the practice of Satipatthana or Vipassand-insight meditation. By means of this practical awareness one obtains right understanding of the truth of suffering. Also, at the same time, one realizes the facts of Anicca, Dukkha and Anatta.

         Now Buddhism teaches the truths of impermanence, suffering and egolessness in order to obtain right understanding. This is the highest wisdom because it leads to Nibbana. Without knowing these three characteristics of life one cannot under stand Nibbana. The truth of Anicca is common to all. Change arises everywhere. So we may logically conclude that Nibbana is also the concern of all. For the Buddha teaches that Nibbana is the cessation of change. In other words Nibbana is the element of permanence (Nicca or Duva). Therefore we all need this cessation from change because change itself is Dukkha. Changelessness is Sukha. Nibbana is called Santi Sukha because it is not transitory, it is not impermanence. Except Nibbana, all are in the process of change. Hence all persons are under the sway of Dukkha.

         All need to become good persons. Good character is essential. In order to keep this good conduct (sila) permanently, we all need right understanding as a guide. Sila alone is not sufficient. So the Buddha teaches that the practice of samadhi concentration and the use of mindfulness to watch the changing phenomena of our daily lives must be the greatest concern for all mankind. Only the Buddha can teach the fact of Anatta which can be known by means of Vipassana practice.


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