The 4 truths that Buddha Discovered – Sri Sri Ravishankar

When Buddha got enlightened on that full moon day in the month of May, it is said that he maintained silence for the whole week. He did not say a word.. Mythology says that all the angels in the heaven were frightened. They knew that it was only once in a millennium that someone blossoms like Buddha. Now he was silent! The angels then requested him to say something. He said, “Those who know, they know even without my saying and those who do not know, will not know even if I say something. Any description of light to a blind man is of no use. There is no point in talking to those who have not tasted the ambrosia of life, and therefore I am silent.

How can you convey something so intimate and personal? Words cannot. And as many scriptures in the past have declared words end where truth begins.”

The angels said, “What you say is right. But consider those who are on the borderline, who are neither fully enlightened nor totally ignorant.( Refer The way to get rid of the obstacles – SriSri ) For them, a few words will give a push, for their sake you speak and every word of yours will create that silence.”

The purpose of words is to create silence. If words create more noise, then they have not reached their goal. Buddha’s words would definitely create silence, because Buddha is the manifestation of silence. Silence is the source of life and is the cure for diseases. When people are angry, they maintain silence. First they shout and then comes the silence. When one is sad, they ask to be left alone and retreat into silence. Similarly, silence is the recourse one takes to if ashamed. If one is wise too, there’s silence.

When Jesus was asked, “Are you the son of God?” he kept silent; it was the wisest thing to do. When you are telling someone you have a pain in the leg and they want you to prove it, how is that possible?

When you cannot prove something as deep as pain how can you prove something like enlightenment or divinity? Joy and fulfillment bring silence while desire brings noise.

Look at the noise in your mind. What is it about? More money? More fame? More recognition? Fulfillment? Relationship? The noise is about something; silence is about nothing. Silence is the basis; noise is the surface.

From the very beginning Buddha lived a very satisfied life. Any pleasure was at his feet the moment he wanted it. One day he said, “I would like to go and see what the world is.”

He started thinking when he saw someone who was sick, someone who was old and someone who was dying. These three instances were good enough to bring in him the knowledge that there is misery. When he saw someone sick, he said, “enough! I have experienced it.” Just one glimpse of an old man and a corpse was enough Buddha said, “there is no joy in life; I am dead already! There is no meaning in life. Let me go back.”

Buddha set out in quest of truth, all by himself, leaving his palace, wife and son.
Stronger the silence, powerful will be the questions that arise from such a silence.

Nothing could stop him. He knew he wouldn’t be able to get away during day, so he quietly escaped at night and his search continued for several years. He did all that people told him to do, he went from place to place, fasted, and he walked many paths, before discovering four truths.

1 : “There is misery (Dukha) in the world.”
In life, there are only two possibilities: one is to observe the world around us and know from others’ suffering and futile exercises,
the second is experience it and find that it is misery.
There is no third possibility. If you are sensitive, you don’t need to go through all that yourself. You can look at those who are suffering and become wise.

2 : The second truth is, “There is a cause for misery.” You can be happy without a reason. Joy does not need a reason, laughter does not need a joke but misery has a cause.

3 : The third truth is, “It is possible to eliminate misery.”

4 : The fourth truth is, “There is a path to be out of misery.”

Following the four truths, he gives the eight-fold path of right equanimity, right vision, right silence, right meditation etc. Buddha also said that the three things to do are Sheela, which means conduct, Samadhi, which means an equanimous meditative state, and Pragya, which means awareness.

Buddha was born at a very interesting time in India’s history, at a time when India was prosperous and had reached its height in philosophical thinking. In a highly intellectual society, people think they know it all, but in fact, they have not known at all. This was the case in India. So Buddha said, “Come, I have a simple technique for you. Keep your concepts to yourself, but just come and sit.” Then Buddha gave them four steps.
They are:

1 : Observe the body (Kayaanu Paschana)

2 : Observe the sensations (Vedananu Paschana)

3 : Observe the flow of mind (Chittanu Paschana)

4 : Observe your true nature (Dhammanu Paschana)

So, Buddha spoke and taught for years. Thousands would sit still, observe and meditate and become free. Buddha would not indulge in any philosophic discussion.

I think it is mandatory for every psychologist to study Buddha! . Buddha has propounded all that there is to know about the mind and its functions in such a methodical manner.

Mind is noise; the source of the mind is silence. That’s why Buddha said, “no mind”. He was referring to the chain of thoughts that simply wander in the mind all the time.

At a time when there was so much prosperity, Buddha gave a begging bowl to his main disciples and asked them to go and beg! He made kings take off their royal robes and take a bowl in their hand! Not that they were in need of food but he wanted to teach them the lesson of becoming ‘nobody’ from being ‘somebody’. You are nobody; you are insignificant in this Universe. When kings and geniuses of that time were asked to beg, they became embodiments of compassion.

Observe your true nature. What is your true nature? It is peace, compassion, love, friendliness and joy and it is silence that gives birth to all this.. Silence swallows the sadness, guilt, and misery and gives birth to joy, compassion and love. Buddha came to take away the misery, the guilt, the fear, the arrogance, the ignorance, and bring back wisdom, strength, beauty, knowledge and peace.

Joy Gurudeva 🙂

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11 Comments

  1. bhawana said,

    June 28, 2009 at 7:20 am

    *When you cannot prove something as deep as pain how can you prove something like enlightenment or divinity

    WOW

  2. bhawana said,

    June 28, 2009 at 7:22 am

    *Stronger the silence, powerful will be the questions that arise from such a silence

    Bulls eye!

  3. Roshin said,

    July 15, 2009 at 3:25 am

    This is just lovely. You should listen to the talk given by guruji on ” Buddha-The Manifestation of Silence” to get the real feel of it.

    Jai Gurudeva,
    Roshin

    • jhakkas said,

      July 15, 2009 at 4:58 pm

      Yes, I did. its wonderful.

  4. Himanshu said,

    April 28, 2011 at 5:53 am

    This is a wonderful post.

    It’s the silence that I was looking for.

  5. ANAND said,

    December 8, 2012 at 2:06 am

    “If Guruji knows all about Buddha, then why dont gurji suggest us Vipassana- the path which was followed by Lord Buddha himself”

  6. Ismail said,

    December 27, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Well said! Truly Gautam Buddha (Zul-Kifl) was the awakened!

    “Sarvam Dukham” (all in this world is painful/misery)
    “Sarvam Bhayam” (all in this world is fear)
    “Sarvam Anityam” (all in this world is temporary)
    “Sarvam Shoonyam” (all in this world is hollow/zero)

  7. June 2, 2013 at 12:00 am

    very well written\spoken. i found it interesting and mostly believable(except the angels part ) Sheela,Samadhi and Pragya thats GR8, awesome and some other good adjectives BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT. how to observe\follow them? – “There is a path to be out of misery” – those 4 points mentioned about that didnt tell us how to do that(“Observe the flow of mind,body sensetions) practically in day to day life. NO OFFENSE but “art of living” courses dont tell us a way to ultimate moksh or nirvana. Yoga and pranayam r very very good for mind and body but i dont think they count as meditation(even sudharshan kryia is a pranayam technique not meditation) so to my main point – all the above literature is good like other talks, but we can hear good talks all day on TV, that not gono lead us to the path of salvation(nirvana) that means NO ONE IN AOL COURSES TELL US WHAT EXACTLY TO DO TO REACH THE STATE THAT LORD BUDHA REACHED. (no offense meant) thats means these talks\literature is not completely useful.

    • Ram said,

      September 12, 2013 at 1:22 am

      What I have experienced during my association with AOl is that they will prepare you to find your own path. Guruji also provided me a glimpse of the reality.. I experienced it when one day I was in deep meditation at home. there is no fixed technique.. or path. everyone has to find his own path. that is the reason Buddha said — those who know they know it already… those who do not will not understand even if I speak. the curiosity in you will take you on that path. hope you will succeed in finding your own path. best of luck.

  8. Lay Buddhist said,

    March 14, 2015 at 7:12 am

    I m sorry,but sincerely Sri Sri Ravi is not a buddhist, and Siddharta Gautama Buddha is not the reincarnation of Krishna. U may judge my statement after reading Dhammapada,Kalama Sutta etc.

  9. Karthik said,

    March 14, 2016 at 11:22 am

    *When you cannot prove something as deep as pain how can you prove something like enlightenment or divinity

    Not to get very technical but it is possible to detect pain in people using an MRI – https://www.technologyreview.com/s/425417/an-objective-way-to-measure-pain/

    Either way – well written article.


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