Sacca - The Profoundest Truth of Reality

The Profoundest Truth of Reality

In the Pali Canon, sacca is frequently found in the term ariya-sacca, meaning "noble truth" or "truth of the noble ones." More specifically, the term ariya-sacca refers to the Buddha's "Four Noble Truths," elucidated in his first discourse as follows (where sacca is translated as "reality"):

"Now this, bhikkhus, for the Noble One(s), is the reality which is pain: birth is painful, aging is painful, illness is painful, death is painful; sorrow, lamentation, physical pain, unhappiness and distress are painful; union with what is disliked is painful; separation from what is liked is painful; not to get what one wants is painful; in brief, the five bundles of grasping-fuel are painful.
"Now this, bhikkhus, for the Noble One(s), is the pain-originating reality. It is this craving which leads to renewed existence, accompanied by delight and attachment, seeking delight now here now there; that is, craving for sense-pleasures, craving for existence, craving for extermination (of what is not liked).
"Now this, bhikkhus, for the Noble One(s), is the pain-ceasing reality. It is the remainderless fading away and cessation of that same craving, the giving up and relinquishing of it, freedom from it, non-reliance on it.
"Now this, bhikkhus, for the Noble One(s), is the reality which is the way leading to the cessation of pain. It is this Noble Eight-factored Path, that is to say, right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right mental unification."

In the Pali literature, these Four Noble Truths are often identified as the most common idea associated with the Noble Eightfold Path's factor of "right view" or "right understanding." And in the Buddhist causal notion of Dependent Origination, ignorance of these Four Noble Truths is often identified as the starting point for "the whole mass of suffering" (kevalassa dukkhakkhandha).

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