The Second Noble Truth is the cause of suffering. Why are you having hardships? It is because all sentient beings, since since beginningless time, have been troubled by afflictions, resulting from greed. hatred, and ignorance. Your greed, hatred, and ignorance from your previous life are brought forth into your next life. The Second Noble Truth comprises the 25 causes of suffering. These 25 causes refer to the 25 different types of the cycles of life and death, which are the six realms of existence. Many people come from these six realms, which are the hell realm, the hungry ghost realm, the animal realm, the asura realm, the human realm, and the heavenly realm. Well, the six realms are due to these 25 causes. For example, within the heavenly realm, there are the Realm of Desire (which consists of six heavens), the Realm of Form, and the Formless Realm. It also comprises saints who have reached the first three stages of enlightenment. The Bodhisattva tells us that all these exist in this world, you ought to know, by categorizing them together, there are 25 types; hence the name “25 stages of existence”. As long as you wander in this cycle of rebirths, you cannot get out of the cycle. This is the truth because we remain stuck in the cycle of life and death. Thus, the Bodhisattva tells us about the causes of suffering. As there are the 25 stages of existence, from which we continue to suffer from the cycle of rebirths. This leads to your accumulation of greed, hatred, and ignorance, which result in your endless suffering in the cycle of birth and death within the three realms. So, the Second Noble Truth is about the causes of suffering. You need to find out the reasons for your suffering. Some religions talk about the concept of sin, that is, humans are born with sin, in Buddhism, we refer to the Four Noble Truths, and the Second Noble Truth talks about how we bring our karma from past lives into our current life. In this life, we continue to receive the rewards or undergo the retribution. We reap what we sow. Good begets good and evil begets evil. We will continue to face retribution from our karmic debts which have not been settled in previous lives.

The Third Noble Truth is the cessation of suffering. This means that any human or objects in this world will eventually come to an end. There will come a day when they will end. What comes to life will come to an end, to say it in an unpleasant manner, if a place is on fire, the fire will be extinguished sooner or later. If you make a phone call and enjoy having long conversations, remember that no matter how much you talk, the other person will hang up the phone eventually. That person will speak with you for an hour, but he will eventually have to hang up the phone. The same goes with human life. After you are born, no matter how healthy your body is, how much you have enjoyed a good life, someday you will have to leave this world. No matter how fancy your house you is, would you be able to stay there for hundreds of years? Everyone will inevitably cease to exist one day, so the Third Noble Truth refers to what the Bodhisattva mentioned as nirvana. Many people think that once you reach nirvana it means you have died. In actuality, nirvana is a state of liberation. Once you understand this, once you know that our consciousness does not die, then you have attained liberation. So, in this truth there is the continuation of life and death, because in Buddhism, it does not mean that a dead person ceases to exist. After death, the person will know where they are headed to, their death does not mean the end of their existence, so the cycle of rebirth continues. Perhaps they will be reborn in the heavenly realm, or the lower realm, so this continuation of life and death is the Third Noble Truth. This is to let you know the truth of this world, whether your mind is confused or clear, eventually your confusion will end. And if you have great intellectual abilities, no matter what you gain, they will all come to an end. So, we must understand that such is the nature of the world. Someday your suffering will end, your happiness will end, so why don’t you try to realise your enlightenment sooner, so that you can be freed from your worldly suffering, be freed from the pain of life and death? This is the Third Noble Truth.

Within the Fourth Noble Truth, there lies the path. This means that when you have found this path, like when we are driving, if we lose our direction and don’t know where to go, once you have finally found this path, after going round  and round the road, you have found your way home. As long as you continue to drive along the path, that you have found, you would find the truth. As you continue to bravely forge ahead until you attain liberation, you will totally comprehend the true meaning of this human life, thus achieving nirvana. You finally understand that this world is nothing more than what is highlighted by the Four Noble Truths. These profound teachings are what Buddhism seeks to teach us, to let us know that no matter what you do, you will eventually face the impermanence of life and death, you will eventually experience birth, old age, illness, and death. All will reach the state of cessation. Hence, do not compete with others in this human world, because all will eventually come to an end. This is the Noble Truth of the path leading to the cessation of suffering.

BHFF 45: The Four Noble Truths is The Way to Liberation (2/3)