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1 180 CHAPTER-VI 6.0. Conclusion The research work "A Critical Study of the Eightfold Noble Path" developed through different chapters is mainly based on Buddhist literature. Lord Buddha, more than twenty-five centuries ago, has provided the mankind with the required deeper knowledge and higher wisdom for the welfare of all beings. He has also demonstrated a practical method to eliminate all the evils and to be liberated from all suffering. The Buddha dhamma provides us with a way of attaining that state of Nibbanic freedom from sorrow, whence we, like the Buddha and His Arahats, need never emerge again. For, through Buddha's preaching of dhamma, recognizing first, the Four Noble Truths, we gradually enter upon the Eightfold Noble Path, and are progressively brought from illusoriness to reality. The Buddha has explained clearly that the love of money and the desire or craving for wealth are some manifestations of lobha (a pali word, meaning greed, craving, attachment, etc.) which is the cause of all suffering. He also laid down a systematic method known as the Eightfold Noble Path for the total destruction of lobha, which arises in the mind as a concomitant of the mind. When greed or craving is totally destroyed and uprooted from the mind, the highest nobility and the everlasting bliss will be attained in this very life.

2 181 The Buddha's view on social structure message of goodwill and understanding to all beings is a universal message. The world today needs this noble message more than ever before in the history of humankind. Buddhism as a religion is the unique exposition of the absolute truth which will show man how to live in peace and harmony with his fellow beings.' Since the Eightfold Noble Path is well laid down by Lord Buddha, and it has been trodden by countless noble persons in the past, it is the surest practical way to lead us to the highest nobility and to the highest bliss in the whole life. The Eightfold Noble Path is a Path to be trodden. The path is something essentially practical. To know and experience this truth one must tread the path. This path contains a careful and wise collection of all the important requisites necessary for the spiritual development of man. The Eightfold Noble Path is unique to Buddhism and distinguishes it from every other religion and philosophy. It is the Buddhist code of mental and physical conduct which leads to the end of suffering, sorrow and despair; to perfect peace, Nibbana. If one understands the Buddha's teaching, and if one is convinced that his teaching is the right Path and if one tries to follow it, then one is a Buddhist. Buddhism is a way of life, and what is essential is following the Eightfold Noble Path.^ ' BR, P. 55. ^ Majjhima-nilMyatthakatha, Vol-I, P. 30.

3 182 The path or way that leads to the cessation of suffering (Nibbana) is the Eightfold Noble Path, consisting of eight constituent factors, which are more simply represented by the threefold training in morality, concentration and wisdom. Chapter (1) Central aspects of the Buddha's teaching The first chapter has discussed about the central aspects of the Buddha's teaching and his life in brief. After that the chapter 1 reviews the six contemporary philosophers with the Buddha. We find the names of the six philosophers almost always together in Buddhist literature. All suttas, mentioned about the six philosophers, are described using the same words, and so on. They had many ascetic disciples and many followers. They were the Masters of their Sects. They were well-known and held great reputation. They were the founders of their schools, and known as 'good-persons' by many folk. And then the first chapter has discussed the first preaching of the Buddha, It is known as "Dhammacakkapavattana" which is the most importance of the Buddha's preaching of Dhamma. It is beneficial for humanity. Chapter (2) The Four Noble Truths in Buddhism The second chapter explains the Four Noble Truths the key doctrine of Buddhism. (1) The Noble Truth of Suffering (Dukkha),

4 183 (2) The Noble Truth of the Cause of Suffering (Samudaya), (3) The Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering (Nirodha), (4) The Noble Truth of the Path leading to the Cessation of Suffering (Magga)/ The foundation of Buddhism is the Four Noble Truths. Because, thousands of the Buddha's teaching is connected with the Four Noble Truths. These doctrines should be practiced not only a particular monks, novices and nuns but also by all lay people. The Holy ones gain the fullest insight into the real nature of the four great noble truths; they come face to face with Nibbana, Supreme peace, in the present life. This is the end of birth and death, pain and sorrow. This is the realization of the four great Noble Truths.'* In fact, when we realize convincingly the Four Noble Truths with our own wisdom-eye we are able to eliminate the defilements, the causes of all suffering, from our mind, and we shall become Ariyas, that is, genuine noble persons. As a matter of fact, A study the Four Noble Truths with the help of these references and explanations, get a fairly good and accurate account of the essential teachings of the Buddha according to the original texts. Chapter (3) The Eightfold Noble Path in Buddhism The third chapter deals with the Eightfold Noble Path. The Eightfold Noble Path is key-note of Buddhism. The Eightfold Noble ' Mhvg, P. 9; S, Vol-V, P. 420

5 184 Path can be applied to any kind of work. It is a scientific method of development of human being according to Buddhism. Practically the whole teaching of the Buddha, to which he devoted himself during forty five years, deals in some way or other with this Path. He explained it in different ways and in different words to different people, according to the stage of their development and their capacity to understand and follow him. But the essence of those many thousand discourses scattered in the Buddhist Scriptures is found in the Eightfold Noble Path. With regard the Ethical Conduct called Slla in pali according to the Buddhist literature. These morality (Sila) groups should be trained not only by monks, novices and nuns but also by all the large number of society. This training is accomplished by observing five, eight or nine moral precepts for laymen and catuparisuddhi sila for monks. Further more, I have explained the theory of Buddhist ethics finds its practical expression in the various precepts. These precepts or disciplines are nothing but general guides to show the direction in which the Buddhist ought to turn to on his way to final salvation. Although many of these precepts are expressed in a negative form, we must not think that Buddhist morality consists of abstaining from evil without the complement of doing good. And then, regarding Buddhist conducts for morality, it has been pointed out that all Buddhist conducts include the Eight-fold Noble Path; viz., Right speech. Right action. Right livelihood, As a matter of fact the ' WBB, p. 147

6 185 Buddhist conducts are only of three to avoid evil; to do good and to purify the mind. Chapter (4) The Three Factors of Concentration (Samadhi) The fourth chapter deals with the procedures for concentration which must be observed and trained by not only Bhikkhu, novices and nuns but also by all lay people. This chapter styled the meaning of concentration, practice for concentration, the benefits of concentration according to Buddhist literatures, etc. The fourth chapter consists of the Eightfold Noble Path; viz.. Right effort, Right mindfulness, Right concentration. In fact. This training can be accomplished by meditating on any one of the forty subjects of meditation prescribed by Lord Buddha. Mindfulness of breathing (anapanassati) is a very effective object of meditation suitable to many meditators. When one attains the neighbourhood-concentration (upacara-samadhi), or better, the concentration associated with one of the four meditative absorptions in the fine material sphere, (four Tupavacara-jhanas) or with one of the four meditative absorptions in the immaterial sphere (four arupavacara-jhanas), the training in tranquility in accomplished. Chapter (5) The Two Factors of Wisdom (Paiina) The fifth chapter has explained the factors of wisdom, way to establish the wisdom, the benefits of wisdom the threefold understanding according to Buddhist literatures etc.

7 186 This chapter considers characteristics of the Eight-fold Noble Path; viz., Right understanding, Right thought. As a matter of fact, the opinion of educationists, wisdom is a means to develop human excellences both intellectual and moral. The ultimate goals of wisdom are human happiness and the welfare of society. The goal of Buddhism is to end suffering and its root namely: greed, hatred, and delusion. To end the problems of greed, hatred and delusion, a person needs to understand, practice and follow the Eightfold Noble Path. Strictly speaking, to solve any problem of suffering, we have to observe Sila (self control, morality), Samadhi (mind control) and Pahm (wisdom) i.e. the Eightfold Noble Path. The present research work throws light on Buddhist way of Hfe, which is based on the Eightfold Noble Path. It is this path which eliminates our unwholesome thoughts and improper and harmful conduct. One can end suffering by understanding, adopting and following the path of the Middle way which, to Buddhists, is a practical way of life. The Eightfold Noble Path is a path of self-conquest which leads to the ultimate goal, real happiness, perfect peace, Nibbana. According to Buddhism, the noble way of developing is morality, concentration and wisdom. This is the sure way to nobility, peace and happiness. It does harm to no one, neither to oneself nor to others. We can observe the results and the benefits immediately in this very life. The total elimination of all defilements, the true causes of all miseries, from our minds is not only possible but has been demonstrated

8 187 by countless noble persons (Arahants and Bodhisattas). The highest wisdom which accompanies the four Path-consciousnesses (Four Maggananas) can totally uproot all the defilements from our minds is not only philosophically sound but also can be tested scientifically by anyone who will steadfastly and strenuously undertake tranquility and insight-meditation. That total peace and happiness (Nibbana) will exist forever when all the causes of miseries are eliminated. It is again not only a philosophical truth but also a practical truth that can be realized in this very life. So the ultimate goal in life for all persons should be the attainment of the eternal peace (Nibbana), and the purpose of life in order to achieve that noble aim is to practise the Eightfold Noble Path or the threefold training of morality, concentration and wisdom.

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