The Noble Search

So there’s this Noble Search – this really is the heart of the Buddha’s teaching and is fundamental to having Right View – the first step onto the Noble Eightfold Path of the Buddha.

Just before Prince Siddartha set off on his quest, he reflected thus:
“I, too, monks, before my Awakening, when I was an unawakened bodhisatta:
– Being subject myself to birth, sought what was likewise subject to birth.
– Being subject myself to aging… illness… death… sorrow… defilement, I sought [happiness in] what was likewise subject to illness… death… sorrow… defilement.

The thought occurred to me:

  • Why do I, being subject myself to birth, seek what is likewise subject to birth?
  • Being subject myself to aging… illness… death… sorrow… defilement, why do I seek what is likewise subject to illness… death… sorrow… defilement?
  • What if I, being subject myself to birth, seeing the drawbacks of birth, were to seek the unborn, unexcelled rest from the yoke: Unbinding?
  • What if I, being subject myself to aging… illness… death… sorrow… defilement, seeing the drawbacks of aging… illness… death… sorrow… defilement, were to seek the aging-less, illness-less, deathless, sorrow-less, unexcelled rest from the yoke: Unbinding?’

So we’re talking basics here, fundamentals.

If we get this wrong – if we have Wrong View from the outset instead of Right View, then we could be expending a lot of effort for years and even most of our lives and not get much in return for our efforts. Because it’s not Right Effort:
– What’s Wrong Effort in this example? Seeking for the impermanent – the Ignoble Search.
– What’s Right Effort? Seeking for the permanent – the aging-less, illness-less, deathless, Nirvana – the Noble Search.

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