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The Sinsapa Grove
 
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The Sinsapa Grove

The supremacy of the Four Noble Truths in the teaching of the Buddha is abundantly clear from the message of the Sinsapa Grove as from the message of the Deer Park.

Once the Blessed One was living at Kosambi (near Allahabad) in the Sinsapa Grove. Then, gathering a few sinsapa leaves in his hand, the Blessed One addressed the monks:

"What do you think, monks, which is greater in quantity, the handful of sinsapa leaves gathered by me or what is in the forest overhead?"

"Not many, trifling, venerable sir, are the leaves in the handful gathered by the Blessed One; many are the leaves in the forest overhead."

"Even so, monks, many are those things I have fully realized but not declared to you; few are the things I have declared to you. And why, monks, have I not declared them? They, monks, are not useful, are not essential to the life of purity, they do not lead to disgust, to dispassion, to cessation, to tranquillity, to full understanding, to full enlightenment, to Nibbâna. That is why, monks, they are not declared by me.

"And what is it, monks, that I have declared? This is suffering,this have I declared. This is the arising of suffering,this have I declared.This is the cessation of suffering,this have I declared. This is the path leading to the cessation of suffering,this have I declared.

"And why, monks, have I declared these truths?

"They are, indeed, useful, are essential to the life of purity, they lead to disgust, to dispassion, to cessation, to tranquillity, to full understanding, to enlightenment, to Nibbâna. That is why, monks, they are declared by me. Therefore, monks, an effort should be made to realize: ‘This is suffering, this is the arising of suffering, this is the cessation of suffering, this is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’ "n24

The Buddha has emphatically said: "One thing do I make known: suffering, and the cessation of suffering"n25 (dukkham ceva paññapemi, dukkhassa ca nirodham). To understand this unequivocal saying is to understand Buddhism; for the entire teaching of the Buddha is nothing else than the application of this one principle. What can be called the discovery of a Buddha is just these Four Noble Truths. This is the typical teaching of the Buddhas of all ages.


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