Thursday, May 17, 2007

Four Noble Truths - sdug bsngal

The first noble truth to be accepted as a truth is sdug bsngal, suffering. It should not be so hard to accept that suffering exists in this world, in one's own life. Not accepting this truth would mean that the first of the Four Noble truths are not accepted, i.e. the Four Noble Truths are not accepted at all.

This word sdug bsngal also has some suffering for anyone reading old Tibetan texts. Notice how -- depending on the font or the smearing in the text -- the first d in sdug and the nga in bsngal could easily be mixed up as either one. You just need to learn the patterns of words, so when you see this pattern, you know it is indeed sdug bsngal. It is also a very, very common word in Tibetan Buddhist texts, of an obvious reason -- the whole idea is to get rid of all sufferings, for everyone.

By the way, sdug also means suffering (shorter form), and bsngal means pain. So a more complete translation of this term would mean suffering and pain, with the implication that there exist all kinds of sufferings, from ordinary pain up to more complex levels. So we will go through that next.

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