In the Theravadin tradition, the goal you are striving for is to become an arhat. An arhat is free of suffering and the causes of suffering, free of the state which is known as samsara. samsara is a sanskrit word. in Tibetan it is called khor, which means anything that is circling. The state of being free from samsara is called “nirvana,” in sanskrit, and in Tibetan, “de,” which means, “beyond.” The combination, “khor-de,” means “samsara and nirvana.”
When you look at it, it is fantastic, just these two little words, khor and de, contain the Four Noble Truths, the first teaching of the Buddha.
The Four Noble Truths. These are:
1. The Truth of Suffering,
2. The Truth of the Cause of Suffering,
3. The Truth of the Cessation of Suffering
4. The Truth of the Path that leads to the Cessation of Suffering.
The circling of “khor” is related to the first Two Noble Truths, the Truth of Suffering and the Truth of the Cause of Suffering. The Cause of Suffering is what makes the individual circle continuously in suffering. Suffering makes the individual run. We are running away from fear and we can’t get away, so we are circling. Fear combined with confusion, is the source of suffering.
We have had that for so long. We are running but we can’t get away. Why can’t we get away? Because we are sort of hooked in by links. It is like a wheel where the inside runs, but the spokes cannot fall apart because of the rim that keeps them together. Exactly like that, we are running and we cannot get away because of the Twelve Links of the System of Interdependence.
You know about these, I am sure. We have heard and read about it, and had teachings about that a number of times. These links of the rim, that stops the system from falling apart, keep you running around. When Buddha talks about ‘khor,’ circling, just that one word gives you the first Two Noble Truths. ‘De,’ the going beyond, gives you the other half of the Four Noble Truths. The first two are the negative aspects and the second are the positive aspects of the Four Noble Truths.
That is why Buddha is really great. in these few simple words combined together he expresses the nature of our life. That’s exactly what it is.
~ Gelek Rimpoche, GOM, p. 2
Posted on Thursday, January 17th, 2019