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The Goal

And the Blessed One thus addressed the bhikkhus:

"It is through not understanding the four noble truths, O
bhikkhus, that we had to wander so long in the weary-path of
samsara, both you and I.

"Through contact thought is born from sensation, and is reborn by
a reproduction of its form. Starting from the simplest forms, the
mind rises and falls according to deeds, but the aspirations of a
Bodhisatta pursue the straight path of wisdom and righteousness,
until they reach perfect enlightenment in the Buddha.

"All creatures are what they are through the karma of their deeds
done in former and in present existences.

"The rational nature of man is a spark of the true light; it is
the first step on the upward road. But new births are required to
insure an ascent to the summit of existence, the enlightenment of
mind and heart, where the immeasurable light of moral
comprehension is gained which is the source of all righteousness.

"Having attained this higher birth, I have found the truth and
have taught you the noble path that leads to the city of peace.

"I have shown you the way to the lake of Ambrosia, which washes
away all evil desire.

"I have given you the refreshing drink called the perception of
truth, and he who drinks of it becomes free from excitement,
passion, and wrong-doing.

"The very gods envy the bliss of him who has escaped from the
floods of passion and has climbed the shores of Nirvana. His
heart is cleansed from all defilement and free from all illusion.

"He is like unto the lotus which grows in the water, yet not a
drop of water adheres to its petals.

"The man who walks in the noble path lives in the world, and yet
his heart is not defiled by worldly desires.

"He who does not see the four noble truths, he who does not
understand the three characteristics and has not grounded himself
in the uncreate, has still a long path to traverse by repeated
births through the desert of ignorance with its mirages of
illusion and through the morass of wrong.

"But now that you have gained comprehension, the cause of further
migrations and aberrations is removed. The goal is reached. The
craving of selfishness is destroyed, and the truth is attained. 3

"This is true deliverance; this is salvation; this is heaven and
the bliss of a life immortal."

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