Modern Truths contains sixteen talks on the Noble Truths plus a talk on how to decide what is and is not a teaching of The Buddha.
The talks were prepared upon the request of devotees at a temple in Penang, Malaysia. All except the talk on the Path-factor Right View and that on the Path-factor Right Intention were also delivered.
Again upon request, all except the talk on the four Noble Truths (‘A Modern Opportunity’, p.1ff), and the one on Right Intention (‘Beauty Is in the Eye of the Blind’ p.263), were published in Penang, in two separate books.
1) Modern Birth, Ageing, and Death (p.17ff) — 5 + 1 talks
One talk on the Noble Truth of Suffering; four on the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering; and as an appendix, one on Right View (the first factor of the Noble Eightfold Path, the Noble Truth of the Path Leading to the Cessation of Suffering). As an appendix also a talk entitled ‘Is this the Dhamma-Vinaya?’
2) Modern Happiness Very Difficult to See (p.117f) — 7 + 1 talks
Seven talks on the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering, and as an appendix, one on the Noble Truth of the Path Leading to the Cessation of Suffering, the Noble Eightfold Path.
Upon the request of devotees at a temple in Singapore, all seventeen talks (2+6+8) and their appendices are herewith published together.
Since the talk on the Noble Eightfold Path, the talk on Right View, and the talk on Right Intention, were intended as the first three of a series discussing the Noble Truth of the Path leading to the Cessation of Suffering, they have here been put separately under The Path Leading to Modern Happiness Very Difficult to See (p.225ff ).
The talk on how to decide what is and is not a teaching of The Buddha has been put at the end, as it is not directly related to any of the four Noble Truths, but is directly related to one’s study and understanding of The Buddha’s Teachings as a whole.
Inconsistencies in translation, etc., between one talk and another have been left as they are.