Four Noble Truths

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The Four Noble Truths are the Essence of Gautama Buddha's Teachings, which say that suffering is caused by ignorance, and can be overcome...
The Buddha Awakens to the Four Noble Truths
The Buddha preaches his First Sermon about the Four Noble Truths to the Group of Five Monks
Buddha Statue in Vietnam

The Four Noble Truths are the Essence of Gautama Buddha's Teachings, which say that suffering is caused by ignorance, and can be overcome by following these teachings.

The Four Noble Truths[edit]

  • 1. Dukkha: Suffering exists: Life is suffering. Suffering is real and almost universal. Suffering has many causes: loss, sickness, pain, failure, and the impermanence of pleasure.
  • 2. Samudaya: There is a cause of suffering. Suffering is due to attachment. It is the desire to have and control things. It can take many forms: craving of sensual pleasures; the desire for fame; the desire to avoid unpleasant sensations, like fear, anger or jealousy.
  • 3. Nirodha: There is an end to suffering. Attachment can be overcome. Suffering ceases with the final liberation of Nirvana (Nibbana). The mind experiences complete freedom, liberation and non-attachment. It lets go of any desire or craving.
  • 4. Magga: In order to end suffering, you must follow the Eightfold Path. There is a path for accomplishing this

The Eightfold Path[edit]

The eightfold path says that truth is found in the Middle Way. A person can get to the Middle Way by following the eightfold path. The eight parts are these:

  • Right Vision. A person should try to see things the way they really are.
  • Right Values. A person should try to turn their mind away from the world and towards the Dharma.
  • Right Speech. A person should try to be truthful and kind when they talk.
  • Right Actions. A person should try to do good things. If they can not do a good thing, then they should try to not do a bad thing.
  • Right Livelihood. A person should not work at something that can hurt themselves or other people.
  • Right Effort. A person should try to increase their goodness and get rid of their evil.
  • Right Mindfulness. A person must remember the Dharma and use it all the time
  • Right Meditation. A person must try to reach enlightenment through meditation.

Quotes about the Four Noble Truths[edit]

  • Buddhism’s famed Four Truths are called noble because they liberate us from suffering. They are the Buddha’s basic teaching, encapsulating the entire Buddhist path.
  • The Buddha came approximately five hundred years before Christ... Buddha answered the questions posited in His time by giving the Four Noble Truths, which satisfactorily and eternally answer man's demand of why. These Truths can be summarized as follows: the Buddha taught that misery and suffering were of man's own making, and that the focussing of human desire upon the undesirable, the ephemeral and the material, was the cause of all despair, all hatred and competition...
  • Characterized as are all the teachings of the Blessed One by brevity, they are instinct with wisdom: for just as on each one of the Four Noble Truths, volumes of exposition may be written, so in the phrases of this Noble Eightfold Path, the whole law of life, the whole rule of conduct, is definitely expressed; and if a man should follow that Eightfold path, if a man should carry out the eight directions that are given, then that man would bridge the threshold of Arhatship, and he would prepare himself for liberation.
  • 120. Q. What is the light that can dispel this ignorance of ours and remove all sorrows? A. The knowledge of the Four Noble Truths, as the Buddha called them... 1. The miseries of evolutionary existence resulting in births and deaths, life after life. 2. The cause productive of misery, which is the selfish desire, ever renewed, of satisfying one's self, without being able ever to secure that end. 3. The destruction of that desire, or the estranging of one's self from it. 4. The means of obtaining this destruction of desire...
  • 124. Q. How can we escape the sufferings which result from unsatisfied desires and ignorant cravings? A. By complete conquest over, and destruction of, this eager thirst for life and its pleasures, which causes sorrow.... By following the Noble Eight-fold Path which the Buddha discovered and pointed out... 1. Right Belief (as to the law of Causation, or Karma); 2. Right Thought; 3. Right Speech; 4. Right Action; 5. Right Means of Livelihood; 6. Right Exertion; 7. Right Remembrance and Self-discipline; 8. Right Concentration of Thought. The man who keeps these angas in mind and follows them will be free from sorrow and ultimately reach salvation.

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