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The Four Noble Truths - artelino

Buddha ShakyamuniThe Four Noble Truths are a basic element of Buddhist philosophy. This article explains what it is all about. Easy to read, and easy to understand.

Four Noble Truths

  1. There is suffering in the world.
  2. The reasons for suffering are desire (craving, attachment), hatred and ignorance ("The Three Poisons").
  3. There is a way to end suffering.
  4. The solution is the "Eightfold Path".

Suffering and how to Overcome It

Buddha among DisciplesThe Four Noble Truths are a basic element of Buddhist philosophy. They describe the bottom line of our worldly problems and give a direction how to overcome the problem.

Noble Truth No. 1

"There is suffering in the world."

The First Noble Truth is a statement, like a medical diagnosis of the condition of this world. "Suffering" can be seen as a synonym for the imperfection of the world. We suffer even when we think that we are content with our lives. Suffering can be illness, death, losing loved ones, not getting what we want, unpleasant things and alike.

Noble Truth No. 2

The second noble truth reveals the causes for suffering. These are "The Three Poisons", which are desire (attachment), hatred and ignorance. We all have our wishes and desires. And even if we can realize what we wish, we strive for more. And sooner or later we will not be able to fulfill our desires and then we suffer. Buddhists see this as an endless, negative cycle like a snake biting its tail.

Noble Truth No. 3

The "Third Noble Truth" is again a statement. It simply says that their is a way to put an end to suffering. This final end is called Nirvana.

Noble Truth No. 4

The "Fourth Noble Truth" is the solution in detail, the "road map" how to end suffering. It is by following the "Noble Eightfold Path".

  1. Right Understanding
  2. Right Thoughts
  3. Right Speech
  4. Right Action
  5. Right Livelihood
  6. Right Effort
  7. Right Mindfulness
  8. Right Concentration

The Four Noble Truths.

The Noble Eightfold Path is also described as the 'Middle Way' as it is a path between extreme ascetism and self-denial on one side and self-indulgence on the other side. The 'Middle Way' goes back to the historical Buddha's own experience with extreme ascetism that did not take him any closer to enlightenment.

Dieter Wanczura, June 2010.

Buddha and Disciples.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 November 2010 18:50  

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