What Are the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism?

four noble truths buddhism


If you’re interested in Buddhism and what it can add to your life, you’re on a good path. This religion is founded on the teachings of Buddha, who lived twenty-five hundred years ago. He taught his followers about human suffering and also explained to them exactly where this type of suffering comes from. In addition, he showed people common-sense methods for minimizing or eliminating their own suffering. Students who used his methods of easing suffering on a consistent basis moved towards a state of enlightenment known as Nirvana. These primary elements of the Buddha’s teachings are the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism.


Here we share information about each Noble Truth.


Dukka (The Truth of Suffering)


The First Noble Truth of Buddhism is that all human beings are subject to suffering. Reasons for suffering vary. Everyone suffers and understanding that suffering is universal is the foundation upon which the path to enlightenment is founded. Without considering that fact that there will always be things that hurt us, and knowing that suffering is an integral aspect of the human condition, we cannot know ourselves (and others) well enough to find the right ways to handle suffering.


Samudaya (The Truth of the Cause of Suffering)


Age, sickness, the prospect of death and the pain caused by the deaths of others all cause suffering, as do desire and greed. As well, hate and the urge to cause destruction are causes of suffering. Delusion and ignorance also trigger the sense of loss. The Buddha encouraged his followers to self-examine by thinking about how they might, even unconsciously, be bringing new suffering into their lives via their own thoughts, feelings and actions.


When you contemplate this Second Noble Truth of Buddhism, and begin to ease out of behaviors which are triggers for suffering, you will move forward.


Rooting out desire, greed, hatred, destructive urges, delusions and ignorance won’t be easy. However, doing so will help you to live a better life which doesn’t provoke as many negative emotions. While aging can’t be avoided and sickness is often beyond our control (as is death, most of the time), understanding the truth of the cause of suffering will prepare you to end your own misery, by practicing the Third Noble Truth.


Nirhodha (The Truth of the End of Suffering)


The Third Noble Truth of Buddhism is that the key to ending distress is development a mindset of non-attachment. It’s all about recognizing the causes of suffering and choosing to live life in a way that is more detached. Since most emotional pain stems from our attachments (romantic relationships which don’t measure up to our expectations are just one example), letting go of these attachments, while still honoring other people, is the truth of the end of suffering.


It’s fine and good to care about others. Non-attachment doesn’t mean not caring. It’s not lack of compassion. Buddhists value compassion greatly. Those who practice non-attachment understand that no one can be owned and that everything is temporary. They find mental balance by not getting too attached to people, things, money and other common triggers for suffering. When they detach, the triggers lose their power. Non-attachment actually breeds compassion.


Magga (The Truth of the Path That Frees Us from Suffering)


The secret of achieving enlightenment (Nirvana) is taking the Middle Path. This is the Fourth Noble Truth of Buddhism. The middle path is an “eightfold” path, which is about embracing a positive attitude that is free of anger and greed, speaking the right way (no lies, gossip or mean words), righteous actions (no destruction of life, no stealing and no cheating on spouses), doing work that doesn’t harm oneself or other people, making an honest effort in the correct direction, remaining attentive and aware (right mindfulness) and steadying and calming the mind, in order to see the truth in things.


Now that you know more about these four truths and how they benefit mankind why not follow the Buddha’s instructions with regular meditation upon these important truths to help you move towards enlightenment? Studying practical Buddhism regularly will help you to stay on track. This religion has helped so many people to become happier and to achieve their spiritual destinies, by living peaceful and good lives.