Four noble truths in Buddhism

The four noble truths

“Four noble truths in Buddhism” is disclosed by the Buddha through his first sermon. It is one of the basic teachings in Buddhism”. If you refer our previous article you can get idea regarding the background.Four noble truths in Buddhism shows us the way to liberate ourselves from suffering.

According to the Buddhism, the Birth is can be divided to four kinds.

  1. Andaja – oviparous
  2. Jalabuja – born from a womb, viviparous
  3. Samsedaja – born or arisen from moisture
  4. Opapatika – Apparitions (no psychological process in involve)

In the space, there are countless world systems. There is a cyclic coming together and dissolution of these systems. This solar system is no exception. A being finds himself in any of three plans of existence,

  1. Kamavacara – world of sense : In here, human beings, same gods, some beings in states of misery and the sphere of pretas or ghost can be mentioned.
  2. Rupavacara – world of forms : In here, the sense of taste, smell and touch are absent.
  3. Arupavacara – formless world

Therefore, as the Pali canon describes, we human live in the world of sense.


“Four noble truths in Buddhism”

With our birth, we all confront the four noble truth,

  1. The suffering
  2. It has a cause
  3. It has a remedy
  4. The remedy

1. The Suffering

The first step towards leading a better life is the understanding that, there is suffering? Now, what is suffering? We suffer because birth, illness, senility and death. We suffer because life does not exist as we born. When we become old, we suffer. When we get ill, we suffer. When we die and much more of life is also suffering. Further, absence of loved ones, presence of unloved ones or undesired company, non-realization of our wishes, desires, conformation with undesired, unpleasant words, experience and situations are the causes for our suffering.

But, the cause of death, said the Buddha is not sickness, but birth. The reason is roots of craving give rise to all forms of suffering and thus, cause the continuing of samsara.(re-birth cycle)

2. It has a cause

The second step of “Four noble truths in Buddhism” is to understand the roots of suffering. We crave for many things. Whatever we crave for will change both the desirable object and desire gain. Simply, the cause of suffering is craving (trushna) and the cause of raving is ignorance or stupidity (avidya) can be mentioned. This Avidya is not by itself a root cause. The casual formula of dependent organization can be explained as bellow. Each link is coming into the next. As the Pali canon describes,

  1. Ignorance – Avidya
  2. The arraregates – Sankara
  3. Consciousness – Vinnana
  4. Mind and body – Nama-rupa

And, the six sense organs (sannayatana), contact (sparsha), sensation (vedana), craving (trushna), grasping (upadana), coming into existence (bhava), birth (jati), old age and death (jara-marana). That’s how we try to understand these roots of suffering.

3. It has a remedy

This is that, there is an end to suffering. But, hoe we do end suffering? To achieve this, we need to lead a meaningful life, mindfully. This leads us to transform suffering.

4. The remedy

The fourth noble truth in the “Four noble truths in Buddhism” which, contains eight specific steps. These are: Right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.

These conduct towards development of Sila (moral), Samadhi (meditation) and Panna (wisdom and intuitive faculty). One is enjoyed to cultivate four metal state, so that they become not mercy ones second native but a part of one’s mental self. These are,

  • Metta : loving kindness without discrimination to words all sentient beings. In the Pali canon, it describes as,

’ mata yathaniyan puthtanEka putamen anurakkhe

Ewampi sabbha bhutesuManasambhawaye aparimanan’’

‘’ A love that is akin to mothers for her child’’

(Karaniya metta sutta)
  • Karuna : sympathetic fellow, feeding, to be able to identify oneself with the sufferings of others as though they are our very own.
  • Mudita : to feel joy at the joy of others and envy or indifference.
  • Upekkha : simply, it is equity. Not to be bowled over by either joy or sorrow that may come one’s way. According to the Buddha, nothing exists to what can be said, ‘’ this is I am, this is mine, this is myself’’.

The Pali canon describes this as this way. The truth is that,all animate and inanimate things are impermanent(anicca), they all are unsatisfactory(dukkha) and everything are selfless(anatta) (for more details see our article of Three characteristics of existence).

An individual is compounded of the 5 Skandhas. These are analogous to the term Nama-rupa.

  • Nama : this corresponds as feelings, perception, the aggregates and consciousness.
  • Rupa : material body which is composed of four elements and what is included in them.

‘’I’’ a sense it is Karma that, it takes forms because the individual is loaded with Karma. The groups of which he consists, always change but so long as they are not dispersed. One continuous to be reborn until ignorance and craving are overcome. Until this happens, the continuum has a definite past and with correct training it can be recalled. This continuum is neither immutable nor eternal. It is not to be confused with the Atma (spirit), which is refuted by the Buddha with his doctrine of ‘’anatta’’. The continuum, like everything else, is subject to the lows of Impermanence (anicca) and self-less (anatta).

The role of ‘’karma’’ : our deeds

In here, karma plays major role. Karma has three stages.

  • Performance
  • Ripening
  • The result

According to the pali Canon ‘’ as the wheel of a cart follow hooves of the oxen. So do the consequences of one’s actions follow one.’’

So, we are responsible for our actions and no one else. It does not an any way imply that on individual can avoid the result of his actions.

It emphasizes the non-existence of a permanent unchanging, abiding entry as either doer or as recipient. The result may catch up with one, when one is so entirely dissimilar to its former state that there might seem to be no relationship at all between the two.


Actually, who we are?

The concept of ‘’I’’ is illusory and if we look at what we consider the ‘’I’’ objectively, we find that it is purely a fabrication of the mind.

In the realm of relative truth an individual exists and is, say known as ‘’ peter’’ and is therefore not ‘’Jhon’’. But, Jhon is not self-existent, not is and abiding principle. He is a psycho-physical unit inhabiting worlds of phenomena, changing forms and personalities, one being known as another as phenomena. As well as an elephant or sometime else a parrot. His peterhood is true only so long as he remains in that form, in that particular context of time.

And even in that lifetime his peterhood is a state of perpetual everlasting flux. Before that birth, there was no peter. At death his peterhood vanishes. But, the karma which generated by peter does not vanish. Good, bad and indifferent bring their result to him. Whatever form and whichever plane of existence he may be born into. Therefore, the low of karma is automatic, self-executing.

Buddha’s advice

Buddha’s last words in this Earth were in the Pali canon as,

‘’subject to decay are all compounded things. Make your own salvation without delay.’’

it is a determined will, a heart full of love and compassion, a mind that transcend intellectual cognition. It makes result to Enlightenment, bliss or Nibbana. Therefore, the teaching of The Noble Truth can be considered as an esteemed gift for mankind.

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“one who having cut off all shackles, there will be no more trembles. One who has overcome all attachments and is liberation, him do I call a holy one”

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