The Four Noble Truths are the basis of the Buddhist teachings. They are as follows: 1. Dukkha – the truth of suffering
a. Says that all existence is characterized by suffering and does not bring satisfaction. Everything is suffering: birth, sickness, death; not obtaining one’s desires; etc. 2. Samudaya – the truth of the origin of suffering
a. The cause of suffering is craving or desire (tanha), the thirst for sensual pleasure (trishna), for becoming and passing away. This craving binds beings to the cycle of existence. (Paticcasamuppada) b. Paticcasamuppāda
i. States that all phenomena are arising together in a mutually interdependent web of cause and effect. The interdependence and mutual conditioning of phenomena is critical to Dharma, which makes liberation possible. The Buddha applied this general truth of causal interdependence to the problem of suffering. 3. Nirodha – the truth of the cessation of suffering
a. Through remainder-less elimination of craving, suffering can be brought to an end. 4. Magga – the path that leads out of suffering is the eightfold path a. The truth of the path that leads to the cessation of suffering b. Gives the eightfold path as the means for the ending of suffering.
The discovery of the four noble truths by the Buddha constituted his actual enlightenment.
The Eightfold Path
1. Annatman – Perfect view.
i. The view based on understanding of the four noble truths and the nonindividuality of existence. 2. Perfect resolve
i. Resolve in favor of renunciation, good will, and nonharming of sentient beings. 3. Perfect speech
i. Avoidance of lying, slander, and gossip.
4. Perfect conduct
i. Avoidance of actions that conflict with moral discipline. 5. Perfect livelihood
i. Avoidance of professions that are harmful to sentient beings, such as slaughterer, hunter, dealer in weaponry or narcotics, etc. 6. Perfect effort
i. Cultivation of what is karmically wholesome and avoidance of what is karmically unwholesome….
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