The Four Noble Truths in Buddhism shed light on suffering and Nirvana

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The Four Noble Truths in Buddhism is the important philosophy that Buddha had enlightened under the Bodhi tree. Buddha’s teaching about the Four Noble Truths is also the first Dharma talks to his first five practitioners in the Sarnath. For over 2500 years, the Four Noble Truths has played the unchangeable role in Buddhism’s world because it sheds light on the suffering and the Dharma pathway to Nirvana – the ultimate goal of Buddhism.


What is The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism?

The Four Noble Truths is the timeless Buddhism doctrine. It is the core of Buddhism that Buddha would like to transmit to people from all walks of life in this universe forever. If the Buddhists are not able to understand its meanings,  they can not liberate from suffering and reincarnation. Thus, if someone looks forward to attaining Nirvana and ending the circle of suffering and reincarnation, it is a prerequisite to being well aware of the Four Noble Truths.

By understanding the Four Noble Truths, we can find the Dharma pathway to liberate from all suffering and attain Nirvana.
By understanding the Four Noble Truths, we can find the Dharma pathway to liberate from all suffering and attain Nirvana.


Dukkha – The Noble Truth of Suffering

Buddha had said: “Life is the beach of suffering”. From the day we take the first breath until we die, all of us must face a lot of suffering. We are all getting older, sick, then die. Unfortunately, it seems that the human life covers more difficulties and suffering than happiness and success. That’s the reason why “happiness” and “success” are the same goal of most of humanity in this universe for centuries.

Besides that, maybe you have heard the fear of “Age, Sickness, and Death” are some of the most popular of humanity’s fear. It is clear that we are all afraid of “suffering” and hope to avoid hardship as well as possible. Nevertheless, we can’t fight against the timeless circle of life. In facts, the Age, Sickness, and Death are the humanity’s suffering. Thus, the first doctrine in Four Noble Truths is “Life is the beach of suffering” – The holy truth of the humanity.

Without understanding the ultimate origination and nature of all miseries, we can hardly liberate from them. Hence, it is vital to acknowledge the second noble truth –  “The roots of all suffering“.

The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism - Life is the beach of suffering because it is the circle of birth, age, sickness, and death
Life is the beach of suffering because it is the circle of birth, age, sickness, and death.


Samudaya – The Noble Truths of The Roots of All Suffering

The ignorance is the ultimate root of the humanity pains. Because of the ignorance, people are always motivated by the greed, hatred, and illusion easily. For examples, the war is the most practical example of the ignorance. The world history is the series of battles of the humanity. People have desired to the power, the land, the eternal fame, etc. They have looked for things that do not belong to them (others land, others countries, others natural resource, etc) – this is the Greed. After that, the losers hate the winners and nurture hatred. As the result, the battles keep on occurring, causing by the Hatred. In the winner’s perspectives, they are proud of their conquest – this is the Illusion. And the Illusion may be the main reason for their failure in the next battles.

As mentioned above, the ignorance or the Greed, Hatred, and Illusion are the roots of suffering or called “Three Poison” in Buddhism. As an individual, we also easily get hurt because of being affected by Three Poison. For details, what does “love” look like? We can’t see it, but we can either feel happy or hurt in “love” (Illusion). As usual, the pain in love comes from losing someone whom we think he or she belongs to us (Greed). However, life is impermanent. The more we think about pain love or our ex-lovers, the more we will get hurt (Hatred).

After all, the ignorance comes from inside ourselves. If we are ignorant, we will hurt ourselves. Buddha had said: “Owners of their karma are the beings, heirs of karma“. In other words, each person is responsible for his or her suffering and must be the one who is in a duty of ending the ultimate roots of his or her all suffering.


Nirodha – The Noble Truth of The Ending of All Suffering

The ending of all suffering means the pure joy and peace. Only in the extinction of all suffering, we will be able to attain Nirvana. In the Buddhism’s worldview, Nirvana is the transcendental state where people are no longer affected by either suffering, misery, pain nor the cycle of reincarnation. In fact, Nirvana is the ultimate goal of all Buddhists. And Buddha is the first successful one who had attained enlightenment and come to Nirvana. It can be said that Nirvana is the dreamland of all Buddhists and the Pure Bliss that can be achieved by the supreme calmness.

However, Nirvana will only appear if we are no longer controlled by Greed, Hatred, and Illusion. After cultivating Buddhism morality, meditation, and wisdom successfully, you will find the pathway to Nirvana. Finally, you are not related to all suffering and Karma.

In conclusion, both Nirvana and suffering depend on your choices. If you really desire to end all suffering and attain Nirvana, you should make self-effort to delete the ignorance – the basic level on the Dharma pathway of Buddhism.

The Four Noble Truths in Buddhism - Buddha in the ocean Nirvana, Noble Truths in Buddhism
Buddha in the ocean Nirvana – Created by Vrindavan Das.


Magga – The Noble Truth of Pathway to Get Escape from All Suffering and Attain Nirvana

After understanding the root and nature of suffering, we should go on the pathway to end all suffering. “Magga” means the methods, the pathways to living in peace and joy in daily life at first and to achieve the absolute happiness, or Nirvana at last. In facts, all of Buddha teachings are “Magga – Sacca“. Basically, there are thirty-seven Magga – Sacca, or Buddhism Dharma pathway.

In which, the Noble Eightfold Path is the basic and most well-known Buddhism Dharma. This Dharma pathway includes the right views, right thought, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right meditation. For more detail, you can consider reading The Noble Eightfold Path – Dharma Door to Enlightenment.

In other words, cultivating the Noble Eightfold Path consists of three aspects: cultivating Buddhism morality, cultivating Buddhism meditation, and cultivating wisdom. For more details, cultivating Buddhism morality includes practicing correct speech, correct conduct, and correct livelihood. And cultivating Buddhism meditation means right effort, right mindfulness, and right meditation. At last, cultivating wisdom refers to the correct views, right thought. For further information, let read Buddha teachings on cultivating morality, meditation, and wisdom on our website.

To sum up, Magga – Sacca is the Buddhism Dharma pathways in which all Buddhists can find them realistic and effective to practice.


The Role of The Four Noble Truths in Buddhism

The Four Noble Truths is also “The Middle Way”. It encourages neither the joy of the five desires nor the austerity. In sum, it covers all the Buddha Dharma, thus everyone can practice the Four Noble Truths into their daily lives. At the beginning levels, we can have a better mindful living thanks to practicing the Buddha teachings. At the higher level, we can maintain the absolute peaceful and joyful life. Finally, at the highest level, we can witness the Pure Bliss and attain Nirvana. In fact, the truth of life is “Life is the beach of suffering”.

However, there is also another fact – “Nirvana – No more suffering, and no reincarnation forever”. Buddha had attained and he showed us the Dharma pathway to go on. The only thing we need to do is to make self-effort to be fully aware the facts of suffering and try our best to end the roots of all suffering. This is really the only Dharma pathway leads us to Nirvana or the Pure Bliss within ourselves.

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