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The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism

Updated on April 1, 2008

The Four Noble Truths

Buddhism is based around what are called "The Four Noble Truths". Here they are.

The first Noble Truth of Buddhism is that life is full of suffering. Life starts out painfully with childbirth and ends painfully in death. In between is the suffering of heartache, illness, death of loved ones, and many more sorrows.

The second Noble Truth explains the inevitable suffering mentioned in the first Noble Truth. Why do we suffer? According to Buddhism, it is because humans are unenlightened. We are too obsessed with worldly possessions and goals to know true joy and happiness.

The third Noble Truth in Buddhism is that suffering on earth can be lessened by seeking true enlightenment. This is done by abandoning material items and desires. The best way to enlightenment is through meditation.

The fourth and final Noble Truth is the way to eternal bliss. This is accomplished by following the Eightfold Path of Enlightenment, or the Middle Path. This path is neither too sparse by trying to be live with nothing nor filled with luxuries and material items. This teaches to live a life that is neither too self-indulgent or too strict.

In order for the Noble Eightfold Path to be effective in a person's life, one must take responsibility for their actions and follow the prescribed steps. The steps are as follows:

Taking responsibility for looking at yourself and your life honestly.

Avoid negative, violent thoughts. Think positively. Renounce worldly pleasures.

Do not lie or gossip.

Do not murder. Be in control of your actions at all times.

Practice work ethics. Avoid unsuitable businesses. Do not use any mood altering substances such as drugs or alcohol.

Avoid evil and do not commit evil acts. Promote, encourage, and practice acts of goodness.

Be aware of all things at all times- your body, your mind, your thoughts, your feelings.

Learn to meditate correctly. Practice meditating daily.

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      Francesca Vanegas 7 years ago

      The four noble truths have been subjected to much interpretation. When the Buddha was first awakened, he uttered a word, Dukkha, and the meaning is suffering. Rather than suggesting that life is full of suffering, the Buddha chose to explain this concept as a matter of fact, there is suffering. (vs. life is full of suffering), for life is also full of joy, wander, and imagination.

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      DEBASIS 9 years ago from bhubaneswar

      Good one harris! Let your effort end in betterment of mankind

    • DEBASIS profile image

      DEBASIS 9 years ago from bhubaneswar

      Good one harris! Let your effort end in betterment of mankind