Four Noble Truths

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Dhamek Stupa in Sarnath, India, site where the Buddha first taught the Four Noble Truths

Gautama preached his first sermon, known as the Dhammacakkappavattana-sutta (“Setting in Motion the Wheel of Truth”), at Isipatana (now Sarnath) near Benares (Varanasi). During this sermon he revealed the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, and the Middle Way.

The First Noble Truth is that life is dukkha “suffering.”

The Second Noble Truth is that the cause of this suffering is tanha “desire,” or “thirst.”

The Third Noble Truth is that there is freedom or cessation from suffering: nirvana (also known by the term Tankakkhaya “extinction of thirst”).

The Fourth Noble Truth is that the way to this liberation is through the Noble Eightfold Path.

See also

Eightfold Path

Sources

Pearls of Wisdom, vol. 27, no. 28.

Pearls of Wisdom, vol. 26, no. 21.