The Four Noble Truth contains the essence of Buddha’s teachings. Explain.

The Four Noble Truth contains the essence of Buddha’s teachings. Explain.

Approach:

  • Introduce with Buddha and his path to liberation.
  • Explain the four truths one by one.
  • Conclude appropriately.
Model Answer :

Buddhist teachings aim to remove dukkha i.e suffering, by steering middle course between extreme self-denial and material pleasures. After his enlightenment, Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath and elaborated the following Four Nobel Truths:

  1. The truth of dukkha: The Buddhist teachings refer to three types of dukkha i.e the ordinary sufferings like illness, the suffering from resisting change in the world and the suffering from dissatisfaction due to nonfulfillment of expectations. Buddha said if we can understand the true nature of dukkha then we can find happiness in life.
  2. Origin of dukkha: The origin of dukkha is traced to craving conditioned by ignorance. The craving can be for sensory pleasures or for the wish to be separated from painful feelings or for the desire to achieve something. It becomes the source of dukkha when there is a misunderstanding of the self and reality.
  3. Cessation of dukkha: It is the ultimate objective of Buddhist teachings i.e. final absence of things that cause dukkha. By removing the causes of sufferings form the mind one can experience the nirvana.
  4. The path leading to the cessation of dukkha: This path is called the eightfold path consisting of eight areas of practice which touches every aspect of body speech and mind in our lives. It is the actual practice of the Buddha’s teachings which brings dharma and leads to the cessation of dukkha.

These truth forms the cornerstone of Buddhism and many Buddhist schools believe that the understanding of the Four Nobel Truths defines the enlightenment itself.

Subjects : Ethics – Essence

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