When Lord Buddha attained Nirvana and got the supreme knowledge about the nature of life in earth, space, and universe, Buddha chose to stay in the world of human so that he could transfer his knowledge to human beings. Lord Buddha mentioned about vehicles in his teachings so that all types of human beings can learn Buddhism and how dharma works. But if pointing specifically, there are two principle teachings of Lord Buddha. They are Noble Four Truths and Noble Eightfold Paths.
It is believed that Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta was the first sermon Gautama Buddha gave after attaining Enlightenment. Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta is the Buddha teachings based on the Noble Four Truths. Buddhist school of Theravada Buddhism is said to refer this sutta as one of the foremost sutta of the teachings of Buddha. This sutta contains all the knowledge about Dharma and enlightenment one can learn from Buddhism. And this sutta is mainly centered on Noble Four Truths. These four truths are:
- Noble Truth of Suffering or Dukkha (Dukkha)
- Noble Truth of the cause of Suffering (Samudaya)
- Noble Truth of the End of Suffering (Nirhodha)
- Noble Truth of the Paths that Ends the Suffering (Magga)
The First Noble Truth
Everyone wonders what the first Noble truth of suffering is. Birth is suffering, aging is also suffering, sickness is also suffering, parting from one’s love is also suffering, not getting what one want is suffering, and in fact everything that clings oneself with desire of life is suffering. In simple, the very definition of “life” without knowing dharma is suffering.
In early Buddhism, Suffering is known by the term Dukkha. Samyutta Nikaya states three aspects of Noble Four Truths:
“There is suffering, Dukkha. Dukkha should be understood. Dukkha has been understood.”
In simple, suffering is the common bond every human being and every sentient beings share. Denial of suffering, pleasure, and displeasure are all cause of suffering. Suffering and self-view has deep meaning since self-view on suffering depicts one morality to increase or decrease one’s suffering.
The Second Noble Truth
The second Noble Truths of Buddhism is the cause of Suffering or Truth of arising of Suffering. The second truth is known as Samudaya Sacca in the Sanskrit language. There are three aspects of Second Noble Truths.
“There is an origin of Suffering, which is an attachment to desire. Desire should be let go of. Desire has been let go of.”
The Second Noble truth teaches about the cause of suffering and the principle cause of suffering is craving or thirst. Craving for pleasure, thirst for easy life, thirst for money, craving for success are the main cause of Suffering and the second Noble Truths provides the knowledge of these causes. But no matter how much success you get, how much money you collect but it won’t satisfy this thirst or craving. And these thirsts and cravings arise from the Ignorance of the self. When one doesn’t get what they want or lost someone they love, they suffer since they are ignorant of Dharma and Four Noble Truths. Buddhist devouts and monks believed that Buddha’s teachings on karma and rebirth are somewhat similar to Noble Second Truths.
Noble Third Truth
The Noble Third Truths is about the cure or ending the cause of sufferings. Noble Third Truths teaches about the fading and cessation of the craving or thirst due to ignorance. The cause of suffering and Dukkha can be penetrated by the cessation of suffering. Noble Third Truths also teaches about the cessation of suffering due to vision, insight, wisdom, and knowledge. The Noble Third Truths also consists of three aspects.
“There is a cessation of suffering, of Dukkha. The cessation of Dukkha should be realized. The cessation of Dukkha has been realized.”
Simply putting the Four Noble Truths, the first Noble Truths is the information of what type of illness is, the second Noble Truths is about showing the cause of illness and the Third Noble Truths is about the hope that will cure the illness.
This can be only achieved by the realization of sufferings and cause of suffering, the realization of impermanence.
“This is the truth to be realized here and now,”-Lord Buddha
Noble Fourth Truths
The Noble Fourth Truths is about the way that leads to the ending of Suffering. Basically, the path that leads to the cessation of suffering is the Middle path or “Noble Eightfold Path”. The Noble Eightfold Path is all about right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right effort, right livelihood, right mindfulness, and right concentration.
Gautama Buddha taught that the Four Noble Truths can only be penetrated by walking on the path of Noble Eightfold Path. The Fourth Noble Truth also has three aspects:
“There is the Eightfold Path, the atthangika magga- the way out of suffering. This path should be developed. This path has been fully developed.”
Noble Eightfold Path consists of various elements which are grouped in three sections.
The Noble Eightfold Path can only be achieved thoroughly studying Buddha Teachings, fully devoting to these teachings and Lord Buddha, through meditation, and through harmony.