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Four Noble Truths

                   
Translations of

Four Noble Truths

Pali: cattāri ariyasaccāni
Sanskrit: चत्वारि आर्यसत्यानि
(catvāri āryasatyāni)
Burmese: သစ္စာလေးပါး
(IPA: [θɪʔsà lé bá])
Chinese: 四聖諦(T) / 四圣谛(S)
(pinyinsìshèngdì)
Japanese: 四諦
(rōmaji: shitai)
Korean: 사성제
(sa-seong-je)
Sinhala: චතුරාර්ය සත්‍ය
Tibetan: འཕགས་པའི་བདེན་པ་བཞི་
(Wylie: 'phags pa'i bden pa bzhi
THL: pakpé denpa shyi
)
Thai: อริยสัจสี่
(ariyasaj sii)
Vietnamese: Tứ Diệu Đế
Glossary of Buddhism

The Four Noble Truths (Sanskrit: catvāri āryasatyāni; Pali: cattāri ariyasaccāni) are one of the central teachings of the Buddhist tradition. The teachings on the four noble truths explain the nature of dukkha (Pali; commonly translated as "suffering", "anxiety", "stress", "unsatisfactoriness"), its causes, and how it can be overcome.

According to the Buddhist tradition, the Buddha first taught the four noble truths in the very first teaching he gave after he attained enlightenment, as recorded in the discourse Setting in Motion the Wheel of the Dharma (Dharmacakra Pravartana Sūtra), and he further clarified their meaning in many subsequent teachings.

Contents

  Introduction

The teachings on the Four Noble Truths explain the nature of dukkha (Pali; loosely translated as suffering, anxiety, dissatisfaction[a]), its causes, and how it can be overcome.

The Four Noble Truths are regarded as central to the teachings of Buddhism; they are said to provide a unifying theme, or conceptual framework, for all of Buddhist thought. In the Buddhist tradition, it is said that the Buddha compared these four truths to the footprints of an elephant: just as the footprints of all the other animals can fit within the footprint of an elephant, in the same way, all of the teachings of the Buddha are contained within the teachings on the four noble truths.[b][c][d]

According to tradition, the Buddha taught on the four noble truths repeatedly throughout his lifetime, continually expanding and clarifying his meaning.[d] Walpola Rahula explains:

The heart of the Buddha’s teaching lies in the Four Noble Truths (Cattāri Ariyasaccāni) which he expounded in his very first sermon to his old colleagues, the five ascetics, at Isipatana (modern Sarnath) near Benares. In this sermon, as we have it in the original texts, these four Truths are given briefly. But there are innumerable places in the early Buddhist scriptures where they are explained again and again, with greater detail and in different ways. If we study the Four Noble Truths with the help of these references and explanations, we get a fairly good and accurate account of the essential teachings of the Buddha according to the original texts.[1]

  Within the Buddha's first discourse

  first teaching of the Buddha, in which the Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths to his first five disciples at Sarnath, India.

The four truths are presented within the Buddha's first discourse, Setting in Motion the Wheel of the Dharma (Dharmacakra Pravartana Sūtra). An English translation is as follows:[web 4]

  1. "This is the noble truth of dukkha: birth is dukkha, aging is dukkha, illness is dukkha, death is dukkha; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair are dukkha; union with what is displeasing is dukkha; separation from what is pleasing is dukkha; not to get what one wants is dukkha; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are dukkha."
  2. "This is the noble truth of the origin of dukkha: it is this craving which leads to renewed existence, accompanied by delight and lust, seeking delight here and there, that is, craving for sensual pleasures, craving for existence, craving for extermination."
  3. "This is the noble truth of the cessation of dukkha: it is the remainderless fading away and cessation of that same craving, the giving up and relinquishing of it, freedom from it, nonreliance on it."
  4. "This is the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of dukkha: it is the Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration." [13][e][f]

  Translation of Pali terms

The Pali wordings of the four noble truths[g] can be translated as:

  1. Dukkha - "uneasy"; "unsteady, disquieted"[16][h]; unsatisfactoriness.
  2. Dukkha Samudaya - "arising", "coming to existence"[web 7][i]; the origination of Dukkha.
  3. Dukkha Nirodha - to confine[17], release[web 8][j]; "control or restraint";[web 9] the cessation of Dukkha.
  4. Dukkha Nirodha Gamini Patipada - Gamini: leading to, making for[web 10] - Patipada: road, path, way; the means of reaching a goal or destination[web 11] - The way of practice leading to the cessation of Dukkha.

The Pali terms ariya sacca(Sanskrit: arya satya) are commonly translated as "noble truths". Arya means "noble", "not ordinary"; sacca means "truth" or "reality".

  Explanation

  Summary

The four noble truths can be summarized as follows:[k][l]

  1. The truth of dukkha (suffering, anxiety, stress)
  2. The truth of the origin of dukkha
  3. The truth of the cessation of dukkha
  4. The truth of the path leading to the cessation of dukkha

  First truth: dukkha

The first noble truth is the truth of dukkha. The Pali term dukkha (Sanskrit: duhkha) is typically translated as "suffering", but the term dukkha has a much broader meaning than the typical use of the word "suffering". Dukkha suggests a basic unsatisfactoriness pervading all forms of life, due to the fact that all forms of life are impermanent and constantly changing. Dukkha indicates a lack of satisfaction, a sense that things never measure up to our expectations or standards.[1][web 1][17]

The emphasis on dukkha is not intended to be pessimistic, but rather to identify the nature of dukkha, in order that dukkha things may be overcome. The Buddha acknowledged that there is both happiness and sorrow in the world, but he taught that even when we have some kind of happiness, it is not permanent; it is subject to change. And due to this unstable, impermanent nature of all things, everything we experience is said to have the quality of duh­kha or unsatisfactoriness. Therefore unless we can gain insight into that truth, and understand what is really able to give us happiness, and what is unable to provide happiness, the experience of dissatisfac­tion will persist.[29][30][31][web 17]

Traleg Kyabgon explains:

Normally we think our happiness is contingent upon external circumstances and situations, rather than upon our own inner atti­tude toward things, or toward life in general. The Buddha was saying that dissatisfaction is part of life, even if we are seeking happiness and even if we manage to find temporary happiness. The very fact that it is temporary means that sooner or later the happiness is going to pass. So the Buddha said that unless we understand this and see how pervasive dissatisfaction or duhkha is, it is impossible for us to start looking for real happiness.[web 17]

  Second truth: origin of dukkha

The second noble truth is the truth of the origin of dukkha. Within the context of the four noble truths, the origin (Pali: samudaya) of dukkha is commonly explained as craving (Pali: tanha) conditioned by ignorance (Pali: avijja).[32][web 1][m] This craving runs on three channels:[32][33][34]

  • Craving for sense-pleasures (kama-tanha): this is craving for sense objects which provide pleasant feeling, or craving for sensory pleasures.
  • Craving to be (bhava-tanha): this is craving to be something, to unite with an experience. This includes craving to be solid and ongoing, to be a being that has a past and a future,[35] and craving to prevail and dominate over others.
  • Craving not to be (vibhava-tanha): this is craving to not experience the world, and to be nothing; a wish to be separated from painful feelings.[n]

Ignorance (Pali: avijja) can be defined as ignorance of the meaning and implication of the four noble truths.[36] On a deeper level, it refers to a misunderstanding of the nature of the self and reality.[o]

Another common explanation presents the cause of dukkha as disturbing emotions (Sanskrit: kleshas) rooted in ignorance (Sanskrit: avidya).[p] In this context, it is common to identify three root disturbing emotions, called the three poisons,[37][38] as the root cause of suffering or dukkha. These three poisons are:

  • Ignorance (Sanskrit: avidya or moha): misunderstanding of the nature of reality; bewilderment.
  • Attachment (Sanskrit: raga): attachment to pleasurable experiences.
  • Aversion (Sanskrit: dvesha): a fear of getting what we don't want, or not getting what we do want.[q]

  Third truth: cessation of dukkha

The third Noble Truth is the truth of the cessation of dukkha. Cessation (Pali: nirodha) refers to the cessation of suffering and the causes of suffering. It is

the cessation of all the unsatisfactory experiences and their causes in such a way that they can no longer occur again. It’s the removal, the final absence, the cessation of those things, their non-arising."[web 18]

Cessation is the goal of one's spiritual practice in the Buddhist tradition.[web 17] According to the Buddhist point of view, once we have developed a genuine understanding of the causes of suffering, such as craving (tanha) and ignorance (avijja), then we can completely eradicate these causes and thus be free from suffering.[39]

Cessation is often equated with nirvana (Sanskrit; Pali nibbana), which can be described as the state of being in cessation[40] or the event or process of the cessation.[41] A temporary state of nirvana can be said to occur whenever the causes of suffering (e.g. craving) have ceased in our mind.[42]

Joseph Goldstein explains:

Ajahn Buddhadasa, a well-known Thai master of the last century, said that when village people in India were cooking rice and waiting for it to cool, they might remark, "Wait a little for the rice to become nibbana". So here, nibbana means the cool state of mind, free from the fires of the defilements. As Ajahn Buddhadasa remarked, "The cooler the mind, the more Nibbana in that moment". We can notice for ourselves relative states of coolness in our own minds as we go through the day.[42]

  Fourth truth: path to the cessation of dukkha

The fourth noble truth is the path to the cessation of dukkha. This path is called the Noble Eightfold Path, and it is considered to be the essence of Buddhist practice.[web 17] The eightfold path consists of: Right Understanding, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration.

While the first three truths are primarily concerned with understanding the nature of dukkha (suffering, anxiety, stress) and its causes, the fourth truth presents a practical method for overcoming dukkha.[43] The path consists of a set of eight interconnected factors or conditions, that when developed together, lead to the cessation of dukkha.[44][web 1] Ajahn Sucitto describes the path as "a mandala of interconnected factors that support and moderate each other."[44]

Thus, the eight items of the path are not to be understood as stages, in which each stage is completed before moving on to the next. Rather, they are to be understood as eight significant dimensions of one’s behaviour—mental, spoken, and bodily—that operate in dependence on one another; taken together, they define a complete path, or way of living.[45]

  Experiential knowledge

The term "noble truths" is a common translation of the Pali terms ariya sacca (Sanskrit: arya satya). The Pali term sacca (Sanskrit: satya) means "truth" and "real" or "actual thing." With that in mind, Rupert Gethin explains that the four noble truths are not asserted as propositional truths or creeds. Instead, they are understood in the Buddhist tradition as "true things" or "realities" that the Buddha experienced.[46][r] Gethin writes:

The word satya (Pali sacca) can certainly mean truth, but it might equally be rendered as ‘real’ or ‘actual thing’. That is, we are not dealing here with propositional truths with which we must either agree or disagree, but with four ‘true things’ or ‘realities’ whose nature, we are told, the Buddha finally understood on the night of his awakening. [...] This is not to say that the Buddha’s discourses do not contain theoretical statements of the nature of suffering, its cause, its cessation, and the path to its cessation, but these descriptions function not so much as dogmas of the Buddhist faith as a convenient conceptual framework for making sense of Buddhist thought.[46]

This understanding is reflected by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, who states that the Four Noble Truths are best understood not as beliefs, but as categories of experience. Thanissaro Bhikkhu writes:

These four truths are best understood, not as beliefs, but as categories of experience. They offer an alternative to the ordinary way we categorize what we can know and describe–in terms of me/not me, and being/not being.[s] These ordinary categories create trouble, for the attempt to maintain full being for one's sense of "me" is a stressful effort doomed to failure, in that all of the components of that "me" are inconstant, stressful, and thus not worthy of identifying as "me" or "mine". [...][T]he study of the four noble truths is aimed first at understanding these four categories, and then at applying them to experience so that one may act properly toward each of the categories and thus attain the highest, most total happiness possible.[web 2]

The Tibetan Buddhist lama Chögyam Trungpa emphasizes that cessation is a personal experience.[47] Chögyam Trungpa explains:

The truth of cessation is a personal discovery. It is not mystical and does not have any connotations of religion or psychology. It is simply your experience... It is like experiencing instantaneous good health: you have no cold, no flu, no aches, and no pains in your body. You feel perfectly well, absolutely refreshed and wakeful! Such an experience is possible.[47]

  Developments in Mahayana Buddhism

Mahayana Buddhism restated Buddhist teachings, and developed new teachings and texts. Those texts were also ascribed to the Buddha, to lend them authority.[48] The Four Noble Truths are presented within new contexts, and sometimes given a different emphasis and importance.

  Lotus Sutra

An example of these changes is the Lotus Sutra. The text of the Lotus Sutra refers to the Four Noble Truths as the first teaching of the Buddha, but introduces, in the third chapter titled Similes and Parables, what it calls "the most wonderful and unsurpassed great Dharma": [49][web 19]

In the past at Vārāṇasī, you turned the wheel of the Darma of the Four Noble Truths, making distinctions and preaching that all things are born and become extinct, being made up of the five components (skandhas). Now you turn the wheel of the most wonderful, the unsurpassed great Dharma. This Dharma is very profound and abstruse; there are few who can believe it. Since times past often we have heard the World-Honored One's preaching, but we have never heard this kind of profound, wonderful and superior Dharma. Since the World-Honored One preaches this Dharma, we all welcome it with joy.

  Nichiren Buddhism

Another example is Nichiren Buddhism. Based on the Lotus Sutra’s teaching of what it describes as the "unsurpassed Dharma", Nichiren Buddhism acknowledges the Four Noble Truths as the first sermon, but not as the final teaching of the Buddha. In his letter "A Comparison between the Lotus and Other Sutras" Nichiren viewed the Four Noble Truths as a specific teaching expounded by the Buddha to the śrāvakas disciples, those who attain awakening by listening to the teachings of a Buddha.[web 20]

Craving, described as the cause of sufferings in the Four Noble Truths, is called "Attachment to Earthly Desires" in Nichiren's teachings.[web 21] Craving or attachment to desires, however, is not regarded here as the sole cause of suffering, but as only one among other causes which also lead to sufferings such as "Arrogance, Negligence, Refusing to believe, Hatred, Holding Grudges". These causes of evil behaviour leading to sufferings are called the Fourteen Slanders (of the Dharma).

  Contemporary interpretations

With the growing acquaintance in the western world with Buddhism, new interpretations and understandings of the Four Noble Truths have been given.

  David Brazier: confinement of yearning

Brazier points to various possible translations of the Pali terms. The traditional translations of samudhaya and nirodha are "origin" and "cessation". Coupled with the translation of dukkha as "suffering", this gives rise to a causal explanation of suffering, and the impression that suffering can be totally terminated. The translation given by David Brazier[17] gives a different interpretation to the Four Noble Truths.

  1. Dukkha: existence is imperfect, it's like a wheel that's not straight into the axis;
  2. Samudhaya: simultaneously with the experience of dukkha there arises tanha, thirst: the dissatisfaction with what is and the yearning that life should be different than it is. We keep imprisoned in this yearning when we don't see reality as it is, namely imperfect and ever-changing;
  3. Nirodha: we can confine this yearning (that reality is different than it is), and perceive reality as it is, whereby our suffering from the imperfectness becomes confined;
  4. Marga: this confinement is possible by following the Eightfold Path.

In this translation, samudhaya means that the uneasiness that's inherent to life arises together with the craving that life's event would be different. The translation of nirodha as confinement means that this craving is a natural reaction, which cannot be totally escaped or ceased, but can be limited, which gives us freedom.[17]

  Sylvia Boorstein: life is challenging

Sylvia Boorstein emphasizes the challenge that life is to us. She summarizes the four truths as follows:[web 22]

  1. Life is challenging. For everyone. Our physical bodies, our relationships-all of our life circumstances-are fragile and subject to change. We are always accommodating.
  2. The cause of suffering is the mind’s struggle in response to challenge.
  3. The end of suffering-a non-struggling, peaceful mind-is a possibility.
  4. The program for ending suffering is the Eightfold Path.

  Mark Epstein: primary narcissism

Mark Epstein relates the Four Noble Truths to primary narcissism as described by Donald Winnicott in his theory on the True self and false self.[50][web 23] The first truth highlights the inevitability of humiliation in our lives of our narcissistic self-esteem. The second truth speaks of the primal thirst that makes such humiliation inevitable. The third truth promises release by developing a realistic self-image, and the fourth truth spells out the means of accomplishing that.[20][web 24]

  See also

  Notes

  1. ^ For alternate translations of the term dukkha, see Dukkha#Alternate_translations
  2. ^ The Four Noble Truths are regarded as central to the teachings of Buddhism; they encompass the entire spiritual path:
    • Walpola Rahula states: "The heart of the Buddha’s teaching lies in the Four Noble Truths (Cattāri Ariyasaccāni)..."[1]
    • The Dalai Lama states: "The Four Noble Truths are the very foundation of the Buddhist teachings, and that is why they are so important. In fact, if you don't understand the Four Noble Truths, and if you have not experienced the truth of this teaching personally, it is impossible to practice the Buddha Dharma. Therefore I am always happy to have the opportunity to explain them."[2]
    • Ringu Tulku states: "The fist instruction of the Buddha was the teaching on the Four Noble Truths. These cannot be said to be just "Shravakayana". They are everything. Apart from the Four Noble Truths, there is nothing else in Buddhism. So they are the most important thing."[3]
    • Thich Nhat Hanh states: "After realizing complete, perfect awakening (samyak sambodhi), the Buddha had to find words to share his insight. He already had the water, but he had to discover jars like the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path to hold it. The Four Noble Truths are the cream of the Buddha's teaching."[4]
    • Joseph Goldstein states: "[The Buddha's] first teaching [...] is called “Setting the Wheel of the Dharma in Motion,” and it lays out the Four Noble Truths, the basic doctrine of liberation common to all Buddhist schools."[5]
    • Ajahn Sumedho states: "The Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, the Buddha's teaching on the Four Noble Truths, has been the main reference that I have used for my practice over the years. It is the teaching we used in our monastery in Thailand. The Theravada school of Buddhism regards this sutta as the quintessence of the teachings of the Buddha. This one sutta contains all that is necessary for understanding the Dhamma and for enlightenment."[6]
    • Geshe Tashi Tsering states: "The four noble truths encompass the entire spiritual path with all its many aspects..."[7]
    • Lama Surya Das states: "The Four Noble Truths are the core of the Buddhist Dharma."[8]
  3. ^ The Four Noble Truths are regarded as central to the teachings of Buddhism; they have been compared to the footprints of an elephant:
    • Bhikkhu Bodhi states: "The recorded teachings of the Buddha are numerous. But all these diverse teachings fit together into a single unifying frame, the teaching of the Four Noble Truths. The Buddha compared the Four Noble Truths to the footprints of an elephant. Just as the footprint of an elephant can contain the footprints of any other animal, the footprints of tigers, lions, dogs, cats, etc. So all the different teachings of the Buddha fit into the single framework of the Four Noble Truths."[web 1]
    • Thanissaro Bhikkhu states: "The four noble truths are the most basic expression of the Buddha's teaching. As Ven. Sariputta once said, they encompass the entire teaching, just as the footprint of an elephant can encompass the footprints of all other footed beings on earth."[web 2]
  4. ^ a b The Four Noble Truths are regarded as central to the teachings of Buddhism; they were taught repeatedly by the Buddha throughout his lifetime:
    • Rupert Gethin states: "In a Nikāya passage the Buddha thus states that he has always made known just two things, namely suffering and the cessation of suffering. This statement can be regarded as expressing the basic orientation of Buddhism for all times and all places. Its classic formulation is by way of ‘four noble truths’..."[9]
    • Piyadassi Thera states: "...the Four Noble Truths are the central concept of Buddhism. What the Buddha taught during his ministry of forty-five years embraces these Truths, namely: Dukkha, suffering or unsatisfactoriness, its arising, its cessation and the way out of this unsatisfactory state."[web 3]
    • Judith Leif states: "The four noble truths are central to the Buddhist tradition. The Buddha presented these teachings in one of the first sermons he gave after his enlightenment, and they were recorded in the sutra The First Turning of the Wheel of Dharma. [...] In later teachings the Buddha touched on the four noble truths repeatedly, expanding upon and further elucidating his original presentation."[10]
    • Ron Leifer states: "The Buddha repeated over and over again that the four noble truths are the foundation and nucleus of his teachings. All Buddhist wisdom is contained within them like the layers of an onion, each layer more subtle and profound than the previous, leading to a central insight. Monks, Buddha said, by the fact of understanding as they really are, these four truths, a Tathagata is called an Arhat, a fully enlightened one."[11]
    • Walpola Rahula states: "In [the Buddha's first] sermon, as we have it in the original texts, these four Truths are given briefly. But there are innumerable places in the early Buddhist scriptures where they are explained again and again, with greater detail and in different ways."[1]
    • Thich Nhat Hanh states: "The Buddha continued to proclaim these truths right up until his Great Passing Away (mahaparanirvana)."[4]
    • Ajahn Succitto states: And many would say that [the Buddha's first discourse] was his most important discourse because it established the basis of the teaching that he added to throughout his life—the teaching of “suffering and the cessation of suffering,” which he encapsulated in four great or “noble” truths.[12]
  5. ^ In this translation, Bodhi elides the six middle factors of the Noble Eightfold Path (between right view and right concentration). Thus Bodhi's translation for the six middle factors was taken from his translation of Samyutta Nikaya 45.1 [14][15]
  6. ^ In Anguttara Nikaya 3.61, the Buddha provides an alternate elaboration on the second and third noble truths identifying the arising and cessation of suffering in accordance with Dependent Origination's Twelve Causes, from ignorance to old age and death[web 5]
  7. ^ The Pali wordings of the four noble truths are as follows:[web 6]
    1. dukkham ariyasaccam
    2. Dukkhasamudayam ariyasaccam
    3. Dukkhanirodham ariyasaccam
    4. Dukkhanirodhagāminī patipadā ariyasaccam
  8. ^ Entry for "duḥkha", a Prakritized form of duh-stha[16]
  9. ^ sam+ud+i-[web 7]
  10. ^ Buddhism with Attitude: "Both meanings, cessation and ‘escaping,’ are supported by common usages and the etymology of nirodha. To begin, the prefix ni- / nir- is the same as the English ex-. It usually means ‘outside’, ‘out of,’ ‘without’, or ‘free from.’ This is frequently a sort of reversal of the base word, but not always. To complicate matters, it can also be used as an intensifier. Worse yet, it has a positive sense of ‘into.’ Rodha consists of ro, possibly meaning ‘go up,’ grow, increase, or expand; plus dha, meaning hold. In common use, rodha can mean ‘ to sprout,’ or ‘to grow upward.’ Or it can mean a far opposite; holding back growth, checking, restraining, impeding, terminating — a confinement. From this latter sense, rodha can mean a prison or jail.
    Those who support the meaning of nirodha as a release, read it as ‘out of confinement or prison,’ no longer being held back or impeded.[web 8]
  11. ^ Contemporary translators have used a number of variations on the summary of the Four Noble Truths.
    • Joseph Goldstein: "The four noble truths are the truth of suffering, its cause, its end, and the path to that end.[5]
    • Ajahn Sumedho: "There is suffering; there is a cause or origin of suffering; there is a end of suffering; and there is path out of suffering which is the Eightfold Path".[18]
    • Thich Nhat Hanh (translation of the first teaching of the Buddha according to the Mahayana tradition): "Brothers, there are four truths: the existence of suffering, the cause of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and the path which leads to the cessation of suffering. I call these the Four Noble Truths".[19]
    • Ringu Tulku (translation of the first teaching of the Buddha according to the Mahayana tradition): "There is suffering in this world. There are causes of this suffering. There is cessation of suffering, and there are ways to reach this cessation of suffering".[3]
    • Bhikkhu Bodhi: "1. The truth of Dukkha; 2. The truth of the origin of Dukkha; 3. The truth of the cessation of Dukkha; 4. The truth of the path, the way to liberation from Dukkha".[web 1]
    • Mark Epstein: "Suffering, its cause, its cessation, and the path to its cessation".[20]
    • Mingyur Rinpoche describes the Four Noble Truths as "Four Pure Insights into the Way Things Are". He summarizes these insights as follows: Ordinary life is conditioned by suffering; suffering results from causes; the causes of suffering can be extinguished; there is a simple path through which the causes of suffering can be extinguished.[21]
    • Macmillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism: 1. The noble truth that is suffering; 2. The noble truth that is the arising of suffering; 3. The noble truth that is the end of suffering; 4. The noble truth that is the way leading to the end of suffering.[22]
  12. ^ In the Buddhist discourses, the Buddha is often compared to a doctor, and the four noble truths are formulated according to the ancient Indian medical model as follows:[23][24][25][26][27][28][web 1][web 12][web 13][web 14][web 15][web 16]
    1. There is an illness
    2. There is a cause of the illness (the diagnosis)
    3. There is a possibility of a cure of the illness (the prognosis)
    4. There is a prescription or treatment for the illness that can bring about a cure
  13. ^ This explanation is more common in commentaries on the Four Noble Truths within the Theravada tradition: e.g. Ajahn Sucitta (2010); Ajahn Sumedho (ebook); Rahula (1974); etc.
  14. ^ See the article Tanha for further citations and clarification.
  15. ^ See the article Avidya (Buddhism) for further citations and clarification.
  16. ^ This explanation is more common in commentaries on the Four Noble Truths within the Mahayana tradition: e.g. Ringu Tulku (2005), p. 30; Chogyam Trunpa (2010); Thich Nhat Hahn (1999), p. 22. This explanation is also given in the Abhidharma teachings of both the Theravada and Mahayana traditions; see Kleshas (Buddhism).
  17. ^ See the respective articles for citations and further clarification.
  18. ^ The original Tibetan Lotsawas (Sanskrit: locchāwa; Tibetan: lo ts'a ba), translators who studied Sanskrit grammar thoroughly, used the Tibetan term bden pa, which reflects this understanding.
  19. ^ Emphasis added.

  References

  1. ^ a b c d Walpola Rahula 2007, Kindle loc. 514-524.
  2. ^ Dalai Lama 1998, p. 1.
  3. ^ a b Ringu Tulku 2005, p. 22.
  4. ^ a b Thich Nhat Hanh 1999, p. 9.
  5. ^ a b Goldstein 2002, p. 24.
  6. ^ Ajahn Sumedho 2002, p. 5.
  7. ^ Geshe Tashi Tsering 2006, Kindle loc. 174.
  8. ^ Lama Surya Das 1997, p. 76.
  9. ^ Gethin 1998, p. 59.
  10. ^ Leif 2009, p. viii.
  11. ^ Leifer 1997, p. 70.
  12. ^ Ajahn Sucitto, p. 2.
  13. ^ Bhikkhu Bodhi (translator) 2000, p. 1844.
  14. ^ Bhikkhu Bodhi (translator) 2000, p. 1523-24.
  15. ^ Feer 1976, p. 421f.
  16. ^ a b Monier-Williams 1899, 1964, p. 483.
  17. ^ a b c d Brazier 2001.
  18. ^ Ajahn Sumedho 2002, p. 9.
  19. ^ Thich Nhat Hanh 1991, p. 195.
  20. ^ a b Epstein 2004, p. 42.
  21. ^ Mingyur Rinpoche 2007, p. 70.
  22. ^ Buswell 2003, Volume One, p. 296.
  23. ^ Geshe Tashi Tsering 2006, p. 2.
  24. ^ Harvey 1990, p. 47.
  25. ^ Walpola Rahula 2007, loc. 525-541.
  26. ^ Gethin 1998, p. 63.
  27. ^ Leifer 1997, p. 71.
  28. ^ Lopez 2001, p. 52.
  29. ^ Gethin 1998, p. 61.
  30. ^ Walpola Rahula 2007, Kindle loc. 530.
  31. ^ Thich Nhat Hanh 1999, p. 11.
  32. ^ a b Walpola Rahula 2007, loc. 791-809.
  33. ^ Gethin 1998, p. 70.
  34. ^ Ajahn Sucitto 2010, Kindle loc. 943-946.
  35. ^ Ajahn Sucitto 2010, Kindle loc. 966-979.
  36. ^ Ajahn Sucitto 2010, Kindle loc. 1125-1132.
  37. ^ Dalai Lama 1992, p. 4,42.
  38. ^ Ringu Tulku 2005, p. 30.
  39. ^ Ringu Tulku 2005, p. 32.
  40. ^ Walpola Rahula 2007, loc. 904-923.
  41. ^ Gethin 1998, p. 75.
  42. ^ a b Goldstein 2002, p. 158.
  43. ^ Gethin 1998, p. 79.
  44. ^ a b Ajahn Sucitto 2010, p. 87-88.
  45. ^ Gethin 1998, p. 82.
  46. ^ a b Gethin 1998, p. 60.
  47. ^ a b Chogyam Trungpa 2009, p. 64.
  48. ^ Snelling 1987.
  49. ^ Watson 1993, p. 55.
  50. ^ Epstein 2004.

  Web references

  Sources

  • Ajahn Sumedho (2002), The Four Noble Truths, Amaravati Publications 
  • Ajahn Sucitto (2010), Turning the Wheel of Truth: Commentary on the Buddha's First Teaching, Shambhala 
  • Barber, Anthony W. (2008), Buddhism in the Krishna River Valley 
  • Bhikkhu Bodhi (translator) (2000), The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A New Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya, Boston: Wisdom Publications, ISBN 0-86171-331-1 
  • Bhikkhu Nanamoli (translator) (1995), The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A New Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya, Boston: Wisdom Publications, ISBN 0-86171-072-X 
  • Bhikkhu Thanissaro (translator) (1997), Tittha Sutta: Sectarians (AN 3.61), http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.061.than.html, retrieved 2007-11-12 
  • Brazier, David (2001), The Feeling Buddha, Robinson Publishing 
  • Buswell, Robert E. (ed.) (2003), Encyclopedia of Buddhism, MacMillan Reference Books, ISBN 978-0-02-865718-9 
  • Chogyam Trungpa (2009), The Truth of Suffering and the Path of Liberation (edited by Judy Leif), Shambhala 
  • Dalai Lama (1998), The Four Noble Truths, Thorsons 
  • Dalai Lama (1992), The Meaning of Life, translated and edited by Jeffrey Hopkins, Wisdom 
  • Duff, Tony (2008), Contemplation by way of the Twelve Interdependent Arisings, Padma Karpo Translation Committee, http://www.tibet.dk/pktc/gelugpa.htm, retrieved 2008-08-19 
  • Epstein, Mark (2004), Thoughts Without A Thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective, Basic Books, Kindle Edition 
  • Feer, Leon (editor) (1976), The Samyutta Nikaya, 5, London: Pali Text Society 
  • Geshe Tashi Tsering (2006), Buddhist Psychology: The Foundation of Buddhist Thought, Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition. 
  • Gethin, Rupert (1998), Foundations of Buddhism, Oxford University Press 
  • Goldstein, Joseph (2002), One Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism, HarperCollins 
  • Harvey, Peter (1990), Introduction to Buddhism, Cambridge University Press 
  • Kalupahana, David J. (1992-B), A history of Buddhist philosophy, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited 
  • Kelsang Gyatso, Geshe (2005, US ed. 2007), How to Solve Our Human Problems: The Four Noble Truths, Tharpa Publications, ISBN 978-0-9789067-1-9 
  • Lama Surya Das (1997), Awakening the Buddha Within, Broadway Books, Kindle Edition. 
  • Leif, Judith (2009), Introduction to 'The Truth of Suffering and the Path of Liberation' by Chogyam Trungpa (edited by Judy Leif), Shambhala 
  • Leifer, Ron (1997), The Happiness Project, Snow Lion 
  • Lopez, Donald S. (2001), The Story of Buddhism, HarperCollins 
  • Mingyur Rinpoche (2007), The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness, Harmony Kindle Edition 
  • Monier-Williams (1899, 1964), A Sanskrit-English Dictionary, London: Oxford University Press, http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/scans/MWScan/MWScanpdf/mw0483-dut.pdf, retrieved 27 December 2008 
  • Potter, Karl (2004), The Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies, Vol. IX: Buddhist philosophy from 350 to 600 AD 
  • Ringu Tulku (2005), Daring Steps Toward Fearlessness: The Three Vehicles of Tibetan Buddhism, Snow Lion 
  • Rockhill, William (1992), The Life of Buddha And the Early History of His Order Derived from Tibetan, Asian Educational Services 
  • Snelling, John (1987), The Buddhist handbook. A Complete Guide to Buddhist Teaching and Practice, London: Century Paperbacks 
  • Thich Nhat Hanh (1991), Old Path White Clouds, Parallax Press 
  • Thich Nhat Hanh (1999), The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching, Three River Press 
  • Walpola Rahula (2007), What the Buddha Taught, Grove Press. Kindle Edition. 
  • Wardner, A.K. (1970), Indian Buddhism, Delhi 
  • Watson, Burton (1993), The Lotus Sutra, Columbia University Press 

  Further reading

The following commentaries have been written on the four noble truths:

  • Ajahn Sucitto (2010). Turning the Wheel of Truth: Commentary on the Buddha's First Teaching. Shambhala.
  • Ajahn Sumedho (2002). The Four Noble Truths. Amaravati Publications. (Available for free in two formats: HTML and downloadable PDF)
  • Bhikkhu Bodhi (2006). The Noble Eightfold Path: Way to the End of Suffering. Pariyatti Publishing.
  • Chögyam Trungpa (2009). The Truth of Suffering and the Path of Liberation. Shambhala.
  • Dalai Lama (1998). The Four Noble Truths. Thorsons.
  • Epstein, Mark (2004). Thoughts Without A Thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective. Basic Books. Kindle Edition. (Part 1 examines the four truths from a Western psychological perspective)
  • Gethin, Rupert (1998). Foundations of Buddhism. Oxford University Press. (Chapter 3 is a commentary of about 25 pages.)
  • Lopez, Donald S. (2001). The Story of Buddhism. HarperCollins. (pp. 42-54)
  • Ringu Tulku (2005). Daring Steps Toward Fearlessness: The Three Vehicles of Tibetan Buddhism. Snow Lion. (Part 1 of 3 is a commentary on the four truths)
  • Thich Nhat Hanh (1999). The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching. Three Rivers Press.
  • Walpola Rahula (1974). What the Buddha Taught. Grove Press.

  External links

Online commentaries

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All translations of FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS


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