What are the Four Noble Truths?

The Four Noble Truths are the basis of all Buddhist teachings. They are 1) the truth (or existence) of suffering, 2) the truth of the origin of suffering, 3) the truth of the cessation of suffering, and 4) the truth of the path that leads to the cessation of suffering.

The first truth says that existence is characterized by suffering (duhkha) and does not bring satisfaction. The second truth gives as the cause of suffering craving or desire for sensual pleasures, for becoming and passing away. It is this craving that binds beings to the cycle of existence (samsara). The third truth says that through elimination of craving, suffering can be brought to an end. And, the fourth truth gives the Eightfold Path as the means for ending suffering.



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