four noble truths

The Core of Buddhist Teaching

The Four Noble Truths (Pali: cattari ariyasaccani) are one of the most fundamental Buddhist teachings. In broad terms, these truths relate to suffering's nature, origin, cessation and the path leading to the cessation. They are among the truths the Buddha is said to have realized during his experience of enlightenment.

The Four Noble Truths appear many times throughout the most ancient of Buddhist texts, the Pali Canon. Strictly speaking, "truths" is a mistranslation; "realities" would be better: these are "things", not statements, in the original grammar.

The Four Noble Truths are: There is suffering. There is a cause to suffering. There is an end to suffering. The is a path out of suffering (the Noble Eightfold Path).

The Reality of Suffering - dukkha

The Cause of Suffering - samudaya

The Cessation of Suffering - nirodha

The Path to the Cessation of Suffering - magga


Suggested reading: Phillip Moffitt, Dancing With Life: Buddhist Insights for Finding Meaning and Joy in the Face of Suffering.