What are the four noble truths of Buddhism?

What are the four noble truths of Buddhism?

What are the four noble truths of Buddhism?

Origin and meaning of four noble truths

THE four noble truths constitute the foundation of Buddhist philosophy. They were formulated by Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, also known as the Historical Buddha, over 2500 years ago. These truths are an explanation of the nature of suffering and the path to liberation.

The first noble truth is that life is suffering (dukkha). It refers to the reality that suffering is an inevitable part of the human condition. The second noble truth is that the cause of suffering is desire (tanha). Incessant and unsatisfied desire leads to suffering.

The first noble truth

Life is suffering (dukkha). This first aspect of four noble truths invites us to recognize that suffering is an integral part of our existence. It's not just physical suffering, but mental and emotional suffering as well. This can include pain, sadness, frustration and stress.

Suffering is often caused by our attachment to things, people and experiences. Buddhism teaches us that life is constantly in motion, and by attaching ourselves to fleeting things, we inevitably run the risk of suffering when we lose them.

To find lasting happiness, it is essential to recognize the reality of suffering and accept its existence. This does not mean that we must be resigned to suffering, but rather that we must cultivate a deep understanding of its nature and work to free ourselves from it.

The second noble truth

The cause of suffering is desire (tanha). This second aspect of four noble truths urges us to understand that suffering arises from our tendency to always want more. Desire is insatiable and constantly drives us to seek satisfaction outside of ourselves.

Buddhism teaches us that desire is the root of suffering. When we are attached to our desires and fail to satisfy them, we find ourselves in a state of frustration, anger and sadness. The key to freedom from suffering is to transcend desire and adopt an attitude of detachment and non-attachment.

This does not mean that we must give up all our aspirations and desires, but rather that we must reconsider them and approach them in a balanced and detached manner. By learning to be happy with what we have and cultivating mindsets such as gratitude and compassion, we can find deeper, lasting happiness.

The path to liberation

The first two noble truths lead us to realize that suffering is inevitable and that it is caused by our attachment and desire. The last two noble truths show us the way to achieve freedom from suffering.

The third noble truth is that the end of suffering is possible (nirodha). This means that it is possible to find a state of lasting peace and happiness by freeing yourself from the cycle of desire and attachment. This liberation is often called “nirvana” in the Buddhist tradition.

The Third Noble Truth

The end of suffering is possible (nirodha). This fundamental truth teaches us that freedom from suffering is an achievable goal. By understanding and transcending our desires and attachments, we can find a state of deep peace and happiness.

Freedom from suffering is often described as a state of mind without attachment or aversion. It is a state of consciousness where we are free from attachments that hinder our happiness and where we are able to accept things as they are, without seeking to change or control them.

This liberation is not reserved for a few, but accessible to all who are ready to undertake the spiritual path of Buddhism. It requires regular practice of meditation, mindfulness and the development of qualities such as compassion and kindness towards oneself and others.

The Fourth Noble Truth

The path to the end of suffering (magga). This last noble truth describes the path to achieving freedom from suffering. Buddhism offers an eight-step path called the “Noble Eightfold Path” to achieve this liberation.

The Noble Eightfold Path includes eight main steps: right vision, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. These different steps offer a practical guide to leading an ethical, meditative life in harmony with Buddhist teachings.

By following the Noble Eightfold Path, it is possible to develop a deep understanding of reality, cultivate positive qualities of the mind, and achieve liberation from suffering. This path requires regular and sincere practice, but it is open to all who wish to explore the Buddhist path and find liberation from suffering.


THE four noble truths of Buddhism are an essential basis for understanding the nature of suffering and finding the path to liberation. They invite us to recognize the reality of suffering, to understand its cause, to believe in the possibility of its end, and to follow the path of Buddhism to achieve this liberation. By recognizing these truths and integrating them into our daily lives, we can find deeper happiness and higher wisdom.

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