The Four Noble Truths for the basis of Buddhist beliefs. Explain the Four Noble Truths and show how they were illustrated by specific events in the life of Siddhartha Gautama otherwise known as the Buddha. The Four Noble Truths are a linked chain of truths about life, the first chain being suffering does exist, the second being it has a cause, the third being that it has an end, and the fourth chain being that there is a way to attain release from suffering – namely by following the Noble Eightfold Path. The first Noble Truth quotes that “birth is attended with pain, decay is painful, disease is painful and death is painful. There are many ways in which we are able to feel pain whether in the body, the mind and in life. All of these aspects can feel tired, discouraged, or experience anxiety or anguish. There is another quote later on during the explanation on how “living means sorrow”. Which is a very profound statement, which may seem very dark but it also allows us to see that we must be realistic. Nothing or everything can be perfect, no matter what it is your doing you have to set yourself up for some sort of misery and deal with it.

And with recognizing this sorrow and misery, as times get harder you as some people would say sweat the small stuff, meaning that you would forget about the minute details. The second Noble Truth, which means that suffering comes from desire. This analogy is taken from the fact that with wanting somewhat superficial, amounts to you never being satisfied with what you have. The words trishna or tanha, which can be translated into meaning desire, could be better translated into meaning thirst or craving. Meaning that this desire, which leads to suffering, is either a addiction for that one object or a fear of osing that one object. There are two different types of desire, the desire that is needed such as food or clothing and the desire that is wanted such as personal laptops and other various accessories. No matter how much we are given to suppress this desire there is always something out there which causes discontent and misfortune. The third Noble Truth, which means to end suffering is to end desire. It is brought up with today’s modern thinking competition between individuals is very important in many cultures.

It is now emphasized on the fact that we all must thrive at school, at work, at home etc. Yet with all this thriving comes a lot of wanting and desire, which as stated leads to suffering. However, even Buddha himself made sacrifices in order to get rid of any attachment that would inevitably bring suffering. Their shaven heads and stark cloths are a symbol for their detachment from society. It is no longer trying to find happiness but to find inner peace in one’s self. Acceptance of paths chosen helps to bring you closer to inner peace.

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The main meaning of the third Noble Truth, was to accept that fact that you are not able to change the world around you, but you are able to change what is inside of yourself which effects your views of the world around you. The fourth Noble Truth is that one is able to release from suffering only when attained by following the Noble Eightfold Path. The ultimate goal of Buddhism is to achieve nirvana, which suggests a number of things. Some of these things being an end of suffering, inner peace, and liberation from the limitations of the world.

A direct translation can often be seen as a blow out or cool, suggesting that this initial desire in a person is able to be put out by this inner peace. Although, it may not necessarily eliminate all anger but it does suggest a generally quieter inner peace. Nirvana also believes that it ends karma and rebirth after their present life. However, to reach nirvana it is recommended that you follow the Noble Eightfold Path. The Four Noble Truths are the basis of Buddhist beliefs; the main reason that this religion does not only exist but has the Four Noble Truths may be closely linked to the Four Passing Sights that Siddhartha Gautama discovered.

The first sight, which Siddhartha saw was an old man who was crooked and toothless; a sick man who was wasted by disease, and a corpse which was being taken for cremation. The last sight he saw was a sannyasin (a wandering holy man) that had no possessions but was a peace with himself. We can see right away that there is a direct link between the Four Passing Sights and the Four Noble Truths, each sighting giving a different meaning and Truth.

The first sighting of the old man is easily relatable with the first Noble Truth of to live is to suffer, the second sighting being easily relatable with the second Noble Truth meaning suffering comes from desire, the third sighting being easily relatable with the third Noble Truth of which means to end suffering is to end desire, and lastly the fourth sighting being easily relatable with the fourth Noble Truth of one being able to release from suffering when attained by following the Noble Eightfold Path.

In conclusion, we can see how there is a direct link between the Four Noble Truths and Siddhartha’s experiences. We can also take from this that in order to live a life without suffering, we must end all desire and become at peace with ourselves.


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