Four Noble Truths

basic framework of Buddhist thought

The Four Noble Truths are a Buddhist teaching. They show Buddhists why they should follow the Middle Way.


Basic terms




The Four Noble Truths


The First Noble Truth


The first noble truth is called Dukkha, which means suffering. It says that life is full of suffering. To say it in a different way, in life, there is sickness, poverty (being poor), old age, and death. People can not keep what they want. People can not avoid what they do not want. If that is all a person learns, they suffer.

The Second Noble Truth


The second noble truth is Samudaya, which says that there is a reason for suffering in the world. It says that the reason there is suffering is that people want things. It also says that the reason there is suffering is that people want what they think is real. They do this because they are ignorant. People do wrong actions because they want things and because they do not see what is real. Those evil actions lead to suffering.

The Third Noble Truth


The third noble truth is Nirodha. It says that people can be free from suffering when they no longer want things.

The Fourth Noble Truth


The fourth noble truth is called Marga. It says that for a person to stop wanting things, they must follow a set of rules. The rules are called the Noble Eightfold Path.

The Eightfold Path

See main article: Noble Eightfold Path

The eightfold path says that truth is found in the Middle Way. A person can get to the Middle Way by following the eightfold path. The eight parts are these:

  • Right Vision. A person should try to see things the way they really are.
  • Right Values. A person should try to turn their mind away from the world and towards the Dharma.
  • Right Speech. A person should try to be truthful and kind when they talk.
  • Right Actions. A person should try to do good things. If they cannot do a good thing, then they should try to not do a bad thing.
  • Right Livelihood. A person should not work at something that can hurt themselves or other people.
  • Right Effort. A person should try to increase their goodness and get rid of their evil.
  • Right Mindfulness. A person must remember the Dharma and use it all the time
  • Right Meditation. A person must try to reach enlightenment through meditation.

Other websites