Principals: The Four Noble Truths and Dukkha
The Buddha taught that life was dissatisfactory
because of craving, but that this condition was curable by following
the Eightfold Path. This teaching is called the Four Noble Truths:
1. Dukkha: All worldly life is unsatisfactory, disjointed, containing
2. Samudaya: There is a cause of suffering, which is attachment
or desire (tanha) rooted in ignorance.
3. Nirodha: There is an end of suffering, which is Nirvana.
4. Marga: There is a path that leads out of suffering, known as
the Noble Eightfold Path.
Dukkha is a central concept in Buddhism, the word roughly corresponding
to a number of terms in English including sorrow, suffering,
affliction, pain, anxiety, dissatisfaction, discomfort, anguish,
stress, misery, and aversion. The term is probably derived from
duhstha, "standing badly," "unsteady," "uneasy." Dukkha
is the focus of the Four Noble Truths, including the first:
All of life involves dukkha.
The other three Noble Truths explain the source of dukkha, the
means of eliminating it, and the method of executing its cessation.
This method is known as the Noble Eightfold Path. Siddartha Gautama,
the Buddha repeatedly stated that the only purpose of Buddhism
is to seek the cessation of dukkha, by understanding the Four Noble
Truths and acting accordingly.
The Buddha discussed three kinds of dukkha.
> Dukkha-dukkha (all pervading pain) is the
obvious sufferings of physical pain, illness, old age, death,
the loss of a loved
> Viparinama-dukkha (pain of alternation) is suffering caused by
change: violated expectations, the failure of happy moments to
> Sankhara-dukkha (pain of pain) is a subtle form of suffering inherent
in the nature of conditioned things, including the skandhas,
the factors constituting the human mind.
Dukkha is also listed among the three marks of existence.
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