|Buddha teachings Sermon at Benares - the Four Noble
Truths, The Middle Way
Buddhism, the Noble Eightfold Path, Sermon at Benares Buddhist teachings
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One day, whilst sitting under a great, spreading, Bo tree
Siddhartha Gautama felt that he was somehow undergoing profound,
and extensive, alterations of realisation and awakening.
Siddhartha remained for seven days under the great tree. It is
from this times that Siddhartha began to be referred to as the
Buddha, a name implying his being Awake and Enlightened. These
few day's spent under the Bo tree are considered to have been the
time of his Enlightenment.
Buddha is said to have "attained Nirvana" - to have achieved
a state where suffering is eliminated through the abandonment of
desires - desires being the cause of suffering. Such
attainmentment is held to bring release from an otherwise endless
succession of reincarnations or rebirths. The term Nirvana has
suggestive associations with a verb indicating cooling, or
The Four Noble truthsThe First Noble Truth is that old age, illness, and death are all forms of human suffering, and that there are many other other ways in which people suffer. The Buddha accepted the Vedic idea of endlessly successive reincarnations where life followed upon life, with much suffering inevitably attending in each of these lives. The idea of Karma further sugesting that in each existence a person's good or bad deeds would respectively impact positively or negatively on their store of "merit". It was this Karma-merit that would underpin the advantageous, or pitiful, state into which individual reincarnations would occur.
The Second Noble Truth is that suffering is closely linked
to desire, a desire for being which leads from birth to death and
involve ageing, illness, and mortality. There are also various
desires for pleasures and for powers which, frustratingly, may
not be realised.
The Third Noble Truth is that suffering can be dispelled by
the abandonment of all desires.
The last of the Four Noble Truths holds that such
abandonment of desires can be achieved by following the Noble
The Noble Eightfold PathRight Belief (in the Truth)
Right Intent (to do good rather than evil)
Right Speech (avoidance of untruth, slander and swearing)
Right Behaviour (avoid blameworthy behaviours)
Right Livelihood (some occupations e.g. butcher, publican, were disparaged!!!)
Right Effort (towards the good)
Right Contemplation (of the Truth)
Right Concentration (will result from following the Noble Eightfold Path)
Siddhatha Gautama's Buddha teachings were to provide the
basis for the establishment of Buddhism as a most significant
religious and philosophical movement - in India for more than a
thousand years - with Buddhism also spreading widely into other
parts of Asia.
Start of Buddha teachings
Sermon at Benares