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Four Noble Truths
(IPA: [θɪʔsà lé bá])
四聖諦(T) / (S)
(Khutagt durvun unen)
(Wylie: 'phags pa'i bden pa bzhi
THL: pakpé denpa shyi)
|Vietnamese||Tứ Diệu Đế( 四妙諦)|
|Glossary of Buddhism|
The Four Noble Truths (Sanskrit: catvāri āryasatyāni; Pali: cattāri ariyasaccāni) are "the truths of the Noble Ones," the truths or realities which are understood by the "worthy ones" who have attained Nirvana. The truths are dukkha, the arising of dukkha, the cessation of dukkha, and the path leading to the cessation of dukkha.
The four truths express the basic orientation of Buddhism: we crave and cling to impermanent states and things, which is dukkha, "incapable of satisfying" and painful. This keeps us caught in samsara, the endless cycle of repeated rebirth, dukkha and dying again. But there is a way to reach real happiness and to end this cycle, namely following the eightfold path. The meaning of the truths is as follows:
The four truths provide a conceptual framework for introducing and explaining Buddhist thought, which has to be personally understood or "experienced." The formulation of the four truths, and their importance, developed over time, when prajna, or "liberating insight," came to be regarded as liberating in itself, instead of the practice of dhyana.
In the sutras, the four truths have both a symbolic and a propositional function. They represent the awakening and liberation of the Buddha, but also the possibility of liberation for all sentient beings, describing how release from craving is to be reached.
The four truths are of central importance in the Theravada tradition, which holds to the idea that insight into the four truths is liberating in itself. They are less prominent in the Mahayana traditions, which emphasize insight into sunyata and the Bodhisattva-path as a central elements in their teachings.
The four truths are best known from their presentation in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, which contains two sets of the four truths, while various other sets can be found in the Pali Canon.
According to the Buddhist tradition, the Buddha first taught the four noble truths in the very first teaching he gave after attaining enlightenment, as recorded in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta ("The Discourse That Sets Turning the Wheel of Truth"). Within this discourse, there are four key verses which present the four noble truths:
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