The four noble truths were given by the duddha during a talk called the deer park sermon He wished to offer his followers a path which would help them to avoid the obstacles that stop people from understanding their true nature. The Four Nobel Truths are:
- Life is Suffering. Human existence is painful. Death does not bring an end to suffering because of the cycle of death and rebirth.
- Suffering has a cause: craving and attachment. Selfish cravings and attachments are the cause of our suffering. This aspect is what causes our ignorance to true reality.
- Craving and attachment can be overcome. Completely transcending selfish craving ceases suffering and allows one to enter the state of Nirvana.
- The path towards the cessation of craving and attachment is and Eightfold Path:
- Right Understanding
- Right Purpose
- Right Speech
- Right Conduct
- Right Livelihood
- Right Effort
- Right Alertness
- Right Concentration
Other major teachings of the Buddha were that the abiding self is illusory. The tendency of humans to regard themselves as an independent, controlling entity is a significant barrier to spiritual progress.