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:

  1. Life is Suffering. Human existence is painful. Death does not bring an end to suffering because of the cycle of death and rebirth.
  2. 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.
  3. Craving and attachment can be overcome. Completely transcending selfish craving ceases suffering and allows one to enter the state of Nirvana.
  4. 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.