What Is the Relationship of the Four Noble Truths to the Eightfold Path?

Topics: Buddhism, Gautama Buddha, Noble Eightfold Path Pages: 3 (966 words) Published: January 28, 2012
What is the relationship of the Four Noble truths to the Eightfold path? The heart of Buddhist teaching is found in the Four Noble Truths. These truths are what Siddhartha Gautama became enlightened about when he became the "buddha" or "enlightened one." These truths are shared by all the different groups, schools of thought and divisions within Buddhism. The Four Noble Truths are:

1. the truth of suffering - life involves suffering or dissatisfaction. Even the most privileged lives involve suffering or dissatisfaction of some sort. 2. the truth of desire - suffering is caused by desire, specifically unenlightened desire 3. the truth of the cessation of desire - when unenlightened desire is ceased or eliminated from life, suffering ceases as well 4. the truth of the 8-fold path - desire is enlightened through right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration, right understanding and right resolve The Four Noble Truths support the common characterization of the Buddha as a doctor or healer. He assesses the life's condition, makes a diagnosis, and provides a prescription for the cure. Life involves suffering, even for those who lead privileged lives. Bad things happen, people get sick, loved ones die, things don't go as planned, and so on.

How does Buddhism explain karma and reincarnation without a soul? Karma is the concept that the individual's actions determine his fate, whether in this or in a future life, and that every action has to be balanced in some way. By doing certain actions, certain energies are set in motion, which bring certain effects. It is a way to restore balance in the Universe, and is not punishment for one's actins. Reincarnation is the rebirth of the soul in a new body, while Karma affects the new body and determines the circumstances into which it is born. Both of them can explain a lot of things in each one's life. A life of comfort and success means that the person performed good...
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