The Buddha's Four Noble Truths: a Logical Basis for Philosophy

1688 WordsOct 8, 19997 Pages
The Buddha's Four Noble Truths: A Logical Basis for Philosophy The Buddha Shakyamuni was born in the 6th century BCE in the area presently known as Nepal. During his 80 year lifetime, he systematically developed a pragmatic, empirically based philosophy which he claimed would lead its followers towards an enlightened existence. Buddhism is commonly called a religion; however, it differs from the usual definition of a religion in that it has no deities, does not promote worship of demigods, and is based on logical reasoning and observation rather than spiritual faith. At the heart of Buddhist philosophy is the Buddha's enumeration of Four Noble Truths: Dukkha (suffering), Samudaya (origin of suffering), Nirodha (cessation of…show more content…
The causal relationship between the tanha and dukkha is delineated by the related concepts of karma and karma- phala. Karma is the Sanskrit word for ‘action' or ‘doing' and it refers to the actions of a person as a result of his or her mental volition. The result of a person's karma is called karma-phala, commonly colloquialized as the fruits of karma. The basic belief in Buddhism about the mechanics of karma is that when a person has a craving (tanha) of any sort, they will try to attain the thing for which they have the craving (karma), and in doing so will cause the existence of dukkha in their life. This belief is another way of viewing the old axiom that " what goes around, comes around," a simple observation about the nature of cause and effect in relation to human actions. "There is this noble truth of the cessation of suffering: It is the remainderless fading and ceasing, the giving up, relinquishing, letting go, and rejecting of that same craving." - Shakyamuni Buddha{6} The goal of a Buddhist is to eliminate all traces of dukkha from his or her life, thus becoming Enlightened. A person who has attained Enlightenment, according to the Buddha, is in a state of Nirvana. Nirvana is commonly defined as Tanhakkhaya, or the extinction of thirst. It is the end of all earthly suffering and freedom from attachment to the Five Aggregates.{7} While commonly misconstrued as final annihilation, nirvana is simply the final liberation from the

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