This entry is part 5 of 19 in the series Understanding Buddhism

Learn about the The Fourth Noble Truth. As a young man, Prince Siddhartha enjoyed a luxurious and indulgent life and experienced all the pleasures in his palace. When he denounced the world and became a monk he went through the experience of hardships by torturing his body and mind. Before the attainment of Enlightenment, he realized that such extreme ways of living were fruitless. He discovered the path to enlightenment and happiness. If one avoided such extremes one could lead a happy life. He called this path the Middle Path. One of the lessons of the Middle Path are the Four Noble Truths.

The Fourth Noble Truth


The Fourth Noble Truth describes the path towards the end of suffering. The three ways of leading life are similar to strings of different tensions on a lute. The loose string is similar to an indulgent life because it produces sound of a poor quality on being struck. The extremely tight string is similar to an ascetic life led to the extremes.

When the string is struck it produces a poor sound and could also break any time. The middle string is neither too tight nor to loose. It is similar to the middle path and produces a harmonious and pleasant sound on being struck. People should follow the middle path by avoiding the extremes of indulging in desires as well as the other extreme of torturing the body and mind unreasonably in order to find enlightenment, peace of mind and happiness.

Just like an experienced and knowledgeable doctor found the solution to suffering he identified the cause and prescribed a cure. For the benefit of human beings, the Buddha transformed his discovery into a formula that was systematic to be followed if one wants to get rid of suffering. It includes physical as well as mental treatment and is called the Noble Eightfold Path. This path consists of right concentration, right mindfulness, right effort, right likelihood, right action, right speech, right intention and right view.

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path. – Buddha

The Fourth Noble Truth ensures happiness that should be real and not contrived and driven by pleasure that boomerangs similar to a snake that whips around to bite when grabbed by the tail. The formula depends on your state of mind with a view of facts based on facts and not romanticism or idealism. It insists on a radical way of thought and open-mindedness in order to solve problems no matter what they are. If one wants to make changes in life and wants to see as well as act in a different way it would require morality and as well as discipline.

One can not interact with people as well as nature indiscriminately as well as insensitivity like cheating, lying, working in harmful or dishonest occupations like dealing in things that could harm people mentally or physically or killing of innocent people. If one is always dissatisfied, the mind has to be refined in order to get rid of this feeling. The scattered and wound up mind has to be calmed down with the help of meditation. Learning the Four Noble Truths will lead to a life filled with awareness and peace.

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