During a walk outside his palace, Siddhartha Gautama came upon an old person, an ill, a dead and a hermit, and was profoundly stirred by the sight where upon he renounced his kingly pleasures and ventured forth in search of truth. He found the causes of suffering and means of removing them. Obtaining this knowledge he was titled ‘Buddha’. This knowledge is comprehended in four Noble Truths. These Noble Truths are as follows:
There is suffering:
Observing the life of human beings and meditating upon it Buddha. Came to the conclusion that the life of human and other beings is painful. There is pain with birth, destruction too is painful, separation from the pleasant is also painful Conjunction with the undesired is painful and that passion is painful which remains unsatiated. In brief, panchaskandha springing from attachment is painful. The whole world is on fire and not on occasion for celebration. Pain is the out come of pleasure. Fear comes out of pleasure seeking. Pain also comes when objects of sensual pleasure are lost. man has shed more tears than there is water in the oceans. Man can find no place on the face of the earth where death does not hover over him. Man wounded by the arrow of pain should extract it. Life is full of pain. All objects born give pain and sorrow. Birth, death disease old age, Jealousy, ambition spring from attachment and are all, thus sorrow. In this way, contrary to Charvakas, Buddha looks upon the momentary things of this world as painful and preaches means of escaping suffering.
There is cause of suffering:
According to Buddha, the second Noble Truth pertains to the causes of sufferings. Desire, the motivating force sustaining the cycle of birth and death, is the fundamental cause of sorrow. This desire is of three types – (1) Sex desire for sensual pleasures, (2) Life desire for life, and (3) Wealth desire- for worldly wealth. Actually, the hope initiating coming and going, the hope seeking sensual satisfaction now here now there is the desire for the satiation of passions, desire for a future life or success in the present one and it is the fundamental cause. This second Noble Truth is in regard to the cause of sorrow. All sorrows arise from attachment which itself is the result of ignorance. These causes of sorrow have been explained with felicity by Buddha in his theory of Dependent Origination, which is included in the second Noble Truth.
There is Cessation of suffering:
The third Noble Truth, according to Buddha, is in respect of the destruction of pain. In it passion, desire and love of life are completely destroyed. It is the sacrifice of desire, separation form it any importance. Actually it is the destruction of this very desire which is left without any passion which is to be placed aside, from which separation is desired, from which we are to be liberated and which is to be ousted completely. The object of this Noble Truth is the elimination of sorrow and the destruction of ego. And love of truth destroys in its wake, attachment, jealousy, doubt and sorrow. Nirvana is the destruction of passion, doubt and sensual pleasures by contemplation of Nothing or Shunya. It is everlasting and complete, infinite nothingness. It is complete peace, free from desires like the calm of deep seas. He who overcomes this strong and dangerous passion, sorrows leave him as water leaves the petals of the lily. Dig out the roots of desire so that it may not crush you time and again. In this context of truth, Buddha has made a detailed description of Nirvana and has explained it.
Path of Liberation:
The fourth Noble Truth according to Buddha, is the way to cessation of sorrow, meaning the road to escape from sorrow. Buddha, not only detailed the causes of sorrow but his showing the path to annihilate sorrow by removing these causes has sent a current of hope in a world of pessimism. This path is eightfold pursuing this path. Buddha attained the stage of absolute liberation and others can do the same by pursuing this path. Actually, this is the essence of Buddhist religion. The aim of Buddha was not the presentation of any philosophical system, but rather the evolution of some practical solution for freedom from suffering.
In this way, the four noble truths are – there is suffering, there are causes of suffering, cessation of suffering and path of liberation. These four Noble Truths are the foundation stones of Buddhist philosophy and they also reflect the entire cycle of Gautama’s spiritual life originated in consciousness of suffering while the consummation was the discovery of means of escaping suffering. In this way Gautama’s spiritualism is based on solid realism. It is this unique feature which is the reason for the wide popularity of his thoughts.