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Fundamentals of Buddhism

FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS PART I
This is the third in the series of lectures and we are
getting into the real heart of Buddhism with today’s
lecture because in the next hour or so I would like to say
a few words regarding the Four Noble Truths.
The Four Noble Truths are a very important aspect
of the teachings of the Buddha. Their importance has
been stated in no uncertain terms by the Buddha. He has
said that it is because we fail to understand the Four
Noble Truths that we have run on so long in this cycle
of birth and death. This indicates how important the
Four Noble Truths are to the understanding of the
Buddha’s teachings and to the realization of the goal of
His teachings. Similarly, it is no coincidence that in the
Buddha’s first sermon the Dhammachakkappavattana
Sutra to the five monks at the deer park near Benares,
the Buddha spoke primarily about the Four Noble
Truths and the Middle Path. Here we have two very
significant indications of the importance of the Four
Noble Truths. The Four Noble Truths in a sense are a
summary of the Buddha’s teachings both from the point
of view of doctrine or theory and also from the point of
view of practice. So here in the Four Noble Truths
which are the truth of suffering, the truth of the cause of
suffering, the truth of the end of suffering and the truth
of the path that leads to the end of suffering, we have
the foundation of the teachings of the Buddha for
understanding and practice.
Before we consider the Four Noble Truths
individually, I would like to say a few words about the
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