Buddha Quotes on Truth and Spirituality

Buddhism basic

Four Noble Truths

The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism are stated in simple terms as:

  1. Suffering exists
  2. Suffering arises from attachment to desires
  3. Suffering ceases when attachment to desire ceases
  4. Freedom from suffering is possible by practicing the Eightfold Path

I. Suffering exists

The viewpoint is that life consists of suffering and dissatisfaction. This suffering is called dukkha.

Human nature is imperfect, as is the world you live in. During your lifetime, you inevitably have to endure physical suffering such as pain, sickness, injury, tiredness, old age, and eventually death. This is especially true for poor people.

This means you are never able to keep permanently what you strive for. Happy moments pass by, and soon you will too.

II. Suffering arises from attachment to desires

The cause of suffering is called samudaya or tanha. It is the desire to have and control things, such as craving of sensual pleasures. For example, if you desire fame and fortune, you will surely suffer disappointment and perhaps even cause suffering for others.

Attachment to material things creates suffering because attachments are transient and loss is inevitable. Thus suffering will necessarily follow.

III. Suffering ceases when attachment to desire ceases

The end to suffering is called nirodha. It is achieving Nirvana, which is the final liberation of suffering. The mind experiences complete freedom, liberation and non-attachment. It lets go of any desire or craving. It is attaining dispassion.

Nirvana means freedom from all worries, troubles and ideas. It is not comprehensible for those who have not attained it.

IV. Freedom from suffering is possible by practicing the Eightfold Path

In order to end suffering, you must follow the Eightfold Path. This liberation from suffering is what many people mean when they use the word “enlightenment.”

The path to the end of suffering is gradually seeking self-improvement through the eight elements. The path to the end of suffering can extend over many lifetimes, throughout which every individual rebirth is subject to karmic conditioning. Craving, ignorance and other effects will disappear gradually, as progress is made through each lifetime.

Eightfold path

There are eight attitudes or paths you must follow to find freedom from suffering. These are the “right” or correct things to do in your life:

  1. Right view
  2. Right intention
  3. Right speech
  4. Right action
  5. Right livelihood
  6. Right effort
  7. Right mindfulness
  8. Right concentration

This is the way to reach Nirvana.

 Three Qualities  Eightfold Path
 Wisdom (panna)  Right View
 Right Thought
 Morality (sila)  Right Speech
 Right Action
 Right Livelihood
 Meditation (samadhi)  Right Effort
 Right Mindfulness
 Right Contemplation


Three Characteristics of Existence

1. Transiency (anicca)
2. Sorrow (dukkha)
3. Selflessness (anatta)


Unwholesome mental states that impede progress towards enlightenment.
1. Sensuous lust
2. Aversion and ill will
3. Sloth and torpor
4. Restlessness and worry
5. Sceptical doubt

Factors of Enlightenment

1. Mindfulness
2. Investigation
3. Energy
4. Rapture
5. Tranquillity
6. Concentration
7. Equanimity

What we are made up of…

The five aggregates (skandhas) are

Form (rupa) is made up of

  • earth
  • water
  • fire
  • wind

Feeling (vedana) is one of

  • pleasant,
  • unpleasant
  • neutral

Feelings arise when there is contact between the six internal organs and the six external objects.

 Internal Organ  External Object
 Eye  Sight
 Ear  Sound
 Nose  Odor
 Tongue  Taste
 Body  Touch
 Mind  Mental Object

Perception (samjna) a is related to the six external objects

Volition (samskara) is the response of the will to the six external objects

Consciousness (vijnana) grasps the characteristics of the six external objects

  • Visual consciousness
  • Auditory consciousness
  • Olfactory consciousness
  • Gustatory consciousness
  • Tactile consciousness
  • Mental consciousness


Things that slow us down and restrict our freedom


  1. Self-delusion
  2. Doubt
  3. Clinging to Ritual
  4. Sensuous Lust
  5. Ill Will
  6. Greed for Fine Material Existence
  7. Greed for Immaterial Existence
  8. Conceit
  9. Restlessness
  10. Ignorance


Friends on the way to freedom


The boundless states or brahmaviharas are considered friends on the way to Nirvana. They help in dissolving the idea of a separate self.


  1. Loving kindness
  2. Compassion
  3. Sympathetic Joy
  4. Equanimity


Near enemy is a quality that can masquerade as the original, but is not the original. Far enemy is the clearly opposite quality. The boundless state serves as an antidote for the quality mentioned as the far enemy.

Pali English Description Near Enemy Far Enemy
metta loving kindness good-will, friendship, unconditional love for all beings selfish love hatred
karuna compassion empathy, to feel with someone instead of for someone pity cruelty
mudita sympathetic joy spontaneous joy in response to others success hypocrisy envy
upekkha equanimity even-mindedness based on insight into the nature of things indifference anxiety

Qualities that need to be perfected


The ten perfections (paramis) are


  1. Generosity (dana)
  2. Morality (sila)
  3. Renunciation (nekkhamma)
  4. Wisdom (panna)
  5. Energy (viriya)
  6. Patience (khanti)
  7. Truthfulness (sacca)
  8. Resolution (adhitthana)
  9. Loving-Kindness (metta)
  10. Equanimity (upekkha)



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