Teachings of Buddha – Four Noble Truths, Eightfold Noble Path of Buddhism

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Teachings of Buddha, known as Buddhism, have had a profound impact on the spiritual, philosophical, and cultural landscape of the world. Born as Prince Siddhartha Gautama in ancient India, Buddha embarked on a spiritual journey that ultimately led to his enlightenment and the development of a path to liberation from suffering.

The Teachings of Buddha are all about the eight-fold path to enlightenment, the middle path of the living, and the four noble truths. ‘Buddha’ means “the enlightened one”.When Buddha saw the suffering of common people, he let go of his total life. The teachings of Buddha encompass profound wisdom and practical guidance for leading a meaningful and compassionate life.

What are the Teachings of Buddha?

After achieving enlightenment Buddha taught his disciples about suffering, and how they can escape it. The Teachings of Buddha includes the four noble trust, the middle way, and the eightfold noble path. Buddha started sharing his knowledge on the outskirts of Varanasi at a deer park.

Teachings of Buddha Notes

His four noble truths of Buddism are about life including suffering, the cause of suffering, the end of suffering, and the path to the end of suffering. The eightfold noble path is the path to end suffering, and this eightfold path was introduced by Buddha. As per the Teachings of Buddha’s Noble Eightfold, the path includes the right view, intention, speech, conduct, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and concentration.

Universal Truths According to Buddha

According to Buddha, there are three universal truths that form the foundation of his teachings. These truths, provide a profound understanding of the nature of human existence and the path to liberation from suffering.

  • Nothing is lost in the universe – Buddha says, all the things in the universe exist in a cycle. Nothing is ever lost, and matter turns into anger then it again changes back to matter. The universe always returns whatever is lost.
  • Everything Changes – As per the teachings of Buddha, nothing is permanent in the world, and everything changes with time. Life evolves always.
  • Law of Cause and Effect – Buddha said, that karma is based on the law of cause and effect. The condition of someone depends on the deeds, and one has to bear the consequences of his/her own doings.

Four Noble Truths According to Teachings of Buddha

The Four Noble Truths are fundamental principles in Buddhism that lay the foundation for understanding and overcoming suffering. They are as follows:

  • The first truth is Suffering (dukkha): All human beings go through pain in some way or other, and humans suffer throughout life. Suffering is inevitable in human life.
  • The second truth is the “Origin of Suffering (Samudya)”: According to Buddha, the main causes of suffering are attachment and desires, The desire for material possessions leads to suffering.
  • The third truth is “Cessation of suffering (Nirodha)”: As per Buddha, one can be free from suffering and attain Nirvana. For this one needs to be free from the desire.
  • The fourth truth is the “Path to the end of suffering (Magga),”: According to the Teaching of Buddha, the noble eightfold path can help one to achieve enlightenment.

Eightfold Path in Buddism

The Eightfold Path is a fundamental teaching of Buddha that serves as a guide to achieving liberation from suffering and attaining enlightenment. The eightfold path in Buddism includes:

  • Right View – It means the true perception of noble truths.
  • Right Speech – According to the Teachings of Buddha, one needs to speak consciously, and respect others.
  • Right Intention – One needs to know the difference between right and wrong intention.
  • Right Efforts – One needs to adopt the right habits and abandon the bad habits.
  • Right Concentration – To reach a higher level of consciousness one needs to concentrate properly.
  • Right Mindfulness – According to the Teachings of Buddha one needs to be aware of own’s attitude, feelings, and attitude.
  • Right Action – one shouldn’t criticize others, or take actions that would hurt others.
  • Right Livelihood – Buddha teaches, that one shouldn’t live by harming others or making other people unhappy.

Founder of Buddhism: Gautam Buddha

Gautam Buddha, also known as Siddhartha Gautama, was a spiritual teacher and the founder of Buddhism.  Buddha’s teachings revolved around the Four Noble Truths: the truth of suffering, the truth of the origin of suffering, the truth of the cessation of suffering, and the truth of the path to the cessation of suffering.

  • Buddha was born in 566 BC, and he was the Prince at Lumbini near Kapilabastu.
  • Buddha lost his mother 7 days after he was born. He was brought up by his maternal aunt, and this gave him the name ‘Gautama’.
  • Buddha got married to Yashodhara and had a son named Rahula.
  • At the age of 29, Buddha left his home to become an ascetic.
  • When Buddha saw four states of men- Sick man, old man, corpse, and ascetic the idea of renunciation occurred to him.
  • For 7 years, Buddha wandered around, and at the age of 35, he attained enlightenment at Uruvela.
  • Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath near Varanasi.
  • Buddha died in 482 BC under a sal tree in Kushinagar.

Read: Difference Between Jainism and Buddhism

3 Pillars of Buddism

The Three Pillars of Buddhism, represent the foundational principles of the Buddhist faith. These three pillars are the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.


The first pillar is the Buddha himself, Siddhartha Gautama. Buddhists revere him as the awakened one who attained enlightenment and achieved liberation from suffering. It is the highest spiritual potential in everyone.


It is the Teachings of Buddha, and it encompasses the fundamental truths and insights into the nature of existence, suffering, and liberation. It includes the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, and various sutras and scriptures.


The third pillar is the Sangha, which represents the community of monks, nuns, and practitioners who follow the teachings of the Buddha. The Sangha serves as a supportive and nurturing community where individuals can learn, practice, and deepen their understanding of the Dharma.

Gautam Buddha UPSC

The inclusion of “Gautam Buddha” in the UPSC history syllabus holds immense significance as it delves into the life and teachings of one of the greatest spiritual leaders in history. Understanding the life of Gautam Buddha helps aspirants comprehend the socio-cultural, religious, and philosophical milieu of ancient Indian history.

Additionally, the influence of Buddhism on art, literature, and the socio-political landscape of the region makes it a crucial topic for a comprehensive understanding of India’s history and its contribution to global philosophical thought. That’s why this topic must be covered by the aspirants during their UPSC Prelims preparation.

Teachings of Buddha MCQs

Question: What is the ultimate goal of Buddhism? a) Nirvana b) Salvation c) Reincarnation d) Enlightenment

Answer: a) Nirvana

Question: The Four Noble Truths are central teachings in Buddhism. Which of the following is NOT one of the Four Noble Truths? a) Life is suffering. b) Attachment causes suffering. c) Suffering can be eliminated by following the Eightfold Path. d) Material possessions bring lasting happiness.

Answer: d) Material possessions bring lasting happiness.

Question: The Eightfold Path is a guideline for: a) Achieving wealth and success. b) Living a moral life. c) Attaining enlightenment. d) Finding one’s life purpose.

Answer: c) Attaining enlightenment.

UPSC Notes
Self Respect Movement India Bangladesh Relations 
Veto Power Of President Dadasaheb Phalke Award Winners In India
Gangayaan Mission Narmada Bachao Andolan
NABARD Crown Rule In India 1858 1947
Right To Freedom Of Religion  Industrial Dispute Act 1947
Digital India  INDO-Greek
Our Apps Playstore
SSC and Bank
Other Exams
GradeStack Learning Pvt. Ltd.Windsor IT Park, Tower - A, 2nd Floor, Sector 125, Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201303
Home Practice Test Series Premium