The Four Noble Truths by Ven. Lobsang Gyatso

The following article is from the Summer, 1994 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.


by Ven. Lobsang Gyatso 96 pp. $9.95

After his enlightenment, the Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths, which are the foundation and essence of all forms of Buddhism. The first truth diagnoses the nature of our existential illnesses and neuroses. The second explores their causes and conditions for arisal. The third shows that the causes of our problems can be removed and that we can be free from suffering. The fourth includes the many paths of practice that Buddhism offers to realize that goal. The Buddha has shown that the spiritual path is pragmatic and works directly with everyday experience in order to fundamentally transform the practitioner.

Ven. Lobsang Gyatso is the Director of the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in Dharamsala, India. He is a meditation master who lives his life according to the Buddhist philosophy of wisdom and compassion.

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 4, How True Origins Give Rise to True Suffering:

Ignorance is the very root of all the origins of suffering and samsara. The question then becomes Is there any way to get rid of that ignorance? If there were no way to do so, it would be better not to introduce people to these ideas about suffering or to say life is in the nature of suffering. Rather, it would be kinder just to let them be happy in their own situations. Suffering and its causes are explained only in the context of a way to abandon them.

If a poor family had no means to buy food, it would be better not to tell them their diet was really

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