The Four Noble Truths

Compiled by
Ānandajoti Bhikkhu
(mainly from Saccavibhaṅgasuttaṁ, MN 141)

 

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Cattāri Ariyasaccāni
The Four Noble Truths

1. Dukkhaṁ Ariyasaccaṁ
The Noble Truth of Suffering

2. Dukkhasamudayaṁ Ariyasaccaṁ
The Noble Truth of the Arising of Suffering

3. Dukkhanirodhaṁ Ariyasaccaṁ
The Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering

4. Dukkhanirodhagāmanī Paṭipadā Ariyasaccaṁ
The Noble Truth of the Practice Leading to the Cessation of Suffering

 

1. Dukkhaṁ Ariyasaccaṁ
The Noble Truth of Suffering

1. Jāti pi dukkhā
Birth is suffering

2. Jarā pi dukkhā
Also old age is suffering

3 Maraṇam-pi dukkhaṁ
Also death is suffering

4. Sokaparidevadukkhadomanassupāyāsā pi dukkhā
Also grief, lamentation, pain, sorrow, and despair, is suffering

5. Yam-picchaṁ na labhati tam-pi dukkhaṁ
Also not to obtain what one longs for is suffering

6. Saṅkhittena pañcupādānakkhandhā dukkhā.
In brief, the five constituent groups (of mind and body) that provide fuel for attachment are suffering.

 

1. Jāti:
Birth:

Yā tesaṁ tesaṁ sattānaṁ tamhi tamhi sattanikāye
For the various beings in the various classes of beings

jāti, sañjāti, okkanti, abhinibbatti;
there is birth, being born, appearing, turning up;

khandhānaṁ pātubhāvo, āyatanānaṁ paṭilābho.
the manifestation of the constituent groups (of mind and body), the acquisition of the sense spheres.

 

2. Jarā:
Old age:

Yā tesaṁ tesaṁ sattānaṁ tamhi tamhi sattanikāye
For the various beings in the various classes of beings

jarā, jīraṇatā, khaṇḍiccaṁ, pāliccaṁ, valittacatā;
there is aging, agedness, broken teeth, greying hair, and wrinkled skin;

āyuno saṁhāni, indriyānaṁ paripāko.
the dwindling away of the life span, the decay of the sense faculties.

 

3. Maraṇaṁ:
Death:

Yā tesaṁ tesaṁ sattānaṁ tamhā tamhā sattanikāyā
For the various beings in the various classes of beings

cuti, cavanatā, bhedo, antaradhānaṁ, maccu, maraṇaṁ, kālakiriyā;
there is a fall, a falling away, a breaking up, a disappearance, a dying, a death, a making of time;

khandhānaṁ bhedo, kalebarassa nikkhepo.
the break up of the constituent groups (of mind and body), the throwing off of the body.

 

4. Soko:
Grief:

Yo kho aññataraññatarena vyasanena samannāgatassa,
For he who has some sort of misfortune or other,

aññataraññatarena dukkhadhammena phuṭṭhassa,
who is touched by some sort of pain or another,

soko, socanā, socitattaṁ, antosoko, antoparisoko.
there is grief, grieving, the state of grieving, inner grief, great inner grief.

 

4. Paridevo:
Lamenation:

Yo kho aññataraññatarena vyasanena samannāgatassa,
For he who has some sort of misfortune or other,

aññataraññatarena dukkhadhammena phuṭṭhassa,
who is touched by some sort of pain or another,

ādevo, paridevo, ādevanā, paridevanā, ādevitattaṁ, paridevitattaṁ.
there are laments, great laments, lamenting, great lamenting, the state of lamenting, great lamentation.

 

4. Dukkhaṁ:
Pain:

Yaṁ kho kāyikaṁ dukkhaṁ, kāyikaṁ asātaṁ,
That which is bodily pain, bodily disagreeableness,

kāyasamphassajaṁ dukkhaṁ, asātaṁ vedayitaṁ.
pain born of contact with the body, disagreeable feeling.

 

4. Domanassaṁ:
Sorrow:

Yaṁ kho cetasikaṁ dukkhaṁ, cetasikaṁ asātaṁ,
That which is mental pain, mental disagreeableness,

vedayitaṁ manosamphassajaṁ dukkhaṁ, asātaṁ vedayitaṁ.
pain born of contact with the mind, disagreeable feeling.

 

4. Upāyāso:
Despair:

Yo kho aññataraññatarena vyasanena samannāgatassa,
For he who has some sort of misfortune or other,

aññataraññatarena dukkhadhammena phuṭṭhassa,
who is touched by some sort of pain or another,

āyāso, upāyāso, āyāsitattaṁ, upāyāsitattaṁ.
there is desponding, despairing, despondency, despair.

 

5. Yam-picchaṁ na labhati tam-pi dukkhaṁ:
The suffering from not obtaining what one longs for:

Jātidhammānaṁ sattānaṁ evaṁ icchā uppajjati.
To those beings subject to birth this longing arises.

“Aho vata mayaṁ na jātidhammā assāma,
“Oh, might we not be subject to birth,

na ca vata no jāti āgaccheyyā!” ti
and may birth surely not come to us!”

Na kho panetaṁ icchāya pattabbaṁ.
But that cannot be attained merely by longing for it.

Jarādhammānaṁ sattānaṁ evaṁ icchā uppajjati.
To those beings subject to old age this longing arises.

“Aho vata mayaṁ na jarādhammā assāma,
“Oh, might we not be subject to old age,

na ca vata no jarā āgaccheyyā!” ti
may old age surely not come to us!”

Na kho panetaṁ icchāya pattabbaṁ.
But that cannot be attained merely by longing for it.

idaṁ pi yam-picchaṁ na labhati tam-pi dukkhaṁ.
this is the suffering from not obtaining what one longs for.

Vyādhidhammānaṁ sattānaṁ evaṁ icchā uppajjati.
To those beings subject to sickness this longing arises.

“Aho vata mayaṁ na vyādhidhammā assāma,
“Oh, might we not be subject to sickness,

na ca vata no vyādhi āgaccheyyā!” ti
may old age surely not come to us!”

Na kho panetaṁ icchāya pattabbaṁ.
But that cannot be attained merely by longing for it.

idaṁ pi yam-picchaṁ na labhati tam-pi dukkhaṁ.
this is the suffering from not obtaining what one longs for.

Maraṇadhammānaṁ sattānaṁ evaṁ icchā uppajjati.
To those beings subject to death this longing arises.

“Aho vata mayaṁ na maraṇadhammā assāma,
“Oh, might we not be subject to death,

na ca vata no maraṇaṁ āgaccheyyā!” ti
may death surely not come to us!”

Na kho panetaṁ icchāya pattabbaṁ.
But that cannot be attained merely by longing for it.

idaṁ pi yam-picchaṁ na labhati tam-pi dukkhaṁ.
this is the suffering from not obtaining what one longs for.

Sokaparidevadukkhadomanassupāyāsadhammānaṁ
To those beings subject to grief, lamentation, pain, sorrow, and despair,

sattānaṁ evaṁ icchā uppajjati.
venerable friends, this longing arises.

“Aho vata mayaṁ na sokaparidevadukkha-
° “Oh, might we not be subject to grief, lamentation, pain,

domanassupāyāsadhammā assāma,
sorrow, and despair,

na ca vata no sokaparidevadukkha-
may grief, lamentation, pain,

domanassupāyāsa āgaccheyyun!”-ti.
sorrow, and despair surely not come to us!”

Na kho panetaṁ icchāya pattabbaṁ.
But that cannot be attained merely by longing for it.

idaṁ pi yam-picchaṁ na labhati tam-pi dukkhaṁ.
this is the suffering from not obtaining what one longs for.

 

6. Saṅkhittena pañcupādānakkhandhā dukkhā:
In brief, the constituent groups (of mind and body) that provide fuel for attachment that are suffering:

1. Rūpūpādānakkhandho
The form constituent group that is attached to

2. Vedanūpādānakkhandho
The feelings constituent group that is attached to

3. Saññūpādānakkhandho
The perceptions constituent group that is attached to

4. Saṅkhārūpādānakkhandho
The (mental) processes constituent group that is attached to

5. Viññāṇūpādānakkhandho.
The consciousness constituent group that is attached to.

 

2. Dukkhasamudayaṁ Ariyasaccaṁ
The Noble Truth of the Arising of Suffering

Taṇhā ponobhavikā, nandirāgasahagatā, tatratatrābhinandinī.
Craving which leads to continuation in existence, which is connected with enjoyment and passion, greatly enjoying this and that.

Kāmataṇhā
Craving for sense pleasures

Bhavataṇhā
Craving for continuation

Vibhavataṇhā.
Craving for discontinuation.

 

3. Dukkhanirodhaṁ Ariyasaccaṁ
The Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering

Taṇhāya asesavirāganirodho -
The complete fading away and cessation without remainder of craving -

cāgo, paṭinissaggo, mutti, anālayo.
liberation, letting go, release, and non-adherence.

 

4. Dukkhanirodhagāmanī Paṭipadā Ariyasaccaṁ
The Noble Truth of the Practice Leading to the Cessation of Suffering

Ariyo Aṭṭhaṅgiko Maggo:
The Noble Path with Eight Factors:

1. Sammādiṭṭhi
Right View

2. Sammāsaṅkappo
Right Thought

3. Sammāvācā
Right Speech

4. Sammākammanto
Right Action

5. Sammā-Ājīvo
Right Livelihood

6. Sammāvāyāmo
Right Endeavour

7. Sammāsati
Right Mindfulness

8. Sammāsamādhi.
Right Concentration.

1. Sammādiṭṭhi:
Right View:

1. Dukkhe Ñāṇaṁ
Knowledge about suffering

2. Dukkhasamudaye Ñāṇaṁ
Knowledge about the Arising of Suffering

3. Dukkhanirodhe Ñāṇaṁ
Knowledge about the Cessation of Suffering

4. Dukkhanirodhagāminiyā Paṭipadāya Ñāṇaṁ.
Knowledge about the Practice going to the Cessation of Suffering.

2. Sammāsaṅkappo:
Right Thought:

1. Nekkhammasaṅkappo
The Thought of Renunciation

2. Avyāpādasaṅkappo
The Thought of Good-Will

3. Avihiṁsāsaṅkappo.
The Thought of Non-Violence.

3. Sammāvācā:
Right Speech:

1. Musāvādā veramaṇī
Refraining from False Speech

2. Pisuṇāvācā veramaṇī
Refraining from Malicious Speech

3. Pharusāvācā veramaṇī
Refraining from Rough Speech

4. Samphappalāpā veramaṇī.
Refraining from Frivolous Talk.

4. Sammākammanto:
Right Action:

1. Pāṇātipātā veramaṇī
Refraining from Killing Living Creatures

2. Adinnādānā veramaṇī
Refraining from Taking what has not been given

3. Kāmesu micchācārā veramaṇī.
Refraining from Sexual Misconduct.

5. Sammā-Ājīvo:
Right Livelihood:

Micchā-ājīvaṁ pahāya, sammā-ājīvena jīvikaṁ kappento.
Having given up wrong ways of livelihood, earning a living by a right way of livelihood.

6. Sammāvāyāmo:
Right Endeavour:

1. Anuppannānaṁ pāpakānaṁ
Generating desire for the non-arising of bad

akusalānaṁ dhammānaṁ anuppādāya chandaṁ janento.
and unwholesome things that have not yet arisen.

2. Uppannānaṁ pāpakānaṁ akusalānaṁ dhammānaṁ
Generating desire to give up bad and unwholesome things

pahānāya chandaṁ janento.
that have already arisen.

3. Anuppannānaṁ kusalānaṁ dhammānaṁ uppādāya chandaṁ janento.
Generating desire for the arising of wholesome things that have not yet arisen.

4. Uppannānaṁ kusalānaṁ dhammānaṁ ṭhitiyā, asammosāya,
Generating desire for the endurance of wholesome things that have arisen, their non-forgetting,

bhiyyobhāvāya, vepullāya, bhāvanāya, pāripūriyā chandaṁ janento.
multiplicaton, extension, development, and fulfilment.

7. Sammāsati:
Right Mindfulness:

1. Kāye kāyānupassī viharanto,
Dwelling contemplating (the nature of) the body in the body,

ātāpī, sampajāno, satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṁ.
ardent, clearly knowing, and mindful, after removing avarice and sorrow regarding the world.

2. Vedanāsu vedanānupassī viharanto,
Dwelling contemplating (the nature of) feelings in feelings,

ātāpī, sampajāno, satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṁ.
ardent, clearly knowing, and mindful, after removing avarice and sorrow regarding the world.

3. Citte cittānupassī viharanto,
Dwelling contemplating (the nature of) the mind in the mind,

ātāpī, sampajāno, satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṁ.
ardent, clearly knowing, and mindful, after removing avarice and sorrow regarding the world.

4. Dhammesu dhammānupassī viharanto,
Dwelling contemplating (the nature of) things in (various) things

ātāpī, sampajāno, satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṁ.
ardent, clearly knowing, and mindful, after removing avarice and sorrow regarding the world.

8. Sammāsamādhi:
Right Concentration:

1. Vivicceva kāmehi, vivicca akusalehi dhammehi,
Quite secluded from sense desires, secluded from unwholesome things,

savitakkaṁ, savicāraṁ, vivekajaṁ pītisukhaṁ,
having thinking, reflection, and the happiness and rapture born of seclusion,

paṭhamaṁ jhānaṁ upasampajja viharanto.
dwelling having attained the first absorption.

2. Vitakkavicārānaṁ vūpasamā
With the ending of thinking, and reflection,

ajjhattaṁ sampasādanaṁ, cetaso ekodibhāvaṁ,
with internal clarity, and one-pointedness of mind,

avitakkaṁ, avicāraṁ, samādhijaṁ pītisukhaṁ,
being without thinking, without reflection, having the happiness and rapture born of concentration,

dutiyaṁ jhānaṁ upasampajja viharanto.
dwelling having attained the second absorption.

3. Pītiyā ca virāgā upekkhako ca viharanto,
With the fading away of rapture dwelling equanimous,

sato ca sampajāno, sukhaṁ ca kāyena paṭisaṁvedeti,
mindful, clearly knowing, experiencing happiness through the body,

yan-taṁ Ariyā ācikkhanti. “Upekkhako satimā sukhavihārī” ti,
about which the Noble Ones declare. “He lives pleasantly, mindful, and equanimous,”

tatiyaṁ jhānaṁ upasampajja viharanto.
dwelling (thus) having attained the third absorption.

4. Sukhassa ca pahānā, dukkhassa ca pahānā,
Having given up pleasure, given up pain,

pubbeva somanassadomanassānaṁ atthaṅgamā,
and with the previous disappearence of mental well-being and sorrow,

adukkhaṁ, asukhaṁ, upekkhā-satipārisuddhiṁ,
without pain, without pleasure, and with complete purity of mindfulness owing to equanimity,

catutthaṁ jhānaṁ upasampajja viharanto.
dwelling having attained the fourth absorption.