Buddha's very first teaching

Buddha's first teaching was called the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, which means turning of the Wheel of Truth. This was given on the full-moon day of July, called Asalha.

This dialogue was given to the five ascetics who were his former companions, at the Deer Park in Isipatana which is now known as called Sarnath, near Benares, India. Many Devas and Brahmas i.e. the angels and gods were present to listen to these dialogues.

Buddha started the discussion by advising the five ascetics to give up two extremes. These were luxury in sensual pleasures and the disturbing of the body (self-indulgence and self-degradation).

Buddha also taught the five ascetics the Four Noble Truths and they are: the truth of suffering; its cause; its end; and the way to its end. Everything in this world is full of suffering, and the cause of suffering is desire, but the end of suffering is nirvana. The way to the end of suffering is through the Noble Eightfold Path.

Buddha also said that he was enlightened i.e. got nirvana only after he understood the Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path

The Four Noble Truths are:

  • There is suffering
  • Suffering has origin
  • Suffering can cease
  • There is a path out of suffering

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