Buddhist Beliefs

Instead of deity worship, Buddhism focuses on a series of teachings (dharma) designed to achieve enlightenment and the cessation of suffering. Buddhism’s central teachings—the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path—put one on the right path for achieving nirvana. The first noble truth teaches that all existence is suffering. The second noble truth states that the root of suffering is attachment to desire. The third noble truth teaches that one can end suffering by eliminating attachment to desire. The fourth noble truth states that following the Noble Eightfold Path—right view, intention, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and concentration—leads to nirvana. Buddhists believe that all actions have consequences (karma), so human lives are conditioned by past actions. Buddhist doctrine also asserts that consciousness continues after death and finds expression in future lives. Human being are capable of escaping the wheel of birth, death, and rebirth (samsara) by following the path to nirvana.