The Maitreya Buddha’s

 4 Noble Truths of dukkha



The accepted version in detail





1. ‘This, O bhikkhus, is the Noble1 Truth of Suffering:

Birth is suffering;

Decay is suffering;

Illness is suffering;

Death is suffering.

Presence of objects we hate is suffering;

Separation from objects we love is suffering;

Not to obtain what we desire is suffering.

The fivefold clinging to existence is suffering.’



2. ‘This, O bhikkhus, is the Noble Truth of the Cause of Suffering:

Craving, that leads to re-birth, Accompanied by pleasure and lust, Finding its delight here and there.


This craving is threefold, namely,

craving for pleasure,

craving for existence,

craving for prosperity.’








3 ‘This, O bhikkhus, is the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering:

the complete cessation of this craving –

a cessation which consists in the absence of every passion –

with the abandoning of this craving,

with the doing-away with it,

with the deliverance from it,

with the destruction of craving.’



4 ‘This, O bhikkhus, is the Noble Truth of the Path which leads to the Cessation of Suffering:

that holy eightfold path,

right belief,

right aspiration,

right speech,

right conduct,

right means of livelihood,

right endeavour,

right memory,

right meditation.




No one knows what the Pali term: sama (or samma) originally meant.  Christian translators of the 19th century, such as Rhys-Davids, chose the English term ‘right’, thereby giving it a moral tone. Currently the most efficient translation of sama (or samma) is @best.


The above list is high quality social engineering. The ending of dukkha differs completely from that described by the Sakya Buddha to his ascetic initial converts.



Note 1: The epithet ‘Noble’ as been inserted as translation for the Pali word arya, and whose precise meaning is unknown.


Note 2: There is no statement as to the fact of suffering.


Note 3: 7 specific causes of dukkha are listed. These can be easily verified through daily experience in Indian villages. It’s a very primitive but effective pitch. Five more causes (i.e. the asavas) are added from the lately invented 3 characterisitics sutta  preached to bhikkus (i.e. the homeless wanderers) only.


Here craving for rebirth is decided as THE cause of dukkha. Moreover, craving for pleasure is singled out.  The second threefold part reprises the first, hence is redundant. Here the social engineering aspect of the 3 Noble Truths schedule becomes apparent. This dour opinion mirrors the one presented by St Paul to his Christian converts. Elsewhere the Sakyan Buddha elaborates on the torments of indulging in sensory pleasure.

This view of the origin of dukkha does not match the more abstract and universal causes given in the 3 characteristics sutta where anicca and anatta are provided as causes. Nor does it reflect the content of the 8 characteristics sutta. Nor does it reflect the Dependent Origination schedule of causes, starting with ignorance.


See: The expanded list of the causes of dukkha



In the ‘ending of suffering’ Noble Truth the fact of cessation (noble Truth 3) and the cause of cessation (Noble Truth 4) are conflated, a serious logical error.


A new cause of dukkha is added to that of craving, namely passion. Its cessation eliminates dukkha.





Note the monumental cock-up: The 4th Noble Truth of the Sakya Buddha should read, ‘Ending craving (or ending the asavas) ends suffering’, and which is already given in Noble Truth No 3.


The 4th Noble Truth as presented in the standard list emerged in a later era, possibly in an urban environment when an awakened bhikkhu saw the need for a serious theoretical upgrade and radical change of the Buddha dharma of ‘Suffering and release therefrom’. The primitive and detailed village pitch no longer worked because it lacked universal application. So he introduced the Maitreya Buddha notion of the ending of dukkha, namely @best performance. He thereby indirectly conceded that dukkha happened as a performance regulating operation, namely that it arose if and when an individual under-performed any one of n operations. That was modern indeed.


Consequently, the Maitreya Buddha’s 4 Noble Truths read:


1.     There is dukkha (unpleasantness = sorrow = suffering)

2.     Its cause is less-than-@-best performance

3.     There is an end to dukkha

4.     @ best performance ends dukkha







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