He introduced the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. The Four Noble Truths were a way of understanding our existence. Some would call it our reason for being.
The First Noble Truth is chukka.
Stated simply it explains that all human life is suffering.
The Second Noble Truth explores the cause of suffering.
It points out that suffering is related to human desires. Desiring things or want that can never be fully satisfied only brings suffering. You’ve probably heard the phrase “we always want what we know we can not have”. It’s the same school of thought. Ignorance or lack of understanding the world as it truly exists can only cause suffering.
The Third Noble Truth suggests that either the end of suffering in this life or in the spiritual life is Nirvana.
The Fourth Noble Truth is essentially the Eightfold Path.
The steps to reach Nirvana.
The Buddha’s first teaching ended with an explanation of the Eightfold Path. The steps of the Eightfold Path are
– Right understanding
– Right thought
– Right speech
– Right action
– Right livelihood
– Right effort
– Right mindfulness
– Right concentration
These can be divided into three themes. These themes are good moral conduct ( understanding, thought, and speech), mental development and meditation (livelihood and effort) and finally wisdom (mindfulness and concentration).
There were a small group of monks, most accounts say it started with five, that accepted the truths quickly and became followers. They traveled and taught with Buddha for the remainder of his life. And so you see, the beginning of Buddhism was one First Teaching. Wouldn’t it be considered one of the world’s most powerful sermons?