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Q 31- Examine the contemporary relevance of Buddha's fourfold thoughts. (150 words)

  • Paper & Topic: GS I à Indian Culture


  • Model Answer:
  • Introduction:
  • Buddhism began approximately 2,500 years ago in India as a way of life with the capacity to transform an individual and thereby society.


  • Body:


  • The fundamental concepts of Buddhism are the four noble truths (ariya-sachchani) and the eightfold path (astangika marg).


  • There are four noble truths:
  • The essence of the world is suffering (Dukkha).
  • Every ailment has a root cause, according to Samudya.
  • Suffering might be a thing of the past - Nirodha.
  • It's possible if you follow the Atthanga Magga (Eight Fold Path).
  • Moral and cultural decay, religious strife, corruption, a lack of economic opportunity and employment, environmental deterioration, and other issues plague the humanities around the world. Values like compassion, unity, and peace become increasingly relevant during difficult times.
  • Physical and mental dissatisfaction: Despite the abundance of conveniences for easy living and enjoyment in today's scientifically and technologically evolved world, individuals are not happy physically or mentally, and they lack a sense of security.
  • Estrangement: Consumption is destroying communities and leading to hyper-individualism and alienation from families and communities. This has resulted in a lack of empathy for other people's pain, thus encouraging selfishness and greed in society.


  • The Importance of the Buddha's Teachings:


  • The Buddha's teachings emphasise the need of learning based on one's observations and perceptions, as well as the belief that knowledge is impossible without experience.
  • According to Buddha, the primary causes of suffering are desire, greed, ignorance and delusion, hatred, and destructive needs.
  • For nirvana, Buddha advised an eightfold road, the middle way. Wisdom (correct knowledge and intention), Ethical Conduct (proper speech, behaviour, and livelihood), and Meditation are central to it (right effort, mindfulness and concentration).
  • Mental serenity and moral and cultural values can be achieved with the right effort, attention, and mindfulness.
  • Right understanding and intention can pave the way for knowledge and assist people in breaking free from ignorance.
  • Right action and livelihood may free society from corruption, assure food and water security, and increase economic opportunity and employment, paving the road for everyone's prosperity.
  • Right speech has the power to free us from the hatred that is spreading over the world based on race, nationality, religion, and other factors.
  • In his teachings, Buddha highlighted that the way to end suffering caused by want is to free oneself from attachments such as desire, greed, delusion, ignorance, wrath, and destructive tendencies.
  • The effect of Buddha's teachings can be attributed to the ideals of peace, compassion, tranquillity, accommodation, and inclusion that are now part of modern societies.
  • As Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama put it, "the twentieth century was a century of conflict and violence; now we all need to cooperate to see that the twenty-first century is a century of peace and discourse."


  • Conclusion:
  • The Buddha's Eightfold Path precept of good livelihood demonstrates that true fulfilment and happiness are found in necessities, not wants.
  • We can make the planet a more sustainable place if we follow it.


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