Forty-nine days after Buddha attained enlightenment he was requested to teach. As a result of this request, Buddha rose from meditation and taught the first Wheel of Dharma. These teachings which include the Sutra of the Four Noble Truths and other discourses are the principal source of the Hinayana and Mahayana.
In the Hinayana teachings Buddha explains how to attain liberation from suffering for oneself alone, and in the Mahayana teaching he explains how to attain full enlightenment, or Buddhahood, for the sake of others. Both traditions flourished in Asia, at first in India and then gradually in other surrounding countries, including Tibet. Now they are also beginning to flourish in the West.
Four noble truths and eight fold path or Ashtanga marg are the very base of Buddhist teachings.
Four noble truths, the core teachings of Buddhism are as following:
1. The world is full of sorrow and misery.
2. All suffering has a cause (samudaya) which is desire (trishna).
3. Pain and misery can be ended by getting rid of desire (nirodha).
4. Desire can be controlled by following the Eight-Fold Path (Ashtanga Marga).
Ashtanga Marg is given below:
1) Right views
2) Right beliefs
3) Right speech
4) Right conduct
5) Right living
6) Right effort
7) Right recollection
8) Right meditation
Ashtanga marg comprises three basic divisions namely concentration (Samadhi Skanda), wisdom (Pragya Skanda) and ethical conduct (Sheel Skanda). Right recollection and Right meditation come under Samadhi Skanda while Right speech, Right living and Right effort are categorised under Sheel Skanda. Pragya Skanda includes Right views, Right conduct and Right beliefs.
How Concept of Nirvana is Defined in Buddhism?
Buddhism defines Nirvana as getting rid of Cycle of Death and Birth. According to Buddhism, it is achieved in the lifetime itself and not after death. However, it denied the concept of Moksha and stressed upon the need of following moral code of conduct to achieve moral code of conduct.