Q. What teachings of Buddha are most relevant today and why? Discuss. (150 words) (10 marks)
In modern times, most people are seeking wealth, power and pleasure in life. However, people are still not happy since they are unable to satisfy their desires which seem to be never ending and keep increasing. Buddha taught us the four noble truths:
1. The truth of suffering (Dukkha)
2. The truth of the origin/cause of suffering (Samudaya)
3. The truth of the cessation of suffering (Nirodha)
4. The truth of the path to the cessation of suffering (Magga)
He taught us that our desire for pleasure is the greatest source of our suffering. He thus advised us to accept the truth of suffering and strive to reduce our suffering by identifying its cause. He identified desire, ignorance and hatred as the main causes of suffering. Hence, if we reduce our desire, acquire the right knowledge and shun hatred, we can avoid suffering and lead a happy life. The eight-fold path prescribed by Buddha paves the way to achieve happiness in our life.
Source : ‘Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude for Civil Services Examination’by Dr Awdhesh Singh, available at