The Four Noble Truths
During these wanderings, Gautama developed a series of what he called the Four Noble Truths. After developing these truths, he began teaching them to his family, friends, and eventually to many others. His followers began to call him the Buddha, or “Enlightened One.”
The first of the noble truths, said the Buddha, was that all people, no matter how rich or poor, suffer pains and afflictions. Second, the Buddha taught that people suffer these afflictions because they keep traveling through the endless cycle of rebirths, or reincarnation. He taught that these rebirths were caused by mankind’s desires for different things.
Thirdly, he taught that people could end their cycle of rebirths, and thus their suffering by ending their desires for things. Finally, the Buddha taught that a person could eliminate their desires by following what he called the Eightfold Path.