Index of Noble Truth: Dukkha | Samudaya | Nirodha | Magga

Nirodha is the Pali word for the third of The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism.

According to this Truth, there exists freedom, emancipation from dukkha and samsara. The cessation of dukkha can only be brought about by attacking the root of dukkha, that is to say tanha, or thirst. This is known as Tanhakkhaya, although there is another term, called Nibbana in Pali, but probably best known by the translation from the sanskrit: Nirvana.

Due to Nirvana's strong association with cessation, there is a popular belief that it somehow represents self-annihilation. According the the Buddhists, this is not true. Nirvana cannot represent the annihilation of the self, for there is no self to annihilate, as is expressed in the doctrine of Anatman, or no-soul.

Nirvana is hard to encapsulate with words, since words, after all, are thought-objects, and thus part of dukkha's Five Aggregates. It is not a place, a feeling, or a result. Despite this, terms such as "Absolute Truth," "Absolute Freedom" and "Absolute Reality" have been used to pacify the unenlightened.

It has been argued, if there is no "self," then what is it that receives Nirvana? To find an answer, ask another question: "Who is it that asks if there is no self?" The Buddhists say the answer is panna, or wisdom. The Buddha says, "O bhikkhu, a person so endowed is endowed with the absolute wisdom, for the knowledge of the extinction of all dukkha is the absolute noble wisdom."

The Third Noble Truth is particularly special because it is the first of The Four Noble Truths that cannot be discerned by logic alone. The notion that dukkha exists seems obvious, and the notion that dukkha begins (called "samudaya") at a point such as birth or the beginning of time, would also be quite probable. However, according to the Buddhists, Siddhartha Gautama was the first person to ever know the Noble Truth of Nirodha, that dukkha comes to an end, because he was the first to experience it.

Index of Noble Truth: Dukkha | Samudaya | Nirodha | Magga


Rahula, Walpola. What the Buddha Taught. New York: Grove Press. 1959.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.