Nyanaponika Thera

Three Cardinal Discourses of the Buddha

Three Cardinal Discourses of the Buddha

This booklet contains the first three discourses that the Buddha gave after his Awakening. In these three discourses the Buddha displays the fundamental, cardinal teachings on the Four Noble Truths from which all of his teachings branch and to which they all point back.

In his first discourse, the Discourse on Setting Rolling the Wheel of Truth (Dhamma-cakka-pavattana-sutta), he displays this fourfold Truth as something to be realized and verified for oneself here and now; in the second, the Discourse on the Characteristic of Not-self (Anatta-lakkhaṇa-sutta), he discloses the contradictions which infect all “self” conceits; and in the third, the Fire Discourse (Āditta-pariyāya-sutta), he shows that worldly, ignorant sense-experience is burning with the fires of greed, hatred and delusion.

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About Nyanaponika Thera

Nyanaponika Thera (Siegmund Feniger) was born on 21 July 1901 in Hanau, Germany. He came into contact with Buddhism early in his youth and left for Sri Lanka in 1936, where he was ordained as a novice and a year later as a monk by the famous German monk Nyanatiloka.

Interned in camps like Dehra Dun's in India, he worked intensively during the war years on translations of Pali texts. Not only as author of the now classic The Heart of Buddhist Meditation and of many other books and translations, but also as co-founder in 1958, editor and president of the Buddhist Publication Society he made a great contribution to the international dissemination of the Theravāda teachings. He died on October 19, 1994 in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

You yourselves must strive, the Buddhas only point the way

Buddha, Dhp 276