The Buddha says that he teaches only Dukkha and the cessation of Dukkha,
that is, suffering and the end of suffering. The First Noble Truth deals
with the problem of suffering. However, the truth of suffering is not
the final word of the Buddha's teaching. It is only the starting point.
The Buddha starts with suffering, because his teaching is designed for a
particular end: it is designed to lead to liberation. In order to do
this he must give us a reason for seeking liberation. If a man does not
know that his house is on fire, he lives there enjoying himself, playing
and laughing. To get him to come out we first have to make him
understand that his house is on fire. In the same way the Buddha
announces that our lives are burning with old age, sickness and death.
Our minds are flaming with greed, hatred and delusion. It is only when
we become aware of the peril that we are ready to seek a way to release.
In the Second Noble Truth, he points out that the principal cause of
suffering is craving, the desire for a world of sights, sounds , smells,
tastes, touch sensations and ideas. Since the cause of Dukkha is
craving, the key to reaching the end of Dukkha is to eliminate craving.
Therefore the Buddha explains the Third Noble Truth as the extinction of