I am quite new to Buddhism. One of the reasons for starting practice was that I don't believe in God. But I belive in the four Noble Truths. I believe it because the more I think about it, the more I see it is true. And practicing accordingly strenghtens my faith.

My question is, is the four Noble Truths the "correct object of faith" in Buddhism?


4 Answers 4


Yes: the "four noble truths" is arguably the first doctrine.

And sayings like like Simsapa Sutta suggest that it's maybe the most essential. And some other suttas end with a phrase like,

Both formerly & now, it is only stress that I describe, and the cessation of stress.

However see also:

More generally, I suppose that an object of faith is "the Dhamma" in general.

More broadly, not only the Dhamma but the Three Jewels i.e. Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha.

Some canonical justification for the "three jewels" as the "correct object of faith" can be found in for example SN 55 which talks about "stream entry", summarized in Wikipedia as:

The sotāpanna ... has unshakable confidence in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. The Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, sometimes taken to be the triple refuge, and other times listed as being objects of recollection. In general though, confirmed confidence in the Buddha', Dharma and Sangha, respectively, is considered to be one of the four limbs of stream-winning (sotāpannassa angāni).

That's assuming that "confidence" and "faith" are sufficiently similar; I think that "confidence" implies verified not blind faith -- maybe slightly different Pali words i.e. pasāda as opposed to saddhā.

See also Refuge (Buddhism)


Faith in Buddhism has many function. Also faith in upon which wisdon is built.

  1. Firstly you listen to the Dhamma and see that this sounds right
  2. Secondly you see this is logical when you think and analyse it
  3. Lastly you should practice and see for your self then you know that in fact it is right by direct experience hence faith becomes unshakable

You might have past 1 and 2. Now is the time to put some serious effort into meditation to realise 3.

And practising accordingly strengthens my faith.

At a more mundane level you can increase your faith by recollection of the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha.

Noble Truths the "correct object of faith" in Buddhism?

This is what you should realise at the experiential level to cement your faith.

You should have:

  • you have to have faith the teacher knows what he is teaching
  • some faith to lean the teaching and training properly and put it to practice according to instruction
  • you have to have faith in your ability practice accordingly and gain results
  • you have to have faith that the time is always right to practice (it worked in the past, it works not and it will work in the future) if practice properly

Faith and Shraddha are two concepts people often get confused.

Faith is more of a blind belief that encourage following without question.

Shraddha is the concept given in Buddhism.

  • Shraddha

    is having unshakable trust in Lord Buddha, In Lord Buddha's teachings and the monks. But this trust should come from realization not from blindly following.

This realization should come with learning and practicing Lord Buddha's words.More you realize more you believe.

Lord Buddha encouraged a Shraddha that is formed through realization rather than just believing.

Shraddha without reason (Blind following) is called "Amulika Shraddha" (Rootless Shraddha)

What is the object of faith/shraddha?

The object of Shraddha are - Triple gems

Buddha (Lord Buddha)

Dharma (Lord Buddha's teachings)

Sanga (Monks)

Once you reach the first step in the path "Sovan / Sothapanna" your Faith / Shraddha can't be shaken by anything.

So what about Four Noble Truths?

There are some things in Buddhism to believe,some to remember,some to practice and some to realize.

The Four Noble Truths come in the category - "To be realized"

So Four Noble Truths must be realized through practice of meditation and Dharma.It is not an object of worship or faith.It is simply the realization of holy Buddhas.

So you too must learn and practice in order to reach understanding and realization.


It seems to me the central object of faith in Buddhism is The Goal: Enlightenment or Nirvana.

In my own experience, would I be interested in Buddhism if I did not have faith in Enlightenment? Probably not...

If there was no Goal, nothing in Buddhism would make sense, right? There would be no escape from suffering... So the Path would lead nowhere. There would be no knowing The Nature of The Mind... There would be no Directly Seeing it For Yourself... There would be no Ultimate Result of Wholesome Action...

If we did not have Goal, all we would have is good behavior for the sake of better living - before you die. How fun would that be?

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