Buddha replies by explaining to them the principles of his new gospel, in the form of noble truths, and the Noble Eightfold Path (see Buddhism).
He further tells us that in the ninth year of his reign he formally joined the Buddhist community as a layman, in the eleventh year he became a member of the order, and in the thirteenth he "set out for the Great Wisdom" (the Sambodhi), which is the Buddhist technical term for entering upon the well-known, eightfold path to Nirvana.
He thus made it possible for the half-converted and rude tribes to remain Buddhists while they brought offerings, and even bloody offerings, to these more congenial shrines, and while their practical belief had no relation at all to the Truths or the Noble Eightfold Path, but busied itself almost wholly with obtaining magic powers (Siddhi), by means of magic phrases (Dhdrani), and magic circles (Mandala).
In this book he skilfully and poetically explains the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path and other basic Buddhist teachings.
He who will cast aside the "Bonds," the "Intoxications," the "Hindrances," and tread the Noble Eightfold Path (see Buddhism) which leads to Nirvana, will attain the ideal, the "Fruit of Arahatship," which is described in terms of glowing praise in the Pali hymns.