1st noble truth: translation question about "is"

Again, I personally disagree. If you continue trying to have me agree with your view, the discussion will be endless. We should agree to disagree.

My personal reading of the scriptures finds ‘self-view’ to be an inherent cause of ‘suffering’. In fact, in certain places, it is said that the arising of ‘self-view’ is just the arising of suffering. Therefore, I have concluded from my reading of the scriptures than when self-view ends suffering also ends.

Yes. I discovered tonight this is correct using a Pali guide. ‘Dukkha’ is obviously an adjective here rather than ‘birth’ (which is a noun). My question essentially sought to treat ‘birth’ as an adjective and ‘dukkha’ as a noun, which is (disappointingly) wrong.

OK. I am starting to understand. I will examine this tomorrow. :deciduous_tree:

Hi Deeele,

It’s easy to start debating the meaning of words based on grammar, but while there is a lot of value in that, words derive their meaning from context.

In this case it is quite clear that no causual relationship is implied in the three types of dukkha. I agree with Bhante Sujato and like his alternative. You can clearly see that no causal relationship (“due to”) or an “about” is implied from the larger context: The question in SN38.14 is not what causes suffering, or what one suffers about, but what suffering is. And the reply naturally starts off with imā kho āvuso tisso dukkhatā “these are the three types of suffering”. Similar sentences are used more often to list types of things–think the six senses, and such.

Then if you go to an even larger context, the cause of suffering is said to be craving in the second noble truth. That second noble truth doesn’t say dukkha is caused by dukkha (as Bhikkhu Bodhi’s translation makes it seem)! Luckily it doesn’t, otherwise there would be no way out. :slight_smile:

The grammar in your second case (“jatipi dukkha”) is much clearer and you don’t even need to look at the larger context. People have already explained this very well. But a similar thing applies here: the context is the first noble truth, what suffering actually is. What causes suffering is the second noble truth.

And then further, dukkha does not mean unsatisfactory. Suttas such as DN2 make it very clear that the most basic literal meaning is pain. Pain and unsatisfactoriness are two very different things. Would anyone say that having a broken back is unsatisfying? :wink: Now you could use my arguments against me and say I have to look at the words in context, but I have yet to see a place in the Pali canon where the translation “unstatisfying” is required or even implied.

Yes, people would like to do such translations. It’s because of wishful thinking. They don’t want to accept that life is intrinsically suffering, want to think an arahant doesn’t suffer at all, or that suffering is just what we add to life. However, that is not what the Buddha said. He did say, though, that it is very difficult to understand what suffering really is.




This would be quite easy to do however I did not start this thread to refute each of your arguments.

This was a Q&A topic rather than a discussion or debate topic. [quote=“Sunyo, post:23, topic:3078”]

Metta or preaching?

Good night :timer_clock:

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Hi :slight_smile:

Sorry if the way I type comes across at preaching. I type like that when I care about a subject :), but please see it as just my A to the Q and nothing more.


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“Caring” is often close to upadana. It gets worse when what is cared for does not lead to liberation.

Certainly, which means we have disagreement here about ‘context’.

I did not imply cause (hetu) since sense objects are not causes of suffering.

I posted at the start of this thread that suttas such as SN 36.6 & SN 22.1 do not seem to offer support here for your opinion, here.

This is a subjective reading or idiosyncratic interpretation of BBs translation that makes it unnecessarily seem this way. Personally, BBs translation never seemed this way to me.

Yes. Craving craves to not have pain (SN 36.6) or craving craves for change to not happen (SN 22.1).

If it is believed pain & change are suffering, how can there be a way out? How can pain & change ever be avoided? The Buddha could not avoid pain & change therefore you seem to be implying the Buddha did not find a “way out” (until Parinibbana). Therefore, for 80 years, the Buddha remained in a prison of dukkha.

Not at all, The following is an example that shows not all child birth (vijāyati) is suffering therefore it obviously has not been explained well by people.

David N. Snyder was born in an apartment in Kaiserslautern, Germany while his mother slept and his father was away on military maneuvers. His mother literally slept through the labor process as there was no pain to her :astonished:. The Buddha was born in a similar way and the Suttas report that all samma-sam-buddhas (enlightened Buddhas who teach the masses, the next one being Metteyya who currently resides in the Tusita heaven waiting for when the Dhamma dies out in some distant future time) are born with no pain :astonished: to the mother.

I also have a friend who gave birth to her 3rd child standing up, at home, alone, without pain or any noticeable labour. Her 3rd child just popped out and she delivered her baby herself, alone. However, I must say her son is not yet a Buddha.


It essentially appears to in SN 22.59.

DN 2 is a long sutta. It would be best to quote whatever passage is considered relevant.

Regardless, if dukkha vedana is suffering therefore there is no escape from sufffering & therefore suttas such as Iti 44 & MN 37 & DN 16 that state arahants & Buddhas experience pain are saying arahants & Buddhas have not overcome dukkha?

‘Unsatisfactoriness’ means the inherent incapacity of a conditioned impermanent thing to bring real happiness, as explained in SN 22.59.

Thank you for the invitation. I have.

‘Unsatisfactoriness’ may not be an authentic translation but, to many, it captures the meaning or context of SN 22.59, which ‘suffering & stress’ do not. It prevents confusion.

MN 29 seems to explain the Holy Life is Nibbana.

An arahant does not suffer at all. :buddha:

Suffering is just what the (ignorant) mind adds to life.

No. What you wrote is what you said rather than what the Buddha said. It is your opinion or interpretation, that is all.

Maybe. But this does not change the fact that your posts are what you said.

Thank you however I could not read a ‘way out’ according to what was posted because change is a constant unending occurrence and physical pain happens often.

Also, since you seem to believe giving up craving & attachment do not provide a way out (since they do not end pain & change), how will Parinibbana be attained?

With metta DD :deciduous_tree:


[quote=“Sunyo, post:27, topic:3078”] the Buddha remained in a prison of dukkha.


Not exactly. Instead, merely & only a subjective opinion. Kind regards. :seedling:

Reading my novice Pali book, it states:

Nominal compounds take their name according to the procedure or the form they take and their function when combined. A combination where one member, usually the second modifies the first and functions as descriptive compound is called khammadharaya samāsa.

Examples: khammadharaya samāsa:

tejodhatu; cakkaratanaṃ; pañcakkhaṅḍa; viriyindriyaṃ; dīgharattaṃ; pubbajāti

My guess is these are khammadharaya compounds. :seedling: