Apparent contradiction of SN 5.10 and SN 22.60 on suffering


It could be that SN 5.10 is an abbreviated conclusion of Snp 3.12, which also features dukkhaṃ sambhoti describing the arising of dukkha based on the arising of several Dep.Orig. items and some more. If this is correct SN 5.10 is a simplification of the argument that Dep.Orig. is a process of suffering - which after all is focused on describing how suffering comes to be - not joy.

Btw SN 22.26, SN 22.57, and SN 22.82 very easily combine the two arguments without much theatrics:

The pleasure and happiness that arise from form: this is its gratification.
That form is impermanent, suffering, and perishable: this is its drawback.

And MN 59 offers a more hierarchical structure:

The pleasure and happiness that arise from these five kinds of sensual stimulation is called sensual pleasure. There are those who would say that this is the highest pleasure and happiness that sentient beings experience. But I don’t grant them that. Because there is another pleasure that is finer than that. [= jhanas & arupas]

So we have a number of suttas saying that sukha arising from the khandhas exists (which is trivial), it’s just not what Buddhist philosophy and practice focus on - either one aims at the refined states of samadhi or is supposed to dump the whole thing in the trash (as SN 5.10 suggests).


Cessation of dukkha is possible with cessation -of all phenomena.


Therein, by relying on the six kinds of renunciate equanimity, give up the six kinds of lay equanimity. --MN137

Without wishes, there are no delusions.

Without wishes, dukkha ceases.


Avijja is present all the time - without our awareness. It’s our ‘natural’ state. It’s been called an ogha, or flood. That’s because we are submerged in it, and like a fish :fishing_pole_and_fish: in the water we do not know any different. Be the fish that jumps out, and realises for the first time there’s something beyond water, called air!


Hi. My recollection of SN 5.10 is it is about the arising of Mara’s wrong view that the five aggregates are “a being” (“satta”) in a manner that is similar to the wrong view that the five aggregates are a “self” (“atta”). Therefore, my impression of SN 5.10 is it is saying when the views of “satta” or “atta” arise, these are merely the arising of suffering (mental stress). In other words, my impression is it is not related to “anicca” (as found in SN 22.59) but, instead, related to the suffering/stress that arises as a result of grasping (upadana). The same phrase is found in SN 12.15, which is explicitly about grasping & self-views.

I think the above is a different teaching to SN 5.10 and also uses the word “dukkha” differently to SN 22.59. SN 22.59 seems to say because form is impermanent, it can never bring permanent happiness. Where as SN 22.60 seems to say the same thing but differently. SN 22.60 seems to say any happiness derived from form will be temporary and impermanent. So SN 22.60 seems similar to SN 22.59 but both seem different to SN 5.10.

Just guessing, here. Regards :slightly_smiling_face:


The way I understand it, there is no contradiction, they talk about different things.

It is our perception of the external conditions, and our desire to maximize pleasant perceptions while minimizing unpleasant ones, that leads to dukkha. SN 22.60 shows us why we fall into this trap: because the pain and pleasure alternate, we end up deluding ourselves that the way out of suffering is by controlling these perceptions. If they were always painful, we wouldn’t have the misguided hope that we can make them be always pleasant.

The illusion of self is the belief that we can create this perfect environment, and the craving that results from it. When we are past it, we see it as merely suffering arising, ceasing, and changing while persisting, instead of blaming external circumstances. “There is no being, there is only suffering”. That’s what SN 5.10 talks about.