I wish to focus on the idea of “great suffering” as distinct from “suffering” – that is suffering without qualification or quantification.
QUESTIONS: 1) Do the EBT’s distinquish or qualify types or degrees of suffering? 2) Are there any passages in Pali or other EBT languages that suggest “great suffering”?
3) Do you know of later commentaries or traditions that suggest such a distinction?
My thinking is the phrase “great suffering” especially in the context above is likely a modern, western interpretation.
Therefore, one should cut off /
the great suffering of greed, hatred, and ignorance.”
Sumukha, the captain of the geese, thought, “Can it be that this means something terrible has happened to the Great King? I will find out what it is,” and flying at full speed, and not seeing the Great Being amongst those in the van of the retreating army of geese, he sought him in the main body of the birds and there too failing to find him he said, “Without all doubt something terrible has occurred,” and he turned back and found the Great Being caught in a snare, stained with blood and suffering great pain, lying on the muddy ground …
When the Bodhisatta had ended his words of friendly greeting, the king again conversing with him said:
The specific question about the word pairing you create/ recognize? “great suffering”?
I think the authors used “great” “suffering”, due to a stylistic choice hoping to avoid quibbling, suggest urgency, and offer modern readers something to pierce the apathy and numbness many feel about any activism.
But also, the suffering will be great in terms of affecting many life forms, everywhere human life is known to be possible.
Your surmises about why the authors might have written the sentence that way approximate some of mine and others. But please observe to the spirit of the Q&A section – specific answers to questions about the EBTs. or in this case latter sutta’s or commentaries that you might know of.
I’m not sure what to make from the silence from the community.
One thought is that in concert with the context of how the great suffering argument was used answer to the question seems so obvious.
I wonder what EBT students would say to the idea of “minor suffering”.
Or perhaps in the form I’ve heard it suggested – that indulging in some greed, fear or illusion or some other taint is no minor that it “doesn’t count”.
The question does seem sophomoric (immature) but it still seem reasonable to wonder if there is any passage that addressed the question.
I searched the entire text of the previous post (the entire thread actually) for the phrase “great suffering” and the words “great”, and “suffering”. The specific question in this OP – concerning “great suffering” – was not addressed in that thread that I can find. It seems to me that your explanation bears little relationship to what has been written here.