The following is a continuation of this topic…
For some weeks now I was toying with an alternative understanding of dukkha based on its root kha. Some have already mentioned that kha was the wheel’s axle-hole, suggesting dukkha could have meant a ‘bumpy ride’ whereas sukha would be a ‘smooth ride’. Others pointed out correctly that the wheel-metaphor is not to be found in connection with dukkha.
Turns out that kha is a much more general term for space, canal, hole, i.e. a spatial source trough which things come to be experienced. Based on this I understand dukkha to be a source of suffering-pain-unsatisfactoriness, or just ‘bad’.
What difference does it make? ‘Birth’ then would not be suffering per se, but a source of suffering. So ‘via birth’ suffering comes to be. Same with old age - not every old age is cosmic suffering - but it can be, when everything hurts, teeth are falling out etc.
The following is from: Bäumer, B., & Vatsyayan, K. (Eds.). (1988). Kalatattvakosa: A Lexicon of Fundamental Concepts of the Indian Arts (Vol. 3). Motilal Banarsidass. p.106f.
The word kha means:
a. the axle-hole, i.e. the round, free space in the centre of a wheel through which the axis runs (RV etc.).
b. Any hole, a cavity, an opening through which something may pass and, by extension, a fountain-head, canal or river-bed (RV etc.; cf. different objects compared to various holes in BrUp V.10.1).
c. The apertures of the body, seven upper (the ears, the nostrils, the eyes and the mouth, AV) and two lower (hence, the body is called navakham puram in BhagPur IV. 29. 7, cf. navadvara pura in SvUp 111.18), which are the outer openings pierced by the Self-born (KathUp II. 1.1)…
(d) The sense organs; since our senses operate through these external bodily apertures.
(e) Space as one of the five elements that compose the world (PraUp VI.4, MundUp II.1.3, SvUp 11.12).
(f) A symbol of brahman (kham brahma, ChUp IV. 10.4, BrUp V.1.1, kham lingam atmanah, BhagPur IIL5.32).
(g) The cavity of the heart, the mystic space where one may realize brahman, etad vava tat svarupam nabhasah khe ’ntarbhutasya yat param tejah, “This is indeed the nature of the space within the cavity (of the heart) that supreme splendour” (MaitUp VII.ll).
(h) The atmosphere, the sky, and antariksa, i.e. the space between heaven and earth, frequently occur in this sense in the Epics, Puranas and classical Sanskrit literature. … …