What is the best translation for Dukkha?

The most common translation for dukkha is “suffering.” I have always felt that this translation is nearly a little harsh and have preferred “unsatisfactoriness. "

Many years ago I had to translate the Chinese word “qi” 气. I decided not to translate it using one of the common methods; by looking at the origin of character; steam coming off rice. Instead I looked at how the word was used by ancient writers. I noticed that there were about 20 different meanings depending on who the author was and what dynasty. In the end though I was able to trace it back to its most original use, which could be summed up as that vital essence of air or that “thing” within air that gives birth to life, movement and manifestations of the physical world.

Can we do the same for dukkha, to see how it was ‘used’ throughout the early suttas and find the correct translation not based on etymology but how it was originally used. One of the issues I see is that so many things are dukkha. Being one of the core concepts of Buddhism I can’t help but feel the importance of a correct translation, especially when I have seen so many different ones with the most recent being “stress."

I recently came across a translation of anattā as “void of self”, this translation seemed to make much more sense to me than “non-self” or 无我. One may argue these are minor nuances, but for me these differences in translations are profound as they have very different meanings.

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[quote=“Shaun, post:1, topic:5025”]
The most common translation for dukkha is “suffering.” I have always felt that this translation is nearly a little harsh[/quote]
When people grieve the loss of a loved one, when a person commits suicide or when a person horrifically looks upon their lover flirting with another person, is not something ‘harsh’ going on in their mind? Or is their mind merely ‘unsatisfactory’? In SN 36.6, dukkha is compared to an arrow or dart.

When the 1st noble truth refers to: (i) separation from the loved; (ii) association with the unloved and; (iii) wanting something & not getting it; are these experiences of “unsatisfactoriness” or are they experiences of “suffering” (‘torment’)?

The Pali suttas appear the same.

For example, does the term ‘dukkha vedana’ refer to ‘unsatisfactoriness feelings’ or ‘suffering feelings’? Or does it refer to ‘painful’ or ‘unpleasant feelings’?

Does the phrase: ‘that which is impermanent is dukkha’ refer to ‘that which is impermanent is painful’ or that which is impermanent suffering’? Or does it refer to: ‘that which is impermanent is unsatisfactory (i.e. cannot bring lasting happiness)’? For example, is the impermanent nature of a blade of grass or a cloud inherently ‘painful’ or ‘suffering’?

Many Buddhists have no problems here because they use different translations dependent on context, such as Acharya Buddharakkhita’s translation of the Dhammapada, where he translated the word ‘dukkha’ in two different ways within one sentence:

278. “All conditioned things are unsatisfactory (dukkha)” — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering (dukkha). This is the path to purification.

:seedling:

The Pali word for ‘void’ is ‘sunno’, as found in the term ‘sunnata’, which literally means the ‘empty state’ but is explained as being ‘empty/void of self’. ‘Anatta’ seems different to this.

For example, should the word ‘void’ be used in the following passage?

“Suppose a person were to gather or burn or do as he likes with the grass, twigs, branches, & leaves here in Jeta’s Grove. Would the thought occur to you, ‘It’s us that this person is gathering, burning, or doing with as he likes’?”

“No, lord. Why is that? Because those things are not our self nor do they pertain to our self.”

“In the same way, monks, the eye is not yours: let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term happiness & benefit… The ear… The nose… The tongue… The body… The intellect is not yours: let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term happiness & benefit… Whatever arises in dependence on intellect-contact, experienced either as pleasure, as pain, or as neither-pleasure-nor-pain, that too is not yours: let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term happiness & benefit.”

SN 35.101

The Buddha first taught ‘anatta’ but later taught ‘sunnata’. Possibly these teachings are different in a minor yet important way.

Regards :seedling:

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That’s fascinating. It seems the original meaning was similar to chi, prana, or spirit. The meanderings of words are indeed unpredictable!

The root meaning of dukkha/sukha are said to be “hard to bear, easy to bear” or something like that. However I am not really convinced that we can go any further than the words themselves. Pleasure and pain are very basic concepts, and so far as I know, that’s what they mean all the way down. Having said which, I haven’t seen an analysis of how they’re used in the Vedic context.

I’ve never had a problem with using suffering for dukkha. It seems on the whole pretty accurate.

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This is a very important term as it pertains to the first noble truth and its respective task - of fully understanding ourselves what dukkha is as we experience it.

I know this topic will be concerned with how to translate it into English, it is not going to be how can we fulfill the first ennobling task.

Nevertheless, I risk saying that more important than coming up with a single best-fit-all translation for it we should make sure to whenever translating it from the original in EBTs do it in a way that those reading it get at least motivated to seek to fulfill themselves as well the ennobling task of fully comprehending what dukkha is.

All that said, I would like to highlight the following passages:

As he was sitting there he said to Ven. Sariputta: “‘Dukkha, dukkha,’ it is said, my friend Sariputta. Which type of dukkha [are they referring to]?”

"There are these three forms of dukkha, my friend: the dukkha of pain, the dukkha of fabrication, the dukkha of change. These are the three forms of dukkha."
- SN38.14

"Now what, friends, is the noble truth of dukkha?
Birth is stressful, aging is stressful, death is stressful; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are stressful; not getting what is wanted is stressful. In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful.

"And what is birth? Whatever birth, taking birth, descent, coming-to-be, coming-forth, appearance of aggregates, & acquisition of [sense] spheres of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called birth.

"And what is aging? Whatever aging, decrepitude, brokenness, graying, wrinkling, decline of life-force, weakening of the faculties of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called aging.

"And what is death? Whatever deceasing, passing away, breaking up, disappearance, dying, death, completion of time, break up of the aggregates, casting off of the body, interruption in the life faculty of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called death.

"And what is sorrow? Whatever sorrow, sorrowing, sadness, inward sorrow, inward sadness of anyone suffering from misfortune, touched by a painful thing, that is called sorrow.

"And what is lamentation? Whatever crying, grieving, lamenting, weeping, wailing, lamentation of anyone suffering from misfortune, touched by a painful thing, that is called lamentation.

"And what is pain? Whatever is experienced as bodily pain, bodily discomfort, pain or discomfort born of bodily contact, that is called pain.

"And what is distress? Whatever is experienced as mental pain, mental discomfort, pain or discomfort born of mental contact, that is called distress.

"And what is despair? Whatever despair, despondency, desperation of anyone suffering from misfortune, touched by a painful thing, that is called despair.

"And what is the stress of not getting what is wanted? In beings subject to birth, the wish arises, ‘O, may we not be subject to birth, and may birth not come to us.’ But this is not to be achieved by wanting. This is the stress of not getting what is wanted. In beings subject to aging… illness… death… sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair, the wish arises, ‘O, may we not be subject to aging… illness… death… sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair, and may aging… illness… death… sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair not come to us.’ But this is not to be achieved by wanting. This is the stress of not getting what is wanted.

"And what are the five clinging-aggregates that, in short, are stressful? The clinging-aggregate of form, the clinging-aggregate of feeling, the clinging-aggregate of perception, the clinging-aggregate of fabrications, the clinging-aggregate of consciousness: These are called the five clinging-aggregates that, in short, are stressful.

"This, friends, is called the noble truth of dukkha.
- MN141

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Thanks for the response so far. I have a little more to add:

Gethin (1998 p.60) says: the starting point of Buddha’s teaching is the reality of suffering…. yet that should not be seen as seeking to persuade…. that life is in fact unpleasant….Rather it addresses that sooner than later, beings are going to have to deal with dukkha (re. Buddha’s early life in Kapilavastu). Gethin goes on to translate Dukkha as: ‘pain’ or ‘anguish’ but that in its philosophical and religious context it is more suggestive to mean: an underlying sense of ‘unsatisfactoriness’ or ‘unease.’

Peter Harvey says, the word dukkha (Sanskrit duḥkha) has been translated in many ways, e.g. suffering, pain, unsatisfactoriness, anguish, unease, stress, ill. Of these, the first is the most common. While it is used by Ñāṇamoli, Gethin and Williams, Harvey thinks that it is only appropriate in a general, inexact sense. Harvey (2003 p.53) describes in great depth the meanings and way dukkha is used and why suffering doesn’t fit that well. In the end he translates it in its everyday meaning (as a noun) as ‘pain’. Pain in the way we use it in english in a broad context which also includes, mental pain. “It pains me to say this”, “the pleasures and pains of life.”

The Theravādin commentator Buddhaghosa, in his Atthasālinī (p.41), shows the various ways in which the word is used:

The word dukkha signifies painful feeling (dukkha-vedanā-), basis of dukkha (dukkha-vatthu-), dukkha object (dukkhāramaṇa-), condition of dukkha (dukkha-paccaya-), place (-ṭṭhānā) (ofdukkha) etc. To illustrate: In such passages as ‘from the abandoning of dukkha’ [as in the formula for the fourth jhāna], dukkha means ‘painful feeling’. In such passages as, ‘birth is dukkha (jāti dukkhā)’ [as in the teaching on the first ariya-sacca] etc., dukkha means basis of dukkha. In such passages as, ‘Mahāli, inasmuch as material form is dukkha (rūpaṃ dukkhaṃ), falls and descends on dukkha’ (S.III.69) etc, dukkha means dukkha object. In such passages as, ‘dukkha is the accumulation of evil (dukkho pāpassa uccayo)’ (Dhp.117) etc, dukkha means condition of dukkha. In such passages as, ‘Not easy, bhikkhus, is it to succeed in describing how dukkha are the hells (dukkhā nirayyā)’ (M.III.169), etc., dukkha means place occasioning dukkha (dukkha-paccaya-ṭṭhāne). (From Peter Harvey’s Masters Course)

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I am currently writing a paper on an Indo-European influence upon the ancient Chinese (1600 B.C.E). The more I study ancient Buddhist texts and ancient Indian culture the more there seems to be commonalties. Whether this is because of an Indo-European (Indo-Aryan) cultural link via ‘idea diffsion’ or whether it is due to very early trade routes (those which became the silk road), or whether it is due simply to the way the human mind works is unclear. But what is 100% proven is that there were Indo-Europeans in North-West China (Tarim Basin) as early as 2000 B.C.E trading jade. They were called the Tocharians. The Tocharians of course have a very special place in Buddhist history.

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Interesting. There are, indeed, striking parallels in certain of the early Chinese philosophers.

One curious fact to account with is that, despite the known and very well established presence of a Greek kingdom for many centuries in the Buddhist-dominated regions of India, and many more centuries of trade, there is little in the way of definitive and explicit discussion of philosophical parallels. Mentions, influences, sure, but we don’t find, say the Sarvastivadin scholiasts discussing Aristiotle or Plato. Even when a Greek king, Milinda, discusses Buddhism, he does so on exclusively Buddhist grounds.

Why this is so is speculative, but at the least there is no clear or obvious relation between cultural contacts and philosophical resemblance.

Fascinating. We’ve recently been discussing adding Tocharian texts to SC, which are, of course, much later. But do you have some sources for this?

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The ancient Chinese/Indo European parallels are difficult too. I think one of the reasons is that writing in China only got going in the Zhou Dynasty and in ancient India the passing of knowledge was oral of course and the Indo-Europeans also had no writing.

I have not read much on the Buddhist Tocharian texts as I have been focusing on the Tocharians long before they became Buddhist. Victor Mair is the, or one of the world leading expert on Tocharians. He has a free website: http://sino-platonic.org. He is also very open to emails (use the contact via his website) and replies quite quickly. I think he could very easily give you a good response. If you can’t get through to him please PM me and I’ll try my best to get hold of him.

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Now this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of suffering:
birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering; union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation from what is pleasing is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering.
¨
“idaṃ kho pana, bhikkhave, dukkhaṃ ariyasaccaṃ:
jātipi dukkhā, jarāpi dukkhā, byādhipi dukkho, maraṇampi dukkhaṃ, appiyehi sampayogo dukkho, piyehi vippayogo dukkho, yampicchaṃ na labhati tampi dukkhaṃ — saṃkhittena pañcupādānakkhandhā dukkhā.
SN 56.11

Also:
दुःख duḥkha
BṛĀr.Up. 4.4.14 - ChUP. 7.26.2

There are many ways to interpret the Sanskrit:

  • bad hole in the nave of a wheel through which the axis runs => dukkha vs. a good hole in the nave => sukkha - As in riding a cart).
  • or hard digging (like a hole) [dukkha] vs. an easy digging [sukkha].
  • or as being related to आकाश ākāsa. Not as the space/air/ether substance (dravya) of the late Vaiśeṣika - but as the agent of आकाश् ākāś (view, recognize - ŚBr.) - √ काश् kāś ( to shine brightly; to see clearly , survey (ŚBr.).

The translation is yours.

Apparently, this is also the root meaning of suffer — “to bear from below”, in other words — a burden.
https://www.google.com/search?q=origin+suffer&gl=us&pws=0

I’ve also heard etymologies of sukha and dukkha relating to wheel technology; taking “kha” to be a space or hole makes for an ‘easy’ vs. ‘difficult’ hole in which the axle rotates. From this we have either a smooth/easy/pleasant ride or a rough/unpleasant/difficult one (the wheeled-vehicle as metaphor for the ride of life).

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[quote=“SCMatt, post:10, topic:5025, full:true”]

Apparently, this is also the root meaning of suffer — “to bear from below”, in other words — a burden.

[…]

I’ve also heard etymologies of sukha and dukkha relating to wheel technology; taking “kha” to be a space or hole makes for an ‘easy’ vs. ‘difficult’ hole in which the axle rotates. From this we have either a smooth/easy/pleasant ride or a rough/unpleasant/difficult one (the wheeled-vehicle as metaphor for the ride of life).
[/quote]I was just about to make a similar post!

If I recall right, a wheel with an off-centre axis causes a rough ride, duhkka, and an evenly centred hole makes for a smooth ride, suhkka (?).

But this is a very, very ancient etymology, dating back to Vedic times, I think. I wonder if the chariot-axis etymological connection was widely known in Buddhist times. It might have been, I wouldn’t know.

There is a lot of chariot-related similies in early Buddhism, but not a lot of metaphor, simile, or connection between specifically the axis/wheel and suffering in the sense of an off or on-centre axis, at least that I know of.

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The first lines of the Dhammapada relate dukkha following the fool’s actions to a wheel following the hoofsteps of a beast-of-burden.

[quote=“SCMatt, post:12, topic:5025”]
The first lines of the Dhammapada relate dukkha following the fool’s actions to a wheel following the hoofsteps of a beast-of-burden.
[/quote]Yes, there is a lot of chariot imagery (even the Dhamma itself is a “wheel”, right?), but I have never actually seen an EBT that directly connected dukkha to the hole in the middle of a wheel on a chariot, its etymology. That, I find very interesting.

If I knew more, I would be more sure of this, but I think that the chariot-etymology for dukkha might not have been widely known in the time of the Buddha by Buddha’s audience (specifically those of his audience who lacked education in the Vedas, I mean) because it might be too ancient, otherwise it seems like the comparison would pop up more frequently, but I can’t think of an example of it. But I am not sure of what I just said, lacking a sufficient knowledge of Vedic Sanskrit & Pāli history.

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I still feel that the most modern, relatable translation is “stress” a la Thanissaro Bhikkhu. But on an inner level when I conceptualize it, there is a cloying, kind of unsatisfactory tinge to it.

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In my opinion, to correlate “life” with the 1st noble truth is merely an interpretation & a tenuous one.

For example, the word “birth” could merely refer to the difficulties women have in natural childbirth & the helplessness of a new born infant. For example, MN 38 & MN 130 state:

The mother then carries the embryo in her womb for nine or ten months with much anxiety, as a heavy burden. Then, at the end of nine or ten months, the mother gives birth with much anxiety, as a heavy burden. MN 38

`Good man didn’t you see a todler who stands and lies with difficulty, mingled in his own urine and excreta while lying?’ MN 130

Since suttas, such as MN 29 & 30, state the ‘Holy Life’ is the unshakeable freedom of mind, I personally see little merit is asserting the 1st noble truth teaches ‘life’ is suffering or unpleasant.

“So this holy life, bhikkhus, does not have gain, honour, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of virtue for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakeable deliverance of mind that is the goal of this holy life, its heartwood, and its end.” MN 29

If ‘life’ was suffering, how did the Buddha attain Nibbana while living, as in Iti 44 & MN 26?

What, bhikkhus, is the Nibbāna-element with residue left? Here a bhikkhu is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed, the holy life fulfilled, who has done what had to be done, laid down the burden, attained the goal, destroyed the fetters of being, completely released through final knowledge. However, his five sense faculties remain unimpaired, by which he still experiences what is agreeable and disagreeable and feels pleasure and pain. It is the extinction of attachment, hate, and delusion in him that is called the Nibbāna-element with residue left. Iti 44

:seedling:

SN 22.59 states the five aggregates or conditioned things are dukkha (unsatisfactory), i.e., they cannot bring (lasting) happiness (sukha). For example, SN 22.85 states the five aggregates of a Buddha are dukkha (unsatisfactory). It seems SN 22.85 cannot refer to ‘suffering’ since a Buddha is said to have overcome all suffering. However, these references obviously exclude living with Nibbana, which is the unconditioned element.

These suttas appear unrelated to the 1st noble truth, which appears to summarise all (psychological) suffering as attachment (upadana). SN 22.1 appears to clarify this.

I suggested earlier a problem of attempting to translate ‘dukkha’ in one-way. It could be possible this problematic path of Gethin, Bodhi, Thanissaro, Harvey & other Western scholars may possibly be culturally conditioned by the Western belief in ‘monotheism’ or ‘one word’.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.…John 1.1

:wink:

For me, as previously indicated, there are three primary ways the word ‘dukkha’ is used that I personally have distinguished, namely:

  1. In the context of the Four Noble Truths (SN 56.11), referring to psychological suffering, which appears to be the suffering to be eradicated via abandoning craving.

  2. In the context of the Three Characteristics (SN 22.59), referring to an inherent characteristic of both (impermanent) material & mental things, which appear unrelated to suffering itself but can be object of suffering when attached to.

  3. In the context of ‘vedana’ (‘feelings’), which appear unrelated to suffering itself but can be object of suffering when attached to (as described in countless suttas, such as Iti 44, MN 37; MN 38; SN 36.6, etc).

Thus, SN 38.14 states there are three sources or types of suffering, namely: (i) suffering due to pain; (ii) suffering due to change (impermanence); (iii) suffering due to mental concocting/proliferating. SN 22.1 seems to suggest all of these three types of suffering only occur due to attachment.

I have no proficiency with Pali however it seems lots of linguistic gymnastics have been performed on ‘dukkha’. The following is by an old but highly decorated Thai scholar monk named Buddhadasa (for which I am unqualified to comment on the merits).

We’ve been discussing methods of contemplating impermanence alone, however, true experience of impermanence finds dukkham and anatta within that impermanence. How does this happen? Seeing the deeper aspects of impermanence, so that we also see dukkham, can be categorized according to various meanings of the word dukkham. We will look at three of these meanings.

A. Dukkham as “Enduring Suffering”: In the word dukkham, many meanings can be inferred. It is composed of two components: du and kha (or kham). If we take du to mean "difficult: and khama to mean “endure,” then dukkham means “difficult to endure.”

B. Dukkham as “Disgusting to See”: If we take du to mean “ugly” or “evil” and kha (from ikkha) to mean “look,” then this aspect has the meaning “once seen, it is ugly.” When one really sees it, it’s abhorrent and repulsive.

C. Dukkham as “Uglily Void, Wickedly Empty”: By separating the components of dukkham and taking du to mean “ugly” and kham to mean “void, empty,” we arrive at the meaning “uglily void.” The condition we call “wickedly empty” refers to the fact that all sankharas have nothing but impermanence, namely, swiftly flowing, endless spirals of change.

Contemplation of Impermanence

Kind regards :deciduous_tree:

The delusion of some people is absolutely stunning.
This generation (with its devas, brahmas, maras, humans, etc.) [SN 56.11], said Buddha, delights in adhesion (ālaya)* [SN 6.1].
Some people are dying to “live” - as in clinging to the world of senses; not only in this life - but in the other too. This is delusion and saṃsāra in its purest form.

I didn’t want to put Olivelle’s translation of the BṛĀr.Up. 4.4.14 and ChUP. 7.26.2 above, for copyright reason. But I believe that just this following sentence won’t break the law.
Note that Olivelle’s translation of duḥkha by “misery” in the BṛĀr.Up. pericope, has the same cause; viz. “seeing not rightly” (in the BU. case, it is not √ पश् paś (to perceive, to see [with the spiritual eye]) that is involved; but √ विद् vid (veda > [sacred] knowledge).
But the context remains the same for both pericopes - that is to say: “to see rightly”.

When a man rightly sees, he sees no death, no sickness or distress.
tadeṣa śloko na paśyo mṛtyuṃ paśyati na rogaṃ nota duḥkhatām
ChUP. 7.26.2

We find the √paś in the following Nikayas’ sutta also:

“Therefore, Rādha, see form (feeling, …,) as Māra, see it as the killer, see it as the one who is killed. See it as a disease, as a tumour, as a dart, as misery (confusion-nīgha), as real misery.
Those who see it thus see rightly.
tasmātiha tvaṃ, rādha, rūpaṃ māroti passa, māretāti passa, mīyatīti passa, rogoti passa, gaṇḍoti passa, sallanti passa, aghanti passa, aghabhūtanti passa.
ye naṃ evaṃ passanti te sammā passanti.
SN 23.1

Here, paśyati and passanti have the same meaning; (√dṛś floating around).

So the “pleasant life” is outside this (Buddhist) “world” (kama loka), and the world of forms (rūpa loka) - SN 35.82.
There is no way to escape this truism of echt Buddhism. No way.

O, I know - derision is going to shower over me, from the maras’ clique. But one thing I have noticed with maras & friends, is that derision always come with that precarious and doubtful look afterwards.
Derision is the eidos of maras & friends (the latter being or not, conscious of it) - and so is, this unstable mental reservation behind it. Always.

* Ālaya [Sk. आलय ālaya (ā-laya) - (ā-√ lī - to cause to cling (Br.)),] is related to the world of senses - Bodhi translates it as “adhesion”. But the underlying meaning is that people delight & rejoice in “anything that causes clinging”.

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At Savatthi. There the Blessed One said: “From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. What do you think, monks: Which is greater, the tears you have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — or the water in the four great oceans?”

“As we understand the Dhamma taught to us by the Blessed One, this is the greater: the tears we have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — not the water in the four great oceans.”

"Excellent, monks. Excellent. It is excellent that you thus understand the Dhamma taught by me.

"This is the greater: the tears you have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — not the water in the four great oceans.

"Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a mother. The tears you have shed over the death of a mother while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — are greater than the water in the four great oceans.

"Long have you (repeatedly) experienced the death of a father… the death of a brother… the death of a sister… the death of a son… the death of a daughter… loss with regard to relatives… loss with regard to wealth… loss with regard to disease. The tears you have shed over loss with regard to disease while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — are greater than the water in the four great oceans.

“Why is that? From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. Long have you thus experienced stress, experienced pain, experienced loss, swelling the cemeteries — enough to become disenchanted with all fabricated things, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released.”

SN 15.3 the truth of dukkha -dukkha sacca- (not suffering deeply, which is not useful in the Path) is what needs to be realized.

with metta

Mat

This appears to be a reasonable quote since it points out the culprit of dukkha is ālaya (adhesion).

This appears to be another reasonable quote, since it refers to “when a man sees rightly”. To “see rightly”, a man must be alive, i.e., living. Thus MN 43 states wisdom & consciousness are inseparable.

This quote appears out of context since there are many suttas that state it is adhesion to form, feeling, etc, that is the “killer” or “Mara”, such as SN 22.63, SN 22.64, SN 22.65, SN 23.23, SN 23.24, etc.

SN 23.1 to Radha appears to be a teaching specifically for Radha. Per translation, it states: “When there is form, there might be Mara”…“see form as Mara”… “see it as a disease… misery”… “those who see it thus see rightly”.

This teaching is unusual since, again, most suttas state (eg. MN 140) it is conceiving ‘self’, i.e., adhesion, that is a “tumour, dart, misery”.

Bhikkhu, ‘I am’ is a conceiving; ‘I am this’ is a conceiving… Conceiving is a disease, conceiving is a tumour, conceiving is a dart. By overcoming all conceivings, bhikkhu, one is called a sage at peace. MN 140

Therefore, SN 23.1 continues when Radha asks: “What is the purpose of seeing rightly?” The Buddha then replies: "Revulsion… dispassion… liberation… ". This reply begins to make SN 23.1 consistent with the majority of suttas, such as SN 22.59 (the 2nd sermon), which state it is revulsion & dispassion towards form, feeling, etc, that results in liberation.

SN 23.1 ends with a positive view about “life”, namely, “the Holy Life is lived with Nibbana as its ground, as its destination, as its final goal”.

It seems the Buddha ended all adhesion (clinging) with he was 35 years old but continued to live life for another 45 years without adhesion. Thus it seems life is not adhesion but something different from adhesion.

However, you appear to be asserting the sense spheres & clinging are the same thing. How can this be when suttas such as MN 38 & Iti 44 describe liberation occurring with the sense spheres still operating, i.e., alive?

[quote=“suci1, post:16, topic:5025”]
The delusion of some people is absolutely stunning… O, I know - derision is going to shower over me, from the maras’ clique.[/quote]

Due to the derision of other views found in your post, naturally, this opens up your post to derision in return.

‘Dukkha’ is said to be ‘adhesion’ or the creation of ‘self-views’ yet your post is chock full of ‘self-views’ about “some people”, “me”, “Mara’s clique”, etc.

So you seem to be arguing quite passionately that the end of dukkha is the utter extinguishing of life yet, I ask: ’ how is this state going to be reached apart from the abandonment of self-views’?

How will the ‘Nibbāna-element with no residue left’ ever be reached if the ‘Nibbāna-element with residue left’ is not realised in this very life, while still living & breathing?

This quote makes little sense to me because the suttas state in so many places that craving causes clinging, ignorance causes craving, etc. ‘Life’ does not cause clinging. The sense spheres in themselves do not cause clinging. The five aggregates per se do not cause clinging. Suttas such as SN 22.81 state it is when the sense spheres are tainted by ignorance that they contribute to clinging, i.e., it is ignorance that causes clinging. How can the material eye, material ear or a material sense object, such as a rock or tree, cause clinging?

:seedling:

@Deeele

My answer will be a lot briefer:

The person that has no “self view”, that you qualify as “Deeele” says:

‘Dukkha’ is said to be ‘adhesion’ or the creation of ‘self-views’.

The person that seems to have a “self view” for Deeele; that “I” qualify as “suci1” (for simplification purpose), says:

Dukkha is not seeing rightly that the dhamma (nature) of each & every saṅkhāra is anatta (not continual).

(from my reading of the Nikayas (only) and of the close-set, pre-Buddhist brahmanic litterature).

[quote=“Mat, post:17, topic:5025”]…the tears you have shed…crying & weeping… long have you thus experienced stress, experienced pain, experienced loss
[/quote]

The part of SN 15.3 seems to be about suffering deeply due to the loss of loved ones, which arises from fabricating self-views (‘atta’) of ‘beings’ (‘satta’) such as ‘mother’, ‘father’, ‘sister’, ‘brother’, etc.

This seems to be the ‘suffering’ (‘dukkha’) of attachment (upadana) & craving (tanha), which is the subject of the 1st sermon (SN 56.11).

[quote=“Mat, post:17, topic:5025”]swelling the cemeteries… enough to become disenchanted with all fabricated things, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released… SN 15.3 the truth of dukkha -dukkha sacca- (not suffering deeply, which is not useful in the Path) is what needs to be realized.
[/quote]

This seems to be related to realising the impermanence & ‘unsatisfactoriness’ (‘dukkha’) of conditioned things or ‘life’, which is the subject of the 2nd sermon (SN 22.59).

Dhp 278 states:

"Sabbe saṅkhārā dukkhā”ti, yadā paññāya passati; Atha nibbindati dukkhe, esa maggo visuddhiyā

“All conditioned things are unsatisfactory”—when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering. This is the path to purification.

:seedling:

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