Dukkha

For M.V.

When I had forgotten my coat at the Mane Restaurant, there was a period of about three minutes when it was uncertain whether my coat would still be there when we got back to the restaurant. I was wondering whether today was the day for losing that coat.

I mentioned that the Buddhists have a word for pain or suffering, and that the word is dukkha. And that there are several types of dukkha, one being the type that arises because things are transient — a child’s favorite toy wears out, a plate breaks, a beloved pet dies.

The Wikipedia entry states that the Buddhists distinguish between three types of dukkha. It is the second type that I was referring to, which Wikipedia lists as viparinama-dukkha, the pain that arises because things change.

I have always found that third kind of dukkha, sankhara-dukkha, very difficult to understand.

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Published in: on 4 April 2009 at 4:15 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. In order to understand samkhara-dukkha (dukkha as conditioned states) one must understand the Buddha’s description of the individual or “I”. A solid understanding of the Five Aggregates and an exploration of Conditioned Genesis will help you. Refer to Walpola Rahula (1959) “What the Buddha Taught”.

  2. Thanks very much. I’ll have to check out that book. It looks like there’s a revised 1974 edition.


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