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Beggars! I see no other single thing piling on more pain than the unexercised, uncultivated mind.

AN I:29



[SN 5.56.11]
The Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta In Pali
PTS, F.L. Woodward, trans., The Book of the Kindred Sayings V: The Great Chapter XI: Kindred Sayings about the Truths II: Foundation of the Kingdom of the Norm, pp 356
WP: Bhikkhu Bodhi, trans., The Connected Discourses of the Buddha II: The Great Book 12: Connected Discourses on the Truths 2: Setting in Motion the Wheel of the Dhamma, pp1843
The Formula of the Revolution of the Wheel of Experience,Venerable Punnaji's trans.
[MN 141] ATI: The Middle Length Sayings, #141: Discourse on The Analysis of the Truths
[MN 9] WP: The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, #9: Right View, Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi, trans, pp134
PTS: Dialogues of the Buddha II: #22: Mahasatipatthana Sutta -- Setting-Up of Mindfulness, Rhys Davids, trans, pp337

Pali MO Hare Horner Punnaji Bodhi Nanamoli Rhys Davids (Mrs)Rhys Davids Thanissaro Walshe Woodward Soma Thera Nyanaponika Thera
dukkha vedanā Painful Ugly Ukky K-kha; Pain; shit; unpleasant sensation Pain, Ill, feeling of ill ill, anguish, painful feeling Unease, Anxiety, Discomfort suffering, unpleasant sensation, painful feeling Suffering, painful feeling Ill, painful feeling, mal-aise, anguish Ill, Sorrow, painful feeling stress, suffering, bad moods, depression, sorrow, annoyance or discouragement Suffering, painful feeling Ill, painful feeling painful feeling unpleasant (painful)


Pali Text Society
Pali English Dictionary
Edited by T. W. Rhys Davids and William Stede

Dukkha: [Sk. duḥkha fr. duḥ-ka, an adj. formation fr. prefix duḥ. According to others an analogy formation after sukha, q. v.; Bdhgh (at Vism 494) expls dukkha as du+kha, where du=du1 and kha=ākāsa (MO: far more likely the other way around: kha=stuff and akasa=without stuff). See also def. at Vism 461.]

A. unpleasant, painful, causing misery (opp. sukha pleasant) Vin I.34;... Lit. of vedanā (sensation) M I.59...; A II.116=M. I.10... -- Fig. (fraught with pain, entailing sorrow or trouble) of kāmā D I.36... of jāti M I.185.; in combn dukkhā paṭipadā dandhābhiññā D III.106;... ekantaḥ very painful, giving much pain S II.173; III.69. dukkhaŋ (adv.) with difficulty, hardly J I.215.

B. (nt.; but pl. also dukkhā, e. g. S I.23. Spelling dukha (after sukha). There is no word in English covering the same ground as dukkha does in Pali. Our modern words are too specialised, too limited, and usually too strong. Sukha & dukkhā are ease and dis-ease (but we use disease in another sense); or wealth and ilth from well & ill (but we have now lost ilth); or wellbeing and ill-ness (but illness means something else in English) (MO: there is no basis for these pairs in the actual words; contrasting su and du you would get sweet and disagreeable;). We are forced, therefore, in translation to use half synonyms, no one of which is exact. dukkha is equally mental & physical. Pain is too predominantly physical (MO: perhaps when the PED was put together, I doubt it, but not today), sorrow too exclusively mental, but in some connections they have to be used in default of any more exact rendering. Discomfort, suffering, ill, and trouble can occasionally be used in certain connections. Misery, distress, agony, affliction and woe are never right. They are all much too strong & are only mental (see Mrs. Rh. D. Bud. Psy. 83--86, quoting Ledi Sadaw). (MO: ?! This is a word used to describe the experience of Hell...agony, etc are too strong?)

I. Main Points in the Use of the Word.--The recognition of the fact of dukkha stands out as essential in early Buddhism. In the very first discourse the four so called Truths or Facts (see saccāni) deal chiefly with dukkhā. The first of the four gives certain universally recognised cases of it, & then sums them up in short. The five groups (of physical & mental qualities which make an individual) are accompanied by ill so far as those groups are fraught with asavas and grasping. (Pañc'upādānakkhandhā pi dukkhā; cp. S III.47). The second Sacca gives the cause of this dukkhā (see Taṇhā). The third enjoins the removal of this taṇhā. And the fourth shows the way, or method, of doing so (see Magga). These ariyasaccāni are found in two places in the older books Vin I.10=S V.421...

II. Characterisation in Detail.

1. A further specification of the 3rd of the Noble Truths is given in the Paṭicca-samuppada (q.v.), which analyses the links & stages of the causal chain in their interdependence as building up (anabolic=samudaya) &, after their recognition as causes, breaking down (katabolic=nirodha) the dukkhā-synthesis, & thus constitutes the Metabolism of kamma; discussed e. g. at Vin 1; D II.32 sq. =S II.2 sq.; S II.17, 20, 65; S III.14; M I.266 sq.; II.38; A I.177; mentioned e. g. at A I.147; M I.192 sq., 460....

2. dukkha as one of the 3 qualifications of the sankhārā (q. v.), viz. anicca, d., anattā, evanescence, ill, nonsoul: S I.188; II.53...; III.112 (id.) III.67, 180, 222; IV.28, 48, 129 sq.; 131 sq...S III.41.... III.243; A III.334, cp. IV.52 sq....

3. Specification of dukkha. The Niddesa gives a characteristic description of all that comes under the term dukkhā. It employs one stereotyped explanation (therefore old & founded on scholastic authority) (Nd2 304I.), & one expln peculiar to itself & only applied to Sn 36. The latter defines & illustrates dukkhā exclusively as suffering & torment incurred by a person as punishment, inflicted on him either by the king or (after death) by the guardians of purgatory (niraya-pala; see detail under niraya, & cp. below III.2b). - The first expln is similar in kind to the definition of d. as long afterwards given in the Sankhya system & classifies the various kinds of dukkhā in the foll. groups:

(a) all suffering caused by the fact of being born, & being through one's kamma tied to the consequent states of transmigration; to this is loosely attached the 3 fold division of d. as dukkhāḥ, sankhāraḥ, vipariṇāmaḥ (see below III. 1 c);

(b) illnesses & all bodily states of suffering...

(c) pain & (bodily) discomfort through outward circumstances, as extreme climates, want of food, gnat-bites etc....;

(d) (Mental) distress & painful states caused by the death of one's beloved or other misfortunes to friends or personal belongings (cp. domanassa). -- This list is concluded by a scholastic characterisation of these var. states as conditioned by kamma, implicitly due to the afflicted person not having found his "refuge," i. e. salvation from these states in the 8 fold Path (see above B I.).

III. General Application, & various views regarding dukkhā.

1. As simple sensation (: pain) & related to other terms:

(a) principally a vedanā, sensation, in particular belonging to the body (kāyika), or physical pain (opp. cetasika dukkhā mental ill: see domanassa). Thus defined as kāyikaŋ d. at D II.306 M I.302; S V.209...; A II.143...; Nett 12...; Vism 165 (twofold), 496..., 499 (seven divisions), 503...; SnA 119.... Bdhgh. usually paraphrases d. with vaṭṭadukkhā. . . .

(b) Thus to be understood as physical pain in combn dukkhā+ domanassa "pain & grief," where d. can also be taken as the gen. term & domḥ as specification, e. g. in cetasikaŋ dukkhaŋ domanassaŋ paṭisaŋvedeti A I.157, 216; IV.406; S II.69;...A II.149;... A III.207;...S IV.343. Also as cpd. dukkhādomanassanaŋ atthangamāya A III.326, & freq. in formula soka-parideva-dḥ-domanass'-upāyāsā (grief & sorrow, afflictions of pain & misery, i. e. all kinds of misery) D I.36 (arising fr. kama); M II.64; A V.216 sq.; It 89 etc. (see above B I. 4). Cp. also the combn dukkhi dummano "miserable and dejected" S II.282.

(c) dukkhā as "feeling of pain" forms one of the three dukkhāta or painful states, viz. d.--dukkhāta (painful sensation caused by bodily pain), sankhāraḥ id. having its origin in the sankhāra, vipariṇāmaḥ, being caused by change S IV.259; V.56; D III.216 . . . .

(d) Closely related in meaning is ahita "that which is not good or profitable," usually opposed to sukha & hita. It is freq. in the ster. expression "hoti dīgharatta? ahitaya dukkhāya" for a long time it is a source of discomfort & pain A I.194 sq.; M I.332 D III.157....

(e) Under vedana as sensation are grouped the 3: sukhaŋ (or sukhā ved.) pleasure (pleasant sensation), dukkhaŋ pain (painful sens.), adukkhām--asukhaŋ indifference (indifferent sens.), the last of which is the ideal state of the emotional habitus to be gained by the Arahant (cp. upekhā & nibbidā). Their role is clearly indicated in the 4th jhana: sukhassa pahānā dukkhassa pahānā pubbe va somanassadomanāssanaŋ atthangamā adukkham-asukhaŋ upekhā parisuddhiŋ catutthaŋ jhānaŋ upasampajja viharati (see jhana). -As contents of vedana: ...S III.86, 87; cp. S II.82...D III.275; S II.53; IV.114 sq., 207, 223 sq., cp. M I.396; A I.173; IV.442... A I.173=M II.217. - The combn (as complementary pair) of sukha+dukkhā is very freq. for expressing the varying fortunes of life & personal experience as pleasure & pain,...D I.56=S III.211. Thus under the 8 "fortunes of the world" (loka dhammā) with lābha (& aḥ), yasa (aḥ), pasaŋsā (nindā), sukha (dukkhā) at D III.260; Nd2 55. Regarded as a thing to be avoided in life...S IV.172, 188. -- In similar contexts: D I.81...; S II.22, 39; IV.123 sq.; A II.158 etc.

2. As complex state (suffering) & its valuation in the light of the Doctrine:

(a) any worldly sensation, pleasure & experience may be a source of discomfort (see above, I.; cp. esp. kāma & bhava) Ps I.11 sq. (specified as jāti etc.);...S I.37;...(pain is the great weight) S III.26;... A III.310; IV.289; cp. A III.410 sq.....

(b) ekantaḥ (extreme pain) refers to the suffering of sinful beings in Niraya, & it is open to conjecture whether this is not the first & orig. meaning of dukkhā; e. g. M I.74; A II.231...; see ekanta. In the same sense: . . . upenti Roruvaŋ ghoraŋ cirarattaŋ dukkhaŋ anubhavanti S I.30; niraya-dukkhā Sn 531;...Sn 278, 742;...Pv I.1110...; PvA 67;...PvA 43, 68, 107 etc....ŋ PvA 65;...PvA 8.

(c) to suffer pain, to experience unpleasantness etc. is expressed in foll. terms: dukkhaŋ anubhavati (only w. ref. to Niraya, see b); anveti Dh 1 (=kāyikaŋ cetasikaŋ vipāka-dukkhaŋ anugacchati DhA I.24),...Sn 728;...S I.210;...M I.337; Sn 278, 742;...M I.313...;...S I.132...;...S II.109;...A I.202; II.95; III.3; S IV.78...;...A I.137.

(d) More specific reference to the cause of suffering & its removal by means of enlightenment:

(a) Origin (see also above I. & II. 1) as result of sakkayadiṭṭhi S IV.147, of chanda S I.22 of upadhi S II.109, cp. upadhinidana pabhavanti dukkhā S I.135.

(b) Salvation from Suffering (see above I.):...S I.14; III.41, 150; IV.205; V.451;...S I,210;...A II.49....M II.217, cp. I.93....S I.12=31;...S III.27; IV.89;...Sn 473...Sn 789, 1056....S II.72; III.228 sq.; IV.86, 327....M I.48; A III.400 sq.; It 18;...Sn 32;... A II.26;...S II.133;...Sn 731....S I.195=Nd2 136v;...Sn 539....S IV.158;...Vin I.231= D II.91.



Dīgha Nikāya: MahaSatipatthana Sutta

This is dukkha:

Birth is dukkha
Aging is dukkha
Death is dukkha
Grief and Lamentation are dukkha
Pain and Misery are dukkha
Despair is dukkha

Not to get what is Wished for is dukkha

In sum: The Five Stockpiled Piles of dukkha are a heap of dukkha

Birth is the descent into the womb, growth and outcome in being born, the regrouping in a new being of the Stockpiles, the appearance of the six-fold sense spheres of such and such a being in this or that habitat for beings.

Aging is the adding to the length of life lived, the deterioration, the falling apart, the rotting away, the withering, wrinkling, the diminishment of the remainder of the lifespan, the getting old of the six-fold sense spheres of such and such a being in this or that habitat for beings.

Death is the fall away, the fall out, the ending, the vanishing, the death, the dying, the finishing of the lifespan, the breaking up of the Stockpiles, the laying down of the body, of such and such a being in this or that habitat for beings.

Grief is the condition of inner sadness, heartbreak, heartache, state of missing and regret, woe, and affliction, the grief, feeling bad, wretchedness, state of woe, and unhappiness of such and such a being experiencing some loss or tragedy.

Lamentation is the outward expression of mourning, sadness, heartbreak, heartache, state of missing and regret, woe, and affliction, grief, feeling bad, wretchedness, state of woe, and unhappiness of such and such a being experiencing some loss or tragedy.

Pain [dukkha] is feeling physical pain, bodily pain, pain arising from contact with the body, the being bodily affected by something painful of such and such a being.

Misery is feeling mental pain, pain in the mind, pain arising from contact with the mind, the being affected in mind by something painful of such and such a being.

Despair is the condition of having given up hope, dejection, despondency, depression, of such and such a being.

Not getting what is Wished for is in reference to the case when such and such a being wishes: "O,O,O If Only I were not subject to Birth, Aging and Death, Grief and Lamentation, Pain and Misery, and Despair!" for such is not to be had by Wishing.

In sum: The Five Stockpiled Piles of dukkha are a heap of dukkha means:

Material is dukkha
Sense Experience is dukkha
Perception is dukkha
Confounding is dukkha
Consciousness is dukkha



Saŋyutta Nikaya V: Mahā-Vagga: Magga-Saŋyuttam: Esanā-vaggo 5 (SN.V.165)

Tisso imā bhikkhave dukkhatā.
Katamā tisso?
dukkhadukkhatā saŋkhāradukkhatā vipariṇāmadukkhatā.
Imā kho bhikkhave tisso dukkhatā.

Three, beggars are the forms of pain.
What three?
The pain of pain, the pain from one's own kamma, the pain that results from the vicissitudes of life.
These, beggars, are the three forms of pain.




Vicissitude: OED: The fact of change or mutation taking place in a particular thing or within a certain sphere; the uncertain changing or mutability of something.


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