SN 45.165: Dukkhata Sutta — Suffering

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SN 45.165: Dukkhata Sutta — Suffering

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:33 am

SN 45.165 PTS: S v 56 CDB ii 1561
Dukkhata Sutta: Suffering
translated from the Pali by Maurice O'Connell Walshe


The Pali title of this sutta is based on the PTS (Feer) edition.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html

"Monks, there are these three kinds of suffering.[1] What three? Suffering caused by pain,[2] suffering caused by the formations (or conditioned existence),[3] suffering due to change.[4] It is for the full comprehension, clear understanding, ending and abandonment of these three forms of suffering that the Noble Eightfold Path is to be cultivated..."

Notes

1. Dukkhataa, an abstract noun denoting "suffering" in the most general sense.

2. Dukkha-dukkhataa, the actual feeling of physical or mental pain or anguish.

3. Sankhaara-dukkhataa, the suffering produced by all "conditioned phenomena" (i.e., sankhaaras, in the most general sense: see BD [Buddhist Dictionary (2nd ed.), by Ven. Nyaa.natiloka, Ven. Nyaa.naponika (ed.), Colombo 1972] s.v. sankhaara I, 4). This includes also experiences associated with hedonically neutral feeling. The suffering inherent in the formations has its roots in the imperfectability of all conditioned existence, and in the fact that there cannot be any final satisfaction within the incessant turning of the Wheel of Life. The neutral feeling associated with this type of suffering is especially the indifference of those who do not understand the fact of suffering and are not moved by it.

4. Viparinaama-dukkhataa, the suffering associated with pleasant bodily and mental feelings: "because they are the cause for the arising of pain when they change" (VM XIV, 35).

See also: SN 38.14. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: SN 45.165: Dukkhata Sutta — Suffering

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:45 am

SN 45.165: Dukkhata Sutta
Translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi


“Bhikkhus, there are these three kinds of suffering. What three? Suffering due to pain, suffering due to formations, suffering due to change.[*] These are the three kinds of suffering. The Noble Eightfold Path is to be developed for direct knowledge of these three kinds of suffering, for the full understanding of them, for their utter destruction, for their abandoning.”

  • The three types are explained at Vism 499,14–21 (Ppn 16:34–35). Briefly, suffering due to pain (dukkhadukkhatā ) is painful bodily and mental feeling; suffering due to the formations (saṅkhāradukkhatā) is all conditioned phenomena of the three planes, because they are oppressed by rise and fall; and suffering due to change (viparināmadukkhtā̄) is pleasant feeling, which brings suffering when it comes to an end.
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Re: SN 45.165: Dukkhata Sutta — Suffering

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:51 am

The above translations refer to the Visuddhimagga 16:34-35 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... index.html
34. Its characteristic is the first genesis in any [sphere of] becoming. Its function
is to consign [to a sphere of becoming]. It is manifested as an emerging here
from a past becoming; or it is manifested as the variedness of suffering.

But why is it suffering? Because it is the basis for many kinds of suffering. [8]
For there are many kinds of suffering, that is to say, intrinsic suffering (dukkha-
dukkha), [9] suffering in change (viparióáma-dukkha), and suffering due to
formations (saòkhára-dukkha); and then concealed suffering, exposed suffering,
indirect suffering, and direct suffering.

35. Herein, bodily and mental, painful feeling are called intrinsic suffering
because of their individual essence, their name, and their painfulness. [Bodily
and mental] pleasant feeling are called suffering in change because they are a
cause for the arising of pain when they change (M I 303 [MN 44 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.044.than.html]). Equanimous feeling
and the remaining formations of the three planes are called suffering due to
formations because they are oppressed by rise and fall. Such bodily and mental
affliction as earache, toothache, fever born of lust, fever born of hate, etc., is called
concealed suffering because it can only be known by questioning and because the
infliction is not openly evident; it is also called “unevident suffering.” The
affliction produced by the thirty-two tortures, [10] etc., is called exposed suffering
because it can be known without questioning and because the infliction is openly
evident; it is also called “evident suffering.” Except intrinsic suffering, all given
in the exposition of the truth of suffering [in the Vibhaòga] (Vibh 99) beginning
with birth are also called indirect suffering because they are the basis for one kind
of suffering or another. But intrinsic suffering is called direct suffering.

Notes:
8. “The question, “But why is it suffering?” means this: granted firstly that birth in
hell is painful, since hell is unalloyed pain, and that it is painful in the other unhappy
destinies since it is originated by bad kamma; but how is it so in the happy destinies
since it is there originated by kamma that leads to bliss? The answer, “Because it is the
basis for many kinds of suffering”, etc., shows that this birth is not called suffering
because of having suffering as its individual essence—for there is no rebirth-linking
associated with painful feeling—but rather because it is the foundation for suffering”
(Vism-mhþ 528).

Something must be said here about the words dukkha and sukha, the former being
perhaps the hardest after dhamma to render into English. Dukkha is consistently
rendered by either the vaguer general term “suffering” or by the more specific “[bodily]
pain.” Different, but overlapping, ideas are expressed. The latter needs no explanation;
but “suffering” must be stretched to include the general insecurity of the whole of
experience, of the impermanent world. For this, “uneasiness” would certainly be
preferable (“ill” is sometimes used), but multiplication of renderings is to be avoided
as much as possible; local accuracy is only too often gained at the cost of general
disorientation in a work of this sort, with these very general words capable of sharp
focusing. Again, sukha has been rendered as either “bliss” or “pleasure,” though the
latter does not at all necessarily imply any hedonism construed with sensual pleasure
(káma). Again, “ease” (in the sense of relief) is in many ways preferable for the first
sense but has not been used for the reason already given.

9. “Since also what does not have suffering as its individual essence is yet called
suffering indirectly, consequently ‘intrinsic suffering’ (dukkha-dukkha) is said
particularizing what does have suffering as its individual essence, just as in the case of
particularizing ‘concrete matter’” (rúpa-rúpa) (see 14.77) (Vism-mhþ 528). For these
three kinds see S IV 259. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

10. See MN 13 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
and 129, http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pit ... ita-e.html
though it is not clear where the figure “thirty-two” is taken
from.
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Re: SN 45.165: Dukkhata Sutta — Suffering

Postby Sam Vara » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:39 am

Hi Mike,

The more I think about the differences between these three types of Dukkha, the more the concept opens out and relates to other aspects of the Dhamma. When I first read summaries of these types, I tended to collapse everything into the first type (Dukkha-dukkhata), and to take the other two types as being the causes or occasions for physical and mental suffering to arise. My body can hurt, or my mind can hurt, and these pains can be brought about by things changing. This is undoubtedly true, but it misses the point.

This was, I think, a partial consequence of translating Dukkha as "suffering", and it was compounded by some rather clunky and superficial western presentations. It leads to collapsing viparinama-dukkhata and sankhara-dukkhata together, through thinking that things change because they are fabricated. (Again, this may be true, but it misses the point.)

This is why the term "unsatisfactoriness" is better, and Sucitto's use of the term "wrongness" in the audio talk is (in this context) better still. (It is also why I am not too keen on Ajahn Thanissaro's rendering of the term as "stress", which again tends to move the concept back into the psychological/physiological, and away from the existential.) Seeing Dukkha in this way allows me to see that there are three different types of "wrongness" about what is going on, about existence. It hurts, bodily and mentally. It tends to decline, which presents us with a whole series of tactical and strategic problems about how to mitigate the decline of the good stuff. (Again, Sucitto's talk is excellent on the Dhamma being a kind of partial insurance of one's well-being.) And it is conditioned, which creates a series of existential dilemmas based around me being a self.

Ironically, the problem of dukkha-dukkhata now seems to be the most intractable, and also the least "problematic".

The really astonishing fact is that these disparate conceptions of what is wrong could ever be gathered together and represented in one concept by one human being; and that a solution should be forthcoming.
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Re: SN 45.165: Dukkhata Sutta — Suffering

Postby daverupa » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:46 am

Brillaint.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: SN 45.165: Dukkhata Sutta — Suffering

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:00 pm

Sam Vega wrote: It leads to collapsing viparinama-dukkhata and sankhara-dukkhata together, through thinking that things change because they are fabricated. (Again, this may be true, but it misses the point.)


Interesting point, but what in your view is the point of difference between these 2 types of dukkha? I assume you're not using the traditional analysis given above of viparinama-dukkhata applying to pleasant feeling and sankhara-dukkhata applying to neutral feeling?
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Re: SN 45.165: Dukkhata Sutta — Suffering

Postby Sam Vara » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:24 pm

porpoise wrote:
Sam Vega wrote: It leads to collapsing viparinama-dukkhata and sankhara-dukkhata together, through thinking that things change because they are fabricated. (Again, this may be true, but it misses the point.)


Interesting point, but what in your view is the point of difference between these 2 types of dukkha? I assume you're not using the traditional analysis given above of viparinama-dukkhata applying to pleasant feeling and sankhara-dukkhata applying to neutral feeling?


Hi porpoise,

I see viparinama-dukkhata according to the tradition you mention - as referring to what Ajahn Sucitto calls the "declinability" of pleasure and more importantly of positive and wholesome states. Dhamma is a means of providing a limited insurance against this decline; by associating with the beautiful, one ensures that wholesome states endure for longer. One has good friends, an orientation towards truth, and freedom from remorse. But these are still unsatisfactory, and their "wrongness" consists of their inherent tendency to pass away.

Sankhara-dukkhata is more about how every aspect of our experience - literally, of our being - is irremediably conditioned and fabricated. My suffering arises because my experience is of a mysterious self which stands apart from the rest of existence. Space and time are fabrications, as are my desires and the unwanted frustrations they lead me into. And there seems to be nothing that addresses this fabricated existential crisis. The "wrongness" of existence itself consists of this; a process whereby I am constantly produced by sankharas, rather than having the control I am somehow forced to crave.
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Re: SN 45.165: Dukkhata Sutta — Suffering

Postby Sam Vara » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:42 pm

Another minor point about this Sutta. Both Walshe and Bhikkhu Bodhi talk about the forms of dukkha as being "caused by" or "due to" the phenomena of pain, sankharas, or change. This was one of the reasons why my initial understanding was limited. Having grasped the idea of Dukkha as mental or physical pain, I was then led by the grammar to look for the causes of that pain - rather as one might look for a stone in a shoe, or the source of an obnoxious smell. And, of course, one can find the causes in change, or conditionality, if one looks there.

I think it makes more sense, though, to think of it as the "dukkha of pain", the "dukkha of declinability/change", and the "dukkha of sankharas". This gives the sense of three types of "wrongness" that afflict our experience.

Whether this accords with the Pali, I don't know, but perhaps someone more learned in that area might advise.
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Re: SN 45.165: Dukkhata Sutta — Suffering

Postby Gibraltariana » Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:29 pm

I am totally new here so if this question is off I apologize. As far as dukkha being due to "change" I am uncleat. Is it the "low" that follows the high of a good change? The pain of aging? Unpleasant change? Any change since we seem to crave stability? Help!
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Re: SN 45.165: Dukkhata Sutta — Suffering

Postby Sam Vara » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:00 pm

Gibraltariana wrote:I am totally new here so if this question is off I apologize. As far as dukkha being due to "change" I am uncleat. Is it the "low" that follows the high of a good change? The pain of aging? Unpleasant change? Any change since we seem to crave stability? Help!


Hi Gibraltariana,

You might want to check out some of the readings linked from Mike's post - Access to Insight is excellent. The readings will give you a little more background. I think all your suggestions are valid. Dukkha is certainly brought about by change, and we might also say in a more general sense that the change itself is one of the ways that existence as a whole is Dukkha, or unsatisfactory. The important thing is to read and reflect on what you have read in the light of your own experience, and that will help you to come to an understanding that makes sense to you. But that understanding itself will change, and that might be unpleasant for a time!
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Re: SN 45.165: Dukkhata Sutta — Suffering

Postby Caraka » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:30 pm

But that understanding itself will change, and that might be unpleasant for a time!
I liked that one :tongue: Thank you.

Is time a logical factor here? E.g. No Dukkha-dukkhataa before Sankhaara-dukkhataa has occured?
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Re: SN 45.165: Dukkhata Sutta — Suffering

Postby Sam Vara » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:00 pm

Hi Caraka,

Is time a logical factor here? E.g. No Dukkha-dukkhataa before Sankhaara-dukkhataa has occured?


I'm not sure if time is altogether relevant. They just seem to be two separate ways of conceiving of how experience is currently not right. But Sankhara-Dukkhata seems to be the more important, as it underlies and conditions all our experience, whether or not physical and mental pain are actually present.
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Re: SN 45.165: Dukkhata Sutta — Suffering

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:46 pm

just something I am noticing and do not know why, it seams to be placed at SN45.99 in the Digital Pali Reader although Sutta central do not have any alternative numbering system there?
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Re: SN 45.165: Dukkhata Sutta — Suffering

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:20 pm

Sam Vega wrote:I think it makes more sense, though, to think of it as the "dukkha of pain", the "dukkha of declinability/change", and the "dukkha of sankharas". This gives the sense of three types of "wrongness" that afflict our experience.

Whether this accords with the Pali, I don't know, but perhaps someone more learned in that area might advise.

it only says "dukkhadukkhatā, saṅkhāradukkhatā, vipariṇāmadukkhatā" so it seams reasonable

I have just translated this short text to have a better look at it, and I have a issue with understanding the three as they are explained in Vism, as saṅkhāradukkhatā & vipariṇāmadukkhatā seam to be identical to how I am understanding the explanations. they litterally do not make sense to me the way they are.

[edited]personally I would opt for "stresses of being, stresses of conditioned fabrication, & stresses of change" i.e stresses that are unavoidable such as mind states being pressent or physical injury are stresses of being (internal), stresses that are due to dealing with the outside world (internal & external) and the latter thinking of "all that is mine beloved & pleasing will become otherwise, will become separate from me" or stressed of changing sensations from being close to pleasure to being away from it.

I need to look at these more and any thoughts or explatations of vism would be appreciated.
Last edited by Cittasanto on Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: SN 45.165: Dukkhata Sutta — Suffering

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:33 pm

an interesting paper regarding this threefold suffering
http://elte.academia.edu/FerencRuzsa/Pa ... Pali_Canon
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: SN 45.165: Dukkhata Sutta — Suffering

Postby pegembara » Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:21 am

"Monks, there are these three kinds of discontentment .[1] What three? Discontentment caused by pain,[2] discontentment caused by the formations (or conditioned existence),[3] discontentment due to change.[4] It is for the full comprehension, clear understanding, ending and abandonment of these three forms of discontentment that the Noble Eightfold Path is to be cultivated..."


Noun 1. discontentment - a longing for something better than the present situation
discontent, discontentedness
longing, yearning, hungriness - prolonged unfulfilled desire or need
disgruntlement - a feeling of sulky discontent
dysphoria - abnormal depression and discontent
dissatisfaction - the feeling of being displeased and discontent; "he was never slow to express his dissatisfaction with the service he received"


contentment - happiness with one's situation in life
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Re: SN 45.165: Dukkhata Sutta — Suffering

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:02 am

Hi Pegembara,

I'm not clear of your point. Are you simply saying that you'd prefer to translate dukkha as "discontentment"?

:anjali:
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Re: SN 45.165: Dukkhata Sutta — Suffering

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:29 am

Sam Vega wrote:I think it makes more sense, though, to think of it as the "dukkha of pain", the "dukkha of declinability/change", and the "dukkha of sankharas". This gives the sense of three types of "wrongness" that afflict our experience.


Yes, I was thinking about the dukkha of pain, loss and uncertainty respectively. The loss of the pleasant, and the uncertainty of our conditioned existence.
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Re: SN 45.165: Dukkhata Sutta — Suffering

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:34 am

Sam Vega wrote: But Sankhara-Dukkhata seems to be the more important, as it underlies and conditions all our experience, whether or not physical and mental pain are actually present.


Yes, I think that's why this type of dukkha is associated with neutral feeling. Because our existence and experience is conditioned and uncertain, neutral feeling will inevitably "tip over", either into pleasant feeling ( cue the suffering of change ie loss of pleasant feeling ) or into unpleasant feeling ( cue the "ordinary" suffering of pain ).
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