Suffering is not a satisfactory translation for the Pali word "Dukkha"?

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SarathW
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Suffering is not a satisfactory translation for the Pali word "Dukkha"?

Post by SarathW » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:29 pm

Suffering is not a satisfactory translation for the Pali word "Dukkha"?

According to Sutta Sutta series from SN35.140 it appears that the translation of Dukkha as "suffering" appears to be inadequate.
This view is expressed by few who answered to another post about SN35 .140

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=34853

https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/ho ... g/13347/11

For instance, DD post the following and it is a good starting point for the discussion.
===========

Dukkha has a different meaning thus requires are different translation in the following contexts:

1. Vedana (arising from contact)

2. Four noble truths & dependent origination

3. Three characteristics
Last edited by SarathW on Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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cappuccino
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Re: Suffering is not a satisfactory translation for the Pali word "Dukkha"?

Post by cappuccino » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:34 pm

the Noble truths are deeper than first impression

life is difficult & then you die, might be a better translation
Last edited by cappuccino on Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Suffering is not a satisfactory translation for the Pali word "Dukkha"?

Post by Zom » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:35 pm

Word for dukkha is dukkha :D

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Re: Suffering is not a satisfactory translation for the Pali word "Dukkha"?

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:42 pm

Greetings,

Personally, I think regarding sukha as "ease" and then taking dukkha as the opposite, i.e. "dis-ease", is the most workable all-round solution to the translation problem. Not entirely elegant in English, but I believe it to be accurate nonetheless.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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Re: Suffering is not a satisfactory translation for the Pali word "Dukkha"?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:51 pm

Dukkha has a different meaning thus requires a different translation in the following contexts:

1. Vedana (arising from contact)

2. Four noble truths/dependent origination

3. Three characteristics

For those unable to abandon clinging to Bhikkhu Bodhi, Thanissaro, Sujato and (the new kid on the Western block) Analayo, the above will be problematic.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Re: Suffering is not a satisfactory translation for the Pali word "Dukkha"?

Post by cappuccino » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:54 pm

For those unable to abandon clinging to Bhikkhu Bodhi, Thanissaro, Sujato and (the new kid on the Western block) Analayo, the above will be problematic.
So you select who agrees with you.

Since they speak of rebirth.

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Re: Suffering is not a satisfactory translation for the Pali word "Dukkha"?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:55 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:54 pm
So you select who agrees with you. Not wise.
I select what is real.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Re: Suffering is not a satisfactory translation for the Pali word "Dukkha"?

Post by cappuccino » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:55 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:55 pm
cappuccino wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:54 pm
So you select who agrees with you. Not wise.
I select what is real.
But you determine what is real?

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Re: Suffering is not a satisfactory translation for the Pali word "Dukkha"?

Post by SarathW » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:57 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:42 pm
Greetings,

Personally, I think regarding sukha as "ease" and then taking dukkha as the opposite, i.e. "dis-ease", is the most workable all-round solution to the translation problem. Not entirely elegant in English, but I believe it to be accurate nonetheless.

Metta,
Paul. :)
Good proposal Retro but you can't use this for objects.
My original post was based on by translating Dukkha of objects as suffering.
According to the Sutta series, I provided the word Dukkha is applied to say Eye, objects (sight) and eye-consciousness I suppose.
Please read all nine Sutta's in this series.
Last edited by SarathW on Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Suffering is not a satisfactory translation for the Pali word "Dukkha"?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:58 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:55 pm
But you determine what is real?
:thinking:
cappuccino wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:54 pm
Since they speak of rebirth.
Acharya Buddharakkhita speaks of 'rebirth' but has no problems with translating 'dukkha':
278. "All conditioned things are unsatisfactory" — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering. This is the path to purification.

Sabbe saṅkhārā dukkhā ti yadā paññāya passati Atha nibbindati dukkhe esa maggo visuddhiyā

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .budd.html
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Re: Suffering is not a satisfactory translation for the Pali word "Dukkha"?

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:08 pm

SarathW wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:29 pm

Dukkha has a different meaning thus requires are different translation in the following contexts:

1. Vedana (arising from contact)

2. Four noble truths & dependent origination

3. Three characteristics
I'm thinking "dissatisfaction". I'm not completely satisfied with it, though... :?

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Re: Suffering is not a satisfactory translation for the Pali word "Dukkha"?

Post by sunnat » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:25 pm

Some things become funny if you use unsatisfactory. The pain from having a leg break off is unsatisfactory. Dying is unsatisfactory. Being ill is... And so on. The unsatisfactory bit is just the tip of the iceberg. That part of very real, deep suffering that is hidden behind the subtle neither pleasant nor unpleasant feelings, ignorance.

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Re: Suffering is not a satisfactory translation for the Pali word "Dukkha"?

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:39 pm

Greetings Sarath,
retrofuturist wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:42 pm
Personally, I think regarding sukha as "ease" and then taking dukkha as the opposite, i.e. "dis-ease", is the most workable all-round solution to the translation problem. Not entirely elegant in English, but I believe it to be accurate nonetheless.
SarathW wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:57 pm
Good proposal Retro but you can't use this for objects.
My original post was based on by translating Dukkha of objects as suffering.
Were they dukkha for the Buddha? No.

It appears that you're taking these classifications of dukkha and assuming them to be fait accompli.
SarathW wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:57 pm
According to the Sutta series, I provided the word Dukkha is applied to say Eye, objects (sight) and eye-consciousness I suppose.
Please read all nine Sutta's in this series.
I already have, previously... I just regard the meaning as different to your fatalistic interpretation.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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Kim OHara
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Re: Suffering is not a satisfactory translation for the Pali word "Dukkha"?

Post by Kim OHara » Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:03 pm

SarathW wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:57 pm
retrofuturist wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:42 pm
Greetings,

Personally, I think regarding sukha as "ease" and then taking dukkha as the opposite, i.e. "dis-ease", is the most workable all-round solution to the translation problem. Not entirely elegant in English, but I believe it to be accurate nonetheless.

Metta,
Paul. :)
Good proposal Retro but you can't use this for objects.
My original post was based on by translating Dukkha of objects as suffering.
According to the Sutta series, I provided the word Dukkha is applied to say Eye, objects (sight) and eye-consciousness I suppose.
Please read all nine Sutta's in this series.
No single English word matches all the meanings of "dukkha" so we have to use a range of words to translate it according to context, or use only one word and put up with misleading translations, or leave it untranslated (as Zom said).
Years ago I compiled a list of words which have been used to translate "dukkha". I can't find it now but it included "dis-ease" (awkward, as Paul says, but accurate), unsatisfactoriness, dissatisfaction, suffering, stress, affliction, unhappiness, pain ... and more.

At the time I was particularly irritated by a very common translation of the First Noble Truth, "All life is suffering," which I thought was way too negative. "Unsatisfactoriness is inherent in all life's experiences," would, I think, be closer. It's not as catchy, though. :rolleye:

:namaste:
Kim

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Re: Suffering is not a satisfactory translation for the Pali word "Dukkha"?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:33 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:08 pm
I'm thinking "dissatisfaction". I'm not completely satisfied with it, though... :?
Vedana & the four noble truths appear to be akin to 'phenomenology'. The three characteristics appear to be akin to 'ontology' (AN 3.136). Therefore 'dissatisfaction' appears non-applicable to 'ontology'. Sutta series from SN 35.140 appears to be 'ontology' rather than 'phenomenology'.

https://suttacentral.net/sn35.141/en/sujato
https://suttacentral.net/sn35.144/en/sujato
Kim OHara wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:03 pm
First Noble Truth... "Unsatisfactoriness is inherent in all life's experiences," would, I think, be closer. It's not as catchy, though.
Difficult to understand how you can come to such a conclusion. Where does the First Noble Truth say it applies to all life's experiences? :shrug:
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati

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