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

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

Post by DooDoot »

Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:25 pm
That's not about whether things are perceived or not; the difference between the objective existence of something and our awareness of it. That's about the arising of enlightened beings, presumably because those enlightened beings point out the characteristics of what we perceive. We can certainly perceive things without the arising of enlightened beings.
So the above appears to claim puthujjana discern anicca, dukkha & anatta (when there are no Buddhas and no Buddhism).
dharmacorps wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:15 pm
Thanissaro Bhikkhu's preferred translation is "stress". Although nothing in English seems to perfectly translate the word "Dukkha", that does come pretty close in most scenarios. You could even say "breaking my leg is stress" and it won't sound silly like "breaking my leg is unsatisfactory".
I suggested there are three contexts of dukkha where each translation is different.

1. Your leg is "unsatisfactory" because it cannot be relied on for lasting happiness. This is "dukkha lakkhana".

2. When your leg breaks, this is "painful" or a "painful feeling". This is "dukkha vedana".

3. When you cling to that painful feeling or that unsatisfactoriness (for example, your leg becomes permanently injured or disabled), that clinging is "suffering" or "torment". This is "dukkha" as "noble truth" or "upadana".

Kind regards :smile:
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santa100
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Re: Suffering is not a satisfactory translation for the Pali word "Dukkha"?

Post by santa100 »

Dinsdale wrote:So how does cessation of dukkha happen with this view of sankhara-dukkha?
One can only earns the right to proclaim "cessation of dukkha" when completely penetrated no "I", "mine", "myself". If there's no "I", "mine", or "myself" to be identified with the aggregates, sankhara-dukkha naturally goes out of scope.

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

Post by sunnat »

I understand this. 123 I don't think any example is necessary in 3.

For an unenlightened one, not fully awakened, not fully aware, that which is called unsatisfactory. That feeling that is attached to a body part that arises with contact will always be not fully realised or understood. It will be like looking at an iceberg floating in the sea always just seeing a fraction. When full awareness of that which is unsatisfactory arises it is found to be torment. Dukkha is Suffering

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

Post by form »

sunnat wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:11 pm
Percieve actually means to see with understanding, or just understand, not just see.
The word, perception, in the case of 5 aggregates and in modern psychology are not the same meaning.

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

Post by sunnat »

Sorry, I can't understand what you mean. Can you explain, please.

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

Post by form »

sunnat wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:20 am
Sorry, I can't understand what you mean. Can you explain, please.
Perception in five aggregates of Buddhism is sort of recognition of an external stimulus.

In psychology, when one perceives, it is more like a consciousness in the five aggregates.

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

Post by sunnat »

Ok,

It was written : "There's nothing in AN 3.136 which talks about whether things are perceived or not."

The reply was : "Mendicants, whether Realized Ones arise or not (uppādā vā tathāgatānaṃ anuppādā vā tathāgatānaṃ), this law of nature persists, this regularity of natural principles, this invariance of natural principles... AN 3.136"

The reply was : "That's not about whether things are perceived or not; the difference between the objective existence of something and our awareness of it. That's about the arising of enlightened beings, presumably because those enlightened beings point out the characteristics of what we perceive. We can certainly perceive things without the arising of enlightened beings."

To which I interjected : "Percieve (sic) actually means to see with understanding, or just understand, not just see."

. my meaning being that it is about whether things are being perceived or not with the understanding that to perceive means to understand and that it takes a Buddha to understand these things outside of a Buddha sasana while that being perceived (dhamma) is there all the time and ordinary beings may glimpse it but not understand it, ie perceive it, (unless you're a private buddha.)

After which it got a bit tangled. .?

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

Post by chownah »

Some people want to emphasize the really terrible and awful things and so they like to say that dukkha is best translated as being suffering.....this is fine BUT for instance dropping your peanut butter and jelly open face sandwich on the floor and it lands peanut butter and jelly side down is not by most sane humans considered to be terrible and awful and yet it is dukkha.

If we say that dukkha means "unsatisfactory" I think we can safely say that terrible and awful things are "unsatisfactory".....certainly we would not say that they are "satisfactory".....so....it seems that "unsatisfactory" includes those terrible and awful things.....

.....so.....if we say "unsatisfactory" we include all the terrible and awful things AND we include those things which are not considered to be terrible and awful......BUT.....if we say "suffering" then we are including all the terrible and awful things BUT we are not including alot of annoying things.

.....so...."unsatisfactory" can easily include all kinds of dukkha while suffering does not include alot of things that are dukkha.

chownah

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

Post by SamKR »

Dukkha, and its variations (Du:kha, दुःख), in current south asian languages like Hindi and Nepali (which are related to Sanskrit and Pali) is a very common word. It is the opposite of sukha, another common word. As a native Nepali speaker I use these two words in day to day conversations.

In these languages, and in Sanskrit too, dukha means suffering and sukha means comfort or pleasure. "Unsatisfactory" or "dissatisfaction" or "stress" do not capture the meaning of dukha. Since Pali is related to Sanskrit and Prakrit languages as well as modern languages based on them, I am very sure that dukkha in Pali means suffering.

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

Post by chownah »

To say that "dukkha" in a modern language means "suffering" really has no bearing on what "dukkha" meant at the time of the buddha.
chownah

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

Post by SamKR »

chownah wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 4:03 am
To say that "dukkha" in a modern language means "suffering" really has no bearing on what "dukkha" meant at the time of the buddha.
chownah
I disagree. Having observed that too many words have the same or similar meanings (modern compared to ancient), it is reasonable to believe the possibility of the same about dukkha - especially when the word is used so frequently in the Pali canon in all contexts similar to that of modern days, and I cannot detect any significant alteration in its usage.

Of course there are many other words whose meanings might have changed significantly or newer shades of meanings have emerged over time, however dukkha is so important and common word in Indian culture that its meaning appears to be very specific and has remained virtually unchanged over millennia.

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

Post by sunnat »

It is good that this happens. Wisdom is another important word that's understood in different ways. Likewise ignorance.
Here wisdom means to understand in a particular way. Wisdom or knowledge from received words. Wisdom or knowledge from figuring things out. And the one that matters : wisdom acquired from direct experience. This means, in practical terms, from in-sight. From looking inside to see things as they really are. This is not by reading or thinking. Reading or thinking about that fundamental truth will always miss the mark. That kind of wisdom can never be enlightening.

In the fire sermon Buddha explains "all is burning". There is no qualification or gradation, just everything is burning, everything is dukkha, suffering.

It's simple to prove to yourself. Sit without intentionally moving for one hour while keeping your awareness on the area around the mouth, observing the breath. Then, with direct experience being had, explain why you could not do it. (remember, one full hour, not 55 minutes. No, that means no, intentional movement, and keep the awareness focused on the area around the mouth, observing the breath as it is)... now do it for 24 hours. Thats how long, if done continuously, Venerable Webu Sayadaw said it will take to reach Nibbana.

I really doubt anyone here will do that. My personal experience is that at some point (say after an hour and a half) there is nothing but pain and suffering and the awareness of it. This then is a transcending moment and suddenly there is no pain. Then there is an understanding that can only be had from the experience. No words can provide that. Without that, yes, it's, well, ok, call it unsatisfactory. Meanwhile, Dukkha is Suffering and that just won't change.

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

Post by Sam Vara »

DooDoot wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:29 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:25 pm
That's not about whether things are perceived or not; the difference between the objective existence of something and our awareness of it. That's about the arising of enlightened beings, presumably because those enlightened beings point out the characteristics of what we perceive. We can certainly perceive things without the arising of enlightened beings.
So the above appears to claim puthujjana discern anicca, dukkha & anatta (when there are no Buddhas and no Buddhism).
It might appear to, but it doesn't. Before the Buddha, people were subject to those things, but didn't frame them in terms that the Buddha introduced. They experienced pain, loss, being overwhelmed, etc., but didn't think or speak of them in the way the Buddha did. Had they not been subject to these things, his Dhamma would have been pointless.

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

Post by DooDoot »

Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:26 am
They experienced pain, loss, being overwhelmed, etc.,
Again, you appear stuck on the psychological meaning of dukkha as "pain" ("suffering") rather than the ontological "unsatisfactoriness of conditioned things". For example, physical gold & silver are "unsatisfactory" because these things cannot guarantee happiness; which is why some billionaires commit suicide due to unhappiness. Regards
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Re: Suffering is not a satisfactory translation for the Pali word "Dukkha"?

Post by Spiny Norman »

Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 3:34 pm
Dinsdale wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 3:09 pm

So these natural principles (the 3 marks) are phenomenological, rather than ontological, ie descriptive of experience?
As a general point I would say so, but AN 3.136 doesn't address that issue. It's about the truth of something whether or not there are enlightened beings to point it out, rather than what the truth applies to.
OK. Clearly if dukkha was "ontological", then cessation of dukkha wouldn't be possible. So it must be a feature of the way we usually experience things.
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