What exactly was the Buddha's teaching on suffering?

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kmath
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What exactly was the Buddha's teaching on suffering?

Post by kmath » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:41 pm

Did he mean that certain experiences are suffering or that existence itself is suffering?

Here's one way to think about it: Let's suppose the human realm and the "four lower realms of woe" do not exist. And say the all the realms "above" the human realm do exist. So rebirth would always take place in a "higher" realm. Would the Buddha still teach?

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: What exactly was the Buddha's teaching on suffering?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:46 pm

kmath wrote:Did he mean that certain experiences are suffering or that existence itself is suffering?
He meant that existence itself is unsatisfactory (dukkha). We should not say that being reborn in the celestial or brahma realms is suffering in the normally accepted sense of that term. Nor should we say that human happiness is suffering.

If getting sick is suffering, then recovering and being healthy is happiness.
If not getting what you want is suffering, then getting it is happiness.
If being blamed is suffering, then being praised is happiness, etc.

Nevertheless, dukkha is inevitable because whatever sensual, intellectual, or spiritual happiness we gain,it is still conditioned, and therefore impermanent and unsatisfactory (dukkha).

Only nibbāna is free from all dukkha.
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cooran
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Re: What exactly was the Buddha's teaching on suffering?

Post by cooran » Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:49 pm

Hello kmath,

The Noble Truth of Suffering - Dukkha
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... index.html

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Modus.Ponens
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Re: What exactly was the Buddha's teaching on suffering?

Post by Modus.Ponens » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:25 pm

Thank you Bhante. :anjali:
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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manas
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Re: What exactly was the Buddha's teaching on suffering?

Post by manas » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:48 pm

kmath wrote:Did he mean that certain experiences are suffering or that existence itself is suffering?

Here's one way to think about it: Let's suppose the human realm and the "four lower realms of woe" do not exist. And say the all the realms "above" the human realm do exist. So rebirth would always take place in a "higher" realm. Would the Buddha still teach?
If you were in a celestial realm, and you had a wonderful and glorious life with a goddess you truly loved, who satisfied you in every way, but then still had to die one day - as even devas eventually have to die, and reappear elsewhere - then I think you would still suffer, from leaving behind such a happy life, that you had become identified with as 'me' and as 'mine'. imho. I've heard that even heavenly beings end up crying and suffering - unless they have the insight that only the Dhamma can give. :anjali:
"To these too I teach the Dhamma which is lovely in its beginning, lovely in its middle and lovely in its ending, in spirit and in letter, I display to them the holy life, perfectly fulfilled and purified."
- from the Desanaa Sutta

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kmath
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Re: What exactly was the Buddha's teaching on suffering?

Post by kmath » Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:17 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
kmath wrote:Did he mean that certain experiences are suffering or that existence itself is suffering?
He meant that existence itself is unsatisfactory (dukkha). We should not say that being reborn in the celestial or brahma realms is suffering in the normally accepted sense of that term. Nor should we say that human happiness is suffering.

If getting sick is suffering, then recovering and being healthy is happiness.
If not getting what you want is suffering, then getting it is happiness.
If being blamed is suffering, then being praised is happiness, etc.

Nevertheless, dukkha is inevitable because whatever sensual, intellectual, or spiritual happiness we gain,it is still conditioned, and therefore impermanent and unsatisfactory (dukkha).

Only nibbāna is free from all dukkha.
Well put. Thank you!

:thanks:

:anjali:

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Dhammanando
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Re: What exactly was the Buddha's teaching on suffering?

Post by Dhammanando » Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:50 am

kmath wrote:Let's suppose the human realm and the "four lower realms of woe" do not exist. And say the all the realms "above" the human realm do exist. So rebirth would always take place in a "higher" realm. Would the Buddha still teach?
The absence of the lower realms and the human realm would impose a rather drastic limit on how much dukkha-dukkhatā could be experienced, though vipariṇāma-dukkhatā and saṅkhāra-dukkhatā would remain wholly intact. In such a universe I believe the Buddha would still teach, that is, he would still declare the preferability of bhavanirodha over bhava. On the other hand, I suspect the paucity of dukkha-dukkhatā would mean his following being a great deal smaller than it is in our own universe.

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Re: What exactly was the Buddha's teaching on suffering?

Post by SamBodhi » Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:33 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Nevertheless, dukkha is inevitable because whatever sensual, intellectual, or spiritual happiness we gain,it is still conditioned, and therefore impermanent and unsatisfactory (dukkha).
Only nibbāna is free from all dukkha.
Thank you very much Bhante. I was also curious about a good way to say this.


with Metta,
SamBodhi
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unentangled knowing,
All outward-going knowing
cast aside."
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