The Deepest Meaning of Dukkha

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The Deepest Meaning of Dukkha

Postby buddhaflower » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:08 pm

Dear Members,

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The Deepest Meaning of Dukkha
[Presented by Dr.Tep Sastri @ SD/JTN]


I've found the following writing by Bhikkhu Bodhi very inspirational on Dukkha and the reason for seeking its ending.

"The Buddha does not merely touch the problem of suffering tangentially; he makes it, rather, the very cornerstone of his teaching. He starts the Four Noble Truths that sum up his message with the announcement that life is inseparably tied to something he calls dukkha. The Pali word is often translated as suffering, but it means something deeper than pain and misery. It refers to a basic unsatisfactoriness running through our lives, the lives of all but the enlightened.

"Sometimes this unsatisfactoriness erupts into the open as sorrow, grief, disappointment, or despair; but usually it hovers at the edge of our awareness as a vague unlocalized sense that things are never quite perfect, never fully adequate to our expectations of what they should be. This fact of dukkha, the Buddha says, is the only real spiritual problem. The other problems â€" the theological and metaphysical questions that have taunted religious thinkers through the centuries â€" he gently waves aside as "matters not tending to liberation." What he teaches, he says, is just suffering and the ending of suffering, dukkha and its cessation.

"The Buddha does not stop with generalities. He goes on to expose the different forms that dukkha takes, both the evident and the subtle. He starts with what is close at hand, with the suffering inherent in the physical process of life itself. Here dukkha shows up in the events of birth, aging, and death, in our susceptibility to sickness, accidents, and injuries, even in hunger and thirst. It appears again in our inner reactions to disagreeable situations and events: in the sorrow, anger, frustration, and fear aroused by painful separations, by unpleasant encounters, by the failure to get what we want. Even our pleasures, the Buddha says, are not immune from dukkha. They give us happiness while they last, but they do not last forever; eventually they must pass away, and when they go the loss leaves us feeling deprived. Our lives, for the most part, are strung out between the thirst for pleasure and the fear of pain. We pass our days running after the one and running away from the other, seldom enjoying the peace of contentment; real satisfaction seems somehow always out of reach, just beyond the next horizon. Then in the end we have to die: to give up the identity we spent our whole life building, to leave behind everything and everyone we love.

"But even death, the Buddha teaches, does not bring us to the end of dukkha, for the life process does not stop with death. When life ends in one place, with one body, the "mental continuum," the individual stream of consciousness, springs up again elsewhere with a new body as its physical support. Thus the cycle goes on over and over â€" birth, aging, and death â€" driven by the thirst for more existence. The Buddha declares that this round of rebirths â€" called samsara, "the wandering" â€" has been turning through beginningless time. It is without a first point, without temporal origin. No matter how far back in time we go we always find living beings â€" ourselves in previous lives â€" wandering from one state of existence to another. The Buddha describes various realms where rebirth can take place: realms of torment, the animal realm, the human realm, realms of celestial bliss. But none of these realms can offer a final refuge. Life in any plane must come to an end. It is impermanent and thus marked with that insecurity which is the deepest meaning of dukkha. For this reason one aspiring to the complete end of dukkha cannot rest content with any mundane achievement, with any status, but must win emancipation from the entire unstable whirl."

The Noble Eightfold Path: The Way to the End of Suffering, by Bhikkhu Bodhi
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... d.html#ch1

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Re: The Deepest Meaning of Dukkha

Postby Jnana » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:20 pm

Good excerpt from a good teaching.

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Re: The Deepest Meaning of Dukkha

Postby buddhaflower » Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:55 am

Dear All,

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Discern = Truly Know
[Presented by Dr.Tep Sastri @SD/JTN]


One who knows blemish, as it really is, 'there is blemish in me', will arouse chanda and viriya (effort, aataapii) with sati(mindfulness) --aataapii, sampajana, satima-- in order to dispel that blemish. Also, one who truly knows that 'there is no blemish in me' will not fall to an agreeable sign (subha-nimitta), and so greed will not overcome him. [See Anangana Sutta, MN 5, and the SariputtaDhamma messages #16499, 20309, 21051.]

We know that a hindrance, e.g. chanda raaga (sensual desire), is blemish (angana). Now, how does one know sensual desire, as it really is, such that he/she will not fall into an agreeable sign and, therefore, greed will not overcome him? The answer is given in the Satipatthaana Sutta.

[MN 10:] "Herein, monks, when sensual desire is present in him the monk knows, 'There is sensual desire in me,' or when sensual desire is absent he knows, 'There is no sensual desire in me.' He knows how the arising of non-arisen sensual desire comes to be; he knows how the rejection of the arisen sensual desire comes to be; and he knows how the non-arising in the future of the rejected sensual desire comes to be." [The same idea applies to other hindrances: ill-will, sloth and torpor, restlessness and remorse, and doubt.]
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When the meditator (a "monk") discerns these three conditions, then he truly knows when there is sensual desire, or when there is no sensual desire, in him.

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Re: The Deepest Meaning of Dukkha

Postby greentara » Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:24 am

Jack Preger is a doctor,now an old man, working on the streets and helping the poorest of the poor with no strings attached. India is now one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with its own space programme, atomic weapons, and 5-star hotel rates rivalling those of Tokyo and London. Many of its citizens are hugely rich - as one obese Lonely-Planet-recommended restaurant/guest house owner confessed to me: "I don't know how to hide all my cash from the tax authorities, it keeps coming in"

Many people therefore find this a huge and objectionable paradox. Why should we support desperately poor people in a country so intrinsically rich? Why doesn't the government stop making missiles and space rockets, and address the problems at street level instead? Why don't the rich people help their own kind?

You might ask the same question about many other mineral-and-asset-rich developing countries.

The tragic fact is that here, wealth, together with education and opportunity, stays lodged at the top. It feeds on rank materialism, greed, power, selfishness, and an amazing ability to ignore the daily suffering of fellow human beings.

In countries like India particularly, it can be conveniently attributed to caste and karma, in other words, you are currently paying for the sins of a past life - so you can just keep on living in the gutter, together with all your daily agony and repulsive diseases, whilst I drive past you in my lovely new car.
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Re: The Deepest Meaning of Dukkha

Postby shaunc » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:56 am

Thank-You buddhaflower for all of the wonderful stories you post on this site & the sister-site dhamma wheel. For me you are one of the most influential posters here.
Greentara, what you said is very true. I watched a documentary once that stated that 95% of the worlds wealth is with 5% of the worlds people, being an australian with a home that has running water, electricity & sewerage I suppose it's fair to say that I'm in that 5%. The same documentary claimed that if every developed country spent just 1 or 2% of their defence budget on world poverty that this if administered properly would most probably alleviate the problem. Unfortunately I don't know the answer to world poverty. My wife & I pay for the education of 3 girls in the Philippines, I know that we live in a world with a population of about 6 billion people & me paying for the education of 3 girls in the Philippines makes a difference of approximately sweet fa, but if everyone did a little bit it may not make poverty go away completely but it might just take the edge off it a bit.
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Re: The Deepest Meaning of Dukkha

Postby buddhaflower » Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:48 am

greentara wrote:Jack Preger is a doctor,now an old man, working on the streets and helping the poorest of the poor with no strings attached. India is now one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with its own space programme, atomic weapons, and 5-star hotel rates rivalling those of Tokyo and London. Many of its citizens are hugely rich - as one obese Lonely-Planet-recommended restaurant/guest house owner confessed to me: "I don't know how to hide all my cash from the tax authorities, it keeps coming in"

Many people therefore find this a huge and objectionable paradox. Why should we support desperately poor people in a country so intrinsically rich? Why doesn't the government stop making missiles and space rockets, and address the problems at street level instead? Why don't the rich people help their own kind?

You might ask the same question about many other mineral-and-asset-rich developing countries.

The tragic fact is that here, wealth, together with education and opportunity, stays lodged at the top. It feeds on rank materialism, greed, power, selfishness, and an amazing ability to ignore the daily suffering of fellow human beings.

In countries like India particularly, it can be conveniently attributed to caste and karma, in other words, you are currently paying for the sins of a past life - so you can just keep on living in the gutter, together with all your daily agony and repulsive diseases, whilst I drive past you in my lovely new car.


Dear Greentara,

I truly appreciate your comment :thanks:
Buddhaflower :namaste:
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Re: The Deepest Meaning of Dukkha

Postby buddhaflower » Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:54 am

shaunc wrote:Thank-You buddhaflower for all of the wonderful stories you post on this site & the sister-site dhamma wheel. For me you are one of the most influential posters here.

Greentara, what you said is very true. I watched a documentary once that stated that 95% of the worlds wealth is with 5% of the worlds people, being an australian with a home that has running water, electricity & sewerage I suppose it's fair to say that I'm in that 5%. The same documentary claimed that if every developed country spent just 1 or 2% of their defence budget on world poverty that this if administered properly would most probably alleviate the problem. Unfortunately I don't know the answer to world poverty. My wife & I pay for the education of 3 girls in the Philippines, I know that we live in a world with a population of about 6 billion people & me paying for the education of 3 girls in the Philippines makes a difference of approximately sweet fa, but if everyone did a little bit it may not make poverty go away completely but it might just take the edge off it a bit.

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Dear Shaunc,

Thank you very much for your kind words :heart:
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