Reply To: Post on ” Introduction what is suffering?”


Tobias wrote: “Dukkha is “actual suffering” (physical pain and mental suffering) and the “danger of suffering” in the future (dukkhaṁ bhayaṭṭhena).”

Just before that, you wrote: “Finally all dukkha is based on previous sankhara and therefore all dukkha would be sankhara dukkha.”

The more recent statement is better. That is the explanation given in Nettipakarana (one of the three Tipitaka commentaries) that you asked the first question about.

In my answer to that question, I translated that verse:

Suffering is three-fold: Dukkha dukkhatā, saṅkhāra dukkhatā, vipariṇāma dukkhatā.
– From those three, “the great danger” is “saṅkhāra dukkhatā.”
– That is because the rebirth process is maintained by saṅkhāra generation (via “avijjā paccayā saṅkhāra.”) Thus, once overcoming the saṅkhāra dukkhatā the other two are also removed, and one will get to Nibbāna (Saṅkhāradukkhatāya pana loko anupādisesāya nibbānadhātuyā muccati,)

It is better to say, “all types of dukkha EXPERIENCED would be DUE TO (abhi)sankhara.”

The First Noble Truth explains three types of suffering (dukkha): Dukkha dukkhatā, saṅkhāra dukkhatā, vipariṇāma dukkhatā.
– Here, engaging in saṅkhāra also makes one suffer even at the time of engaging in saṅkhāra generation (for example, working hard to get a good job or a promotion.)

The First Noble Truth also explains the cause of all three types of suffering to be encountered in the future.
– That is engaging in saṅkhāra. That is the main part of saṅkhāra dukkhatā.

Let me put it in another way.
– Rebirth process with all three types of suffering arises from “avijja paccaya (abhi)sankhara,” i.e., due to saṅkhāra dukkhatā.

The point is that Noble Truths on Suffering are NOT merely about the suffering experienced now. It is MOSTLY about future suffering and how that arises and how it can be stopped.
– Future suffering arises BECAUSE we get attached to “sukha-generating things” with abhisankhara. Thus “the great danger.”

I revised an old post on the subject:Is Suffering the Same as the First Noble Truth on Suffering?