What is dukkha dukkha?

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    • #16121
      firewns
      Participant

      Hi,

      In one of Lal’s posts, I think it was mentioned that dukkha dukkha is the incessant desire to satisfy the six senses. Does this mean that dukkha dukkha is the same as kama raga or tanha? Or is it more like an unpleasant vedana?

      In the case of an arahant who is beaten to death due to a past kamma, does he experience dukkha dukkha due to an unpleasant vedana, even though he no longer has kama raga, (the desire to satisfy the six senses)?

    • #16122
      SengKiat
      Moderator

      @firewns,

      Please see the 3 aspects of suffering. Dukkha-dukkha does not include kama raga or tanha.

      With metta.

    • #16124
      Lal
      Keymaster

      The reference given by SengKiat is not that good, and could lead to confusion in some cases. The three types of sufferings are discussed at:

      Introduction – What is Suffering?

      Introduction -2 – The Three Characteristics of Nature

      Those are the first two posts in the subsection: “Paticca Samuppada in Plain English“.

    • #16143
      Akvan
      Participant

      Hi Lal,

      In the post https://puredhamma.net/paticca-samuppada/paticca-samuppada-in-plain-english/introduction-2-the-three-characteristics-of-nature/, it is stated that “Until the death of the physical body, even an Arahant is subjected to dukkha dukkha.” Is there a sutta reference for to say that an arahanth will experience dukha dukkha?

      In the Dukkhatha Sutta; https://suttacentral.net/sn45.165/en/bodhi , it is stated that “The Noble Eightfold Path is to be developed for direct knowledge of these three kinds of suffering, for the full understanding of them, for their utter destruction, for their abandoning.”

      In pali: Imāsaṃ kho, bhikkhave, tissannaṃ dukkhatānaṃ abhiññāya pariññāya parikkhayāya pahānāya … pe … ayaṃ ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo bhāvetabbo”ti.

      And it is also stated that the Buddha or an arahanth has ended all kinds of suffering after he attains enlightenment. If one does eliminate all types of suffering he should also eliminate the dukkha dukkha in this life as well.

      So I don’t think that the dukkha dukkha refers to the bodily pain due to past kamma. Because, if one has eliminated all types of suffering by attaining enlightenment, then he has eliminated dukkha dukkha as well (as per the sutta).

      I think dukkha dukkha refers to the mental pain / lamentation one creates because of a bodily pain arising. For example if I lose a limb, the actual physical pain of that incident will last only a few hours or days. But the mental suffering because I have lost a limb will be much more and last longer. This mental suffering is the dukkha dukkha and is what will be eliminated (even in this lifetime) by attaining enlightenment.

    • #16151
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Hi Akvan,

      The full sutta that quoted is: “Tisso imā, bhikkhave, dukkhatā. Katamā tisso? Dukkhadukkhatā, saṅ­khā­ra­duk­khatā, vipari­ṇāma­duk­khatā—imā kho, bhikkhave, tisso dukkhatā. Imāsaṃ kho, bhikkhave, tissannaṃ dukkhatānaṃ abhiññāya pariññāya parikkhayāya pahānāya … pe … ayaṃ ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo bhāvetabbo”ti.

      Translated: “Bhikkhus, there are these three kinds of suffering. What three? Dukkhadukkhatā, saṅ­khā­ra­duk­khatā, vipari­ṇāma­duk­khatā, which are the three kinds of suffering. The Noble Eightfold Path is to be developed for comprehending of these three kinds of suffering, for their utter destruction, for their removal.”

      That does not mean ALL THREE types of sufferings are stopped at the Arahanthood.

      Didn’t the Buddha get injured (by Devadatta)? Didn’t he have back pains? Didn’t he have a painful episode after the last meal? Therefore, even the Buddha was subjected to dukkha dukkha UNTIL Parinibbana.

      The sutta means stopping of all three sufferings are at Parinibbana.

      I discussed this in detail on May 30, 2018 under the topic, “Anantariya Kamma, Euthanasia and Assisted Suicides“. Please read that carefully.
      To make a connection to that post: Both sankhara dukkha (suffering associated with “effort and suffering associated with trying to get long-lasting happiness in this world”) and viparinama dukkha (being subjected to mental suffering when that does not work), are BOTH stopped at the Arahant phala moment. Thus, a living Buddha or an Arahant would NOT have those TWO.
      – But dukkha dukkha is due to kamma vipaka, and as long as the physical body is alive, those could bring BODILY suffering.

      If you have further questions, we can discuss it here or there.

    • #16166
      Akvan
      Participant

      Hi Lal,

      The Buddha and other arahanths have experienced bodily pain after attaining arahanthship. The root cause for these pains has been clearly stated being previous kamma. My question is whether this bodily pain has been referred to specifically as “dukka dukka”?

      Reference to Salla Sutta: https://suttacentral.net/sn36.6/en/bodhi

      “Bhikkhus, when the uninstructed worldling is being contacted by a painful feeling, he sorrows, grieves, and laments; he weeps beating his breast and becomes distraught. He feels two feelings—a bodily one and a mental one.”

      “Bhikkhus, when the instructed noble disciple is contacted by a painful feeling, he does not sorrow, grieve, or lament; he does not weep beating his breast and become distraught. He feels one feeling—a bodily one, not a mental one.”

      In Pali; “assutavā, bhikkhave, puthujjano dukkhāya vedanāya phuṭṭho samāno socati kilamati paridevati urattāḷiṃ kandati sammohaṃ āpajjati. So dve vedanā vedayati— kāyikañca, cetasikañca.”

      “Evameva kho, bhikkhave, sutavā ariyasāvako dukkhāya vedanāya phuṭṭho samāno na socati, na kilamati, na paridevati, na urattāḷiṃ kandati, na sammohaṃ āpajjati. So ekaṃ vedanaṃ vedayati—kāyikaṃ, na cetasikaṃ.”

      According to this sutta, the bodily pain is referred to as duka vedana. Both the ariya and anariya will feel this duka vedana. But there is second duka that an anariya will feel, and that I think is the dukka dukka.

    • #16169
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Akvan said: “According to this sutta, the bodily pain is referred to as duka vedana. Both the ariya and anariya will feel this duka vedana. But there is second duka that an anariya will feel, and that I think is the dukka dukka.”

      The sutta says that a normal human will feel both bodily and mental suffering, and that a Noble Person will only the bodily suffering (of course, the mental suffering gradually reduces with higher magga phala and is totally eliminated only at the Arahant stage).

      So, the suffering that is common to both is the bodily suffering and that is the dukkha dukkha. For an Arahant, that also is stopped at Parinibbana.

      This is very clear in the sutta in the verse that comes right after the last verse you quoted, which says: “Seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, purisaṃ sallena vijjheyya. Tamenaṃ dutiyena sallena anuvedhaṃ na vijjheyya. Evañhi so, bhikkhave, puriso ekasallena vedanaṃ vedayati. Evameva kho, bhikkhave, sutavā ariyasāvako dukkhāya vedanāya phuṭṭho samāno na socati, na kilamati, na paridevati, na urattāḷiṃ kandati, na sammohaṃ āpajjati. So ekaṃ vedanaṃ vedayati—kāyikaṃ, na cetasikaṃ“.

      Translated, not word by word, but to give the idea: “Bhikkhus, Suppose a man were to be shot with a spear. In addition to the physical pain, he would become distraught by the injury and suffer mentally too. That is like being pierced by the spear twice. A Noble Person pierced by the same spear will have only that bodily suffering, and no mental suffering”.

      The difference is that the Noble Person would realize that the bodily injury is due to a kamma vipaka, and there is nothing one can do, but to take steps to heal it. There is no point in worrying about it.

      The mental suffering that will be stopped totally at the Arahant phala moment is also called “samphassa ja vedana“; see, “Vēdanā (Feelings) Arise in Two Ways“.

    • #16288
      firewns
      Participant

      Thank you so much to Lal and Akvan for your participation here.

      I wanted to pose further questions with my thanks but I had a hard time formulating them, and the days kept slipping by. When I am ready, I will be back with more questions.

      In the meantime, you have my appreciation and gratitude!

    • #16289
      firewns
      Participant

      Thanks to Seng Kiat too!

      Seng Kiat, you deserve a special mention for helping out at the forum (as the moderator?)

      Thank you so much for your precious help, so that we have such a nice community to come to, in order to pose our questions!

    • #16458
      firewns
      Participant

      Let me summarise what I think I understand so far.

      Dukha vedana (unpleasant feelings) give rise to dukkha dukkha (the suffering of suffering).

      Sukha vedana (pleasant feelings) give rise to viparinama dukkha (the suffering of change), since they are subject to unexpected change while in existence, as well as subject to decay and passing away, while the sentient being who has not attained at least Arahanthood craves for it to continue indefinitely. Such a sentient being may also get bored or accustomed to the sukha vedana, and require more and more of it, or at least a different type of it to attain the same level of mundane or jhanic satisfaction.

      When sentient beings strive to avoid dukha vedana and prolong sukha vedana as much as possible, they engage in sankhara dukkha (the suffering of burdensome activities). For example, they work strenuously at jobs in order to have enough money to splurge on sensual pleasures or to maintain their pride, status, power, beauty, wealth, etc. They think up elaborate plans to achieve their mundane goals such as how to obtain prestigious jobs, have a wonderful house in an esteemed neighbourhood, etc.

      One question is: Do activities to maintain our health and daily lives count as sankhara dukkha? For example, is exercise to maintain our health a form of sankhara dukkha? What about brushing the teeth, showering and eating?

      I understand that in order to have cooked food on our dinner tables, it is necessary to go grocery shopping, pay for the purchases, wash and cook the food, and clean up after the meals, etc. But what about the mere act of eating? There is surely effort involved, even if it is very minor.

      This is for me to understand whether the Buddha Himself was subjected to sankhara dukkha. For example, when He suffered from bodily aches and pain due to previous vipaka, might he have continually changed His position or posture to lessen the pain? Would that be considered a form of sankhara dukkha?

      The Buddha needed to eat to continue to live. When going round on his alms round to obtain alms food, would that be considered a form of sankhara dukkha?

      Thank you very much in advance, Lal, for your answers to my question. They will be invaluable in helping me to contemplate more deeply on dukkha.

    • #16465
      Lal
      Keymaster

      It is better to say: Both dukha vedana (eg., an injury or cancer) and sukha vedana (eg. a good massage) arise due to kamma vipaka and are exhibited in the physical body. Vipaka means is a result, so one may not be able to completely stop a dukha vedana due to an injury, for example, but can take steps to make it better (but that also involves some more dukkha as we see below; one has to do things to make the situation better; so that involves sankhara dukkha).
      -By the way, both sukha and dukkha are not cetasika (mental factors), consistent with the fact that they don’t arise in the mind (even though they are of course eventually felt by the mind).
      – But the problem is, normal humans GENERATE additional mental suffering (mainly by worrying about the physical suffering by generating vaci sankhara).

      You said: ‘When sentient beings strive to avoid dukha vedana and prolong sukha vedana as much as possible, they engage in sankhara dukkha (the suffering of burdensome activities)…”
      – That is right.

      You asked: “One question is: Do activities to maintain our health and daily lives count as sankhara dukkha? For example, is exercise to maintain our health a form of sankhara dukkha? What about brushing the teeth, showering and eating?”.
      – Yes. We have to do things (sankhara) to “maintain a healthy body”, and that is “extra work”, that is necessary. But it is important to note that these are not necessarily ABHISANKHARA that will lead to future vipaka. These are really more dukha associated with moving the body, etc (For example, in the case of an injury, we have to go to a doctor or go and get whatever is need to apply to the wound, etc).

      You said: “I understand that in order to have cooked food on our dinner tables, it is necessary to go grocery shopping, pay for the purchases, wash and cook the food, and clean up after the meals, etc. But what about the mere act of eating? There is surely effort involved, even if it is very minor”. Yes. All these involve an effort (sankhara), even though some of it is “masked” by our anticipated “pleasures”. Nevertheless, all that involve more work.

      You asked: “This is for me to understand whether the Buddha Himself was subjected to sankhara dukkha. For example, when He suffered from bodily aches and pain due to previous vipaka, might he have continually changed His position or posture to lessen the pain? Would that be considered a form of sankhara dukkha?
      The Buddha needed to eat to continue to live. When going round on his alms round to obtain alms food, would that be considered a form of sankhara dukkha?”
      – Yes. The only suffering that stops for a Buddha or an Arahant DURING the life is “samphassa ja vedana“; see, “Vēdanā (Feelings) Arise in Two Ways“.
      – Anyone with a physical body will be subjected to all three types of dukkha (dukkha dukkha, sankhara dukkha, viparinama dukkha). They continue until Parinibbana. After that, all suffering stops.

    • #16471
      Akvan
      Participant

      Hi Lal,

      You said: anyone with a physical body will be subjected to all three types of dukka and that they continue until parinibbana.

      I found the following in the Nettipakarana https://suttacentral.net/ne5/pli/ms

      Tisso dukkhatā— dukkhadukkhatā saṅkhāradukkhatā vipariṇāmadukkhatā. Tattha loko odhaso kadāci karahaci dukkhadukkhatāya muccati. Tathā vipariṇāmadukkhatāya. Taṃ kissa hetu? Honti loke appābādhāpi dīghāyukāpi. Saṅkhāradukkhatāya pana loko anupādisesāya nibbānadhātuyā muccati, tasmā saṅkhāradukkhatā dukkhaṃ lokassāti katvā dukkhamassa mahabbhayanti.

      The Sinhala translation is in the Buddha Jayanthi edition Book 43, Nettipakarana, page 27.

      What I understand from this is that Dukkha Dukkhatha and Viparinama Dukkhatha can be removed while still alive, while Sankhara Dukkhatha is eliminated after anupadisesa nibbana. This means that an arahanth will have sankhara dukka while he lives; the eating and walking on arms round, bathing etc. (Agree that for these actions no abhi sankhara is created).

      I agree in principle on everything you have mentioned but I think I am hung up on a few technical words here. I know that the meaning is more important than the semantics of the words but only brought this up since we were on the topic of what “dukka dukka” means.

    • #16472
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Hi Akvan,

      You said: “I agree in principle on everything you have mentioned but I think I am hung up on a few technical words here.”

      Yes. I think so.

      You said: “What I understand from this is that Dukkha Dukkhatha and Viparinama Dukkhatha can be removed while still alive, while Sankhara Dukkhatha is eliminated after anupadisesa nibbana.”

      That is not correct. The reference you gave does not say that. All three (sankhara dukkhata, dukkha dukkhata, viparinama dukkhata) are associated with any sankata. They will be there until the sankata is destroyed. The physical body of even a Buddha is a sankata. It is very clear from the Tipitaka that the Buddha suffered physically due to old age, back aches, and also due to a physical injury.

      There is a sutta that attributes all three types to a sankata. It says: “uppado sankata lakkhanan, sankhara dukkhata; vayo sankata lakkhanan, viparinama dukkhata; titthassa sankata lakkhanan, dukkha dukkhata“. I don’t remember the name of the sutta.

    • #16477
      SengKiat
      Moderator

      Lal finding for : ““uppado sankata lakkhanan, sankhara dukkhata; vayo sankata lakkhanan, viparinama dukkhata; titthassa sankata lakkhanan, dukkha dukkhata“.”

      Found at this web page on this : “Yathā ariyasaccānaṃ1 nikkhepo, cattāri saccāni sādhāraṇāni asādhāraṇāni ca, yāni ca aṭṭhārasa padāni dukkhato satta padāni saṅkhepana kāyikena cetasikena dukkhena appiyasampayogena piyavippayogena ca tīhi ca saṅkhatatāhi 2 tattha tīṇi saṅkhatalakkhaṇāni tisso dukkhatā: uppādo saṅkatalakkhaṇaṃ, saṅkhāradukkhatāya dukkhatā ca vayo saṅkhata 4 lakkhaṇaṃ, vipariṇāmadukkhatāya dukkhatā ca 5 aññathattaṃ6 saṅkhakhatalakkhaṇaṃ, dukkhadukkhatāya 7 dukkhatā ca 8, imesaṃ tiṇṇaṃ saṅkhatalakkhaṇānaṃ tisu vedanābhūmīsu adukkhamasukhā vedanā, uppādo saṅkhatalakkhaṇaṃ, dukkhā vedanā dukkhadukkhatāya ca dukkhatā, iti imesu11 navapadesu paṭhamakesu sattasu padesu soḷasa padesu dukkhā pariyesitabbā, ekādasa dukkhatāya ca [PTS Page 082] [\q 82/] lakkhaṇaṃ niddese niddiṭṭhaṃ.”

    • #16479
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Thanks, SengKiat.

      Here is another link (it is the first paragraph there):
      Peṭakopadesa: 5. Hāra­vibhaṅ­ga­pañca­ma­bhūmi

      Petakopadesa is one of only three surviving original commentaries; they are included in the Tipitaka. To compare, Visuddhimagga was written around 450 CE, about 700 years later.

    • #16581
      firewns
      Participant

      Thanks to Lal, Akvan and Seng Kiat for your responses.

      In one of the suttas, I think, The Buddha and Venerable Ananda personally tended to a sick monk who was covered in his own waste, because none of the other monks wanted to get near him. (This is just one of the many reasons why I deeply love and revere The Buddha so much!)

      In such a case, the intention was to relieve a man of his sufferings, and not at all a quest to avoid dukha vedana or to seek sukha vedana. It was also not an activity to maintain the lives of The Buddha Himself or Ananda. Would The Buddha and Ananda experience sankhara dukkha for this act?

      Would the effects of this action bring different results for the Buddha and Ananda, who was not yet an Arahant at that time? I am thinking that the Buddha did an act that was neither kusala nor akusala for Him, since he had no more defilements to remove, and could not commit an akusala act. As for Ananda, I think that it was a kusala kamma act for him.

      Do people who help others out of kindness experience anicca, dukkha and anatta? Even if they are not seeking sensual or jhanic pleasures?

      For example, compassionate doctors who help sick patients for free or at a greatly reduced price sometimes lose their patients to death. Are anicca, dukkha and anatta inherent even in helpful, compassionate and moral activities, as long as they are done in an imperfect, samsaric world?

      Thanks so much again in advance to Lal, for your answers to my questions. I know I have been asking many questions of late, and I hope that it does not take too much of a toll on you. Please take care, Lal!

    • #16596
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Any physical action takes effort, so it is dukkha. Therefore, dukkha was experienced by both the Buddha and Ven. Ananda. However, Buddha’s actions did not involve abhisankhara (sankhara with kammic consequences), whereas Ven. Ananda (who was not an Arahant at that time) did.

      Many of these questions can be answered by understanding what is meant by sankhara and abhisankhara. See, “Sankhāra – What It Really Means” and posts therein.

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