Buddhism, Wheels and Repetitions
Appendix C:

DEVELOPMENT OF THE MEANINGS OF DUKKHA AND SUKKHA

Since rotary motion was first conceived and put into practice, the main problem was to get it running smoothly.

Dukkha described when the wheel is not running smoothly. Sukkha is when the wheel is running smoothly. A good wheelwright would not only cure Dukka, he would make a wheel Sukkha.

Dukkha and Sukkha were not just abstract concepts as they are today in Buddhism, they were very real daily facts of life, as important as bread and butter, they were relevant to all areas of getting practical life running smoothly.

Words like this often get transferred into everyday language.The word musicians used to 'tune' an instrument, developed to tune in a radio. 'Turn-on' and 'turn-off' (electricity); get your head in gear (cars).

It would be understandable if Dukkha was used for anything which went wrong – in a practical or emotional context, and Sukkha for when it was going well. When food tasted good it was Sukkha, when the beans burnt it was Dukkha. Dukkha was in all probability used as a swear word; Sukkha was happiness or contentment, after a good day when everything went well – ahhh Sukkha.

And consider how this axle hub connection is actually a pole through a hole – and Hindus had no great inhibitions about sexuality, we are in the land of the Karma Sutra ... so really, come on – everyone knew that famous chat up line: "How about a bit of Sukkha, honey"; or had reminisced to themselves one lonely night: "Dukkha is better than no Kha".

This was a very common word, and it had a very wide usage. When this word was suddenly used by Buddha, at the centre of his new teaching, then Dukkha took on completely new dimensions.

Please continue with Development of Dukkha's meaning to Suffering

Back to Chapter Four : Buddhism and Wheels