DUKKHA IN DEPTH
The pages so far are an introduction to panoramic sensing, and how it neutralises wanting. I hope that now the reader will return to Chapter One and practice the exercises.
The following sections are intended only for people with a deeper interest in Buddhism and the origins and development of the word Dukkha.
I hope you will enjoy demystifying Buddhism.
First, there is a section for people with an interest in the origins and history of the wheel, and the development of the word Dukkha.
Buddha's central teachings are the Four Noble Truths. The Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna is the most detailed version of the Four Noble Truths in the Pali Cannon. All the translations in all available Western European languages were researched. My ideas are based on this text.
K.E.Neumann's pioneering work gave us the first translations of the entire Pali Cannon into German. However he paraphrased the Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna's Second and Third Truths. (Reducing circa 2,480 words to 370 words.) His work was then copied, translated, and became an English best seller in 1962.
The first three Truths discuss Dukkha, its beginnings, and endings.
The Fourth Truth is the Eightfold Path. This a list of eight instructions. These instructions appear to have been generally well understood and accurately transmitted through the ages.
However, there is an important divergence in translation of a central word, in the sixth instruction. This demonstrates vividly how variations would have occurred in preliterate times; and it demonstrates the need to always think originally and question the texts.
In all translations of the Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna, the first of the eight instructions is specifically: "The Right Understanding of Dukkha". This understanding is central to Buddhism.
Right Understanding does not refer to the right understanding of the Sun and Moon, or genetics, or general philosophy, or anything else except Dukkha.
In Buddha's time Dukkha described when the turning of a wheel was problematic, when it was not running smoothly. This common word would have had a broad usage in Buddha's time.
Buddha had an enormous following during his life time. I believe Buddha's original truths were simple, and could be understood by the common person, not only by philosophers after years of study and meditation.
Buddha's First Noble Truth, is explained in all the depth it requires.
A sub page explains The Five Aggregates. This was one of Buddha's new ideas. The words for such phenomena didn't exist in those times.
It is also doubtful that the words for focusing and panoramic sensing were available in Buddha's time. We can guarantee the distinction wasn't as great in pre-literate times without 15 years of early training in focusing.
Buddhists of faith maintain The Transmission of the Teachings was accurate and the texts record Buddha's spoken words. However Buddha's words were subject to multiple translations before being written down more than 400 years after he spoke.
The crucial point is that the texts of the First Noble Truth, and the Second and Third Noble Truths are incongruous.
In the First Truth "What is Dukkha?", there are only two small sections on the Aggregates. The First Truth emphasises various forms of common worldly suffering: illness, old age, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and distress, and the "suffering" of not getting what you want, and getting what you don't want. The First Truth is concerned with the obvious suffering involved in displeasure.
By contrast, the Second and Third Truths discuss the "suffering" involved in pleasure and delight – this is far more challenging subject and the opposite of the First Truth.
The Second and Third Truths are in depth discussions of the Aggregates in relation to the senses. They are pure cognitive psychology, with a touch of philosophy, and there is absolutely no mention of any examples of worldly suffering.
The simple truths have been obscured over with the years. This has confused countless generations of Buddhists.
This confusion is explored and hopefully clarified in Suffering: The Traditional First Noble Truth.
The modern development of the symbol for Dukkha, the wheel of life, is The Buddhist Dharmachakra. This takes the modern Buddhist development of the meaning of Dukkha to its symbolic conclusion – completely obscuring the original idea.
All pages in this section
History of Rotary Motion
Development of The Wheel
Development of the Meanings of Dukkha and Sukkha
Buddha's First Noble Truth
The Five Aggregates
The Transmission of the Teachings
Suffering: The Traditional First Truth
The Buddhist Dharmachakra
The Fourth Truth - The Eightfold Path
The Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna - References