chapter  2
3 Pages

Definition of Suffering

In texts No. 2-5 the four basic truths are defined. Their names are dukkhalll ariIa-saccaI\l (No.2). dukkha-samuclaY8Jll ariya-saCC! (No.3). dukkha - ni rodhaIJl' a riya-sacca!J1 (No.4), dukkha-nirodha-samin~patipadi ariya-saccaro (No.5). Syntactically, these expressions are somewhat loosely formulated and of different types. Note that samudaya and nirodha are masculine and therefore must be acc sg, if the compounds are not of the possessive type and therefore adjectively adapted to saccaro; patipadi can only be nom sg. In English we find expressions that are nearly as loose. We cannot speak about "pain truth", but we say "tea-bag" and "nerve cell". Probably dukkhaIJl and pa\ipadi should be understood as nom and be translated "truth (which is) pain" = "truth about pain"; dukkha-samudayalll and dukkha-nirodham are probably possessive compounds (G Sf) adjectively related to saccaIJl and therefore nom sg nt, lit "pain-originating truth", "pain-eeasing truth", i e "truth about the origin of pain", "truth about the cessation of pain". There are other possibilities: dukkham (No.2) may also be adj and so the same type of attribute as dukkha-samudayarp taken as poss compound; it may also be taken as acc sg of the noun, because acc is sometimes used as a "case of reference", although the loc is more common in this function; dukkha-samudayarp and dukkha-nirodhaJll could also be understood as acc of reference. On the other hand, pa\ipada (No.5) is certainly nom, if it should not simply be combined with ariya-saccaIll to form one long compound. Dukkha is a very common word in Buddhism. It is usually translated by "suffering" and we shall keep that but remember that the real meaning is somewhat more vague and general, something like "discomfort". "unhappiness", "unpleasantness", "frustration".