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Part of the List of Dharma Terms from the Buddhist Ayurveda Course (SKT220 ) on Sanskrit Terms of Ayurveda and Dharma

Buddhism or Buddha Dharma

[[Buddhism]]/[[Buddha Dharma]]

The Buddha Dharma is subtle, wonderful,

and difficult to measure.

No words or speech are able to reach it.

It is not combined, nor is it uncombined.

In substance and nature it is still and quiet

and without any marks.

(FAS Chapter 9 93)_

The Buddha Dharma is here in the world:

enlightenment is not apart from the world.

To look for Bodhi apart from the world

Is like looking for a hare with horns.

(PS 121)_

Buddhists do not call the teachings of the Buddha, which they follow, Buddhism; they call them Buddha Dharma, the Dharma of the Buddhas.

Buddhism is a religion that teaches people to end birth and death, whereas other religions teach people to undergo birth and death. The difference between them is that of being able to ultimately end birth and death as opposed to ultimately not being able to and so undergoing birth and death.” (FAS-PII]] 128)

“What is the basic, fundamental character of Buddhism. It is simply instruction for people in how to recognize Truth, how to eliminate selfishness and establish what is public, how to have a public-spirited, unselfish attitude, not setting up barriers of nations and lands, races or clans, and how not to make distinctions of self and others.

All under heaven is one family,

And the Ten Thousand Buddhas are a single person.”

(FAS-PII]] 129)_

Buddhism is the teaching within the minds of all living beings. And so Buddhism can be called the Buddha's teaching or it can be called no teaching at all. Buddhism simply records what practices the Buddha engaged in to become enlightened. The Buddha didn't have the idea that he wanted to establish a religion. He is fundamentally one with all living beings. If he had wanted to establish a ”Buddhism“, wouldn't that have been setting himself apart from living beings? The Buddha said that the mind, the Buddha, and living beings are one, and undifferentiated. If he had professed to be teaching a ”Buddhism“, then there would be what is non-Buddhism, and so it would be separate from other religions. However, Buddhism includes everything. Every religion is in Buddhism-Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, and all the others. Why? The Buddha said,

'All living beings have the Buddha Nature; all can become Buddhas.'

“No matter what religion you are, aren't you a living being? Even if you protest that you are a heavenly spirit, heavenly Lord, or a heavenly demon, that still counts as being a living being. And so I say whether you are Buddhist or not, I count you as being within Buddhism.” (VBS)

1) Chinese: fo jiao, fo fa, 2) Sanskrit: Buddha Dharma, 3) Pali BuddhaDhamma, 4) Alternate translations: the law/methods of the fully awakened ones.

See Also: Buddha, Dharma/Dharma.

BTTS References: FAS Ch9 93; “The Kennedys Request a Lecture”, VBS, May 1970, 30-38; FAS-PII]] 129; PS 121.

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Fair Use: Primary Fair Use Compilation Source: Ron Epstein, Ph.D, compiler, Buddhism A to Z, Burlingame, California, Buddhist Text Translation Society, 2003, p. ISBN 0881393533 Paperback: 284 pages. and many other sources (see Bibliography).

Primary Original Source: The Tripitaka of Sutra, Shastra and Vinaya Dharma teachings (as found in the scripture storehouse of the Indian Sanskrit- Siddham, Chinese, Tibetan and Japanese traditions of the Nalanda Tradition of ancient Nalanda University) of Shakyamuni Buddha, and his Arya Sagely Bodhisattva Bhikshu Monk and Upasaka disciples.

These Good and Wise Advisors (Kaliyanamitra) Dharma Master teachers include Arya Venerables Om Tare Tuttare Ture Om Ah Hum and Namo to Jivaka, Charaka, Lao Zi - Mahakashapa, Ashwagosha, Shantideva - Hui Neng - Shen Kai Sheng Ren Shr, Bodhidharma, the 16 Nalanda Acharyas 1. Nagarjuna-Manjushri, 2. Arydeva, 3. Buddhapalita, 4. Bhavaviveka, 5. Chandrakirti and Chandragomin, 6. Shantideva, 7. Shantarakshita, 8. Kamalashila, 9. Asanga-Maitreya, 10. Vasubhandu, 11. Dignaga, 12. Dharmakirti, 13. Vimuktisena, 14. Haribhadra, 15. Gunaprabha, 16. Shakyaprabha; Dharmarakshita, Atisha, Tsong Khapa, Thogme Zangpo, Nyingma Padmasambhava, Yeshe Tsogyel, Machig Lapdron, Tilopa, Naropa, Milarepa, Sakya Pandita, Fazang, Yunmen, Nichiren, Honen, Shinran, Kukai, Dogen, Hakuin, Jamgon Kongtrul, Nyingma Penor Rinpoche, Bakula Rinpoche, Dagri Rinpoche, Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche, Geshe Lama Kongchog, Longchen Rapjampa - Gosok Rinpoche, Phabongkha Rinpoche, Patrul Rinpoche, Mingyur Rinpoche, Geshe Ngwang Dakpa, Geshe Sopa Rinpoche, Garchen Rinpoche, Karmapa, Sakya Trizin, Tenzin Gyatso the Dalai Lama, Hsu Yun, Hsuan Hua, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Choden Rinpoche, Ajahn Chah, Seung Sahn, Thich Nhat Hanh, Ajahn Sumedho, S. N. Goenka, Mama Ayur Punya Jyana Pushtim Kuriye Svaha, bowing at your feet I make requests. Please bestow on me the two attainments of Maha Punya and Maha Prajna Paramita. And thanks to other modern day masters. We consider them to be in accord with Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua’s ”Seven Guidelines for Recognizing Genuine Teachers

Nalanda Online University's teachings are based especially on the following Buddhist Scriptures: Lama Tsong Khapa's Lam Rim, the Dharma Flower Lotus Sutra, the Avatamsaka Sutra, the Shurangama Sutra, the Ksitigarbha Sutra, the Bhaisajya Guru Sutra, the Dharani Sutra, the Vajra Sutra, the Prajna Paramita Hridayam Heart Sutra, the Vimalakirti Sutra, the Sanghata Sutra, the Sutra of Golden Light, the Srimala Devi Sutra, the Sutra in 42 Sections, the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, the Hui Neng Sutra, Vasubandhu's Shastra on the Door to Understanding the Hundred Dharmas, Maitreya's Ornament for Clear Realizations (Abhisamayalamkara), Chandrakirti's Supplement to Nagarjuna’s Treatise on the Middle Way (Madhyamakavatara), Vasubandhu's Treasury of Manifest Knowledge (Abhidharmakosha) and the Tantras and Mantras of the Vajrayana the 42 Hands and Eyes, Guhyasamaja, the Kalachakra, the Vajrayogini, the Heruka, the Chakrasamvara, the Chod, the Hayagriva, the Hevajra, the Yamantaka, the Kalarupa, the Manjushri Nama Samgiti, the Vajrakilaya, the Vajrapani, the Vajra Claws Dakini, the Mahakala, the Tara, the White Umbrella Goddess (She Dan Do Bo Da La), Kirti Losang Trinle's Grounds and Paths of Secret Mantra, and Aku Sherab Gyatso's The Two Stages of the Guhyasamaja Tantra and their commentaries (shastras) by the above Arya Tripitakacharya Dharma Masters.

Secondary Fair Use Compilation Source: The Seeker’s Glossary of Buddhism, 2nd ed., San Francisco, California: Sutra Translation Committee of the United States and Canada, 1998:

Secondary Fair Use Compilation Source: Muller, Charles, editor, Digital Dictionary of Buddhism [DDB], Toyo Gakuen University, Japan, 2007: Username is “guest”, with no password. - Based in large part on the Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms with Sanskrit and English Equivalents (by Soothill and Hodous) Delhi, India: Motilal Banarsidass, 1997.

Secondary Fair Use Compilation Source: Ehrhard, Diener, Fischer, et al, The Shambhala Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen, Boston, Massachusetts: Shambhala Publications, 1991. 296 pages. ISBN 978-0-87773-520-5,, Secondary Fair Use Compilation Source: Vaidya Vasant Lad, Textbook of Ayurveda, Ayurvedic Press, 2002; Vasant Lad, BAMS, MAsc, Ayurvedic Institute Gurukula Notes, Ayurvedic Institute, 1994-2006;

NOTE: Numerous corrections and enhancements have been made under Shastra tradition and ”Fair Use“ by an Anonymous Buddhist Monk Redactor (Compiler) of this Online Buddhist Encyclopedia Compilation)

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Dukkha (Pāli दुक्ख; Sanskrit दुःख

; according to grammatical tradition derived from

“uneasy”, but according to Monier-Williams more likely a Prakritized form of

“unsteady, disquieted”<ref>Monier-Williams (1899, 1964), A Sanskrit-English Dictionary (London: Oxford University Press), p. 483, entry for “

”, retrieved 27 December 2008 from “U. Cologne” at</ref>) is a Pali term roughly corresponding to a number of terms in English including suffering, pain, discontent, unsatisfactoriness, unhappiness, sorrow, affliction, anxiety, dissatisfaction, discomfort, anguish, stress, misery, and frustration. In Buddhism, the Four Noble Truths on dukkha are taught as the primary means to attain the ultimate aim of nirvana.


Sargeant, et. al. (2009: p.&nbsp;303) provides the etymology of the Sanskrit words sukha and duḥkha: <blockquote>It is perhaps amusing to note the etymology of the words sukha (pleasure, comfort, bliss) and duḥkha (misery, unhappiness, pain). The ancient Aryans who brought the Sanskrit language to India were a nomadic, horse- and cattle-breeding people who travelled in horse- or ox-drawn vehicles. Su and dus are prefixes indicating good or bad. The word kha, in later Sanskrit meaning “sky,” “ether,” or “space,” was originally the word for “hole,” particularly an axle hole of one of the Aryan's vehicles. Thus sukha … meant, originally, “having a good axle hole,” while duhkha meant “having a poor axle hole,” leading to discomfort.<ref>Sargeant, Winthrop (author, translator); Smith, Huston (author) & Chapple, Christopher Key (Editor) (2009). The Bhagavad Gita. Excelsior Editions, Suny Series in Cultural Perspectives: SUNY Press. Edition: annotated. ISBN 1438428413, 9781438428413 Source: ://,+The+Bhagavad+Gita&source=bl&ots=Vd7Esx01o4&sig=kkq_j5UKfLpdGmsWo9oHbEvZ4rU&hl=en&ei=iYaCS5_LOs-HkAWq5ZWqCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CBkQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=303&f=false (accessed: Tuesday February 23, 2010), p.303</ref></blockquote>

Sanskrit prefix 'su' is used as an emphasis suggesting wholesome, high, evolved, desirable, strong and such ://


In classic Sanskrit, the term

was often compared to a large potter's wheel that would screech as it was spun around, and did not turn smoothly. The opposite of dukkha was the term sukha, which brought to mind a potter's wheel that turned smoothly and noiselessly. In other Buddhist-influenced cultures, similar imagery was used to describe dukkha. An example from China is the cart with one wheel that is slightly broken, so that the rider is jolted each time the wheel rolls over the broken spot.

Although dukkha is often translated as “suffering”, its philosophical meaning is more analogous to “disquietude” as in the condition of being disturbed. As such, “suffering” is too narrow a translation with “negative emotional connotations” (Jeffrey Po),<ref>Jeffrey Po, “Is Buddhism a Pessimistic Way of Life?”,</ref> which can give the impression that the Buddhist view is one of pessimism, but Buddhism is neither pessimistic nor optimistic, but realistic.<ref>

</ref> Thus in English-language Buddhist literature dukkha is often left untranslated, so as to encompass its full range of meaning.<ref name=“rahula”>

</ref><ref name = “prebish”>

</ref><ref name=“keown”>


Buddhist literature

The Buddha himself on Dukkha:

Accordingly, dukkha can refer to various unpleasant experiences in varying degrees. It can range anywhere from discomfort to suffering.

The Buddha embarked on a spiritual journey to find a way to end aging, death, and “dukkha”. Dukkha is the focus of the Four Noble Truths that deal with the nature of “dukkha” in life, what is the cause of “dukkha”, the cessation (cure) for “dukkha”, and the techniques to bring about the cessation of “dukkha”. The way leading to its cessation is known as the Noble Eightfold Path.<ref name=“Carrithers51”>Michael Carrithers, The Buddha. Cited in Founders of Faith, Oxford University Press, 1986, page 51.</ref> Texts like the Cula-Malunkyovada Sutta<ref>MN 63, trans. Thanissaro Bhikkhu, retrieved from “Access to Insight” at</ref> and Anuradha Sutta,<ref>SN 22.86, trans., Thanissaro Bhikkhu, retrieved from “Access to Insight” at</ref> show Siddartha Gautama, the Buddha, as insisting that the truths about dukkha and the way to end dukkha are the only ones he is teaching as far as attaining the ultimate goal of nirvana is concerned.

Although the First Noble Truth that “Life is Dukkha” sounds simple enough, it is not easy for many people to realize. The Anapanasati Sutta and Maha-satipatthana Sutta indicate that a person first need to practice meditation to purify the mind of the five hindrances to wisdom and the ability to “see things as they truly are” before contemplating the Four Noble Truths, which begin with the nature of “dukkha” in life. For someone who has not seen what it's like to be without dukkha, it is difficult to realize that life is “dukkha”. Plato's “Allegory of the Cave” can be helpful in this regard.

In “Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond”, Ajahn Brahm, the Founder of Jhana Grove Meditation Retreat states that without the preparation of the mind through Jhana it is not easy to develop deep insight into dukkha. He gives a simile that is, in a way, similar to Plato's “Allegory of the Cave”:

<blockquote> Another simile, to emphasize the same point, is that of the man who was born and raised in a prison and who has never set foot outside. All he knows is prison life. He would have no conception of the freedom that is beyond his world. And he would not understand that prison is suffering. If anybody suggested that his world was dukkha, he would disagree, for prison is the limit of his experience. But one day he might find the escape tunnel dug long ago that leads beyond the prison walls to the unimaginable and expansive world of real freedom. Only when he has entered that tunnel and escaped from his prison does he realize how much suffering prison actually was, and the end of that suffering, escaping from jail is happiness.

In this simile the prison is the body, the high prison walls are the five senses, and the relentless demanding prison guard is one's own will, the doer. The tunnel dug long ago, through which one escapes, is called jhana ( as at AN IX, 42). Only when one has experienced jhana does one realize that the five -sense world, even at its best, is really a five-walled prison, some parts of it is a little more comfortable but still a jail with everyone on death row! Only after deep jhana does one realize that “ will” was the torturer, masquerading as freedom, but preventing one ever rest happily at peace. Only outside of prison can one gain the data that produces the deep insight that discovers the truth about dukkha.

In summary, without experience of jhana, one's knowledge of the world is too limited to fully understand dukkha, as required by the first noble truth, and proceed to enlightenment.<ref>Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond: A Meditator's Handbook. (2006). Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-275-7.</ref> </blockquote>

As the Buddha said in Samyutta Nikaya

  1. 35:

<blockquote> What ordinary folk call happiness, the enlightened ones call dukkha </blockquote>

The Buddha discussed three kinds of dukkha or suffering:

  • Dukkha-dukkha (pain of pain) is the obvious sufferings of:

pain, illness, old age, death, bereavement

  • Viparinama-dukkha (pain of alteration) is suffering caused by change:

violated expectations, the failure of happy moments to last

  • Sankhara dukkha (pain of formation) is a subtle form of suffering arising as a reaction to qualities of conditioned things, including the skandhas, the factors constituting the human mind

Dukkha is also listed among the three marks of existence: impermanence (anicca), suffering (dukkha) and not-self (anatta).<ref name=“Carrithers51” /> Dukkha denotes the experience that all formations (sankhara) are impermanent (anicca) - thus it explains the qualities which make the mind as fluctuating and impermanent entities. It is therefore also a gateway to anatta, not-self.

Insofar as it is dynamic, ever-changing, uncontrollable and not finally satisfactory, unexamined life is itself precisely dukkha.<ref name=“Carrithers55”>Carrithers (1986), op cit., pages 55-56.</ref> The question which underlay the Buddha's quest was “in what may I place lasting relevance?” He did not deny that there are satisfactions in experience: the exercise of vipassana assumes that the meditator sees instances of happiness clearly. Pain is to be seen as pain, and pleasure as pleasure. It is denied that happiness dependent on conditions will be secure and lasting.<ref name=“Carrithers55” />

In the early texts, the skandhas explain what suffering is. According to Noa Ronkin, “What emerges from the texts … is a wider signification of the khandhas than merely the aggregates constituting the person. Sue Hamilton has provided a detailed study of the khandhas. Her conclusion is that the associating of the five khandhas as a whole with dukkha indicates that experience is a combination of a straightforward cognitive process together with the psychological orientation that colours it in terms of unsatisfactoriness. Experience is thus both cognitive and affective, and cannot be separated from perception. As one's perception changes, so one's experience is different: we each have our own particular cognitions, perceptions and volitional activities in our own particular way and degree, and our own way of responding to and interpreting our experience is our very experience. In harmony with this line of thought, Gethin observes that the khadhas are presented as five aspects of the nature of conditioned existence from the point of view of the experiencing subject; five aspects of one's experience. Hence each khandha represents 'a complex class of phenomena that is continuously arising and falling away in response to processes of consciousness based on the six spheres of sense. They thus become the five upādānakhandhas, encompassing both grasping and all that is grasped.'”<ref>Noa Ronkin, Early Buddhist Metaphysics: the Making of a Philosophical Tradition.“ Routledge, 2005, page 43.</ref>

Non-English translations

Dukkha was translated as ( “bitterness; hardship; suffering; pain”) in Chinese Buddhism, and this loanword is pronounced ku (苦) in Japanese Buddhism and ko (苦) in Korean Buddhism, and khổ in Vietnamese Buddhism. In Tibetan it is sdug bsngal (སྡུག་བསྔལ་). In Shan, it is


) and in Burmese, it is



Non-Buddhist literature

In Brahmanic

sacred literature, the earliest Upani{{IAST|ṣ}}ads &mdash; the Bṛhadāraṇyaka and the Chāndogya &mdash; are believed to predate or coincide with the advent of Buddhism.<ref>See, e.g., Patrick Olivelle (1996), Upani

ads (Oxford: Oxford University Press), ISBN 978-0-19-283576-5, p. xxxvi: “The scholarly consensus, well-founded I think, is that the Bṛhadāraṇyaka and the

are the two earliest Upani{{IAST|ṣ}}ads…. The two texts as we have them are, in all likelihood, pre-Buddhist; placing them in the seventh to sixth centuries BCE may be reasonable, give or take a century or so.”</ref> In these texts' verses, the Sanskrit word du

kha (translated below as “suffering” and “distress”) occurs only twice. In the

, it states (in English and Sanskrit): <center><table cellspacing=“10” style=“text-align:left”><tr><td> While we are still here, we have come to know it [''{{IAST|ā}}tman''].<br />If you've not known it, great is your destruction.<br />Those who have known it &mdash; they become immortal.<br />As for the rest &mdash; only suffering awaits them.<ref>BU 4.4.14, trans. Olivelle (1996), p. 66.</ref> </td><td>

<ref>BrhUp 4,4.14. Retrieved 28 December 2008 from “Georg-August-Universität Göttingen” at</ref> </td><tr></table></center>

In the

is written: <center><table cellspacing=“10” style=“text-align:left”><tr><td> When a man rightly sees,<br />he sees no death, no sickness or distress.<br />When a man rightly sees,<br />he sees all, he wins all, completely.<ref>CU 7.26.2, trans. Olivelle (1996), p. 166. Compare this statement to that in the Pali Canon's Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (SN 56.11) where sickness and death are formulaically identified as examplars of dukkha.</ref> </td><td>

<ref>ChUp 7,26.2. Retrieved 27 December 2008 from “Georg-August-Universität Göttingen” at</ref> </td><tr></table></center>

Thus, as in Buddhism, in these sacred texts the eradication of du

kha is a desired and promised outcome; here du

kha serves as an antipode to the ultimate Brahmanic goal of immortality (

). In addition, as in Buddhism, one overcomes du

kha through the development of a transcendent understanding.<ref>For a general discussion of the core Indian spiritual goal of developing transcendent “seeing,” see, e.g., Hamilton, Sue (2000/2001), Indian Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction, (Oxford: Oxford U. Press), pp. 9-10, ISBN 978-0-19285374-5.</ref> Nonetheless, in these Brahmanic sacred texts, du

kha is either identified as a general condition or as simply one of many undesirable states, not embodying the conceptual centrality assigned to it in Buddhism's Pali Canon.



  • ''The various meanings of the Pali term "Dukkha"'', edited by John T. Bullitt - Access to Insight
  • ''Ku'' 苦 entry (use “guest” with no password for one-time login), Digital Dictionary of Buddhism
  • :// Definitions, Objectives, Premises and Principles of the International Society for Panetics, Ralph Siu. Panetics: The study of the infliction of suffering. J. Humanistic Psychology 28(3), 6-22. 1988, The humane chief of state and the Gross National Dukkhas (GND). Panetics 2(2), 1-5. 1993. Panetics Trilogy. Washington: The International Society for Panetics, 1994. Vol. I, Less Suffering for Everybody. Ibid. Vol. II, Panetics and Dukkhas. Ibid. Vol. III, Seeds of Contemplation. Understanding and Minimizing the Infliction of suffering. Unpublished text. 711 pages. Introduction to panetic system design. Panetics 3(4), 3-12. 1994. Panetic inflation, deflation, and the Humane Index. Panetics 5(2), 52-53. 1966. see also suffering

Buddhist philosophical concepts Buddhist terms Sanskrit words and phrases Pāli words and phrases Suffering

Dukkha Dukkha Duḥkha Duḥkha 고 (불교) Dukkha Duḥkha דוקהה Kančia budizme Dukkha 苦 (仏教) Duhkha Dukkha Дуккха Dukkha Dukkha ทุกขัง Khổ (Phật giáo) 八苦

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