Morning Coffee Pali Musing

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Morning Coffee Pali Musing

Postby daverupa » Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:10 am

As I drank a morning cup of coffee, a reflection arose in my mind thus: Suppose one were to translate dukkha as 'troublesome'; does this capture the essential meaning?

:thinking:

:shrug:

:coffee:
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Morning Coffee Pali Musing

Postby David2 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:26 am

Source: Pali-English Dictionary, TW Rhys Davids, William Stede,
Description:
Dukkha (adj. -- n.) [Sk. duḥkha fr. duḥ -- ka, an adj. forma- tion fr. prefix duḥ (see du). According to others an analogy formation after sukha, q. v.; Bdhgh (at Vism 494) expls dukkha as du+kha, where du=du1 and kha=ākāsa. See also def. at Vism 461.] A. (adj.) unpleasant, painful, causing misery (opp. sukha pleasant) Vin i.34; Dh 117. Lit. of vedanā (sensation) M i.59 (˚ŋ vedanaŋ vediyamāna, see also below iii.1 e); A ii.116=M. i.10 (sarīrikāhi vedanāhi dukkhāhi). <-> Fig. (fraught with pain, entailing sorrow or trouble) of kāmā D i.36 (=paṭipīḷan -- aṭṭhena DA i.121); Dh 186 (=bahudukkha DhA iii.240); ofjāti M i.185 (cp. ariyasacca, below B I.); in combn dukkhā paṭipadā dandhābhiññā D iii.106; Dhs 176; Nett 7, 112 sq., cp. A ii.149 sq. ekanta˚ very painful, giving much pain S ii.173; iii.69. dukkhaŋ (adv.) with difficulty, hardly J i.215.


Well, "entailing trouble" is very close to troublesome... so the dictionary says basically that it is possible to translate dukkha this way.
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Re: Morning Coffee Pali Musing

Postby bodom » Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:49 am

Personally I've always preferred the translation "stress" for dukkha. I think "troublesome" also captures the meaning pretty well.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Morning Coffee Pali Musing

Postby lucky-2012 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:23 pm

Nice musing!

Isnt 'troublesome' an adjective though, and 'dukkha' a noun?

So I would say 'troublesome' describes 'dukkha', but they are not interchangeable...

:thinking:

With metta
"Make it your sport — watching the defilements and making them starve, like a person giving up an addiction"

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... ensed.html
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Re: Morning Coffee Pali Musing

Postby piotr » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:26 pm

Hi,

Certainly when someone cuts your limbs with two-handed saw it is troublesome. But isn't it also a bit more than that? ;) What I'm getting at is that the semantic range of the word dukkha is so wide, that it's quite impossible to cover it with one modern word. Or so says a lot of translators…
Last edited by piotr on Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...
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Re: Morning Coffee Pali Musing

Postby piotr » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:29 pm

Hi,

lucky-2012 wrote:So I would say 'troublesome' describes 'dukkha', but they are not interchangeable...


Dukkha can be a noun aswell as an adjective.
Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...
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Re: Morning Coffee Pali Musing

Postby Sam Vara » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:30 pm

I like it. I can only think of two slight drawbacks.

First, we tend to use it more frquently in cases where the "fault" or agency resides outside of ourselves. What is troublesome is the cause or circumstance which gives rise to the trouble, rather than our response to it. "A troublesome wasp" or "A troublesome customer", for example. This would make further exploration into our contribution to the trouble a bit harder.

Second, as an adjective, it would need to be prefixed with "the" in order to make sense in some formulations. "The Noble Truth of The Troublesome", for example. "The Noble Truth of Trouble" has a touch of the bathetic. "Suffering" doubles as a noun or an adjective according to context, and "Stress" just needs "-full".
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Re: Morning Coffee Pali Musing

Postby Viscid » Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:13 pm

I don't think 'troublesome' quite captures the strain that dukkha places on the individual.. It conjures images of hyperactive children who enjoy running around and knocking things over.. Also saying 'birth is troublesome, aging is troublesome, death is troublesome' sounds quite.. funny..
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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