Explain the concept of Dukkha
Dukkha is the first of the three marks of existence and the first of the four noble truths. Dukkha is an extremely hard word to translate, and its meaning can vary between suffering, dissatisfaction and imperfection, it is most often translated as suffering. In his first sermon in the Deer Park, Siddhartha Gautama tells us what dukkha means. “This is dukkha: birth is painful, aging is painful, sickness is painful, death is painful, encountering what is not dear is painful, separation from what is dear is painful, not getting what one wants is painful. This psycho-physical condition is painful”. This could suggest that Gautama is trying to say that everything is painful so everything is dukkha. The Buddha’s teachings suggest that dukkha is caused by the three poisons – greed, hatred and ignorance, so by getting rid of the three poisons we would get rid of dukkha, but it is not possible to get rid of the three poisons because all humans feel greed, hatred and ignorance sometimes. As everything changes and dies, the Buddha taught that life cannot give people perfect satisfaction, and so the result of this is dukkha, therefore the Buddha is saying that anicca is dukkha, because anicca is the teaching that nothing is permanent and everything changes, although many other religions would argue that although not everything is eternal, some things like the soul and God is, but the third mark of existence is anatta which means no permanent self, which means there is no soul in Buddhism because they believe that nothing is permanent. The Buddha taught that there is no such thing as perfect happiness, all happiness is tainted – you are never permanently happy, there is such thing as happiness, but it doesn’t last forever, which reinforces the concept of anicca. However, one of the main concepts of Buddhism is happiness, because although Buddhism is seen as a pessimistic religion, the Buddha is ‘a skilful doctor — he may break the bad news...
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