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CONTINUING THE NOBLE TRUTH OF SUFFERING



(continues)
3. DEATH (MARANA) IS SUFFERING
The thought of leaving the present existence and the uncertainty of the future is very frightening. As death draws near, all mortal beings are subjected to severe attacks of disease and illness, which rack the body with unbearable pain. Death, being the basis for all such physical and mental agony, has thus been named dukkha by the Buddha.

4)Sorrow (Soka) is suffering
Sorrow is the burning in the mind of one affected by the loss of relatives, destruction of property or possessions, deterioration of health and longevity, lapses in morality, deviation from right view to wrong view, any other loss, ruin or suffering. This sorrow is a form of mental displeasure (domanassa) but has inner consuming as its characteristic and as such is intrinsic suffering, dukkha-dukkha. Overwhelming distress occasioned by sorrow can cause heartburn leading to premature ageing and even death. Being thus a basis for other physical pains too, sorrow is fearsome and is therefore named dukkha by the Buddha.

5)Lamentation (Parideva) is suffering
Lamentation is wailing by one affected by loss of relatives, property and any other losses or suffering. Absent-mindedly and hysterically, the distressed one clamours, proclaiming the virtues of the dead and the quality of the lost property or denouncing the enemy or agency responsible for the loss. In reality, lamentation is merely the material quality of sound and therefore not suffering in essence. But such wailing and hysterical proclamations produce physical discomfort and pain. The Buddha had therefore declared lamentation as suffering. To cry is to be subjected to pain which is therefore suffering.

6)Physical pain (Dukkha) is suffering
Bodily pains such as stiffness, aches, soreness, tiredness, itchiness, feeling hot or cold are suffering. These physical pains are true intrinsic suffering called dukkha-dukkha. Even animals flee to safety at the slightest hint of getting beaten or shot at because they are afraid of physical pain. It is important to know that sickness and disease come under this category of physical pain. Physical pain is generally followed by mental distress and for thus serving as a cause for mental pain, it is named dukkha, dreadful suffering.

7)Mental displeasure (Domanassa) is suffering
The Pali word "domanassa" means bad-mindedness or mental pain. It denotes all sorts of mental aversion or displeasure such as worry, anxiety, depression, dislike, hate, fear, misery, etc. Mental displeasure also is intrinsic suffering which not only oppresses the mind but also tortures the body such as causing stress, insomnia, and loss of appetite with consequent impairment of health and even the advent of death. It is a truly formidable dukkha.

8)Despair (Upavasa) is suffering
Despair is ill-humour or rejection produced by excessive mental agony in one affected by loss of loved ones, property and any other losses or suffering. It causes repeated bemoaning over the loss resulting in burning of the mind and physical distress and can even lead to insanity or suicide. Despair is therefore suffering because of the intense burning of the mind and physical pain accompanying it. People, accordingly recognize the state of despair as a fearsome dukkha.

As an illustration, sorrow (soka) is like cooking of oil or dye-solution in a pot over a slow fire. Lamentation (parideva) is like its boiling over when cooking over a quick fire. Despair (upayasa) is like what remains in the pot after it has boiled over and being unable to do so any more, goes on cooking in the pot till it dries up.

9)Association with the hateful is suffering
Association with the hateful is meeting with disagreeable beings or undesirable objects. Such meeting is not itself unbearable pain but in such situations, reaction sets in at once in the form of mental disturbance and physical discomposure. As it serves as a cause of mental and physical distress, it is designated by the Buddha as dukkha, dreadful suffering.

10)Separation from the beloved is suffering
Separation from the beloved is not itself a painful feeling. However when separation takes place, by death or while still alive, from beloved ones or when parted from one's treasured possessions, mental agony sets in at once. As it promotes various mental afflictions, the Buddha had called the separation from the loved ones and desirable objects, dukkha, dreadful suffering.

11)Not getting what one desires is suffering
Not getting what one desires is not itself a painful feeling. But the unfulfilled desire often results in great disappointment, despair and may even lead to suicide. Suffering also arises out of desire for some unobtainable object such as the desire to be free from suffering. 
Without practising and developing the Eightfold Noble Path, freedom from suffering is unobtainable by mere wishing and not getting what one wants causes mental anguish. Here the object of one's desire also includes the worldly gains and wealth which cannot be attained by mere desiring. Not getting them as one desires is also dukkha.

12)  5 Aggregates of Clinging are suffering
A sentient being is made up of the 5 Aggregates or Groups which form the objects of clinging or grasping. The 5 Aggregates of Clinging or Grasping (Upadana-khanda) are: 

a) The aggregate of matter or material forms (Rupa-khanda)
 b) The aggregate of feeling (Vedana-khanda)
c) The aggregate of perception (Sanna-khanda)
d) The aggregate of volitional activities or Kamma-formations (Sankhara-khanda)
 e) The aggregate of consciousness (Vinnana-khanda)
Example of the 5 Aggregates of Clinging at the moment of seeing;
a) The eye and the visible object are the Material Aggregate.
b) Feeling pleasant, unpleasant or neutral is the Feeling Aggregate.
c) Recognizing or remembering the object is the Perception Aggregate.
d) To will to see and turning the attention on the object is the Volitional Activities
Aggregate.
e) Just knowing that an object is seen is the Consciousness Aggregate.

(next:- What is the noble truth of the cessation of suffering)

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