How Do You Spell DUKKHA?

Pronunciation: [dˈʌkə] (IPA)

Dukkha is a Pali term used in Buddhism to describe the suffering or unsatisfactoriness of life. It is often spelled as /dʊk.kʰə/ using IPA phonetic transcription. The first syllable 'duk' is pronounced with a short u vowel sound (/dʊ/) and the second syllable 'kha' is pronounced with an aspirated k sound followed by a neutral vowel /ə/ at the end. The letter combination 'kh' represents the aspirated k sound in the word, which is common in many Indic languages.

DUKKHA Meaning and Definition

  1. Dukkha is a crucial term in the philosophical and spiritual teachings of Buddhism. Originating from the Pali language, it is often translated into English as "suffering," although its meaning transcends conventional understandings of pain and anguish. Dukkha encapsulates the inherent unsatisfactoriness or dis-ease characteristic of existence itself.

    In Buddhism, dukkha represents the fundamental insight that dissatisfaction and delusion are pervasive aspects of human existence. It acknowledges that our desires, attachments, and expectations often lead to disappointment, suffering, and an unending cycle of craving. Dukkha recognizes that even pleasurable experiences are temporary and subject to change, thereby resulting in impermanence and vulnerability.

    Beyond its ordinary translation, dukkha can also refer to the underlying existential truth of life's ephemeral, unstable, and conditioned nature. It encompasses physical and psychological pain, as well as the subtler forms of unease arising from the imperfections and limitations inherent in the human condition.

    More broadly, dukkha points to the very nature of existence, where all conditioned phenomena are ultimately unsatisfactory and devoid of true selfhood or inherent essence. Buddhist teachings emphasize that recognizing the reality of dukkha is pivotal in cultivating wisdom, compassion, and liberation. By understanding and accepting dukkha, individuals may navigate the path towards uprooting craving, experiencing lasting contentment, and ultimately attaining enlightenment.

    Overall, the concept of dukkha in Buddhism can be understood as an all-encompassing notion of suffering and unsatisfactoriness that pervades existence, urging individuals to seek liberation through insight and spiritual transformation.

Etymology of DUKKHA

The word "dukkha" is derived from the Pali language, which is an ancient Indian language closely related to Sanskrit. Pali is the language in which the earliest Buddhist scriptures were written. Dukkha is a central concept in Buddhism, often translated as "suffering" or "unsatisfactoriness".

The term can be traced back to the Sanskrit word "duhkha", which has a similar meaning. In both Pali and Sanskrit, "duhkha" is typically composed of two root words: "du", meaning "bad" or "difficult", and "kha", meaning "empty" or "hollow".

However, it is important to note that the exact etymology and meaning of "dukkha" can be debated among scholars and different interpretations exist.