25 January, 2021

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Is Life All Dukkha?

Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

By Shyamon Jayasinghe

Impermanent are all component things,
They arise and cease, that is their nature:
They come into being and pass away,
Release from them is bliss supreme.
Aniccaa vata sankhaaraa — uppaada vaya dhammino
Uppajjitvaa nirujjhanti — tesa.m vuupasamo sukho.
— Mahaa-Parinibbaana Sutta (DN 16)[1]

Is life all a sad story? There are variations with regard to this observation even within different schools of thought in Buddhism. I feel impelled to examine this as a statement of reality. I am encouraged by the Buddha’s own exhortation to us not to accept what we have heard but to test even his Dhamma “as gold is tested with fire.”

The best test I can recall is one that the famous Karl Popper suggested, namely to try and see how a proposition can be falsified. Karl Popper is a philosopher of science and he was focused on scientific methodology as truth-bringers.

The cited extract is from an Early Buddhist Sutta. I venture to agree with the first three lines in the Sutta. This is about two of the three marks of existence according to Buddhism, namely, impermanence (anicca, in Pali) and soullessness (annatta). Here, anatta is hidden but implied in the concept of anicca. . “Dukkha,’ is also implied by the expressed desire to release oneself from this conditioned existence. Since anicca is true, anatta follows.

On the other hand, it is difficult to accept that dukkha is a defining mark of life in the manner the other two phenomena are. By the same logic I cannot accept the need to find release (nibbana or liberation) from a samsaric life presumably dominated by dukkha or sorrow. The Buddhist hope for release is either for a possibly better life in the next birth or for a total emancipation from samsaric existence, altogether.

Impermanence and passing away is the nature of things (yathaa bootha). In this day, it is a truism for all of us. The ancient Greek philosopher,Parmenides, many years after Skayamuni Buddha, famously stated,”one cannot step into the river twice; for fresh waters will flow against us.” That was, perhaps, a more dramatically expressed statement of the same truth in the Mahaa-parinibbana Sutta.

I read the second characteristic of nature, anatta, as an extension of anicca. If everything passes away from moment to moment then it means there isn’t anything in nature including ourselves that is substantial. The doctrine of a permanent soul embedded within us that travels accross several births in a samsara was in the Upanishads and it constitutes a core belief in Hinduism. The Abrahamic religions-Christianity, Islam and Judaism- have a similar core belief. The latter do not believe in several other births. They believe that at the end of our current existence the unchanging entity in us called the soul will head either to God in heaven God or go to interminable hell or to some transit realm. Buddhism rejects all these notions and justifiably so.

On the other hand, what about the third mark of existence: dukkha? This has been interpreted in myriad ways. It is likely that dukkha could not have meant something broader than ‘suffering.’ Mind you, we have to realise that Sakyamuni Buddha never put down any of his vast teachings into writing. It took 500 years after his passing away to do that. The game called Chinese Whispers will tell us how an original message can be misinterpreted in a short chain of communication. How much more in such a period of half a thousand years! In interpreting Buddhism, one has to bear in mind this adamantine reality and the attendant consciousness that one may be inaccurate in a given interpretation.The Abhidamma itself was a product of scholastic Buddhism as were the argumentation of St Thomas Acquinas in Middle ages Christendom.

Buddhist scholastics argue that by dukkha, Sakyamuni Buddha would have meant a mental state that is something more inclusive that encompasses anguish, disappointment, self-conflict and so on. In short, it meant the existential crisis or predicament of men and women. Or the concept may even include what existentialists like Albert Camus called ‘absurd,’ or devoid of real meaning. Camus remarked that life is absurd in that that events and phenomena behave randomly and without any pattern or sensible explanation.

That is the broadest notion one can get to. What it all tells us is that life is something negative and unsatisfactory, which impels us to find a way of release. The Abrahamic religionists, too, said the same thing and looked forward to an “eternal happiness,” out of “this mess,” in heaven.

While it is easy to accept anicca and anatta as marks of existence, dukkha presents a problem. For anything to be a mark of existence it must be something intrinsic to the nature of existence. Dukkha isn’t. It is, rather, a response relationship we develop with external happenings, situations and events. It is a reaction in our mind to our reading of an external tragedy. Attitudes to loss, failure or tragedy will depend from person to person. Some will simply breakdown; others may be unruffled. The Stoic philosophers wouldn’t bother at negative events. One Stoic philosopher is reported to have expressed thrill and enjoyment while being burnt. That is an extreme example; but it dramatises a point. The problem is not out there objectively in the external situation but in our response to it.In his best seller, “The Power of Now,” Ekhart Tolle expressed the point very tersely: “The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but the thought about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral. It is as it is.” Two things in negative external events can help us stoically accept them namely that such occurrences are in the nature of things and, secondly, that they all eventually pass away.

The Buddha himself emphasised these points. A good illustration is found in a story in the Dhammapada Commentary about Kisagothami who came weeping remorselessly to the Buddha when her child had died. The Buddha gave her an exercise. He asked Kisagothami to go searching for a house that has not had or herd of death. That exercise assuaged Kisagothami.

Kisagothami had been administered a kind of cognitive therapy to deal with her crisis. There is also something within human nature that almost instinctually sets us in the direction of reversing misfortunes and restoring the balance. It is a resilient mechanism. British philosopher AC Grayling put it this way: “ordinary human nature is full of surprisingly deep courage, not least of the kind that makes hope and a return to happiness possible.” (The Meaning of Things.)

We commonly hear a false notion that anicca or impermanence necessarily conditions sorrow. A heap of gorgeous garden roses or ‘a host of daffodils’ would be a delight to the eyes. We all know the roses and the daffodils wouldn’t last. Yet, the fact is that their beauty and happiness-giving is real until it lasts. Something giving permanent happiness may be boring. The same could be said of the beautiful body of a young woman. So is a loving relationship or a work of art.

“Pemato Jayati Soko
Pemato Jayati Bhayan
Pemato Vippamuttassa
Natti Soko Kutho Bhayan?” (Pali)

This is from a Sarchchandra drama. “Love begets sorrow. Love begets fear. In the absence of love, what sorrow; what fear?” Love is a wonderful and beautiful experience as long as it lasts. Permanent love bores one. Love derives its joy in a temporary context. As long as one can cultivate love it, love brings wonderful joy and as long as one expects it may be torn apart and adjusts on’e expectations to such a situation love doesn’t bring such tragic sadness; nor fear.

Likewise, the moment of birth of a child can be an expansive and exhilarating joy to its parents.

In this way, it is easy to point out so much of beauty and happiness that life does offer despite its ephemeral nature. Bertrand Russell made the point when he said,“Life offers none- the- less true happiness although not everlasting.” (Conquest of Happiness).

There is a simple test for all of us: Undertake a survey of normally healthy individuals and find out how many of them would say that life is bitter and how many of them would like to terminate it? How many would like never to be born again? How many would like to be born again in better circumstances? I doubt you getting any significant number that would opt for the first mentioned opinion. If one believes in rebirth one would like to be reborn in happier circumstances. The latter implies satisfaction in existence-as one knows it.

Since the numbers in our imaginary statistical survey who say life is not worth living would evidently be trivial, then the need for striving to end an assumed Sansara would be a pointless exercise.

*THE WRITER read philosophy at the University of Peradeniya and worked in the Sri Lanka Administrative Service reaching the position of Ministry Secretary before retiring to settle down in Melbourne. He is more popularly known as a Sarachchandra player and as the first Pothegurunnanse in the landmark drama, Maname. He is the author of two books and he frequents international seminars in Applied Buddhism. Shyamon Jayasinghe can be contacted on sjturaus@optusnet.com.au

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    Shyamon Jayasinghe

    RE: Is Life All Dukkha?

    1. //”I am encouraged by the Buddha’s own exhortation to us not to accept what we have heard but to test even his Dhamma “as gold is tested with fire.””//

    Thanks for the write up. This is called the Scientific Method. However, when the Scientific Method is applied, Religions, including Buddhism falls short.

    2. “The Buddhist hope for release is either for a possibly better life in the next birth or for a total emancipation from samsaric existence, altogether.”

    Applying the scientific Method, there is no support for next birth or for a total emancipation only termination of this life. What is Life? How do you define it?

    3. “The doctrine of a permanent soul embedded within us that travels across several births in a samsara was in the Upanishads and it constitutes a core belief in Hinduism.” “The Abrahamic religions-Christianity, Islam and Judaism- have a similar core belief. The latter do not believe in several other births. “

    Applying the scientific Method, there is no support for a permanent soul embedded within us that travels across several births or the next birth. What is Life? How do you define it?

    “Buddhism rejects all these notions and justifiably so.”

    4. “The game called Chinese Whispers will tell us how an original message can be misinterpreted in a short chain of communication. How much more in such a period of half a thousand years! “

    “That is the broadest notion one can get to. What it all tells us is that life is something negative and unsatisfactory, which impels us to find a way of release. The Abrahamic religionists, too, said the same thing and looked forward to an “eternal happiness,” out of “this mess,” in heaven.”

    “While it is easy to accept anicca and anatta as marks of existence, dukkha presents a problem.”

    Applying the scientific method, it looks like the Religions are all confused, yes confused by the Theory of Evolution. Buddhism is no exception.

    Evolution preceded anicca and anatta as marks of existence or dukkha.

    5. “Since the numbers in our imaginary statistical survey who say life is not worth living would evidently be trivial, then the need for striving to end an assumed Sansara would be a pointless exercise.”

    Still it has to be based on the scientific Method.

    Andy Thomson gives his talk titled ‘Why We Believe in Gods’ at the American Atheist 2009 convention in Atlanta, Georgia.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iMmvu9eMrg&t=757s

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      Mr Shyamon Jayasinghe,

      Well, all that went right above my head.

      The only part I got was Dukkha.

      I wonder, after 2500 years, which is more true in SL; Buddhism or Leviathan?

      The natural state of man is not to be found in a political community that pursues the greatest good. But to be outside of a political community is to be in an anarchic condition. Given human nature, the variability of human desires, and need for scarce resources to fulfil those desires, the state of nature, as Hobbes calls this anarchic condition, must be a war of all against all. Even when two men are not fighting, there is no guarantee that the other will not try to kill him for his property or just out of an aggrieved sense of honour, and so they must constantly be on guard against one another. It is even reasonable to pre-emptively attack one’s neighbour.

      In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain, and consequently no culture of the earth, no navigation nor the use of commodities that may be imported by sea, no commodious building, no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force, no knowledge of the face of the earth, no account of time, no arts, no letters, no society, and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

      “continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

      That part is even truer if you are surrounded by women.

      Well, Mr Jayasinghe, you thought you had problems!

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        All this is too deep for me. My head is aching.

        Why do I feel that the only practicing Buddhist was Buddha himself.

        It started and ended there.

        All the others are thieves, murderers, rogues, pilferers, humbugs, white-van-ners, pretenders, tree-worshippers, statue-worshipers, thinkers, philosophers, attention-seekers, power-seekers, Hollywood-lost-souls, social-climbers, honest-day’s-work-avoiders, …………………… not an all-round very nice lot.

        The human condition is not very conducive to the practice of religions.

        Looked for morality all over, rarely found it; found only deception. How comforting is self-deception.

        Why can’t we cut the crap and accept what we are?

        If we are put in the human-condition to be human, might as well be human with a vengeance, eh?

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          Shyamon Jayasinghe

          RE: Is Life All Dukkha?

          No. It is what you make it out to be.

          For some it is Dukkha, and for some it is Happiness, and they lead a full life.

          You and many Buddhists are stuck on Dukkha, because that is what you have been brainwashed with, like the other coreligionists who believe is different versions.

          What are the facts of Life on Earth?

          How Life Began Origins Nova Neil Degrasse Tyson

          Published on May 28, 2014
          The mystery of exactly how life began. Hunt for microbes that flourished in the most unlikely places: inside rocks in a mine shaft two miles down, inside a cave dripping with acid as strong as a car battery’s, and in noxious gas bubbles erupting from the Pacific ocean floor. The survival of these tough microorganisms suggests they may be related to the planet’s first primitive life forms. Host astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson deepens the search by investigating tantalizing and controversial chemical “signatures” of life inside three-billion-year-old rocks and meteorites found around the world.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJQ4r81DZtY

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          Well nimal fernando,

          You make a good point my friend.

          “All the others are thieves, murderers, rogues, pilferers, humbugs, white-van-ners, pretenders, tree-worshippers, statue-worshipers, thinkers, philosophers, attention-seekers, power-seekers, Hollywood-lost-souls, social-climbers, honest-day’s-work-avoiders, …………………… not an all-round very nice lot”. Agreed, the sooner the lot become extinct like the dinosaurs the better.

          But don’t agree with vengeance. I don’t like to be hurt. I will gladly give my bananas and my women to my neighbour to keep the peace or even to Uncle Sam when he comes over the seas blasting in my door.

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        Shyamon Jayasinghe

        RE: Is Life All Dukkha? and Re: nimal fernando comment

        nimal fernando says, “Well, all that went right above my head.”

        This is generally the case with many people. Buddha was trying to separate his philosophy from Hinduism. After all, Buddha was a Hindu.( Recall Martin Luther, and the Catholic Church).

        Anyway, here is a video that explains in a nutshell Buddhist Atheism, and tries to explain and to separate impermanence (anicca, in Pali) and soullessness (annatta), and Dukkha.

        There is no God in Buddhism…so here’s what they believe in instead!

        Anicca,

        Annatta, and

        Dukkha- Tanha – Nirodha -Magga and the 8-Fold Path..Right

        -Vision
        -Intention
        -Concentration
        -Action
        -Mindfulness
        -Effort
        -Livelihood
        -Speech

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7onmC24jyw

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        nimal fernando ,

        Ding dong tyranny to anarchy how passionately I hate them swing.

        But `If` is all you seem to say when it’s not in your way.

        Looks like Kanye West Rap has influenced you.
        (I had to get off the boat so I could walk on water
        This ain’t no tall order, this is nothin’ to me;)

        People do “evil” things to acquire money (because we give it value) and people do “destructive” things to acquire beauty because of the great societal pressures to attain them.

        ◉Θ◉ Hey man, Kim is the sister of Kylie living down under


        ▲ ▲ triforce- 105.

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      Amarasiri, Congratulations for your measured response to Shaymon’s article – no catch phrases, no stanzas such as Mara Mara. You are improving and I will be watching your progress with considerable interest.

      We have seen Maurice Bucaille’s attempts at laundering statements in the Quran such as that the universe was created in six days. It was a beauty to watch his brave attempts to give oxygen to a patient who is already dead. But intelligent people will not fall for that sort of stunt. Buddhists themselves are guilty of the same type of behavior.

      Buddha wanted to be different from other religious leaders up to that time and said that there is no Athmna. Fine. That must have raised a furor among his contemporaries, which is what he wanted probably.

      But then, if there is no athma the concepts of rebirth and hence Samsara become meaningless. Athma and rebirth are mutually inclusive. He needed rebirth, to put fear in to people to do good things and refrain from doing bad things.

      Letting Atma go was a smart move. The problem is that he had to bring in something much more illogical in its place to keep people in line. While an ordinary person like me or Amarasisi would have given up and gone back to the Palace, Buddha did not.

      He found a way out eventually. How can one ensure that the right person is being rewarded/punished in the next birth if there is no Athma? Buddha came out with a brilliant way. The concept of Nacha So Nacha Anno (It is not the same person – Nor is it a different person). That way Buddha could have the cake and eat it too.

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        For the record. I have not realized ‘Anatta’. I am just like any of you enjoying ice-cream on planet earth.

        But according to Buddhism existence as we experience is a contradiction or an illusion. Even rebirth and Samsara technically does not exist. It only exists because ‘Anatta’ is NOT realized. ‘Anatta’ is supposed to be “the lack of self” or the opposite of what we perceive as reality. Naturally when self is an illusion, all thing including rebirth and Samsara are also irrelevant. But we are supposed to be stuck in loops/cycles, in an illusion of “Self”. Rebirth and Samsara and all other things are essentially a side effect of not realizing ‘Anatta’.

        I guess it is a bit like proof by contradiction. You start with 1==2 and at the end realize 12. Or simply put, “self” is bull$hit.

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          “”we experience is a contradiction or an illusion.””

          Jokes a side.- the more you write makes you ignorant and the more you travel gives you enlightenment without Buddhism or faith.

          Have you heard of psychiatry? and the 7th path or 4th gem- mindfulness that is another principal adhered by National Health services of EU nations- no Buddhism or Hinduism is attached because they are human like you.

          Illusions is on display in 3D mode outside the UCL building London.

          only mad people see illusions and the sane do not see it.
          Refer it on the internet and read it it is true.

          Stupid belief! there are many Europeans who know more about buddhism than Asians do because they have questioning minds.

          If you go to Nepal and meet a lama and say you see only illusions he will make you do yoga, chanting, meditation for one year like them on a daily basis from 6am to 10pm and you come out a sane person with the experience of teaching Yoga like most Europeans do. it is better than tablets for life for people who see illusions.

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          Thanos,
          BTW it’s perceived illusions and conceptual illusions of the sane and mad.
          Its on the walls of Uuniversity college london new building like jatika katha with example of faces concave convex, bicycle illusion’s etc.

          The buddhism lankans talk of is outdated stuff like ancient vehicles which are museum pieces.(i am trying to insult but it is the real thing that science proves)
          in the west we recycle waste and you can call it Samsara, Samsara.
          The Chinese recycle the PC’s we throw away in the west. Samsara,Samsara maximum buddhist and statutes at china and lankans are no specialist but chanting obselete stories while chinese laugh at it because they prefer philosophy after the creation part of it as that is the life we live.
          Introduction to Daoism- 1 page only by with Acknowledgment: The consultant for this unit was Dr. Irene Bloom, a specialist in Chinese intellectual history.
          http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/special/china_1000bce_daoism.htm

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      Of course Life is Dukkah, so long justice is no served as promised.

      Today multiple criminals are scot free. Murderer, rapists, high profile money launderers stay enjoying impunity.
      We are so fed up of all these –

      Api asarana wela dewiyane -Something should happen if not today when ?

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      Anarasiri,

      Millions among Hindus believe in life-death cycles, seven in number. Applying what we understand of basic genetics, it takes seven generations for us to dissipate our present genetic make up.

      If,

      Present (1st) gebneration is = 100%
      2nd generation = 50%
      3rd generation =. 25 %
      4th generation. = 12.5 %
      5th generation. = 6.25%
      6th generation. = 3.23%
      7th generation. = 1. 57%
      8th generation. = 0.79 %

      By the seventh generation our progeny will have only 0.79 % of our genetic foot print- extremely negligible9 counting from the second.
      It is the chrosomes that transmit us over generations, before dissipating their strength . Our ancestors had the intelligence to understand the phenomenon, but did not understand the science behind it. We are reborn through our progeny. It is a self sustaining system. ‘ God’ need not intervene.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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        Dr. RN,

        Good explanation. Everything has an explanation. We have no option but to understand and accept the truth.

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        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        “Millions among Hindus believe in life-death cycles, seven in number. “

        How did those Millions of Hindus come into being? Evolution.

        About 3 million years ago, their ancestors had 48 chromosomes, even though they now have 46. Did their ancestors believe in life-death cycles, seven in number? Very unlikely.

        Anyway, this number seven is a magic number. Where did it originate? Mesopotamia?

        1. God made the Heavens and the Earth in 6 days, and on the 7th day God rested.

        2. There are 7 days in a week.

        3. The Muslims when they perform the Haj Pilgrimage, circumambulate the Kabba, seven times.

        4. The Quran says says seven Heavens. [Quran 65.12] Allah is the one who created seven Heavens and from Earth like them (of corresponding type); [Allah’s] command descends among them so that you may know that Allah is capable of anything and that Allah knows everything.

        5. How many generations did it take from Primates with 48 Chromosomes to Homo Sapien Hindus with 46 Chromosomes? Seven?

        Ken Miller on Human Evolution

        Uploaded on Feb 14, 2007
        Dr. Ken Miller talks about the relationship between Homo sapiens and the other primates. He discusses a recent finding of the Human Genome Project which identifies the exact point of fusion of two primate chromosomes that resulted in human chromosome #2.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zi8FfMBYCkk&t=54s

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          Amarasiri,

          Evolution is also a very slow process that is based on the chromososomes and the genes. Factors such a mutations, adaptation, selection and opening and shutting off gene loci are also involved in this process. It is very intricate and very responsive to what we do and what we experience. It happens within ones life time and generations. It is a very complex and beautiful dance of many factors.

          In dairy cows today , so much of their genome is known, they can be mated towards becoming what we want them to become. The same thing can be done with horses , chickenn and dogs . Among the domesticated animals only man is randomly breeding and the selection process is random and nature dictated to a large extent! We can also be designed to become what we want to be . The morality of this is a different question. I happen to think that religion, when used as a progressive tool, contributes to make us genetically better, by making us strive towards the better.

          The point I want to underscore is that all life, whatever and wherever they may be, are independent units with the inbuilt capacity and capability to function, procreate and sustain life and their genetic continuance into the future after our deaths.

          We can bring up better children through better education and upbringing , and influence their genetic make-up. They can marry partners who can contribute to the genetic improvement of their children. We mate driven by the hormones, but do not understand why we should mate with the right person, to genetically improve the human species.

          Genetics should be thought in schools to all children in a creative, objective and visionary matter.

          Dr.RN

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            Correction:
            — should be taught in schools—.
            ‘Dr.RN

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            Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

            “Genetics should be taught in schools to all children in a creative, objective and visionary matter.”

            Yes. Not only Genetics, Science, Philosophy, Logic, Comparative Religion and the Environment as well. Need an educated and well-informed populace, as opposed to an uneducated and mis-informed populace, which we curretly mostly have.

            Science, Astronomy clashed with religion and gave birth to the Scientific Method, and that in turn lead to the age of reason and Enlightenment.

            The Theory of Evolution is based on a vast collection of observations, fossils, biology, genetics, environments and facts.

            Remember, Theory sits above a collection of facts and observations.

            What is the Evidence for Evolution?

            Published on Oct 10, 2014

            Biologists teach that all living things on Earth are related. Is there any solid evidence to back this claim? Join us as we explore the facts! We start with a close look at the origin of whales from land mammals, and then touch on the origins of several other critters, including our own species.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIEoO5KdPvg

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      Shyamon Jayasinghe

      RE: Is Life All Dukkha?

      “THE WRITER read philosophy at the University of Peradeniya ….”

      Thanks for the Article on the confusion on “Dukkha,”.

      Thre was an a Andalusian Philosopher and Islamic Jurist known as Ibn Rushd, often Latinized as Averroes who was a medieval Andalusian polymath. He wrote on logic, Aristotelian and Islamic philosophy, theology, the Maliki school of Islamic jurisprudence, psychology, political and Andalusian classical music theory, geography, mathematics, and the mediæval sciences of medicine, astronomy, physics, and celestial mechanics.

      He pointed out the errors of the Islamic Philosopher and Theologian, Al-Ghazali, who is is thought to be the catalyst for the decline of Islamic science, investigation and discovery.

      Anyway, Ibn Rushd, Averroes, pointed out that in an argument one must state the opponents position and then rebut that position, if not in agreement. That was best illustrated in his classic work. His most important original philosophical work was The Incoherence of the Incoherence (Tahafut al-tahafut), in which he defended Aristotelian philosophy against al-Ghazali’s claims in The Incoherence of the Philosophers (Tahafut al-falasifa).

      Anyway, back to Buddhism. Given below is an alternate view of Buddhism by an Atheist who tried to learn Buddhism and came to a different conclusion ( You do find the same phenomena with Christianity, Islam and other Religions).

      Most Religious People are Good People, can be Good People, but…The People were Good before religion got into the People…and that is why Native Veddah Aethho are Good People, whereas many paras are bad People, including Para-Sinhala “Buddhists”m who do not follow Pristine Buddhism.

      Re Buddhism — ATHEIST POWER!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsgcP65dDOg

      Buddhism The Great Evil — Part 1

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNOfTGSADdY

      Buddhism The Great Evil — Part 2

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clcs2PSze0I

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      Amarey, I am watching Andy Thomson as suggested by you.
      Cheers.
      Vishva.

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      I believe human beings are no different to other animals. Their formation on the planet is as a result of evolution. Those reglions emerged because the human beings have not even today information about the real formation of human beings on the earth.

      Is life all Dukkah – is relevant to those who belong to Hiduism and buddhism. Christianity or other godly religions give more courage about the life- making you ready feeding with positive thoughts than negatives.
      From the dayin and out, if you would remain busy about the Dukkai… nothing can bring you forward at all. That the psychologists and motivationalists have all proved by the experiements held using healthy people.
      Religions in general are to guide you for a better life. If anyone would abuse it for going through varied versions there they will end up with the unexpected. Most negatively.

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      Dogs that have been trained with systems behave so orderly than those were not subjected to trainings. So are the monkeys and other animals.
      So what is the different between trained human beings and untrained ones ?
      This is also valid to politicians too. Those who just evolved without proper upbringing cossted all a problem while others that were raised in good environments guided without making any high profile human harms.
      Rajaapskehs are the best example of the current era. They the siblings had all high records to have been rascals. In the end, what they did was, are the consequence of today s srilanka, which they abused all the state assets, even today there are no records left for any traces. But they still argue – even new generations do the same. They are not remorseful at all. That basil has no shame at all. Except Chamal all others are far from all ethics and morals.

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      Shyamon Jayasinghe

      RE: Is Life All Dukkha?

      Thanks for the Article on the confusion on “Dukkha,”. Not only Buddhists, many non-Buddhists are confused as well. However, there is a segment of the Population who are not confused by Dukkha, Buddhism, with Rebirth, with reincarnation or Gods in the Sky.

      Theory of Evolution!

      The Amazing Atheist Owns Buddhism: Case Buddhism.

      Buddhism is a religion not a philosophy, because Buddhism talks about after life and reincarnation.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDguv1oi3rg

      Stephen Hawking on Religion> Physicist, Philosopher, Father – Words of Wisdom

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrZNEeLvPWs

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      Amarasiri,
      Isn’t it nice to see that so many of our people have very high understanding of religious teachings, sciences of consciousness, cognitive sciences, genetics, Neurology etc..
      But unfortunately most of our yellow dressed, bold headed group who called themselves Buddhists have very little understanding of real Buddhist teachings & values and more than 95% of them do NOT know even read/understand Pali at all.. They just memorise some parts and repeat them as “Mantram” to create “FEAR” among laymen

      When I read more about Buddhism teaching (just to understand) , I am getting more and more disgusted about those yellow dressed, bold headed group in SL… How many of them have any decent understanding of “Anitta, Dukka, Anatta”? These bold headed group continue to put fear into laymen heads using “Athma – reincarnation”, extended Karma… Their aim is be to safeguard and enhance their position in the society, getting more comfort & riches from laymen.. what else !!!

      Fundamental of Buddhist teaching says that “one has to find his own salvation and happiness, and there are no Gods to help you”. But what those Yellow dressed people promote openly “One must get blessing of Triple Gem “- “Theruwan Saranai”….Specially from third one “Sanga”.. What they invariably says , people MUST get blessing from these yellow dress bold group. To get that, you have to feed them with best food, donate more money, give them more foreign trips, cars, and land… then those bold people would make sure people get 10 times more than they spend now in their next reincarnation… How cunning and un-buddhist are those bold headed people???

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        AVB

        1. “Isn’t it nice to see that so many of our people have very high understanding of religious teachings, sciences of consciousness, cognitive sciences, genetics, Neurology etc.. “

        Yes. Those who fall in the higher end of the IQ distribution, where the average IQ is 79. That group is in a minority.

        2. “But unfortunately most of our yellow dressed, bold headed group who called themselves Buddhists have very little understanding of real Buddhist teachings & values and more than 95% of them do NOT know even read/understand Pali at all..”

        Yes. Those who fall in the lower end of the IQ distribution, where the average IQ is 79. That group is in a majority.

        The Politicians and yellow robed Monks, Priests and Mullahs exploit that.

        So, it is generally correct to say, the Land of Modayas, Mootals and Fools.

        So generally most in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho suffer as a result.

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          “”Yes. Those who fall in the higher end of the IQ distribution,””

          Say Hee Haw buruva,
          IQ: Illicit Quadruped.

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        [Edited out]

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    Mr. Shyamon Jayasinghe:

    You have read a little bit about buddhism and try to show that you are a grand scholar. It looks, it is stupid trying to reason with one who thinks he is an all knower.

    Anyway, It says, the generation of Buddhist monks Buddha sent to speread the doctrine at the beginning of the Buddha’s journey could have reached only upto Greece during their life time. So, Greeks knew about Buddhism. Even you say what that Greek Philosopher said had said later to Buddha’s parinirvana.

    It is simply misinterpreting Buddha when Read little bit from What buddha said and then try to say this is buddhism.

    For your information, during Buddha’s life when Buddha visited new villages, Buddha never preached impernence. Instead , Every time, Buddha Explained only the five precepts.

    If you have read Dhammapada, some of those verses are for humans to live a happy life. For some hindu girls who wanted to get married Buddha had Talked about how to treat the husband, how to be a house-wife, and in laws etc., etc., He never asked those girls to become nuns and seek enlightenment.

    So, please don’t write things you don’t know.

    Dukka is the transient nature of everything. I don’t know why you find it is so difficult to understand. If you understood anichcha and anaththa very well you must have understood dukka as wekk. If something is anichcha, it automatically becomes dukka.

    During Buddha’s Parinirvana, those gathered there were mostly Arahant monks and buddha taught this Mahaparinirvana suthra to mature monks including to tbose Arahants.

    Then for your claim about impermanence thing, Buddha has classified the tiniest nature of the universe both in material and in energy. That fits very well with the modern Quantum Mechanical theories and the classification in advanced buddhism (Abhidharma) is far advanced than matter, energy, particle etc., classification in Science. Modern science explains that the tiniest super strings have life times in the Planck Scale. Buddha says the same thing. That is nama-rupa (matter and mind) exists only for time scales of thought moments. So, As buddhism says, modern Science says super strings has only life times of Planck Scales. that is impermanence.

    If macro scale, you should understand that 5 year sharmon Jayasinghe is not the same person when he is 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 or 60 etc., that is impermanence. Even the party you have right now is not eternal. It ends one day. that is impermanence. You can ot have anything eternally.

    If you browse the computer, you can see how American and European Scientists are studying Buddhist Abhidhamma and try to explain Qutantum Dynamics with the help of buddhism. There are so many articleas and youtube clips.

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      Jim, since you have already written what is in my mind, I will not repeat. Good commentary on Mr Jayasinghe’s write up. Just a few words I would like to add: Knowedge is limiting,so said Kishnamoorthy; science deals with only known knowledge. Mere mortals trying to analyze and judge Lord Buddha’s teachings may be akin to ameoba’s trying to disect human beings. They should try to expand their own knowledge instead of trying to fit Lord Buddha’s teachings into their limited brain. It is said that philosophies and religions go beyond the limits of science, known at the time or today. We all agree that Scientific knowledge is expanding all the time, and fast catching up with what Lord Buddha had already taught us through different ways, as Buddha has said that human brain is a laboratory of its own and observing the nature provides all the evidence. Finally, it should be said that Lord Buddha’s primary focus was to address the suffering (Dukka or the transient nature) of the living beings, hence his abdication and retreat as a menedicant following the realization of the 4-stages of ending of life.

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        Thrisu, I also believe what we know as average buddhists about the BUDDHISM is really far from what Lord Buddha taught in his teachings. It can be a water drop compared to oceanic waters. And we know that what is known to human beings are still much less than all unknown truths about anything. That is definitely the reason many even claiming buddhists but to behave various patterns. That is known to all in predominantly buddhist countries such as ours.

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      According to Buddhist scripture, The sun and the moon are at the same distant from Earth. And you believe that Scientists are studying Buddhist Abhidhamma and try to explain Qutantum Dynamics with the help of Buddhism?

      If so they must be Buddhist Maurcie Bucailles.

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        If you take direct translations, especially Sinhala translations, then yeah, its going to sound retarded.

        For example “Manusya loka” if you write that in Sinhala it will be “මනුෂ්‍ය ලෝකය”. Simply put Human world or more specifically world of the “Homo sapiens” or in other words “Earth”. That is NOT the Pali meaning. Loka in Pali DOES NOT equal ලෝකය in Sinhala. Loka is NOT a geographical term. The simplest way to put it is “Existence”. The other thing is Manusya DOES NOT equal “Homo Sapien”. “Earth” and “Homo Sapien” are specific scientific terms. In Pali it is very general.

        Manusya in Buddhism involves at least 3-stages of physical and psychological evolution. I can’t give you a direct Scientific example but very loosely it can be viewed as the entire Homo grouping from something like “Homo Habilis” to something far far more advanced than “Homo Sapien” are today spread throughout the entire universe. That entire grouping is “Manusya”.

        But, I have to be very clear. People should NOT mix Science with other subjects like religion. Science is not something static. Its like a flowing river. What is science-fact today will be pseudoscience tomorrow. Many who try to connect Science and Religion don’t understand this.

        PS: Another stupid translation is the “මහා මේරු පර්වතය”.

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        Edwin rodrigo:

        Just go to Youtube and Google see how many physicists and biochemists are interested in Advanced buddhism.

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          I prefer Thanos’s advice. Don’t mix religion and science. Most of all don’t try to prove religion using Science as Maurice Bucaille did for Holy Quran perhaps for a great fortune.

          Science is Science and Religion is Religion, and never the twain shall the two meet.

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            No Edwin. Most religions except Buddhism are related to gods.

            That is why Science and Buddhism are that close.

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              I have the feeling keeping you in an open prison (ME job related life) may have turned you an another living being compared to your previous states prior to leaving for Middle east. Whatever the topic is being discussed, yours get to read on this forum is not far from that Ranjith whose mental set was manipulated by traditional Gurukam being practised by his elders.

              Anyway, we now know as genetists and ecologists report, we the human beings and our bevioural patterns can vary dependent on the environments you grew up. Japanese from main land Japan are totally different from those you will get to know from Hawai. Latter japanese had migrated to Hawai islands some decades ago.

              Likewise, not only genetics but also eco factors do play a crucial role in our life.
              Simply, we heard this from our elderly people during our childhood – the tale of the parrots. Parrots that had the kind and gentle association behaved alike to the lords, than the parrots were with the bad company. Latter example is common to human beings too.
              We have best example from lanken politicians- take each of them from Parliament and try to see the realities about their current behaviours.
              What I am saying is -not just religions and its principles but the eco factors do affect on human growth (mental and physical aaspects)

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          jim softy,

          There maybe certain loose parallels in certain things that are in Buddhism and what is considered Scientific (By some). But those are very fuzzy and depends on interpretations.

          Importantly, hypothetically lets say there is something in Buddhism that is a science fact now, something that has passed the Scientific Method, and you are happily claiming Buddhism is Scientific. But here is the catch! As I said before, Science is NOT STATIC. It could change over-night.

          What we consider the Laws of Physics, Laws of Nature will be a joke or a laughing matter to a more evolved iteration of Humans in 1000 years or so. In 10,000 years the present Scientific method itself will be inadequate or completely irrelevant. So if you claim Buddhism is Scientific now I can guarantee that it is going to change in future. You cannot compare something static and unchanging to something that is dynamic. It is a complete mismatch. It doesn’t mean one thing is the truth and the other is not. In-fact Science is not about “TRUTHS”. Religion is about “TRUTHS”, “ABSOLUTES”, etc. Science DOES NOT CARE ABOUT RELIGION. Plain and simple.

          Yes, some Scientists may take inspiration from certain Religious concepts when formulating a hypothesis. But a hypothesis DOES NOT equal Science-fact. This is why String-Theory is not actually a theory it is a hypothesis, a mathematical framework. It lacks the empirical backing. Even when it comes to the “Big-Bang” there are problems when you get to the Initial singularity. The Laws of Physics do not work. Even “Cosmic inflation” does not have empirical smoking gun. I think in 2014 a group of Scientists thought they discovered “primordial gravitational waves” but that didn’t turn out as planned. But hey, thats OK. That is Science. Failure is part of the deal. Eventually they will find something and that something might completely blow our understanding of nature.

          IN MY VERY HUMBLE OPINION, people who try to mix science and religion are insecure about their own faiths. That is why they try to “reinforce” their faith with cherry-picked scientific concepts. If you believe in God or Rebirth, Nibbana you should stick to your guns without dragging in science. I don’t have any problem with someone believing in God. If an Atheist says “Buddhism and Christianity” is bull$hit then that is that Atheist’s prerogative. The believer doesn’t need to give a $hit about what the Atheist thinks. Is that such hard thing to grasp?

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            Thanos

            “IN MY VERY HUMBLE OPINION, people who try to mix science and religion are insecure about their own faiths. That is why they try to “reinforce” their faith with cherry-picked scientific concepts. If you believe in God or Rebirth, Nibbana you should stick to your guns without dragging in science.”

            Yes. Why?

            Because they KNOW Science is supported by observations,evidence, data, facts and a theory, for example the Theory of Evolution.

            They also KNOW that their religion and beliefs are lacking in many areas when compared to science, and therefore, they try to link their religion to science, or say that that their religion said about those items which science found out many years later.

            Buddha saw the Sun rise from the East and set from the West, and probably believed that the Sun and the Moon went around the Earth. The Greeks, Christians. Jews, Muslims, and many others thought too.

            However the Theory of Evolution supported by observations,evidence, data, facts has got all the religions confused and on the defensive. Both the Christian and Muslim fundamentalists are up in arms against the Theory of Evolution, as it contradicts the Revelations in the Bible and the Quran.

            1. What is the Evidence for Evolution?

            Biologists teach that all living things on Earth are related. Is there any solid evidence to back this claim? Join us as we explore the facts! We start with a close look at the origin of whales from land mammals, and then touch on the origins of several other critters, including our own species.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIEoO5KdPvg

            2. Ken Miller on Human Evolution

            Uploaded on Feb 14, 2007
            Dr. Ken Miller talks about the relationship between Homo sapiens and the other primates. He discusses a recent finding of the Human Genome Project which identifies the exact point of fusion of two primate chromosomes that resulted in human chromosome #2.

            3. The Collapse of Intelligent Design – Kenneth Miller Lecture

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4r2J6Y5AqE

            Published on Sep 25, 2012
            This is Dr. Kenneth R. Miller’s hour long exposé of the claims of intelligent design and the tactics that creationists employ to get it shoehorned into the American school system.
            Judgement Day: Intelligent Design on Trial (documentary on the Dover trial):

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2xyre

            4. Stupidest Muslim Vs Neil Tyson – How ideology can ruin intellectual power

            Published on Nov 10, 2014
            This is not a debate between some Muslim and Neil Tyson. But this video shows the thinking of some very well educated 21’st century Muslim (I don’t know he is ignorant, stupid or dishonest. But he is one for sure) and Neil Tyson speaking in a lecture about how Muslims intellectual power ruined by an ideology.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyCxrL9-C84

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        EDWIN RODRIGO

        “If so they must be Buddhist Maurcie Bucailles”

        Maurcie Bucailles come in different flavors and versions for different believers, to keep them content with their beliefs.

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          Edwin, in which Buddhist scripture have you read that the Sun and the Moon were at the same distant from the Earth? Would you mind quoting the reference?

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          Amarey,

          We can consider the Buddhist version Maurcie Bucailles to be that former theoretical physicist who goes around saying “බටහිර විද්‍යාව පට්ටපල් බොරුවක්” or “Western Science is a Goebellsian lie”.

          I wish I could attach a facepalm meme.

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            through puddhu Thanos lies we see the truth and that is the same as mixing religion which is an emotion with science.

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            Thanos

            “We can consider the Buddhist version Maurcie Bucailles to be that former theoretical physicist who goes around saying “බටහිර විද්‍යාව පට්ටපල් බොරුවක්” or “Western Science is a Goebellsian lie”.

            Are you talking about Nalin de Silva?

            Anyway, can ask him about what Buddha said about the Sun and the Moon, as pointed out by Edwin Rodrigo…

            ” (Kosala Sutta) Anguttara Nikaya 10.029, where Buddha is clearly unaware that the moon light is reflected light of the sun and gives the sun amd moon equal place in the description of the cosmos. “

            Did Buddha think that the Earth was flat? What does the “former theoretical physicist” say?

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        Edwin, in which Buddhist scripture have you read that the Sun and the Moon were at the same distant from the Earth? Would you mind quoting the reference?

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          I cannot remember. If I do I will tell you.

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          I have this for you for the moment. Search for (Kosala Sutta) Anguttara Nikaya 10.029, where Buddha is clearly unaware that the moon light is reflected light of the sun and gives the sun amd moon equal place in the description of the cosmos.

          He paints a nice picture. But surely that is not the cosmos of modern science. Not even close.

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            EDWIN RODRIGO

            “(Kosala Sutta) Anguttara Nikaya 10.029…gives the sun amd moon equal place in the description of the cosmos. “

            Did Buddha know Joshua of the Bible? Did they compare notes? Did they copy from each other?
            Joshua 10:13

            King James Bible
            And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.

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              Cosmos and Religion

              They were all groping in the dark. I don’t blame Buddha. He only inherited a ready made cosmos and became the ruler of that. But in Quran and the Bible we have the so called ‘creator’ describing his own creation. There having a Joshua is really absurd.

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            EDWIN RODRIGO:-
            I prefer to believe that the Buddha knew about the Sun and the Moon; but the people at the Time, could only interpret his words according to what they Believed and Understood at the Time!

            It happens even now. The Dhamma spoken by Good Learned Monks, is interpreted by Listeners according to their level of Understanding!

            The Buddha himself said that His Dhamma was difficult to understand!

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              Please read the translation of Kosala Sutta. There Buddha makes an extraordinary leap in imagination by saying that there are many wold systems like ours. But where he errs is in the description of these.He seems to think they are clones. One sun, one moon, one jambudveepa etc.

              I doubt whether he had any realistic idea about our own world even. How can we expect him to be a good cosmologist when he did not even know geography?

              There are those who believe come what may and blame interpretations. In this case there could be no such thing.

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                EDWIN RODRIGO

                “I have this for you for the moment. Search for (Kosala Sutta) Anguttara Nikaya 10.029, ..”

                “I doubt whether he had any realistic idea about our own world even. How can we expect him to be a good cosmologist when he did not even know geography?”

                Thanks for the reference to (Kosala Sutta) Anguttara Nikaya 10.029,.

                Is there any reference that says Buddha thought that the Earth was Flat?

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                  Buddhism and the Universe

                  I found this pdf book at http://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh180.pdf

                  Gods and the Universe in Buddhist Perspective Essays on Buddhist Cosmology and related subjects (by Francis Story)

                  Buddhist Publication Society Kandy • Sri Lanka

                  The Wheel Publication No. 180/181

                  I think you may find an answer for your question there. Even if I don’t, it is a very good book. I read the hard copy long ago and have it in SL.

                  Namo Buddhaya!

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              Hamlet, I respect your preference. Many years ago, I tried the same thing and found that I am only fooling myself. That is why I have decided to judge every religion using the same standards.

              When expressing my views I have to step on a few feet. That is expected.

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      Hello Jim Softly,

      You say, “You have read a little bit about buddhism and try to show that you are a grand scholar.”

      No where in Shyamon’s article this time nor before did I note a claim by the him to be a grand scholar.

      You say, “it is stupid trying to reason with one who thinks he is an all knower.” I agree, I will not reason with you.

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    I cannot believe the author lived all this time without knowing what “Anttta” stands. It is not “Soulness”.

    The “Soul” is a crude reference to the essence of life. Its akin to the software of a person as opposed to the hardware that is the physical form.

    The Hindu faith refers to the soul as “Atman”. The special sauce of Hinduism is all belong to one omnipresent Atman. Furthermore, as per the Upanishads – even trees, carrot sticks and bushes have Atman.

    The Abrahamic faiths refer to soul too. Everyone has their own soul that enters an eternal heaven or hell.

    In both Hindu and Abrahmic faiths the soul is “eternal” – always exist somewhere.

    The Buddhists makes a reference to a life form using its inverse meaning i.e. non-self.

    The idea we call self, both software/hardware are an aggregate of 5 things. The “non” means the one identify of self does not really exist.

    Some parts of the aggregate are matter and others non-matter. However, since even matter is an expression of energy, even that is ultimately fickle or “soft”.

    The aggregate exists as a fabrication and we make reference to it as one whole as “I” or “me”. Its further conjoined with Arnica defining it as something that is temporary.

    So we have covered 2 aspects of the holy trinity Anatta and Anicca. How does Dukkha or “suffering” fit the above puzzle?

    One can certainly put a positive spin on life. However, whenever the 5 aggregates are formed it must undergo birth, loss of loved ones, diseases and eventual death. Its also meaningless since we bring nothing and take away nothing.

    So what about non-Buddhist idea of salvation in heaven? “Heaven” is indeed a realm of existence. Its relatively better than this life. Its like living in Europe as opposed a poverty stricken nation in Africa.

    However even here, Anattta, Anicca and Dukka applies since its the fundamental nature of how things are.

    So you may enjoy the virgins for a few weeks. Then you get tired of all the sex and its not that joyful any longer. Furthermore even heavenly beings must eventually deteriorate and die.

    At the end of each life the aggregates fall apart and remnants carry forward to create a new “me”. The new me goes through the rigmarole yet again.

    The real salvation entails stopping the aggregate from forming. The glue that binds the aggregate is simply greed to live, not-live and greed for sensory stimuli.

    When aggregate no longer forms suffering no longer arise. This is because the mooring for Dukkha – “I” is no longer there.

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    The Problem seems to be that Dukkha ‘Unsatisfactoriness’ is so close to the Sinhala Word ‘Duka’ which means ‘Sorrow/Suffering’, that it is usually misconstrued.

    People usually say that Life is not all ‘DUKA’ and don’t want to go any further to understand what The Buddha Really Taught!

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    One big problem is Pali-to-Sinhala translation. ‘Dukkha’ is not the only word that gets messed up. Another common (mis)translations is the word ‘Vedanā’. In Sinhala that means ‘Pain’. But in Pali that is way too specific. In the broadest term ‘Vedanā’ is more like ‘Feelings’ in Pali. To truly comprehend the “Pali Cannon” you need to find some one who knows the ins-and-outs of that dead language and not just that but the context in which the Buddha made those statements. A group headed by my father was in the process of a direct “Pali-to-English” translation. It was pretty torturous. He even had to spend 3-months in remote Burmese monastery. Most of the “Pali-to-Sanskrit/Sinhala-to-English” translations are actually INCOMPLETE. The Sinhala meanings are simply too specific. Sadly 2 of the most knowledgeable monks have since passed. Only a fraction of the work complete. That is reality. Buddhism is more than 2500 year old and entropy will always take effect. After all the current Buddha sasana is said to have life span no more than 5000 years. So it is down-hill path.

    Simply put,

    ‘Dukkha’ is not equal to ‘දුක’ in Sinhala
    ‘Vedanā’ is not equal to ‘වේදනාව’ in Sinhala

    and the list goes on…

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      Thanos

      If we were to extrapolate your line of argument to Mahawamsa, then there could have been many errors that the scholars could have made while translating Mahawamsa into German, then to English and later into Sinhala.

      Did your father find any errors in Geiger’s translation for that matter any other literary work that were translated from Pali to Sinhala?

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      Thanos .

      “One big problem is Pali-to-Sinhala translation.””

      you are what one calls the tube light from a village monkey.

      to translate poetry from one language to another is impossible because the essence is lost – this is known for hundreds of years so folk used sign language to communicate during the Trade Expeditions of the west.

      I repeat your knowledge is outdated without understanding like the buruva you are evading – national quality.
      you may be the new colomba malasanya.

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    The danger of refusing to face facts and accepts the truth of life, such as old age and death, is that it makes a person suffer even more,not less,in the long run.

    “Cause of suffering is nothing but selfish desire, friction between elements and energies and mental imbalances.” – Buddha

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      Sapumal

      “The danger of refusing to face facts and accepts the truth of life, such as old age and death, is that it makes a person suffer even more,not less,in the long run.”

      In addition, those who refuse to accept the Theory of Evolution suffers more.

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        yes ,everything included in the so called facts.”The Dukkha or Suffering which is person experiences are nothing more than the interaction of his or her selfish desire with changing worldly conditions.”

        Those who have a limited capacity of thinking and having their own barricade of knowledge may not have the answers for life and beyond. They may remain in the realm of darkness for ever. It is laughable that those who do not understand who is Buddha trying to challenge his wisdom by using limited knowledge of sciences.His doctrine is open to discuss and argue. But those who trying to do must possess at least basic knowledge of life.Therefore evolution is not an issue. If we Look at the world with our own eyes , we can see Dukkha everywhere. Ifwe look at our own way of life we can Dukkha everywhere.You can see what modern sciences has done to mankind by looking at Syria or elsewhere. It will be to ones benefit if we could only realize that it is more important to first conquer oneself.The Buddha said that self conquest is better than world conquest. I doubt those who challenge may not understand this as they are similar to those who lived before Buddha.
        ” A long life may not good enough, But a good life is long enough.”
        -Benjamin Franklin
        it is time to think
        -All youth end in old age.
        -All health in sickness
        -All strength in impotence
        -All beauty in ugliness
        -all life in death
        what else Shyamon trying to understand? I have a doubt about his writings.Who is behind him!

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    I understand that Buddha said: To be born is to suffer.

    If that is true Dukkha follows in life.

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      Thiru

      “I understand that Buddha said: To be born is to suffer.”

      So Evolution is suffering, Dukkha as per Buddha’s doctrine, as it reproduces and follows life.

      Evolution is DNA molecules being reproduced by way of RNA molecules.

      So DNA and RNA are “Dukkha”, Suffering !

      This is where Buddha’s Dukkha doctrine falls apart with the Theory of Evolution.

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        Amarasiri, as usual you are raising an interesting point. I have question. On a scale of 0 to 10 in Dukkha where does the evolution of a n.veddah to a kalaveddah fall?

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          EDWIN RODRIGO

          “where does the evolution of a n.veddah to a kalaveddah fall?”

          Did Peradeniya University give you an education in critical thinking? Did you only listened to the lectures, and reproduced the lectures at the exam time?

          Anyway, Native Veddah Aethho are Homo Sapiens who walked to claim the Land of Native Veddah Aethho, that had different names later such as Lanka, Thambapani, Elankai, Taprobane, Serendib, Ceylon, ans Sri Lanka before any of the Paras, Paradeshis came by Illegal Boats, Hora-Oru and Kall-thoni.

          No. Kalaveddah did not evolve from the Native Neddah Aethho.

          The Parasdeshis, Paras did evolve the Illegals from Baharat, Damba-Diva, India.

          The Vedda Tribe. It is their Land. They Came 25,000 Years ago, before any Parasdeshis came.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f89NuukY32U

          Through a comparison with the mtDNA HVS-1 and part of HVS-2 of Indian database, both Tamils and Sinhalese clusters were affiliated with Indian subcontinent populations than Vedda people who are believed to be the native population of the island of Sri Lanka.
          Journal of Human Genetics (2014) 59, 28–36; doi:10.1038/jhg.2013.112; published online 7 November 2013

          http://www.nature.com/jhg/journal/v59/n1/full/jhg2013112a.html

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          “”On a scale of 0 to 10 in Dukkha where does the evolution of a n.veddah to a kalaveddah fall? “2

          in CT’s good books as always- they are one and the same

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      Thiru

      “If that is true Dukkha follows in life.”

      Life follows evolution!

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    Shyamon makes sense in his articles. His thoughts, although lacking in a background of rigorous study, are worth contemplating. Unlike on social media, he does not overtly display a pricked ego when critics dispute his words.

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      “His thoughts, although lacking in a background of rigorous study,”

      Really Lasantha?? Hmm I tend to disagree. Read the article again please.

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    Dear readers,

    Shyamon Jayasinghe, as always writes well, and clearly. Before I read widely and came to appreciate these heavy topics, I stumbled on the words of George Gershwin. I was young and impressionable and I cannot resist going back to his simple message…

    People are queer, they’re always crowing, scrambling and rushing about
    Why don’t they stop someday, address themselves this way?
    Why are we here? Where are we going? It’s time that we found out
    We’re not here to stay; we’re on a short holiday

    Life is just a bowl of cherries
    Don’t take it serious; it’s too mysterious
    You work, you save, you worry so
    But you can’t take your dough when you go, go, go

    So keep repeating it’s the berries
    The strongest oak must fall
    The sweet things in life, to you were just loaned
    So how can you lose what you’ve never owned?

    Life is just a bowl of cherries
    So live and laugh at it all
    Life is just a bowl of cherries
    Don’t take it serious; it’s too mysterious

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      Spring Koha..

      “Life is just a bowl of cherries Don’t take it serious; it’s too mysterious You work, you save, you worry so But you can’t take your dough when you go, go, go”

      This is what I really feel today since my mum is no longer there.
      I question myself countless times what is the purpose of all this.
      Could our questions on why are we here, where are we going, all easily be answerable, we would not have even thought about this today.

      Some say, divine powers created us on earth while no proofs are available. It is just beliefs. Even if some radical muslims convincely say, that we the buddhists are marching wrong way – they too have nothing on their hand to prove us – why we or others do so.

      I simply believe, this life is just a reaction. Like animals we too die the physical forces find no more the strengths. Those who met with immature deaths are too due to reactions (accidents, mutations or other factors).

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    Mr. Shyamon Jayasinghe:

    Like Mr. Jim Softly well suggested, you have read only little about Buddhism and it also is not that deep. What Lord Buddha clearly says is that his doctrine is only for those who has wisdom or “Pragna”. When you go into deep in it, it is not easy to understand the content without properly visualizing what is behind it.

    The first mistake, what you do, as I think, is your trying to test it with scientific method which is itself is not correct. Science is not the truth. But, a kind of interpretation of the phenomenal world. The real truth may be very far from it.

    As Mr. Jim suggested, even with science, impermanence is there in each and everything. when you say Rupa (Form or matter) is Anicca (Impermanance) it will never be as it is and changing continuously. It exists due to causes and once causes disappear it ceases the existence causing Dukka which inherited in the impermanence. They are linked together.

    So, please study it thorough so that you can be devoid your illusion in your mind.

    Regards

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    Brilliant! Shyamon, I admire the way you can express deep concepts with lucidity and light weight. Few writers have this characteristic.Best wishes. Wren’t you Secretary Ministry of Higher Education once? I have met you with a delegation of academics

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    MY COMMENTS RE THE COMMENTS
    Thank you all readers for your comments.
    While thinking and studying Buddhist philosophy I discovered that the First Noble Truth has debatable issues. This article of mine is a result of my thinking and researching effort.
    The first point is that one cannot arrive at the proposition that existence is marked by Dukkha. I have widened the concept of ‘dukkha’ to give it more cogency. Yet, even with the broadened version no inductive reasoning can yield the conclusion that life is dukkha. Secondly, I have pointed out that my view is, in fact, accepted by experience of common people who would not say that life isn’t worth living. Thirdly, I therefore conclude that there is not reason to desire an alleged better existence as promised by the Abrhamic religions or by Buddhists in the form of a better birth. One does not need to seek Nirvana or heaven. This affects the fourth Noble Truth.
    The above is the syllogism of my basic position.
    Some commentators have stated that I have ‘little knowledge,’ of Buddhist philosophy. This logically implies that such critics have more knowledge than I do in the matters raised; if not, how do they know that my knowledge is poor? Well, the ball is clearly in their court and these critics must point the flaws in my above reasoning.
    This has not happened so far,and I hope to see some substantial comments in the future. Amarasiri has gone some far.To say something about my ego (Lasantha Pethiyagoda) is taking one nowhere. This constitutes what in logic is known as argumentum ad hominem; namely, it is an attempt to meet an argument by attacking an alleged adverse characteristic of the author of the proposition.
    Yes, Dr Ransimala, you are right about a previous position I had held.Thank you

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      “The reason I talk to myself is because I’m the only one whose ideas I accept.” (George Carlin)

      That aptly describes some of the commentators here. They remind me of my Thermodynamics teacher, who was trying to explain to us what ‘entropy’ means, a concept that has not only scientific interpretations but philosophical ones too. He was facing a barrage of questions from us and finally said, ‘OK. I will think about it and you think about it and tomorrow we will discuss it”. Of course, it goes without saying that that ‘tomorrow’ never came.

      Ex-1:

      ‘Dukkha’ is not equal to ‘දුක’ in Sinhala
      ‘Vedanā’ is not equal to ‘වේදනාව’ in Sinhala

      And then, the author keeps us in eternal ‘Dukkha’ by not telling us what they real mean.

      AS some one said: The real Dukkha is not knowing what Dukkha really is.

      Ex-2:

      “So, please don’t write things you don’t know”. May I suggest that CT filter all articles through this person to check whether the author understands what he is talking about.

      Ex-3:

      “I cannot believe the author lived all this time without knowing what “Anttta” stands. It is not “Soulness”.”

      I also thought all this time that Anatta means ‘Anatta’ and not Gaban Atha. Reading all that makes me think even the Dhamma is Anicca.

      Ex-3:

      Oh My Gaban Atha, I just saw that ‘and the list goes on’ after Ex-1. Oh My God, does it mean the Dukkha continues like Samsara?

      No, please don’t answer that.

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        Edwin,
        you seem be the person who has not comprehended the article.
        Please read it again before jumping to your lenghty posts.
        That can help us all. Thank you.

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          Dolalanga Manike, you found my Achilles heel. I don’t read. No. It is more correct to say I can’t read. No, that is not the whole story. I can read. But it does not go in to my head. Not all of it. OK, I admit around 90% does not go in.

          Early in my life I found out about my problem and also a partial solution for it. I call that Sampled Meaning Recognition (SMR). I got in to the 6th fleet because I am an expert at that. The ‘friend or foe’ recognition system in the battle group runs on a similar STR (Sampled Target Recognition) algorithm. The idea is to scan the article, just as the Aegis Phase Array Radar would scan the sky and sea around the battle group, pick up some samples and base your judgement on that.

          I will stop there because the rest is classified.

          You say “That can help us all”. You can help me too. What the hell is the article talking about? from the heading I gathered it is about Dukkha. Is that wrong? Can you please summarize it in to a few lines and post it here? It will be a great help.

          Next time I come to SL I will bring you a packet of best dates in the world.

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            Thanks Edwin Sahodaraya.
            Please enjoy the
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhiK5UEUZMA

            I think we need to do some work not allowing extremists to divide this nation further.
            This talented Kithunuwa does his job well. He is mingling with buddhists, muslims, hindus and all without any kind of problems.
            Why cant we share our part making aware of the stupid idiots that are on a prey to capture innocient mind sets for their abusive return.

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              Manike Nangi, Thanks for that. I am downloading it now and will comment later. Looks like a nice musical program.

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                Thankyou for Edwin for your brief but exact clarification of the issue here.After i read menike’s comment i cleatly understand what is therr motive and who is behind this.We must understand that no one can attack fundamental principles of the life for narrow gains.Dukhkha is one of them.Church is just a institution which face decline in the face of modern society. But Dukhkha remains the same.

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                  Sapumal, I wish could know what you ve been saying about me. Just becaseu I added that link to Edwin, I really dont think I am part of Christianity. But please get the message- clearly.

                  This decent christ sends a valauble message to entire volks.Those educated buddhists impartially join him are more than exemplary.

                  The buddhists if they are real buddhists – should join hand with neutral forces to eleminate the extremism.
                  The non-buddhists too should join hand with neutral forces in marginalising uneducated extremists.

                  Dont you know the message being sent by rising radical elements today ? I have studied them closely and I feel Face Book has now become a threat to lankens to create new problems in this country.

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                  You just need to see it without being biased to any parties.
                  Then only you can get it. Many among us today, if anyone as non-buddhist would add anything not supporting yours, you like Wimal Buruwasnse or the like minded most known creatures of the day would behave to attack us- is primitive. Please see it beyond that. That can help clear your eyes.
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=en9_3mPCTYc

                  Yes, Dukkah remainthe same, but we must not start the day in and out ONLY thinking about Dukkah. That is psychology.

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                Please add your thoughts on the link. Your thoughts are becoming interesting.
                Like what you added in terms of CONTRIBUTION of muslim srilankens in terms of war related issues.

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      I am sorry to say this. If Mr. Jayasinghe is more knowledgeable than Buddha, now we have to assume him as a a “Sarvagna” or supreme buddha. (I don’t think so.) Then also you are the only one who chalenge four noble truths after discourse of “Dhamma Chakka Pawaththana Sutta”.
      It says “And so long, bhikkhus, as my yathā·bhūtaṃ knowledge and vision of these four ariya saccas in these twelve ways by triads was not quite pure, I did not claim in the loka with its devas, with its Māras, with its Brahmās, with the samaṇas and brahmins, in this generation with its devas and humans, to have fully awakened to the supreme sammā·sambodhi.” (SN 56.11)

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        I think he is an atheist.

        This he had added sometime back to an another forum.
        Whoever whatever being said and done, lanken buddhism in the country is politicised by today. In 70ties, we had no powerful rich monks as is the case compelled to see today. Some even hold birth day parties, while the others cant travel if the vehicle is not luxuary. The kind of buddhism we get to see in srilanka, being practise by its messengers are realistically a joke.
        However, not even 0.00000000000000001% of teachings of lord buddha is seen in lanken buddhist LIFE today.
        Monks charge 25k, 50k or the like for their bana preaching, what is then the difference between monks and hiring artists. If the gauge is not reasonable, some monks would not visit for Bana.

        Bana preachings have become Dinner gatherings to this date.

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          Yes sinchappu,.I fully agree with you.However these people who attack Buddhists can be tolerated.But they are trying to attack Buddhist doctrine without even knowing anything by practicing it.It is just like trying to explain the climbing experience of Mount Everest without even seeing it. I am quiet sure they are belong to different religious group.Anyone can criticize. That’s why Buddha said “Ehi passiko or come and see”. But what they do is not come and see, just trying to slinging mud without practice.But we have to thank them for creating awareness among others , which helps Buddhism shines more than ever.The ultimate goal is to free from all suffering. May all biengs be happy and attain Nibbana.

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    An enlightening article. Difficult reading but well worth the effort. Then we come to the hilarious commentaries. Simple minds adding gobbledygook, attempting to give the impression of serious scholarship, even the ability for time travel. Commentators such as jim softly’ seems to have walked alongside Buddha and is able to tell us exactly what the sage of the Sakyans said and did. They obviously haven’t heard the saying, fools rush where angels fear to tread.
    Let me end by saying, There is no god, no life after death. There is only the moment. Leave behind a better place before you pass on.

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      Dionysius

      “Let me end by saying, There is no god, no life after death. There is only the moment. Leave behind a better place before you pass on. “

      That is the Atheist position.

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    Let me also add some lines by that great Persian poet, Omar Khayyam.
    “Myself when young did eagerly frequent, doctor and saint, and heard great argument, about it and about: but evermore, came out by the same door as in I went.”

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      Dionysius, Wrong interpretation. Omar K is simply saying you cannot learn of God from doctor or saint. God reveals Himself to us.

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        God-fearing,

        Wrong again. Even after frequenting all the knowledgeable, he comes out of the ‘same door as in I went’. He came out none the wiser. No talk about a God.

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    Mr. Shyamon: Thank you for taking me away from the “Mundane” task of commenting on “Politics” to a another level of sphere of “Philosophy”. Your topic in discussion is: “Life & Dukkaha”. To me “LIFE” is an “EFFECT” or “RESULT” of a CAUSE. This “EFFECT” or “RESULT” will be again a “CAUSE” for another “Effect” or “Result”. This, I know will continue; but do not know how or where it will “END” or “CEASE” to function. I say “I do not know”, because, I am not a “Believer” of some thing that I do not know. Next, if the “CAUSE” is a “EFFECT” or a “RESULT” and that itself is yet another “CAUSE”, I know, it is “IMPERMANENT” or subject to “CHANGE”. So with that understanding of “IMPERMANENCY’ and get “ATTACHED”, “POSSES” or “DESIRE” to the Effect or the Result; I also know there going to cause “DESPAIR”; “DISAPPOINTMENT” and that would cause me to “SUFFER”. That “SUFFERING”, to me, you might call “DUKKHA”. So, in the end my understanding of this CAUSE and EFFECT; IMPERMANENCY (Change) and NON-ATTACHMENT or DESIRE to POSSES would RELIEVE me of SUFFERING, that which you would call DUKKHA. That is my “Understanding” as at NOW.

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    Is All Life Dukkha?

    If All Life is Dukkha then the word ‘Dukkha’ would not come in to use. Just as ‘high’ came in to use because there is a ‘low’, ‘Dukkha’ came in to use because there is the opposite ‘Sukha’.

    The problem is that Buddha, perhaps unintentionally, made people pessimistic through his Dhamma. Personally, I feel that life is mostly Sukha interspersed with some Dukkha. It all depends on your outlook.

    While faithfuls of other religions go about feeling happy, praising God for what they have got, the Buddhists go about saying Anicce, Dukkhe when there is any bad news.

    But the fact that I feel life is mostly Sukha may mean that I am too stupid to know the reality. Some like my uncle may have been smarter and realized things as they are (Yatha Bhutha) as the following story shows:

    My uncle (Brother of my mother), used to come and sit with my father frequently but both being of the silent type, hardly any conversation took place. My father continued to read the newspaper hiding his face from view and the uncle used to say ‘Ane Habatama Malliye, Me Sansare! Anicce! Dukkhe!. (Really brother, this Samsara is so impermanent and sorrowful). This was repeated every 10 minutes or so, followed by silence, perhaps with my uncle contemplating on his own words.

    We could see my father’s somewhat big stomach vibrating indicating that he is laughing silently, while his face remained hidden by the newspaper. After having a tea and a bulath vita my uncle used to leave, leaving us laughing.

    If not realizing all Life Is Dukkha is a stupid thing then I prefer to remain stupid rather than being like my uncle for whom life was all Dukkha.

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      Edwin rodrigo:

      The problem is that Buddha, perhaps unintentionally, made people pessimistic through his Dhamma.

      without knowing what you are talking, just like the author of this article, you also talk BS.

      You may be christian or muslim, Just read buddhism and prove convincingly that you are write.

      shayamon Jayasinghe also has read one suttas out of about 17,000 or 18,000. Even that 17,000 is one fourth of buddhism and not all.

      Anyway, after reading just one sutta, shyamon Jayasinghe is trying to be Socrates here.

      don’t you think that is stupid ?, and you are no different, A scholar just for one comment.

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        Jim soft in the head, You say, “Anyway, after reading just one sutta, shyamon Jayasinghe is trying to be Socrates here.

        don’t you think that is stupid ?, and you are no different, A scholar just for one comment”.

        We have to appreciate that Shaymon is making a genuine effort that benefits everyone. I don’t know about you, but it rekindled my interest in Buddhism.

        If by BS you mean Buddhist Stuff then you are correct. I am talking BS. Does that affect you in anyway? If you don’t like something don’t read it. Don’t wallow in pain as a pig does in mud.

        Or sorry the pigs may get offended. Let me rephrase it. My advice to the pig community: Don’t wallow in the mud as Jim does in pain. You will get dirty. Besides Jim seems to enjoy it.

        You know what a real Vedana in the A***e is? It is people like you. You are a Baka and Saccaka all rolled in to one.

        I suggest that you write an article to CT on any subject you know well. I challenge you to do that. Until then refrain from making useless comments on the comments of others.

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      EDWIN RODRIGO

      RE: Is All Life Dukkha?

      Yes, in the land of Native Veddah Aethho occupied by the Paras, Paradeshis.

      Right now those 6.2 million who voted for Sirisena for Good Governance, Yahapalanaya, and Nirvanna, are all suffering from a Life Full of Dukkha, because he turned out to be Turncoat, Traitor, Gona and Mala-Prethaya, and the crooks and killers are still at large, and the Avatars of the dead are bothering those millions, and the Para-Sinhala “Buddhist” monks are committing crimes in the name of Buddha and running Amok.

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        Amarasiri, Why don’t we leave the punishment of all Rajapassas, Sirisenas and Ranils to karma. That would be the best.

        May I also point out that the way karma works is Achintya (imponderable) as mentioned in Acintya Sutta – the same way that, how the justice system works in the Yahapalana system, is Acintya.

        So please don’t get worked up about it. The solar system is still young. We are bot.

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          EDWIN RODRIGO

          “Amarasiri, Why don’t we leave the punishment of all Rajapassas, Sirisenas and Ranils to karma. That would be the best.”

          In Hinduism, the Karma punishment takes too long with the Soul.

          Even in Buddhism, it takes too long, even with Anatta or soul-lessness.

          We want punishment in this life, not in Samsara. Who knows whether they will be punished or not? The Avtars of the dead want punishment now.

          Rajapaksa got partial punishment from 6.2 million voters, but and Sirisena is now protecting Rajapaksa and cronies from the next part of Karma..

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    With all due respect, Can someone please elucidate us what exactly is buddhism, i see everyone talking about the advanced nature of the teaching, but no one seems to understand or interpret it clearly.

    i used to watch Sarath N.silva-former chief justice on a tele program sometimes back thinking that he might be able to explain it better, but watching the program, he is as confused as everyone else on this subject.

    Is the Sri lankan buddhist practicing the real buddhism, if so why are the present day Buddhist so envious of others and instead of detachment from world things, why is attachment the order of day, including rocks and mountains, what is the relevance between this and buddhism.

    One thing that i noticed int he Kelaniya area is that buddhism is going through a major transformation, they are trying to emulate the Christians and Muslims in every way, now there is pirit on loudspeaker twice-a-day, originally started at 6 am, and now advanced to 4.30am, then there is weekly Dhmara desana, similar to weekly sunday church sermon or friday sermons with posters all over the place, then listening to some of the sermons, most of the time they are talking about the muslims, their prosperity, the things they do etc., etc.

    is Buddism compatible with the present day requirements of the Sinhalese, if so why are they obsessed and trying to emulate practices of other faiths.

    No disrespect meant, but i am trying to understand the change the Sri lanksn Buddhist are going through in the last 25 years. where is the problem.

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      Trying to judge a religion from the behavioral patterns of its followers is like trying to judge Newton’s laws of motion from the behavioral patterns of its users, like the 3 wheel drivers who defy all laws including Newton’s Laws.

      My suggestion is to read the Sutra Pitaka. This is supposed to be the Buddha’s own word.

      And for heaven’s sake, don’t even touch Abhidamma Pitaka.

      Don’t ask others. Gurus, Mullahs and Padres are the curse of all religions.

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        “”My suggestion is to read the Sutra Pitaka. This is supposed to be the Buddha’s own word.””
        No one would believe you (Buddha’s own word! while you did not know what your grandad was thinking when he was alive- Gautama did not know sanskrit the written language of the Brahmans only) because even folk at Lumbini are now aware that there were only tree worshipers and the great Chinese, Japanese who funded the excavations feel the same.

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      The essence of Buddha’s teaching is compacted into Dhamma Chakka Pavattana Sutra. The teaching is intended for the mendicants that have abdicated the lay life.

      For the lay people if one could follow the five-precepts strictly and well that should be sufficient to claim that one is a good Buddhist. But I shall warn you; it is a very hard act when it come to the 4th and 5th precepts, and for most even the 3rd. I think most people reasonably well stick to the 1st and the 2nd. A further set of guide lines for Buddhist layman can be read in Sigalovada Sutta. Basically a Buddhist is expected to folow a wholesome life and avoid non wholesome acts. That is the teaching of the Budhha.

      In Sri Lanka, Buddhism has been politicized and commerciallized, similar to other main releigions in the world. In Sri Lanka it has become a religious industry along with other main religions, all competing to attract devotees (along with their donations, big or small) that fills their coffers. Of course, they give good words, preachings, destressing lessons of all forms, free, and it is up to the devotees to reciprocate if they feel like it. Basically when commercialized and politicized, it is not Buddhism as taught by Lord Buddha, but teachings manipulated by clever opportunists for their selfish purposes. This is where people like yourself find themselves lost, trying to differentiate what is right from the wrong.

      Despite all the religious teachings and propagation Sri Lanka has a very high crime rate. Naturally, those who commit them may be born into a religious family, but when it comes to controlling and disciplining their minds they are not good at it. The moment they commit crimes, say, contrary to the aforementioned precepts, they automatically become non-Buddhist in their conduct.

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        Yours is a very good coment, Thrisu.
        I could not agree with you more.

        “Despite all the religious teachings and propagation Sri Lanka has a very high crime rate. Naturally, those who commit them may be born into a religious family, but when it comes to controlling and disciplining their minds they are not good at it. The moment they commit crimes, say, contrary to the aforementioned precepts, they automatically become non-Buddhist in their conduct.”

        Dont you think all these are due to mere negligence of the responsible authorties/politicians OVER the years ?

        Having heard about the rapdily increasing numbers of female younger age children becoming mothers- being raped by their own fathers in the long absence of their own mothers – I thought it should be turn hell there. All because mothers of those families are sent to ME coutries for labour. As I read it, there exist a camp in Ambilipitya for these teen mothers. This has reached to an another alarming social problem of the country today.

        But we call it a predominant buddhist country ????????????????

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      Perhaps you can look up the following 2 books in the internet;

      1) Clearing the Path by Rev, Nanavira (A British monk who came to Ceylon and practiced Buddhism. His book is a masterpiece)

      2) What Buddha taught by Dr. Kinsley Heendeniya

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      Further to my above reply, please note that Clearing the Path is really Deep stuff and not suitable for a beginner. I recommend that you read Kinsley’s book first and if it interests you to go on to Clearing the Path.

      Ñāṇavīra Thera (born Harold Edward Musson (BA, Cambridge) ; 5 January 1920 – 5 July 1965) was an English Theravāda Buddhist monk, ordained in 1950 in Sri Lanka. He is known as the author of Notes on Dhamma, which were later published by Path Press together with his letters in one volume titled Clearing the Path.

      In 1948 with a good friend Osbert Moore, he decided to settle their affairs in England, put society behind them, and go to Ceylon to become Buddhist monks. In 1949 they received Novice Ordination at the Island Hermitage, Dodanduwa (from Ven. Ñāṇatiloka), and in 1950 the Higher Ordination as bhikkhus at the Vajirārāma monastery, Colombo. Osbert Moore was given the monastic name of Ñāṇamoli, and Harold Musson that of Ñāṇavīra.

      His book Clearing the Path has been described as ‘a fantastic system’, and as ‘the best and most important book on Buddhism ever written by a Westerner’. The Ven. Ñānavīra Thera himself remarked of the book that ‘it is vain to hope that it is going to win general approval… but I do allow myself to hope that a few individuals… will have private transformations of their way of thinking as a result of reading ‘.

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    It looks christians are ejaculating while a so-called rationalist with little knowledge is trying to be the all knower.

    Shyamon Jayasinghe.

    Read buddhism again in different books and try to understand what DUKKA is. then you find that did not know you were just jabbering.

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      Above all you should seek support to get you to the track.You have been waging your tail to wrong ones for such a long time. Had you had a good sense – that would not have been case. Your sensing seems to be totally unique. Once you are on the proper track only you can even know all about DUkkka or anything else.

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    I am a non-Buddhist optimist and my philosophy of life is based to some extent on what Lao Tzu said: “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow.” Those people who find life a big pain in the U No Where must try to get inspiration from this. If you still do not believe me, then take this: “Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow”. If you still don’t like it, then remember that that is what William Shakespeare thinks about Pemati Jayati Soko.

    Those Christians among you may still be trying to find solace in God and piety. To them I say “Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of wine”. Note that none other than St. Thomas Aquinas said that. May I add “and a pretty damsel by your side” after the wine to improve it?

    What I am trying to get at is this. Just because Buddha says life is Dukkha, don’t take it too seriously. He did not think like you or me. Remember what happened to Prince Nanda who was snatched away from his beautiful bride to be at the last minute by Buddha himself. Was that a fair thing to do? He enticed Nanda saying that he will arrange for a superior beauty from heaven. No thought was given to Janapada Kalyani, the ultimate victim of those machinations.

    Mark Twain said, “The secret source of humor is not joy but sorrow; there is no humor in Heaven”. May I add ‘nor in Nirvana’.

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      Buddhists should definitely NOT take lord Buddha’s word, just because he said so. Each individual has to use his or her own reasoning. My life experiences are different from others. I have a rather negative view towards life. Multiple psychiatrists and psychologists have tried to change that without success. From what I PERSONALLY have experienced in life, many forms of ‘Dukkha’ sounds familiar. Simply put, to me life sucks. Whether it is directly to me physically and mentally or seeing the homeless kid on the road, seeing the pain in their eyes or seeing the horrors happening throughout the world to humans and non-humans. That is Dukkha for me. The only satisfaction I have is buying the lunch packets for that homeless kids. Trying to get them into school. Donating as much as I can to the once who don’t have and the ones in pain. But I know I can do only so much. I have very little control over my existence. That is Dukkha to me. It is not just about my pain or pleasure.

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        Thanos, Thanks for being so honest. Perhaps a proper understanding
        of Dukkha would help.

        Buddha was emphatic that the Dhamma is not for having debates and logical arguments just as we are doing here. He said it is for putting in to practice. When he said ‘come and see’ he did not mean just listening or reading about it. He meant ‘come and practice it’.

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          You short circuit: it would be better to say Gautama or Gautama Buddha but not Buddha (as the Thai folk rightly refer) which means wisdom.

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      He did not think like you or me …….” etc: How do you know what was in Lord Buddha’s mind at the time? The fact of the matter is nobody knows, and we do not know exactly what the event was and its circumstances, except for these anecdotal stories of the Life of the Buddha, written by story-writers many centuries after the Lord’s passing away.
      To denounce the anecdotes would be considered as sacrilege and to cast doubt would be seen as a lack of devotion, so we will not dismiss them outright nor we should take them literally and stick to the words as gospel. Therefore they should be read with some reservation,examining the concept that the writer is trying to explain. They provide examples of problems and dilemmas that people face in real life, and how decisions are taken on the balance of probabilities despite emotional stresses leading to such decisions; this sort of situations get repeated throughout human existence. In modern times the courts of law exercising such judgment in family courts, during and after one party or the other feel hurt and aggrieved. Adults should see through the words and extract the essence using their analytical skills and life experience.
      Interpretations of Lord Buddha “snatching away” Nanda from his bride, or in other situations taking young Rahula from his mom, or Siddhartha himself abandoning his wife with a baby are quite inappropriate visualizations that fall in line with poetic license. In the context of Lord Buddha’s teachings, i.e. the clinical examination of what leads to suffering and how to eradicate it and reach a state of calmness of mind, what appears to be fair from human emotional viewpoint conflicts with how to achieve the state of calmness. But as the writer of Life of the Buddha may be trying to portray, the key players in the stories have achieved those objectives, leaving some aggrieved parties behind and giving the bystanders a feeling of unfairness.

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    Lord Buddha was used to explain the same thing in different ways depending on the audience at the sermon. In some suttas He explained Assada (Enjoyment), Adeenawa (Consequences), Nissarana (Relief) (see Sanyuktha Nikaya – Yamaka Vagga – Assada Paryeshana Sutta – The discourse on the Research of Enjoyment).

    So, Lord Buddha never rejects the enjoyment of life. But what he preached instead there are more bod consequences of samsara (Cycle of birth). Hence getting relief from this consequences is better and that is Nirvana.

    Normally, for laymen, he suggested how to lead the enjoyable life to many. But for those who is gifted with wisdom he wanted to enlightened their mind. Not for others.

    So, Mr. Shyamon Jayasinghe read more. Ultimately, you will find it. As a friend of you I want to guide you through the right path. That is why I wrote for this.

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    When our endophine hormones are low we feel depressed and we see all sorrow in life. Gautama the Buddha would have gone through such a low endophine state to abandon the world and preach his doctrine. If he had anti-depression pills then there would have not been Buddhism. The world does not need any religion at all.

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      Psychiatrist;

      As a Psychiatrist the least you should know is, how to spell ‘Endorphin’ before you start prescribing Anti-Depressants to your Perception of a Patient’s Depression!

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        Its not arabic to correct him.
        see under B-endophine which he refers under “endophine hormones”

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        I have friends working in geriatric wards. Most of them are in the view, psychiatrists turns to be not the same in the course of their tenure.

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      What a donkey this Psychiatrist is.

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        Psychiatrist is in his psyche condition to add this way. Anyways, how could thing end up if there had been no religions.
        You the ilk – that see only one side which is to support the racial politicians woudl have raised their heads.
        What we want right at the moment is unbiased forces to join hand and marginalize extremism.

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    Why not – had there been no religions, people would have been living like animals to this date. All religions and the ideologies guide human beings (animals)well for their lives.

    Even in China where over billion atheists are there, they have a religion – that is their culture/anscestral guidance. In today chinese they just say, they dont have religions, but they obey to chinese laws only. Both harder laws and religious guidelines regardless of the religion perse- shape up the human lives. – is a fact.

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    Definition of Dukkha.

    In the Dhamma Dukkha is defined in a variety of ways. The conventional and easily understood definition is that dukkha is sorrow lamentation, pain, grief and despair and in short things not going on the way you want them to. After describing this worldly concept of dukkha, the Buddha made a quantum leap and declared, that the five aggregates of form, feeling, perception, determinations and consciousness (rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara, vinnana) affected by (holding) upadana are dukkha.

    No one before the Buddha, in this epoch, had made the stunning statement that this body is in fact dukkha. Since dukkha is feeling and since there must be a person that feels, it follows that as long as there is a person who thinks this body is mine or it belongs to me, there shall always be dukkha.

    In other words, dukkha depends on the persistence of the primordial ignorance that this body is mine.

    Appreciation

    When I saw the heading of Shaymon’s article ‘Is all life Dukkha’, my immediate reaction was to downgrade the question in my usual cynic way and go about ridiculing Dhamma as I do usually. But I had the feeling that I have heard the question before at school when studying Buddhism. I remember specifically that Buddha has said many times to his disciples, ‘Monks, there is one thing that I teach and that is Dukkha and how to overcome Dukkha’. On searching the net for this phrase I came across this gem of a book by Dr. Kingsley Heendeniya. The above is a direct copy from that.

    I thank Shaymon for writing this article which brought me face to face with Dukkha.

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    Shyamon,

    I think now I understand what you are trying to do.

    One way perhaps to approach it is by explaining there is bad news first followed by good news.

    The bad news is there is Dukkha. We are going to die one day. Its pointless living in denial.

    The you give them the good news. There is way to stop the Dukkha. Then you give them the good stuff.

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      De Silva one does not need to use the mind to feel happy but see with out it.

      The 3 humbugs of Buddhism- wealth, fame, power- thrice blessed island or triple gem.

      so you and the nation made Rajapakse the emperor in the image of the the existing kings and queens of the world- the happy people who do not want to die- their clothes are never sent to the laundry but thrown away worn once.

      Sexual intercourse bought him down.- the family would be back soon with a vengeance so take care – Mad Dog is Mad Dog he made brilliant V Singh (def and state dept) go mad and leave.V. Singh operated SARC region as chief after 9/11 from American Foundation Colombo

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    Lord buddha had said that his doctrine is only for intelligenbt people. If everybody could understand it everyone should have realized Nirvana. but, buddha knew that most are not intelligent and are not capable of grasping it.

    So, shayamon Jayasinghe is one such fellow.

    Otherwise, why should shyamon Jayasinghe wants to humiliate himself like this just by quoting one sutta which is just one out of 18000 suttas in sutta nikaya and buddhism has four such nikayas.

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      jim softy dimwit

      “Lord buddha had said that his doctrine is only for intelligenbt people”

      Thanks for confirming the teaching of the Awakened one is not for you.

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      And reading comments by “jim softy” is an excellent example of “Dukkha”.

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    Thank you Shyamon Jayasinghe for a very illuminating article that brought new light. Many older people are seen in Ceylon wasting time in temples praying and praying to end the Sansara. They wind up their lives very early in a wasteful preparation.

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    People like ANIL and JIM Softy are ignorant of Buddhism. According to Buddhism this life is portrayed as unattractive. Suffering is so fundamental to our existence, according to Buddhism.

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    [Edited out]

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      Inherited stupdity is not curable.
      Indeed Dukkha.

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        He never inherited stupidity its CT – the judge, jury and devils advocate very frequently refuses to publish because it does not comply to its own agenda not necessarily its policy judging from Ct’s own articles.
        You are a bigot because you refuse to reason.

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      [Edited out]

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      Personal attacks reflect very poorly on you sir. When did the Buddha engage in personal attacks?

      Shyamon Jayasinghe is entitled to his belief/reasoning and has the right to express it. Part of ‘Dukkha’ is listening to opinions that you don’t like. If you only heard things you like, then ‘Dukkha’ doesn’t exists. ‘Dukkha’ in the broadest term equates (roughly) to “unsatisfactoriness”. Hearing people say things you don’t like is also ‘Dukkha’. So for me, every time I see Mervin Silva or his lovely son Malaka, that is “Dukkha”. When I read comments like yours, that is “Dukkha” to me. That is life. That is reality.

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        “Personal attacks reflect very poorly on you sir. When did the Buddha engage in personal attacks?”

        You are puddhu/panditiya because there was not even a Gautama and Buddha is not a person but a word meaning wisdom in english-

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    Shyamon,

    Quite interesting.

    At a very young age I learnt that Buddhism is not all that fantastic as the aficionados claim it to be just as all the claims of all the Abrahamic religion’s aficionados.

    Buddhism to say the least is quite depressing. Worst still it plays into the very real facet of most humans – that of indolence. What a wonderful life for the monks – to be fed, clothed and housed till death and to be given pride of place at every event. In return all they got to do is mumble some incomprehensible chants in Pali. No different to the benefits enjoyed by a cavalcade of priests representing every other religion. In return to the largesse bestowed on the priests by a mesmerised following they get only incantations in a foreign language and pure unadulterated mumbo jumbo.

    With regards to truth we have only the word of the messiah, in Buddhism the purported words and wisdom of Buddha. The ‘pansiya panas jatakaya’ are great fairy tales if not for the depth of veneration of the Buddha.

    As far as I am concerned life ends when life ends – the eternal soul is a myth. Dust to dust – end of story. The dinosaurs lived, proliferated and became extinct for one reason or another. So will the humans one day for one reason or another.

    All stories of a grand design by an omnipotent god is all bunkum, full of holes.

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    Shyamon Jayasinghe is an atheist and rationalist. We need thinkers like him to make this a less foolish world.
    I commend the last section of Shyamon’s article:
    “There is a simple test for all of us: Undertake a survey of normally healthy individuals and find out how many of them would say that life is bitter and how many of them would like to terminate it? How many would like never to be born again? How many would like to be born again in better circumstances? I doubt you getting any significant number that would opt for the first mentioned opinion. If one believes in rebirth one would like to be reborn in happier circumstances. The latter implies satisfaction in existence-as one knows it.

    Since the numbers in our imaginary statistical survey who say life is not worth living would evidently be trivial, then the need for striving to end an assumed Sansara would be a pointless exercise.”

    Why don’t all the critics who disagree with the writer take this test?

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      My dear friend De Vos. You may not understand what we understand here.Because you are from different faith. Bible doesn’t say anything about impermanence or Dukkha. You need wisdom for that.mere faith or worldly matters may not enough to examine what Buddha has preached. There are so many scholars are out there who is following path to liberation. They are only a handful compare to entire population. Buddhism and its doctrine is not for everyone. only those who can understand.Sorry for you and shyamon.

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        Sapumal,
        little bit of knowledge is dangerous for you too. Buddha means wisdom and Gautama did not come from space nor did he know Sanskrit (he was 2nd tier warrior class- there is no archaeological evidence that a man named Gautama lived (we have archological evidence up-to 5000 years- China and Japan confirm it too ) so can you please stop talking like a Islamist- there is no god but GOD.

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          I only laugh at you. Nothing else. keep your knowledge for your books based wisdom.Good for you.

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            Sapumal,

            Buddha is purported to have said that you will keep on being reborn to suffer life on earth until you achieve samsara. Mohammad is supposed to have said you will be burnt in hell and when burnt your body will be restored and reburnt. Don’t you see the parallels. All myths my dear boy.

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      Royalty would like to live forever. Where does your rationality come in??

      As per your question please remember that no man believes that he would die so you can expect perceptual and conceptual answers which will not be of help like the USA election predictions.

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