Arahat and dukkha

Then what happens, dukkha-vedana can no longer be called dukkha-vedana? Without suffering as a defining property, bodily dukkha vedana loses its defining characteristic, which distinguishes it from a pleasant and neutral sensation. Since when did one of the three vedanas cease to exist among the arahants? And where in the suttas/commentaries is it said that the emergence of dukkha-vedana (physical at least) depends directly on ignorance, and not on contact?

No, Buddha literally called pain suffering within the 1 Noble Truth: “pain is suffering.” If pain were not suffering, then the Buddha would not have gone away from it into jhana and animitta samadhi (mahasunyata sutta, majima nikaya)

No, it’s the same thing. Buddha says: “the cause of suffering is also suffering” (in one of the suttas of the Sanyuta Nikaya).

Bodily pain is, as already mentioned above, in any case not a neutral feeling, but dukkha-vedana. And she cannot be any other. The defining characteristic of dukkha vedana is suffering.

The body does not experience suffering, its consciousness experiences it due to the presence of painful contact, and the latter experiences its own. the queue is generated by the karma produced by past clinging. And so, clinging is the ultimate cause of dukkha in any case. If it were not for clinging, this dukkha-producing mechanism would not have been generated. This mechanism, this givenness of dukkha simply exists as long as the conditions have already developed. But the Arahant sees that the process of suffering is empty of the Self. And that’s why he doesn’t suffer mentally. When, after a conversation with Sariputta, Yamaka understood the Dhamma, he answered the question about the afterlife of the Arahant as follows: that which is impermanent (formed) is suffering, that suffering has ceased and faded away. As you see, even the aggregates of the Arahant are suffering, and their cessation is happiness and nirvana. But there is no such personality or essence of the arahant (only suffering arises and ends).

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suffering arise in dependence of clinging. In the arhant there is no clinging and it will be only bodily pain

this was already commented. The four noble truths are a teaching to be free. For the arhant there are no more 4 noble truths to be applied.

1- dukkha doesn’t exist anymore
2- the cause of dukkha was eradicated
3- as the cause was eradicated, dukkha was eradicated
4- there is no more eightfold path to be followed

Pain is an unpleasant feeling. Buddha and arhants known what was pleasant and unpleasant. The absence of clinging cause no more dukkha although it doesn’t mean a lost of intelligence ( see previous SN 12.17)

The defining characteristic of dukkha vedana is the presence of dukkha vedana. It will cause suffering depending of clinging.
This is how somebody should train the understanding of both according Buddha:

"As he is touched by that painful feeling, he is not resistant. No resistance-obsession with regard to that painful feeling obsesses him. Touched by that painful feeling, he does not delight in sensual pleasure. Why is that? Because the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns an escape from painful feeling aside from sensual pleasure.
Sensing a feeling of pleasure, he senses it disjoined from it. Sensing a feeling of pain, he senses it disjoined from it. Sensing a feeling of neither-pleasure-nor-pain, he senses it disjoined from it. This is called a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones disjoined from birth, aging, & death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs. He is disjoined, I tell you, from suffering & stress."

SN 36.6

the Buddha clearly taught the escape from the dukkha caused by bodily pain. In fact there is no more case here. At least to me, this is quite obvious.

so first you was rejecting my phrase: “this wouldn’t be right because the pain is not the same thing than suffering” saying:

  • No, Buddha literally called pain suffering within the 1 Noble Truth: “pain is suffering.”

and now you writes: “The body does not experience suffering, its consciousness experiences it”

so I don’t understand. Do you agree there is a difference between arising of bodily pain and dukkha in the arhant?. This is what the thread is about.

There is some people today explaining the Buddha and arhants still should experience dukkha until death. This is the cause of this thread.

Yes, but you are ignoring the fact that clinging does not condition direct vedana (at least it conditions only the part of mental dukhavedana associated with defilements of the mind, domanasa). From the twelve-link chain of dependent arising we do not see such a connection: upadana>dukkha. But upadana determines bhava, and bhava, in turn, determines birth, and then the entire bulk of dukkha.

Further, bodily pain is dukkha. Firstly, it is called dukkha according to the 1st noble truth, secondly, pain is dukkha-vedana, as was already said above, and the defining characteristic of dukkha-vedana is suffering. If this characteristic disappeared, then we would simply talk about the disappearance of one of the three components of the second khandha in the arahant, which is not in the suttas.

According to Yamaka Sutta, Vajira Sutta and Silavanta Sutta, they are applicable. Dukkha has a certain inertia until it finally extinguishes completely with the disintegration of the araharta body and the extinction of all aggregates (which are dukkha personified). You are wrong on this issue.

It exists until the 5 aggregates are extinguished. All three suttas to which I referred just above directly state this.

Literally dukkha [vedana]

No, this is suffering in itself, direct suffering. And clinging causes suffering for two reasons. 1. generates painful mental vedana here and now and 2. bodily painful vedana in the future through rebirth, illness, aging and death. But both are associated with a painful feeling, which is the experience of dukkha. There is no other apparatus for experiencing and sensing dukkha other than vedana.

There is another sutta on the same topic about two darts. The trained disciple is struck by only one dart (bodily dukkha-vedana), but not by the second dart (mental dukkha-vedana). If the Buddha had not considered bodily pain to be suffering, he would not have called it such a brightly emotionally colored object (a sharp dart) and would not have compared these two types of dukkha with the same object - a dart.

The Buddha’s words must be understood in the context of the entire body of teachings. Here he taught the disconnected experience of pain and pleasure, that is, the experience in such a way that the second dart did not hit the student along with the first dart.

Yes, because pain is vedana, which in turn is mental khandha.

Dukkha is a product of past causes and conditions. The Arahants and Buddhas stopped producing these conditions and causes so that dukkha would not arise in the future. Moreover, their mental dukkha has largely ceased. But there are serious reasons to believe that there is also mental dukkha that is not associated with mental defilements. This is fatigue from the disturbance of the senses and the burden of constantly arising and disintegrating phenomena, tormenting the mind through contact. From them, according to tradition and visudhimagga, arahants and anagamins hide for a while in nirodha-samapati.


well, the connection is not only very clear but in fact clinging is the kernel of dependent origination.

If you don’t see the connection maybe you can read this Sutta which is directly devoted to explain the connection (SN 12.52)

Dwelling at Savatthi. There the Blessed One said to the monks: "In one who keeps focusing on the allure of clingable phenomena (or: phenomena that offer sustenance = the five aggregates), craving develops. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origin of this entire mass of suffering & stress.
In the same way, in one who keeps focusing on the drawbacks of clingable phenomena, craving ceases. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging, illness & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of suffering & stress."

bodily pain is bodily pain. Bodily pain is named dukkha as also sickness, old age, and so on. In fact all the reality is marked by dukkha.

However, the experience of conditioned reality (including body pain) will cause suffering depending of clinging and akusala factors.

Note that if you would be right the whole Buddhist teaching would be useless because dukkha will be something inhabiting in the objects instead in -self clinging.
And this would be a materialism, discarded by the Buddha.

I cannot find in these Suttas any mention about arhants still should be trained in following the noble truths and the eightfold noble Path. As far I understand, from always it was considered that the arhant is free of dukkha and no more training is required.

Please, Can you quote the Sutta paragraphs from where you extract that conclusion?

this is not applied to arhants regarding dukkha because the cease of feeling is part of the cease of the dependent origination. The pain is leaved as it is, without arising of dukkha in the mind.

dukkha is product from clinging and becoming. At the cease of clinging there is no more becoming and no more dukkha. This was the Buddha teaching.

You and others can have “serious reasons to believe” any other thing but it lacks of
logics according the dependent origination. Because the cease of feeling and the rest of links until birth and dukkha are included.

Fatigue will be dukkha depending of clinging. Taking a rest will be attachment to body also depending of clinging.

The non-clinging to the arising of unpleasurable feelings is something difficult to conceive to us, although precisely this is the goal of the Buddha teaching: be free from dukkha.

When the Buddha and arhants knew the arising of bodily pain they were searching for a rest or a meditation. Also they preferred pleasurable places instead unpleasurable. Non-clinging and anatta don’t convert a person into an ignorant machine unaware of Reality.

If their bodies needed a rest then a rest was made. As also is better be seated under a tree shadow than under sun at 40 Celsius degrees. That’s common sense.
This is not because still there is suffering. On the contrary we would be talking about people who become more ignorant after their awakening.

Admin Note: Dear zerotime
We have allowed you some leeway to explain your views
You are welcome to keep posting but please do not continue to promote ideas that are not Theravada. It will be better if you listen and consider the many citations shown to you rather than sticking to your beliefs…

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ok. The discussion is respectful but if you think this is problematic we leave here. Anyway, I think it has been clarifying in some points, at least to me.

Just to say that I believe that I was explaining what the Orthodox Theravada teaching says. Because in the teaching it is very clear the existence of the Cease of dukkha from the aggregates.
I suggest an investigation in this issue inside the sources because also more people could realize it.

Thanks anyway for keeping the discussion :pray:

In the clinging aggregates(upadanakkhandha), eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness, mind-consciousness, each has the characteristic of being delightful and pleasurable. When this Craving is abandoned, it is abandoned there; when it ceases, it ceases there.

Bhikkhus, this is called the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Dukkha.

DN 22 Upadana Sutta: Clinging

At Savatthi. “Monks, I will teach you the burden, the carrier of the burden, the taking up of the burden, and the casting off of the burden. [1] Listen & pay close attention. I will speak.”

“As you say, lord,” the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, "And which is the burden? ‘The five clinging-aggregates,’ it should be said. Which five? Form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling as a clinging-aggregate, perception as a clinging-aggregate, fabrications as a clinging-aggregate, consciousness as a clinging-aggregate. This, monks, is called the burden.

"And which is the carrier of the burden? ‘The person,’ it should be said. This venerable one with such a name, such a clan-name. This is called the carrier of the burden.

"And which is the taking up of the burden? The craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming. This is called the taking up of the burden.

“And which is the casting off of the burden? The remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving. This is called the casting off of the burden.”

A burden indeed are the five aggregates,
and the carrier of the burden is the person.
Taking up the burden in the world is stressful.
Casting off the burden is bliss.
Having cast off the heavy burden and not taking on another,
pulling up craving, along with its root, one is free from hunger, totally unbound.

SN 22.22 Bhāra Sutta: The Burden

Just so the aggregates and elements,
And these six bases of sensory contact,
Have come to be dependent on a cause;
When the cause dissolves they will cease.

SN 5.9 Sela Sutta: Sister Sela