Buddha says all sanskars are annicca. If harmony is a sanskar then disharmony is waiting to happen. Therefore my question is are we waiting for disaster to happen ?

  • Why did you write, "harmony is a sanskar" -- is that based on something which you read or heard?
    – ChrisW
    Commented Mar 21, 2020 at 11:11
  • Harmony or Unity is a kind of Sanskar ... I read it in a sutta... harmony is impermanent. Commented Mar 21, 2020 at 11:28
  • In which sutta?
    – ChrisW
    Commented Mar 21, 2020 at 11:30
  • I don’t remember the Sutta .,,I remember unity is impermanent ...diversity is impermanent. I think unity is a sign of harmony.., if we all agree that this is suffering then this will create ideological unity which will generate harmony but because some believe this is not suffering disharmony arises... Commented Mar 21, 2020 at 11:34
  • I don't remember any suttas talking about "harmony" and "unity" in that kind of abstract, metaphysical, impractical way. If you can't reference or provide an exact quote for what you're asking about then it's difficult (perhaps impossible) to post an answer which explains what you were reading.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Mar 21, 2020 at 11:39

3 Answers 3


There are three types of emotions, pleasant, unpleasant and neutral. Just like everything else, they are impermanent/anicca, as you already have stated.

When we attach (upadana) to pleasant emotions we create unwholesome karma, since pleasure/sukha becomes dukkha/unsatisfaction as soon as it ceases. So yes, clinging to harmony means "waiting for a disaster" as you put it.

Looking at the four noble truths, the above is covered in the first two truths regarding dukkha and samudaya (how unsatisfaction arises). There are also the truths about nirodha (cessation of dukkha) and magga, telling us that dukkha can end with the right means. The point is that there's more to life than just waiting for a disaster.

  • What is more to life than just waiting for disaster ? Commented Mar 21, 2020 at 8:56

If you ask me, harmony and chaos are just arbitrary labels the mind uses to evaluate things based on some also arbitrary criteria. By understading the conventionality of such concepts, and by understanding where do they come from (the mind, preferences, attachments and points of view), harmony and chaos stop being some objective measures of reality, and they are seen for what they are: arbitrary assessments arising from the proliferations of the ignorant mind, imposing its judgements and expectations into the outside world.

So, I'd say that disaster is on the eye of the beholder.

Not because something goes against ones desires and expectations, does it mean it deserves to be labeled as "objectively" and inherently chaotic or disastrous. It all depends on your definitions of those words. To define, you need some criteria; but language, as a conventional tool used for practical purposes, requieres to assume that we all agree on such criteria. Why is death more disastrous than life? I think all we can say is that when ignorance and craving are present, dukkha arises; everything else are just subjective points of view.

In sum, I'd say that we suffer because we expect things from the world that go against how things truly work: all conditioned things behave according to the three marks of conditioned phenomena: things are impermanent, not-self and do not lead to complete and utter satisfaction.

And so, I'd say disaster is on the mind of the one expecting states and results ignoring these three marks of conditioned phenomena.

Kind regards!

  • Beauty is multidimensional. There is no singular definition of beauty sometimes emotions are more valuable than face features .,,that is why it is said Beauty is in the eye of beholder. But for disaster we can not say so .., Harmony is when all things according to the way it is supposed to work but chaos is when all things do not work according the way they should... break of trust is chaos... it not arbitrary assessment... dear ... remember this ... Commented Mar 21, 2020 at 9:03
  • 1
    How could something work in a way it's not "supposed" to? Who decides the limits between the way things are supposed to be, and the way they are not supposed to be? What is chaos, if not an order and harmony we do not comprehend yet? Commented Mar 21, 2020 at 9:16
  • I have seen things like that... I have seen a heart working properly until it stops working properly. I have seen a love affair of supreme importance getting trashed. You have not understood chaos... You can manage Hell but you can not manage Chaos. Commented Mar 21, 2020 at 9:21
  • That which doesn’t work according to desires and expectations explains how things do not work as they are supposed to work ...every thing is supposed to generate satisfaction but they do not ... harmony is supposed to generate satisfaction forever but it doesn’t ... may I ask why ? Commented Mar 21, 2020 at 9:50
  • Why would you create pain and disharmony ? You would not. Every thing around us was supposed to give us happiness and joy but they failed to do so .... my conclusion is right ... Commented Mar 21, 2020 at 9:57

I imagine that "harmony"" and "disharmony" are opposite extremes. That seems to me to be the sort of "dual" about which the Buddha said,

Avoiding these two extremes, the Realized One teaches by the middle way:

‘Ignorance is a condition for choices. Choices are a condition for consciousness. … That is how this entire mass of suffering originates. When ignorance fades away and ceases with nothing left over, choices cease.

SN 12.48

There the word "choices" is a translation of saṅkhāra.

The word saṅkhāra seems to have a wide range of meaning -- Can anyone explain Sanskara / Sankara indepth?

  • Buddha teaches the middle way. But we are accustomed to harmony. We want peace. In other words we trapped in the world of dualities. Given that aren't we waiting for the disaster to happen ? Are you or Buddha denying or denied the existence of duality? Commented Mar 23, 2020 at 3:21
  • I associate the word "harmony" with morality (ethics), and "peace" with non-craving.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Mar 23, 2020 at 7:22
  • The "middle way" is an important concept in Buddhism, I think it means specifically "neither one extreme not the other".
    – ChrisW
    Commented Mar 23, 2020 at 7:22
  • Are you or Buddha denying or denied the existence of duality? The duality you're talking about seems to me to be "desire" (e.g. for peace and harmony) and "aversion" (for disaster). Buddhism doesn't deny the existence of this duality but instead identifies it (as you said) as what causes beings to be "trapped in the world of dualities" -- see Three poisons.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Mar 23, 2020 at 7:28
  • Given that aren't we waiting for the disaster to happen ? I don't know -- if you want to assume that there is disaster (that "disaster" is real), then maybe disaster has already happened? Buddhism isn't only "waiting" for disaster to happen but for understanding its cause and its cessation (see the four noble truths) if and when it arises.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Mar 23, 2020 at 7:36

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