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Dukkha is said to have three types.

  1. Can Vipariṇāma-dukkha be analysed in terms of Dukkha-dukkha alone?

  2. Is the experience of Saṃkhāra-dukkha nothing more than Vipariṇāma-dukkha?

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    Very interesting recent Buddhist Geeks podcast discusses this precise question and looks at discrepancies between the suttas and commentaries: buddhistgeeks.com/2015/01/bg-346-debugging-source-code-dharma – tkp Jan 7 '15 at 2:13
  • what was the outcome of the podcast, i do not have the patience for audio... i think yes, with the priviso that i don't believe in a clusterfuck at the end haha. i'm not theravadin,,, so don't have a huge interest in the suttas yo, but thanks :) – sorta_buddhist Jan 7 '15 at 2:41
  • The conclusion was that the normal ordering of the three types in the commentaries, and their relationship to each other (e.g. can one be analysed in terms of another, as you asked) is not as per the suttas and, in the author's opinion, needed to be read with care. – tkp Jan 7 '15 at 4:13
  • The discussion in that podcast is in a blog post by the same author (Bodhipaksa), here -- Three forms of suffering, reinterpreted – David Lewis Jan 2 '16 at 12:25
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Dukkha-dukkha (the dukkha of painful experiences):

  • The physical and mental sufferings of birth, aging, illness, dying.
  • The anxiety or frustration of coming across what is not desirable.

Unwanted things happening. Coming in contact with unwanted things, beings and stimuli. Resulting mainly as the world and even ourselves are not what we expect or in our control and being averse to such experience. This includes our form and cognitive process which is subjected to decay and change to which we are averse.

Viparinama-dukkha (the dukkha of the changing nature of all things):

  • The anxiety or stress of trying to hold onto what is desirable.
  • The frustration of not getting what you want.

This is mainly use to change. Wanted things not happening. Not coming in contact with wanted things, beings and stimuli. Or desirable experiences coming to an end (partly in relation to the above as it is undesirable for a desirable experience to end). Resulting mainly, as the world and even ourselves are not what we expect or in our control and being in wanting experiences we do not get. This includes our form and cognitive process which which takes on a particular form but we it to be different.

Sankhara-dukkha (the dukkha of conditioned experience):

  • A basic unsatisfactoriness pervading all forms of existence, because all forms of life are changing, impermanent and without any inner core or substance. On this level, the term indicates a lack of satisfaction, a sense that things never measure up to our expectations or standards

Mainly coming current and past volitional formations and karma. These manifests as sensations. These sensation also change and finite experience in common with the above two.

(Quotes sourced from: Dukkha)


  1. Can Vipariṇāma-dukkha be analysed in terms of Dukkha-dukkha alone?

There is some overlap, i.e., if you are experiencing a something desirable and this changes.

  1. Is the experience of Saṃkhāra-dukkha nothing more than Vipariṇāma-dukkha?

Nature of formations is it change hence some overlap with unsatisfactoriness due to change. Stimulating thoughts, happy moods, positive karmic experience all pass away.

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    sorry but this didn't answer my question, it just gave a run down of the terms i used – sorta_buddhist Jan 7 '15 at 18:51

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