Advayavada Study Plan – week 17

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 17 = week 4 of 13, second quarter] As explained, the concept of dukkha (Pali) or duhkha (Sanskrit) does not include, in Advayavada Buddhism, emotional grief nor physical pain. It refers solely to the existential suffering, angst and regret non-enlightened human beings are prone to, and is, therefore, considered as a remediable psychological affliction; the enlightened person accepts with understanding and compassion the sorrow and pain which are part and parcel of human existence. It is easy to see that human beings experience existential suffering mainly because they wrongly strive after and try to hold on to things, concepts and situations which they believe to be permanent and unchanging, but are not. Their mistaken view and understanding of things is most often the result of a thirst, craving or clinging (called tanha in Pali and trishna in Sanskrit) which is in turn caused by their not knowing (avijja or avidya) or not understanding or simply disbelieving the actual, i.e. impermanent, durational and finite, nature of individual existence, and this thirst, craving or clinging, which is the second of the four noble truths taught by the Buddha, can moreover easily take on a more unwholesome form: already as sensuous desire, ill-will (vyapada), laziness, impatience or distrust will it seriously hinder the individual’s efforts to better his or her circumstances, as well as affect the efforts of others to improve theirs.