Dukkha is a Buddhist term commonly translated as “suffering.”

Suffering is identified as the first of the Four Noble Truths.

The Common View

Common among many of the ancient traditions is to view the world, or Samsara, as suffering because everything is subject to impermanence.

“To the discerning person everything is suffering.”

– Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

“Birth is suffering. Life is suffering. Death is suffering. Everything is suffering.”

– Buddha

The Alternate View

However the Tantric view (found both in Hinduism and Buddhism) is that Samsara equals Nirvana, which isn’t to say that life is paradise, but rather that life is a manifestation of the Divine (therefore everything can be seen as Divine).

“Thus, good and bad, the sacred and the profane, the sensual and the spiritual, the worldly and the transcendtal, ignorance and enlightenment, samsara and nirvana, etc., are not absolute opposites, or concepts of entirely different categories, but two sides of the same reality.”

– Lama Anagarika Govinda

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