The main focus of Buddhism is to put a full stop to the endless suffering connected with ourselves.  along this effort, minor attention also goes to the common suffering (social problems). Discovering the origin of suffering is not only specific to Buddhism, when we explore the contemporary religious history of India. Before Lord Buddha, the ancient samana and Brahmanas had already presented about Four conclusion about the origin of suffering.

There were 4 Definitions and Conclusions of suffering.

  • Sayan Katan Dukhkhan (සයං කතං දුක්ඛං)

        Suffering is created by ownself.

Suffering, frustration, disappointment, dissatisfaction is created by ownself and we are responsible for our suffering. This means until we exist, we suffer.

  • Paran katan Dukhkhan (පරං කතං දුක්ඛං)

        Suffering is created by others.

Suffering, frustration, disappointment, dissatisfaction is created by others. The source of Dukkha is external and we cannot resist suffering.

  • Sayan Katan Cha Paran Katan Cha Dukhkhan (සයං කතං ච පරං කතං ච දුක්ඛං)

      Suffering is created by both ownself and others.

  • Asayankaran Aparankaran Adhichchasamuppannan Dukhkhan (අසයංකාරං අපරංකාරං අධිච්චසමුප්පන්නං දුක්ඛං)

      Suffering is neither created by ownself nor others. Suffering is fortuitous.

Suffering is not because of anything. It is created without any reason and it don not need any ground.


Despite all notions about suffering, it was obvious that the indian religious philosophy did not made it to end the suffering. The word "Suffering" itself has a wide range of meaning. we can understand it by many words.

  1. faint unsettledness
  2. irritation
  3. impatience
  4. annoyance
  5. frustration
  6. disappointment
  7. dissatisfaction
  8. aggravation
  9. tension
  10. stress
  11. anxiety
  12. vexation
  13. pain
  14. desperation
  15. sorrow
  16. sadness
  17. misery
  18. agony
  19. anguish


According to Buddhism Suffering or Dukkha is one of the main teaching which is known as "core teaching" as well. In the Buddhist teaching Suffering is three fold.

  • Dukkha dukkha
  • Sankhara dukkha
  • Viparinama dukkha


The first Suffering of the external suffering caused by physical discomfort, from the minor pain of stubbing a toe, hunger, and lack of sleep, to the agony of chronic disease.It is also the emotional suffering that arises when you become frustrated that things don’t go your way, or upset about life’s injustices, or worried about money or meeting others’ expectations. This is called Dukkha Dukkha

Sankhara dukkha is the suffering caused by the fact that life is constantly changing. Doesn’t it often seem as though the moment you have found happiness in life, it disappears almost at once? … In truth, no moment is reliable because the next moment is always coming along fast on its heels. It is like a constant bombardment of change undermining every state of happiness. The mind never finds a place to sit back and enjoy life without fear… Furthermore, every day, even during the pleasant moments, do you not experience an underlying unease about the future?

Finally the Viparinama dukkha is the dissapointment caused by life’s inherent unsatisfactoriness due to its intrinsic instability. Viparinama means to evolve and to change constantly. All beaings inherit the nature of ageing, illness and death when they born. the characterstic of changing is that the change happens slowly from one state to another. when this happens, we suffer complaning about the good moments in our life. obviously we do not want to age at all. the truth is we are all meant to face to this nature of "viparinama".

Buddhist Conclusion of suffering

Lord Buddhas conclusion about suffering is that suffering is Interdependently originated. " PATICHCHA SAMUPPANNAN DUKKHAN"  The nature of suffering is the result of a precess which is when it is there, suffering occours. The explanation is called "PATICCHA SAMUPPANNA DHAMMA" the theory of cause and effect. suffering being the effect, it has got the cause as well.


How long did we suffer?

"From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. What do you think, monks: Which is greater, the tears you have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — or the water in the four great oceans?"

Assu Sutta, SN 15.3 PTS: S ii 179