The Sanskrit word Dhukkha [‘Suffering’] that enters the formal rendition of the First Noble Truth seems to have had its origin in the misaligned wheels of a carriage. To be in Dhukkha is to be tossed this way and that on a bumpy road, to be in acute discomfort.
‘Life is Dhukkha‘, it said. Life can be a bitch. This was the First Noble Truth of Buddhism [Aryasatya] in its original meaning: ‘To be Human is to get hit’.
The lower Teachings of the Dharma aimed at the Popular-Ear talk about an: ‘End to Suffering’. The higher Teachings claim no such thing. The highest Teachings repeat as in a refrain: ‘[There is] no-end to suffering. And the suffering is Empty’.
The Buddha didn’t think much of Pundits or Philosophers or Sages [and certainly much less of Writers like me]. A Teacher insistently emphasizing that he was no more than a Man, very much a creature of the Human Condition. God’s direct cell-number was as much denied to him as to you and me.
He was the ‘Good Doctor’ who cared little for other titles. The Buddha-Dharma was taught, not as Philosophy or Metaphysical Triumph but as the ‘Rock of Refuge’.