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Duhkha

Skt. (Pali, dukkha); suffering; a cen­tral concept in Buddhism, which lies at the root of the four noble truths. The characteristic of suffering is one of the three marks of existence.

Duhkha signifies not only suffering in the sense of unpleasant sensations; rather it refers to everything, both material and mental, that is conditioned, that is subject to arising and pass­ing away, that is comprised of the five skandhas, and that is not in a state of liberation. Thus everything that is temporarily pleasant is suffering, since it is subject to ending. Duhkha arises because of desire and craving (trishnā) and can be overcome by the elimination of desire. The means to bring about the extinc­tion of suffering is shown by the eightfold path.