Buddhist Studies Review, Vol 36, No 1 (2019)

Do the Arahant and the Buddha Experience Dukkha and Domanassa?

Ashin Sumanacara
Issued Date: 2 Oct 2019


The Pāli Nikāyas describe a range of painful feelings that are experienced by human beings. The painful feelings are primarily divided into the categories of dukkha and domanassa. In its broader sense, dukkha covers a complete range of different types of painful or unpleasant feeling. But when it appears within a compound or together with domanassa successively within a passage, its meaning is primarily limited to physical pain while domanassa refers to mental pain. This article investigates the question of whether or not the Arahant and the Buddha experience mental pain as well as physical pain. My analysis of doctrinal explanations demonstrates that the Arahant and the Buddha are subject to experience physical pain and physical disease but not mental pain. This article also clarifies why and to what degree the Pāli tradition sees them as experiencing physical pain and disease.

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DOI: 10.1558/bsrv.32069


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