The Three Marks of Existence - Buddhism

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  • Created by: harriet
  • Created on: 10-04-13 21:34



  • Dukkha means unsatisfactoriness or suffering and is an inescapable aspect of life.
  • Dukkha comes from du (bad or ill thing) and cakka (wheel) referring to a badly fitted chariot wheel.
  • Translates to "that which is difficult to endure"
  • Idea of dukkha comes fromn the buddhas experience of the four sights
  • It is a characteristic of "being" i.e. existence (along with anicca and anatta)
  • It is the first of the 4 noble truths and act as the diagnosis to the human condition
  • "life is characterised by suffering" - Buddha
  • Story of Kisogotami
  • 3 mental poisons cause Dukkha

Buddha distinguished between 7 different types of dukkha, these included:

Dukkha dukkha

  • ordinary suffering
  • it could be physical pain or mental distress
  • examples include birth, old age, sickness, death (life is characterised by suffering)

Viparinama dukkha

  • this is suffering which is produced when the things we enjoy come to an end/change (see anicca)

Samkara Dukkha

  • attatchment to the conditioned states leads to dukkha (see anatta)

Patticchanna Dukkha - concealed suffering

  • suffering which is not openly evident, only known to sufferer.

Apaticchanna Dukkha - exposed suffering

  • suffering which is quite apparent


  • Suffering which is produced by change
  • "everything is impermanent" - Gethin
  • Nothing lasts forever, everything is changing
  • Buddists may use a mandala to illustrate anicca (elaborate)
  • Buddha believed peoples craving (tanha…


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