The Body in Pain

Karen C. Lang

in Four Illusions

Published in print March 2003 | ISBN: 9780195151138
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199870448 | DOI:
 The Body in Pain

Show Summary Details


The Buddha identifies three types of suffering: ordinary, physical, and mental pain, the suffering brought on by the change of pleasure into pain, and the suffering inherent in the very nature of the mental and physical constructs that build an individual's body and the world in which it moves. Suffering encompasses the physical pain of birth and aging, the mental pain of losing beloved relatives, the frustration of unfulfilled expectations, and the daily discomforts of being human. All sensual pleasures, including those experienced in heaven, are transient. After discussing Buddha's teachings on suffering and its causes, Candrakiriti engages in a philosophical debate on the existence of pleasure with Vasubandhu, author of the Abhidharmakośa. He concludes that since Vasubandhu fails to understand that pleasure is empty of any inherent existence, he misunderstands both the Buddha's and Āryadeva's views on suffering.

Keywords: heavenly pleasures; inherent existence; mental pain; physical pain; sensual pleasure; suffering; Vasubandhu

Chapter.  8282 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.