Verse 1: What is the origin of this inquiry?

duḥkha-trayā-abhighātāt-jijñāsā tat-abhighātake hetau |
dṛṣṭe sā-apārthā cet na-ekānta-atyantataḥ abhāvāt ||

duḥkha – suffering
ekānta – certain
atyanta – permanent
jijñāsā – desire to know

It is a response to the inevitable human experience of suffering.

  1. There are three kinds of suffering: inside the body, external and supernatural.
  2. Internal suffering can be physical or mental (absence of likes and presence of dislikes).
  3. External suffering originates in other men, animals and inanimate things.
  4. Supernatural suffering (divine misery) originates in climate (heat, cold, wind, rain, etc.).
  5. Suffering evokes an inquiry into the possibility of ending suffering.
  6. Why should I bother with such a demanding inquiry when there are other easier means (low hanging fruit) to treat suffering (drugs, shelter, rituals, etc.)?
  7. Because all the other means to treat suffering yield uncertain (may or may not have a desired effect) and temporary results (even when they do work, the suffering returns).
  8. This inquiry is a natural response to suffering.