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නිර්වාණ ධර්ම බ්ලොග් අවකාශය | Nirvana Dhamma BLOG

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tanha (CRAVING)

Let’s try to identify the “Tanha (Craving) in “Vedana Paccaya Tanha (Feeling cause to Craving)” through this article. 
 “Tatta Katama Vedana paccaya Tanha? (What is Feeling cause to Craving?) – Roopa Tanha (Craving for Forms), Sadda Tanha (Craving for Sounds), Gandha Tanha (Craving for Fragrances), Rasa Tanha (Craving for Tastes), Pottabba Tanha (Craving for touches), Dhamma Tanha (Craving for thoughts) ayang wuccati Vedana paccaya Tanha (That is Feeling Cause to Craving)”                                                                                                   
First of all let’s try to understand the meaning of this word “Tanha /Craving”.  We also use words like desire, hunger, thirst or longing to describe this Tanha / Craving.  We should understand the exact meaning behind all these words which described in Cause & Effect Theory.  Through our previous articles I explore most of the needful information to understand what the “Feeling” is. 
When we entertain ourselves by thinking about this world & worldly things as so fruitful, so meaningful and so precious we get a special feeling.  We take that feeling also so precious and attractive.  We plan to get those attractive feelings again & again.  So we run behind those feelings… that expectation to have those feelings again & again create the hopes.  The hope to see attractive forms again & again… hope to listen attractive sounds again & again… expectation to smell those attractive fragrances again & again… hope to tastes those attractive tastes again & again… hope to feel the touches again & again… and hope to think those attractive thoughts again & again… through such a mentality we create special attachment… or we create special desire to things we chose.  That special desire or the attachment we create through such a mentality we can identify as the “Tanha / Craving” in the Cause & Effect Theory.  
The same “Tanha / Craving” is mentioned as “Kama Tanha (Craving for Worldly things & Pleasures), Bawa Tanha (Craving for special state) & Vibawa Tanha (Craving for defilements or Craving to fulfill the things which not possible to fulfill in worldly rules & manners)” in one place and another way explained as “Roopa Tanha (Craving for Forms), Sadda Tanha (Craving for Sounds), Gandha Tanha (Craving for Fragrances), Rasa Tanha (Craving for Tastes), Pottabba Tanha (Craving for touches) and Dhamma Tanha (Craving for thoughts)”  When we think about the word of “Tanha / Craving” so deeply again we can identify another deep meaning which describe the “Tanha / Craving” more.  That deep meaning explains the exact behavior of “Tanha / Craving”.
There are Forms, Sounds, Fragrances, Tastes and Touches and when I or You found some forms, sounds, fragrances, tastes or touches as attractive or so pleasant and we feel like be with them… we create a bond with them… why we create such connection with certain things?  We believe those are so precious… we believe those things are so fruitful and meaningful… aren’t we? We have a false vision to measure beings, animals, materials or properties as so valuable, so fruitful and we can maintain them as the way we want and they bring happiness etc… but they are actually not like that… they really are not the way we want and bring suffering and so meaningless… because of the ignorance we believe they are as fruitful, meaningful things… that’s why we create special connections… special bonds with them… that’s why we attach with those things… aren’t we?
We create a special mentality to be with those attractive forms by using our eyes, attractive sounds by using our ears, attractive fragrances by using our nose, attractive tastes by using our tongue and attractive touches by using our body… we create a special mentality to be with them and keep continue the existence with them… such a mentality we can identify as the “Tanha / Craving” which cause to suffering and endless existence.  That mentality doesn’t allow us to give up those things… that mentality doesn’t allow to get rid from those things… it allow us to keep continue the existence with such pleasure… that mentality allow us to keep attach to the existence with such attractive forms, sounds, fragrances, tastes & touches.  
When mentality is with such a hope to continue the existence that causes to create such an energy which turns it to reality (we can identify it as the “Energy of Mind” or “Energy of Karma”).  That is the simply explanation of “Tanha / Craving” cause to this endless existence & sufferings.  
Think about the world… what belongs to the world?  Forms, Sounds, Fragrances, Tastes, Touches & Thoughts are the external world.  And we need senses like eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body & mind to be with this external world.  Now think we collected these eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body & mind like 6 senses to be with such forms, sounds, fragrances, tastes, touches & thoughts.  Not only that we call them “I” and “MINE”…. Aren’t we?  And we gave them a special value… with the value we have given our mentality also change to be with them… to be with them as long as we can… to be with them continuously… to be with them forever… that mentality gave us a special feeling to continue the life circle / existence… that demand for existence gave us a special mentality…
Aren’t we feel that we need eyes… we can’t imagine a world without our eyes… aren’t we?  And we feel like that we can’t live without the forms… aren’t we?  The need of a eye and need of forms don’t allow us to get rid from the eyes or forms… the need become so powerful and we simply can’t get rid from those eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body or forms, sounds, fragrances, tastes & touches.  You and I feel “we can’t give up those things we should be with them…” and that is the special attachment cause us to keep stick to the existence… that’s the “Tanha / Craving” which cause to this endless existence.  It’s so simple… it’s so clear… you just have to think of your own self whether I am right or wrong… this “Tanha / Craving” comes with the Ignorance and you will get clear explanations in future with more dharma facts.
Here we should understand that we happen to create a bond with such forms, sounds, fragrances, tastes, touches & thoughts and we create special desire to see attractive forms, listen attractive sounds, smell attractive fragrances, tastes attractive tastes, feel attractive touches & think attractive thoughts… that desire cause to attach you & I with such conditions and create the existence… an endless existence… if you already understood the “Feelings / Vedana” which described through the previous articles you already know that we happen to desire… we happen to attach to such forms, sounds, fragrances, tastes, touches & thoughts which we got that special feeling… 
So dear friends, what if we cease this “Tanha / Craving”?
If so we also happen to cease the mentality of continuing the existences… and the special energy created by causing that mentality also stopped.  What is this special energy?  That’s the special invisible deep energy which cause to another effect in this existence.  When our mentality turn to the level of “Tanha / Craving” we simply can’t forget the relevant being, animal, material or property aren’t we?  We simply can’t get rid of them and we feel like be with them forever… aren’t we?
Let’s take an example…
Think about an attractive song which you like… we select one or few songs as attractive and our favorites… aren’t we?  We gave a specialty to few songs… we chose them as valuable… meaningful… and fruitful… or else we chose them as a song which suitable to hear again & again… isn’t it?  When we listen to that song or songs again which we selected as special we get the feeling of “My Favorite Song… or one of my favorite song” aren’t we?  And we never feel bad about listening to that song… we feel like keep listening to that song… isn’t it?  Now we created a bond with that song… a special attachment with the song we measure as so nice… we crave for that song now… and for more we believe our ears also lucky to listen such songs… and we crave for the ear also… now it’s time for you to think how many things you have such mentality & you feel like that… how many times per day you feel like be with & attach with attractive forms, attractive sounds, attractive fragrances, attractive tastes, attractive touches, attractive thoughts?
How many times you allow your mind to create that mentality for yourself?  Now you know what is craving for forms, what is craving for sounds, what is craving for fragrances, what is craving for tastes, what is craving for touches and what is craving for thoughts.   Forms, sounds, fragrances, tastes, touches or thoughts are not the “Tanha / Craving”.  When ignorance is there we measure some forms, sounds, fragrances, tastes, touches & thoughts as pleasant and meaningful and we happen to get a special feeling special entertainment through them… and through that feeling we create a special bond special attachment and desire to have those forms, sounds, fragrances, tastes, touches & thoughts again & again and that is we should identify as “Tanha / Craving”.
And also we should understand what is “Kama Tanha (Craving for Worldly things & Pleasures), Bawa Tanha (Craving for special state) & Vibawa Tanha (Craving for defilements or Craving to fulfill the things which not possible to fulfill in worldly rules & manners)”?
Kama Tanha (Craving for Worldly things & Pleasures)
When we desire or attach to the expectation of have the feelings and entertainment again & again through the forms, sounds, fragrances, tastes, touches & thoughts the craving for worldly things or worldly pleasure is arise… When you have desire to be with the worldly forms, sounds, fragrances, tastes, touches & thoughts it’s quite difficult to get rid of those things & the desire... when that mentality arise you attach with the worldly things & worldly pleasures... so we can identify it as the Kama Tanha / Craving for worldly things & worldly pleasure.
Bawa Tanha (Craving for special state)
There is another mentality among us... few people can get rid of the above level which is craving for worldly forms, sounds, fragrances, tastes, touches & thoughts but they desire for various states.  They desire to be someone special... they desire to know something new... they desire to make friends... they desire to become a god or Brahma (higher level of god)... they desire to live the life certain way they want to live... they don’t desire for forms or sounds or fragrances or tastes or touches... they just desire to be someone in higher states in this existence... like wise they attach to what they desire... and their mentality work on what they desire to be... that is identify as the Bawa Tanha (Craving for special states).  If I explained it another way we can say when someone with ignorance decided that certain states in this world are so fruitful... so valuable... so precious... so meaningful and they just want to achieve those levels.  They think & believe those levels are permanent and can keep those states as the way they want and just accept them with the feeling of “I” or “MINE” and trying their level best to keep them the way they want... such an expectation can categorize under this Bawa Tanha (Craving for special states).   
Vibawa Tanha (Craving for defilements or Craving to fulfill the things which not possible to fulfill in worldly rules & manners)
Worldly beings with ignorance and unawareness are scared to do evil defilements as they afraid to go to hell... they are backward to do defilements just because they scared to do so and not because they understand the evil effect... and few people whom with false vision, false thoughts, false speech, false practices, false livelihood, false efforts, false mindfulness, false concentrations, false knowledge, false enlightenment get the best chance to guide such worldly beings with ignorance & unawareness whom scared to do defilements but like to do them if there is no evil effect in to the darkness.  Most of the times these people like to introduce them as atheist.  They just ignore the words of great wise ones whom have seen the truth through their own wisdom and abilities.  They guide others by telling that there is no such a place call hell… there is no evil effect for defilements… there is no such a place call heaven… there is nothing call gratitude or responsibilities…etc… and misguide the worldly people whom have above qualities.  Worldly beings whom don’t have the knowledge of cause & effect theory quickly agree with such people… they lose the shame & sacredness to do the defilements and they just do them without any doubt in their mind… it’s like “monkey’s getting the help from ladders”… that means they get the maximum support from those people with false vision… and they expect for the illusory pleasure from those defilements… and they attach with that expectation and they have such a mentality too… in another way they desire to get the things according to the way they want to have… and they desire for the defilements or to fulfill the things which not possible to fulfill in worldly rules & manners as they are evil.   
So I guess you already understand the cause of “Tanha / Craving”… whether it is “Kama Tanha (Craving for Worldly things & Pleasures), Bawa Tanha (Craving for special state) or Vibawa Tanha (Craving for defilements or Craving to fulfill the things which not possible to fulfill in worldly rules & manners)” or whether it is “Roopa Tanha (Craving for Forms), Sadda Tanha (Craving for Sounds), Gandha Tanha (Craving for Fragrances), Rasa Tanha (Craving for Tastes), Pottabba Tanha (Craving for touches) and Dhamma Tanha (Craving for thoughts)” there is one main cause to this “Tanha / Craving”.
The cause is the vision we have as such places or states or things are valuable, fruitful or meaningful… isn’t it?  When we accept something as possible to keep the way we want and meaningful and bring happiness we get a special feeling and we desire to have the same feeling again & again… and we expect… we hope for it again… and we treat them as “I” or “MINE” cause we believe they are so fruitful and suitable to grab is “I” or “MINE”.  We all do this… just listen to your self and ask don’t you have such a behavior?  We all do… that’s why we are suffering… why we are suffering?  Coz the things we grab as suitable to take as “I” or “MINE” & things we believed as we can keep them the way we want are actually not like that… 
Nothing is available to keep the way we want… no matter how hard we try to keep it the way we want… they just change… and destroy… when things are not the way we want we feel suffering… so basically we get only a temporary happiness through this world & it’s things… mainly we all suffer… and it’s just our own fault and no one else is responsible for our suffering… just think am I right or wrong… just think openly coz it’s the time for you to think the best for your self.   
When something is exactly is on our control it is suitable to take as “I” or “MINE” isn’t it?  But if something is not on our control and we believed all these as they are in our control but they are actually not and what you feel?  Do you think it is suitable to grab as “I” or “MINE”?  Do you think there is a meaning?  Well, I feel it is utterly rubbish! What is the point if I can’t control the things when I need it to control as they way I want it the most?  Well, I don’t feel that it is suitable to call them as “I” or “MINE”… so it is easy for me to not desire for the things now which I used to desire… it is easy for me to get rid of the things which I used to desire, hatred… coz I understood that it is not suitable at all… YOU, also will get the same feeling as I did… and when you understand this simple truth through your own mind you will take your decision… and you will too start to get rid of the desire… you follow the path to get rid from the desire, hatred & ignorance without any doubt at all.
Those who don’t have good understanding of Dhamma categorize the desire to nirvana also as “Tanha / Craving”.  And they start many arguments and fighting based on these facts.  When you understand the theory of Cause & Effect well it’s so simple to understand the difference.  There is Dhamma fact call “Sathara Iridipada {The 4 roads to power - Concentration of Intention (Chanda), Concentration of Consciousness (Citta), Concentration of Energy (Viriya) & Concentration of Investigation (Vimansa)}” and desire for nirvana is categorize under “Chanda irdipada (Concentration of Intention (Chanda)”.  When someone desire to Nirvana his / her cause & effect doesn’t start with the Ignorance… It’s NOT the Cause & Effect theory which start from Ignorance… it’s the one we already know as “Kusala Moola (Purity or Virtuous Cause to do actions). When Cause & Effect theory begins with Alobha (Non Desirable / Benevolence), Adwesha (Non Hatred / Sympathy) & Amoha (Knowledge) Feeling / Vedana doesn’t cause to Craving / Tanha.  Feeling / Vedana cause to Pleasant mind / Pasado.  It’s not the Tanha / craving… we should understand the difference between these 2 meanings through our own mind.  Coz it’s helpful to improve in this path quickly and achieve the results.  When YOU or I do the needful for Nirvana full time through out the day… it’s not going to end up with Tanha / Craving for Nirvana… and when one decided to share the Dhamma with others with the thought to help others too or if one bless others all the time with metta or if one preach the Dhamma with metta (without craving for the profits, compliments or fame) it’s not going to end up with Tanha / Craving… those activities become a bless to his / her path to complete it successfully… even after achieving nirvana the greatest Arihat preach Dhamma to others… so we should understand the difference between Tanha / Craving and the Pasada / Pleasantness.
We should understand well about Tanha / Craving, Cause of Tanha / Craving, Cease of Tanha / Craving and the Path to cease of Tanha / Craving.  As we already know the cause you just have to think about it by using your own mind whether I’m telling you the right thing or not… if you feel I’m telling the right then try to think about the things with you and around you whether they apply to what I told you above or not… if you feel that I’m right and this is what happening to you also then you can make your decision… Thinking about the evil effects we get through Tanha / Craving and thinking about the betterment we can gain through by ceasing Tanha / Craving all the time will help us to get rid of Tanha / craving… this is the practice we should have… this is the care we should have to see the correct results one day…  
After reading my articles you may be thinking about your self… or you may be just ignore these by thinking just another Dhamma articles and back to your normal life style… but remember why you are interest in Dhamma… we can just read and ignore anything come across on our way… or we can just grab a few details helpful to our life… whatever finally our aim is to be Happy… if you use your own mind to understand what I’m trying to say through all these articles you already know that I’m pointing out something very important for all of us… that is the happiness we already know and gain through the worldly things are so temporary… the thin we attach most by thinking that is the thing gain happiness most surely brining the most highest suffering… it’s useless… nothing are the way we want… it’s always out of control… beyond our control… attaching to them by thinking we can control them is the most stupidest thought we can have…  we bring suffering to ourselves… no one else responsible for that… so it’s we only can stop bringing suffering to ourselves not anyone else.  That’s why Great Samma Sambuddha said “nobody but you can save yourself…”   

So friends now you have most important facts about Tanha / Craving… as well as another 8 objects in Cause & Effect theory. You can ignore them by thinking just another Dhamma articles or you can apply them to your own self and can examine whether they are right or wrong… I am the only person whom able to examine myself… I can’t do that for you… YOU should examine yourself to understand who are you… and what are you… it’s the cause & effect… there is nothing but effect which exists according to a cause and it’s our ignorance to turn those effects into beings, animals, materials & properties… this ignorance is possible to cease… the true happiness is possible to achieve… it’s possible to get our true freedom!
So think… it’s always time for you to think… think about your own self and your behaviors… understand the way your mind work… get the fully control of your mind to yourself… discipline your mind, body & words to get rid from desire, hatred, ignorance… you become your own savior for sure!

May all worlds all beings attain nirvana! 

2 comments:

yuri said...

We have a word in Russian which is a kind of relative to Tanha and it is Tyaga - the feeling of being drawn by something. I think sensual tanhas (to what is seen, heard... etc) are parts of higher tanha - for pleasures - an instinct shared by all living beings even, as was recently discovered - by primitive cells which form the basis of any life forms. Next higher tanha was explained by many as the instinct of survival (bhava tanha). Vibhava tanha was also interpreted as the instinct of non-existance. And this instinct is now accepted by western psychologists after Freud who called it Tanatos. It is detected in such moods as "I wish I was never born". Or in suicides, in recklessness, in the cults of Death etc.
The first two tanhas are responsible for producing the concept of EGO. And bhava tanha can be seen working in three ways - individual survival, collective survival (uniting in groups like more complex organisms or in flocks, tribes, nations...) and also in survival through progeny. And it is here where the individual survival as an ego is surpassed. The Buddha speaking about Metta compared it to the feeling of mother concerning her first and only child. This view on three main tanhas was supported by my meditational experience. Just sharing my interpretation of Tanhas. - Yuri

Anonymous said...

How come soul came to existence? Beings are born to this world by reproduction, how come first beings pop ups to this world?, if it’s happened automatically , why we have to bother to stop its cycle, it will automatically stop it self