Talk:Taṇhā

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There's an NPOV issue with this article, and I don't really have the fluency in Buddhism to rewrite it. It sounds like this is being proposed as the ultimate truth on the concept of "desire," rather than Buddhism's take on it. StellarFury 05:37, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

This is a cogent and pertinent criticism, even 7 years later. The article reads like religious instruction and it is devoid of neutral context.108.200.48.254 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 07:26, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

Extensive discussion of the concepts of Tanha and addiction developed at Talk:Addiction, Buddhist Definition of.

Mislead[edit]

I got here following my clicking on a link clearly labled "craving" in the "Online pornography addiction" article.

Typing "craving" in the search bar takes you to this page, while it should probably direct to the same page as "crave." Chachilongbow 22:15, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Agreed and redirected. Richard001 (talk) 05:09, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

愛 =/= Craving[edit]

I have some dispute with the notion that 愛 is equivalent of tanha. Can someone cite where in the Sanskrit agamas that this term was used to translate tanha, or provide a clear etymology for this Chinese character that links the two? My understanding of 愛 is that it means love, though not necessarily in the erotic sense (other characters are used there). Second, with regard to passions and craving, Japanese Mahayana Buddhism, probably through Chinese Buddhism, uses the term bonbū (凡夫) instead. This is describing one who is caught up in passions and cravings. --Ph0kin (talk) 22:03, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Hi Ph0kin - In case it might be of use, here's a link to the edit that inserted the Mahayana translations into this article: 21:30, 1 May 2006. You may want to invite originating editor to comment here or on their talk page. (Also, FWIW, here's the Chinese wiki page related to the character: .) Hope this might help. Best, Larry Rosenfeld (talk) 02:54, 24 August 2008 (UTC)


"Taṇhā is far-reaching and covers all desire..."[edit]

Thanks so much for your contributions to Buddhist ideas. To my thinking the above quote (along with the rest of the sentence) might be improved. In both both the Theravadin and Mahayana Abhidhamma traditions, there is a kind of desire that is ethically variable or indeterminate. I am looking at the Abhidammatta Sangaha, by Acariya Anuruddha (translation revised and edited by Bhikkhu Bodhi, along with an explanatory guide by U Rewata Dhamma & Bhikkhu Bodhi.) This is published by BPS Pariyatti Editions, Seattle. In this book, the mental factors that are neither wholesome nor unwholesome are called "Ethically Variable." Number 13 is Chanda, also translated as desire. In the commentary (page 82): "Chanda here means desire to act (kattu-kamata), that is to perform an action or achieve some result. This kind of desire must be distinguished from desire in the reprehensible sense, that is, from lobha, greed and raga, lust. Whereas the latter terms are invariably unwholesome, chanda is an ethically variable factor which, when conjoined with wholesome concomitants, can function as the virtuous desire to achieve a worthy goal. The characteristic of chanda is desire to act, its function is searching for an object, its manifestation is need for an object and that same object is its proximate cause. It should be regarding as the stretching forth of the mind's hand towards the object." To my mind it is quite possible to have a wholesome desire rooted in non-hatred or non-greed or wisdom (e.g., to teach the dhamma, or feed a hungry person) without being caught in tanha.

I would not edit the page, but would like to put this out as a thought. metta, dennis --Routerdog (talk) 17:33, 18 January 2009 (UTC)—Preceding unsigned comment added by Routerdog (talkcontribs) 17:22, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

I've added this info on chanda to the article Chanda (Buddhism). - Dorje108 (talk) 03:36, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
I think the discussion is perhaps obscuring the meaning of the concept of Taṇhā, which seems more like the impulse towards an object, rather than desire itself. Without desire, we would not eat or drink, and thus cease to be... without desire, as the Dalai Lama has said, there would be no idea of a path, or anyone trying to follow one (more abstract notions of there being no path aside). Taṇhā is therefore it's own thing, without specific translation in this context, but which we all struggle with every moment. That impulse to obtain or avoid which occurs, and which is attempted to be fulfilled blindly by those remaining in delusion. So although Taṇhā is linked with desire, it is not desire, nor the object of any desire.. it is that momentary impulse that drives us towards a desire. If we then form our intention around that desire, we make ourselves vulnerable to frustration and anxiety. If, on the other hand, we form intention based upon none of these things, and Taṇhā is acknowledged but not acted upon, then we are less vulnerable.Knomegnome (talk) 01:30, 7 September 2012 (UTC)