Re: [DhammaStudyGroup] Tanha(JIM ,sarah)

Jim Anderson <jima@...>

Dear Robert,

While checking several versions of the commentary on A ii 146 I noticed a
possible error in the following translated section:

(it may be asked) whether such present craving (for Arahantship)
is wholesome [kusala] or unwholesome [akusala]? � It is
The answer - unwholesome (akusalaa) is supported by the PTS and the
Burmese CSCD versions but not by the Thai Budsir version which has
'kusalaa' as the answer. The footnote in the PTS edition notes that a
Mandalay ms. and the Siamese ed. of 1920 reads 'kusalaa'. This is quite
interesting as it is a discrepancy that can easily go unnoticed. My gut
feeling is that 'kusalaa' is the correct answer. It is contrary to dhamma to
state that the unwholesome is to be pursued (sevitabba) as in the reading of
the PTS ed. (AA iii 136). We also know that 'ta.nhaa' can be either
wholesome or unwholesome from the passage (p. 87).

I suppose that most of us had been thinking that 'ta.nhaa' is 'lobha' in the
paramattha terminology but could it be something else -- 'chanda'??

I also glanced through three layers of commentary on the
passage regarding the twofold ta.nhaa which have quite a lot to say about
it. I didn't study them as there is just too much to take in (1 or 2 pages
altogether) without spending a lot of time. This is just to let you know
that the comments are there.

Best wishes,


Dear Sarah and Jim,
The quote from the netti has puzzled me a little for years. I
checked the pali and the English translation looks right.
There are other examples scattered throughout the texts:
A'nguttara Nikaaya : 'he abandons
ta.nhaa by means of ta.nhaa'
And the commentary says "Based on the present craving [ta.nhaa]
(i. e., desire for
becoming an Arahant), he gives up previous craving that was the
root-cause of (one's involvement in) the cycle of rebirth. Now
(it may be asked) whether such present craving (for Arahantship)
is wholesome [kusala] or unwholesome [akusala]? � It is
unwholesome. � Should it be pursued or not? � It SHOULD be
pursued [sevitabbaa]. � Does it drag one into rebirth
[pa.tisandhi.m aaka.d.dhati] or not? � It does not drag one into
rebirth." end quote

Nina wrote to me about Ang II,146,

<The question why not I> is
only thinking, paravitakka. I will not try to translate here,
it is better if a Pali expert continues a little more, what the
bhikkhuni is thinking. There is also a paralel: though dependent
on food he abnadons food, this body (mental body) is dependent
on pride, pride must be abandoned... "

And she also said: "sevitabba," this can also be translated as
<this can
pursued>, not necessarily an imperative, it must be pursued, ask
monk is ripe for arahataship, and it is natural that there is
such a thought of, O, that I may attain it.
In the K. IV, 231, One hundred and eight, feelings are
classified and among the thirty-six there are feelings connected
with worldly life and feelings connected with nekkhamma, giving
up, even akusala feelings[thus even these akusala feelings are
related to nekkhamma].endquote

Anything you can give us on the commentary would be much
appreciated Jim.

We know that the vital conditions for the path
are Hearing deep Dhamma, considering it, testing it, applying
Sometimes it is partly Tanha that brings us to listen? - but the
moments when there is understanding there is not tanha.

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