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Back to Tanha (kusala/akusala)

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  • Sarah Procter Abbott
    Dear Rob, Wyn and Jim, Apologies for raising this topic again after a long break!(originally raised by Wyn). Just to re-cap earlier posts: ... Sarah said:
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 4, 2001
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      Dear Rob, Wyn and Jim,

      Apologies for raising this topic again after a long break!(originally raised by Wyn).
      Just to re-cap earlier posts:

      Wyn said:> > > Then in the Nettipakara.na, we have:
      > > >
      > > > 'There are two kinds of ta.nhaa: skilful [kusala]
      > > and
      > > > unskilful
      > > > [akusala]. Unskilful ta.nhaa leads to sa.msaara,
      > > skilful
      > > > ta.nhaa is for
      > > > abandoning, which leads to diminishing [of
      > > samsaric
      > > > activities].' [87]
      Sarah said: > Yes, this is a little puzzling and I've been following
      > other links (DN & Vibhanga) which also list and
      > describe tanha in detail as akusala. I can only think
      > that the meaning is similar to that in AN above: tanha
      > is for abandoning by skilful states.

      For the Netthi passage above, I tried looking at the pali com. which Jim supplied but it was
      hopeless as my pali is very limited. So instead, I raised this point while I was speaking to Khun
      sujin yesterday to see if she had any comment to make.

      She stressed that tanha is always akusala (unwholesome) at that moment. However, if there are the
      proper conditions (i.e. rt understanding has been developed), then the tanha can be a condition
      for kusala. Rob pointed this out in the quote from him below too. Attachment can be attached to
      anything except nibbana. She mentioned, as Rob does, that attachment to kusala or for learning or
      dhamma is not as bad as craving for sensuous objects even though it's still not wholesome at that
      moment. The difference is in the degrees as a result of the object .

      In summary, tanha is always akusala, but the first kind may be a condition for kusala, but the
      second kind will not.

      Of course it would be better to read a pali comm supporting this explanation, but I'll have to
      leave that to Jim & Nina for now.

      Best regards,

      Rob said: The quote from the netti has puzzled me a little for years. I
      checked the pali and the English translation looks right.
      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.

      --- Robert Kirkpatrick
      > <robertkirkpatrick@r...> wrote: > Dear Wyn,
      > > Tanha(akusala desire) can be upanissaya paccaya for
      > > kusala and
      > > thus even for the path. We have a ton of tanha - for
      > > pretty well
      > > everthing. It is possibly(and possibly is the
      > > operative word)
      > > preferable to have tanha towards things related to
      > > Dhamma
      > > because this can be upanissaya for later alobha. For
      > > instance, I
      > > am now thinking(quite often) about going to India or
      > > Thailand to
      > > listen to Dhamma. Much of this thinking is with
      > > tanha ( some is
      > > conditioned by wisdom). If I go and hear dhamma and
      > > this
      > > conditions some detachment and understanding(no
      > > tanha at those
      > > moments) then the tanha was upanissaya paccaya for
      > > wisdom.

      > > --- wynn <wewynal@t...> wrote:
      > > > Is all tanha unskilful?
      Sarah said:> I've certainly never heard anything before to suggest
      > it isn't. 'Tangle is a term for the network of
      > craving.' (Vis 1,2) Indeed the Visuddhimagga and
      > Vibhanga enumerate the 108 kinds of tanha without any
      > suggestion to the contrary.
      > One cause for confusion MAYBE as Rob, suggests, that
      > tanha can be upanissaya paccaya for kusala:
      > 'Another thinks, 'I shall enjoy the delights of the
      > Brahma-world', and with sense-desire clinging as
      > condition he develops lovingkindness, compassion,
      > gladness and equanimity. Owing to the fulfilment of
      > the meditative development he is reborn in the
      > Brahma-world'. (Vis V11,18)
      > Still, the tanha is akusala.

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