Desire-to-Live Sutta

Hi all,

Would you please share with me a sutta that talks about the drawback of liking living?


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There’s AN1.328

1.1“Just as, mendicants, even a tiny bit of fecal matter still stinks, 1.2so too I don’t approve of even a tiny bit of continued existence, not even as long as a finger-snap.”

There are some further references in section 5.3 of this booklet


“Monks, there are these three forms of intoxication. Which three? Intoxication with youth, intoxication with health, intoxication with life.”—AN 3.38 ATI


To understand Bhava Tanha is difficult for regular person because this involve uproot the Avijja or moha. Only an arahant can completely comprehend this.

One needs to progress from a common folk and become a stream enterer etc. As the practice progress, the Perspective will change from lower realm, kama loka, rupa loka, and arupa loka. Then completely abandoned the bhava tanha.

I recommend read AN 3.76 for easy understanding. Here is the snipet:

Then Venerable Ānanda went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to him:
“Sir, they speak of this thing called ‘existence (bhava)’. How is existence defined?”
“If, Ānanda, there were no deeds to result in the sensual realm, would an existence in the sensual realm still come about?”
“No, sir.”
“So, Ānanda, deeds are the field, consciousness is the seed, and craving is the moisture. The consciousness of sentient beings—hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving—is established in a lower realm. That’s how there is new existence in the future.

So for regular people, there is still a tendency to do bad deeds, therefore their consciousness can still go to lower realms.

One important note for regular people, one can’t reject current existence. Because this is Vibhava tanha. Rejecting current existence without final knowledge/freedom will generate bad deeds because avijja and tanha are still exist.

For stream enterer, they can’t go to lower realms (hell, animal and ghost) because of their perfected morality and right view. They only go to kama loka (human and 6 deva realms).

For non returner, they only go to Rupa loka and Arupa loka because of their Jhana achievement.

For Arahant, there is no more existence after the current life ceased. Bhava nirodho Nibbana. (When existence ceases, they are in Nibbana).

Hope this help.

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Even with complete knowledge of ultimate reality the conventional is still valid to a degree. “Skillful” means being detached from its limitations having severed the fetters, and the process of untangling conventional from ultimate reality begins as soon as the former has been objectified by the practitioner, and CR should be thought of as the raw material.

“An arahant monk,
one who is done,
effluent-free, bearing his last body:
Would he say, ‘I speak’?
Would he say, ‘They speak to me’?”

“An arahant monk,
one who is done,
effluent-free, bearing his last body:
He would say, ‘I speak’;
would say, ‘They speak to me.’

knowing harmonious gnosis
with regard to the world,
he uses expressions
just as expressions.”

The point of distinguishing is feeling of two types, and the observation and induction of pleasant feeling tone occurs in the second tetrad of Anapanasati before the actual attainment of jhana, and this serves as a representation of ultimate reality from the beginning:

“When evaluating the distinction between worldly and unworldly in relation to feeling tones, it needs to be noted that vedanā is not in itself an intentional mental quality. However, feeling tones occur in states of mind that can be wholesome or unwholesome. Here mindfulness of feeling tone can help to note the ethical quality of the state of mind. The pleasant feeling tone of sensuality differs from the pleasant feeling tone of absorption attainment. Sensuality arouses worldly pleasant feeling tones, whereas the lower absorptions arouse unworldly pleasant feeling tones. In this way, the distinction of feeling tones into worldly and unworldly occurrences can serve as a tool to discern the overall ethical quality of the mind.”—Analayo

Not easy for common folk to understand what is truth and what is illusion. One needs to progress in Ariyan 8 fold path to understand. It is a gradual process and understanding. First step is Right View.

Please don’t try to jump into conclusion before following the exact path. Many has failed because of this.

For Common folks try to distinguish reality and illusion, it is just not possible. It is out their elements or understanding. They might think ultimate or conventional etc, but in reality they are still conditioned by their senses (eye, ear, tongue, nose, body touch, and mind).

For perfected one or awaken one, they have the final knowledge. It doesn’t matter what anyone said. It is merely an illusion whatever you perceive from your senses since it is all conditioned.

An Ariya never desire an existence nor not desire an existence. They just observe and let the experience play out. Of course a very wise Ariya will exert an effort to reach the awaken state. Once awaken, all will become crystal clear. :grinning:

So get the right view first, don’t let Mara snare you with the net of illusion.

Btw, it is impossible for a Puthujjana to reach Samma Samadhi. This is only reserve for non returner or Arahant.

“Right concentration (sammá-samádhi), as the last link of the 8-fold Path (s. magga), is
defined as the 4 meditative absorptions (jhána, q.v.). In a wider sense, comprising also much
weaker states of concentration, it is associated with all karmically wholesome (kusala)

Even with this quoted statement, I know that explaining Jhana will be difficult to you because your mind is conditioned by this statement.

Let me just stated in brief. Samadhi means equilibrium state. What is equal then? Then, one needs to investigate further. Be an Ariya first then maybe and just maybe you will understand.

One more thing, look at how Buddha described about Ariyan 8fold path. He never described it with kamma or kamma vipaka on the same sentence. Let alone when he described Jhana.

One who practice Ariyan 8fold path has abandoned kamma vipaka. These things have become non-objective/ secondary objective. The main objective is Nibbana (unconditioned).

@stu @paul1 Thank you for the references! :pray: