Does kāma ever mean all five sensations? What's kāmasañña?

Does kāma always mean sensual joy? Or could it mean all of five senses?

And kāma could never refer to mind sense pleasure, only (pleasure of) the five senses? If taṇha is only ever kāma, bhava, or vibhava, then wouldn’t sensual pain (and neutral) be part of kāma in that rendering (when one desires pain to go away). The expansion of the second noble truth in DN22 does include mental joy, so the shortened 3 taṇha’s may have just not included everything one could desire, but if it does, then kāma must include any sense.

Is the same true for the term kāmasañña?

Some references with this word:

AN9.31 (is āmisasañña in other versions, past thread) / DN9

In some verses kāma and this term appear quite poetic, but the exact meaning can matter in understanding some texts correctly.

I’m going to guess that the answer is vague and interpretation-dependent and probably just a needless debate, but words don’t get to just mean anything. Honestly, we should just interpret these terms based on experience, but I still need to know what the words generally mean to do that well.

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The full Cone entry is four pages long (:sweat_smile:) so I guess I won’t post it here, but the main definitions she gives are:

  1. wish, desire; love; longing;
  2. pleasure of the senses; sensual enjoyment; esp. sexual pleasure; the objects of pleasure, what gives pleasure to the senses
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It’s a very big word with a long history. I limit its meaning to sensual desire. Re: your question about kama and each of the senses, suttas that refer to the five kamaguna (sensual threads) are highly interesting. You might want to search them out.

And possibly this might help with your question about kamasanna.

When you feel pleasure Sukhaṁ vedayamānassa, without understanding feeling, vedanaṁ appajānato; the underlying tendency to greed is there, So rāgānusayo hoti, if you don’t see the escape. anissaraṇadassino.

When you feel pain Dukkhaṁ vedayamānassa, without understanding feeling, vedanaṁ appajānato; the underlying tendency to repulsion is there, Paṭighānusayo hoti, if you don’t see the escape. anissaraṇadassino.

As for that peaceful, neutral feeling: Adukkhamasukhaṁ santaṁ, he of vast wisdom has taught bhūripaññena desitaṁ; that if you relish it, Tañcāpi abhinandati, you’re still not released from suffering. neva dukkhā pamuccati.

But when a mendicant is keen, Yato ca bhikkhu ātāpī, not neglecting situational awareness, sampajaññaṁ na riñcati; that astute person Tato so vedanā sabbā, understands all feelings. parijānāti paṇḍito.

Completely understanding feelings, So vedanā pariññāya, they’re without defilements in this very life. diṭṭhe dhamme anāsavo; That knowledge master is firm in principle; Kāyassa bhedā dhammaṭṭho, when their body breaks up, they can’t be reckoned.” saṅkhyaṁ nopeti vedagū”ti.