Is craving for ideas craving to sensual pleasures?

That’s why in my post, I highlighted the word “craving”. Sutta mentions “grasping of view” is not the same as sutta mentions “craving for view”.

Did the Buddha mention “craving for view” or did he mention “grasping of view”?

Are you saying they are the same?

And why did the Buddha only mention “grasping of view” but not “craving for view”?

That’s true.

However, it does not lead to conclusion that “grasping of view” is a result of “craving for view”.

Do you recall any sutta that explicitly says something like “grasping of view” is a result of “craving for view”?

I’ll look into this more. The experience I’ve had is that Ajahn Thanissaro is generally correct in his interpretations. It is just that the reasoning behind the interpretation is poorly understood by people. For example, Ajahn Thanissaro maintains that Nibbana does not equal non-existence. He has been criticised on the grounds that the texts, which speak of cessation don’t support his view.

I’ve shown in the article below that non-existence of something can’t be known or proven. Therefore the the view that cessation equals non-existence is problematic.

Coming back to the topic at hand, the critique on Ajahn Thanissaro’s translation for bhava in all likelihood stems from another misunderstanding. I might make it the the topic of another write up when I find some time to think it through and articulate the logic involved.

Just off the top of my head though, an interesting question comes to mind. Bhava precedes jati/birth in dependent origination. If bhava equals existence, what does it mean to exist even though you’re not yet born?

Actually, for the unawakened being it does, in all cases. To the extent that unawakened beings grasp, it is because of craving.

Dependent origination:

craving leads to clinging.

Clinging is just another word for grasping induced by craving (I.e. Holding on and refusing to let go).

That’s quite interesting. I thought clinging to views was overcome at stream-entry, so a non-returner (the first stage to abandon sensuality completely) would not have clinging to views. I’d love to give a look at that sutta. Do you record any other information about it?

I think there is also the problem is that Ven. Thanissaro defends nibbana as a consciousness that isn’t conditioned and is actually outside the aggregate of consciousness. Ven. Sujato and Ven. Sunyo have written some good texts about that:

I think Ven. Sunyo talked about that in that thread too.


You seem to not understand yet the flaw of logic behind your conclusion.

You assert that:


To which, I have already said:

The flaw of logic is, with that premise we already both agreed, you can not come to the conclusion: “grasping of view” is a result of “craving for view”

I already asked some essential questions but you seem do not understand the implication of my questions:

So now just take a normal example from common people: If we say “from parents lead to children”, which is true. Can you draw a valid conclusion that “from bad parents lead to bad children” or “from blind parents lead to blind children”?

Then now I will give you another example from the suttas. If you insist that you can make a valid conclusion that: from “craving for view” lead to “grasping of view”, why don’t you apply that kind of logic to “grasping of precepts and observances” or “grasping of theories of a self”? If you do so, then you must invent 2 new things, which are: “craving for precepts and observances” and “craving for theories of a self”. These 2 new things are just weird and twisted.

I hope that you can see through the flaw of logic in your conclusion now. They started from your invention of “craving for view” and the twisting of the OP’s original intention for the word “idea”.

Note: I saw that our moderator @Ric has changed your so called “essay” back into its proper category “discussion” 2 times but you keep changing it back to its undeserved category of “essay” and also go around promoting it. I need to raise my concern again that your so called “essay” is not Dhamma and also contains catastrophic logical flaw right at the beginning.

@moderators every single day you keep that thread at “essay” level and no one responds to criticize and put it down, that’s another day our members will have an illusion what propagated in that thread is Dhamma.

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Hi Paul! I don’t have much to add to your response, other than asking if I can have the source for that Analayo quote. I’ve had some trouble finding it.

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I’ve broken it down for you below. If you don’t get it, that is fine; we can leave the convo as is. As to your other questions, those are not really relevant. There are things that can be inferred from the suttas and things that can’t. This turns out to be something that can.


Premise 1 (P1): craving leads to clinging
Premise 2 (P2): clinging is equivalent to grasping, for un-awakened beings


based on P1:

Conclusion 1 (C1): clinging is the result of craving

based on P2 and C1

Conclusion 2 (C2): grasping is the result of craving

Why would you grasp these views and not let them go unless you crave them in some way?

Btw, you don’t need to answer that question. It seems to me that discussion isn’t really going anywhere, so I’ll be content to leave it as is.

I would have loved to give you a sutta reference, but unfortunately I read it a few years ago and don’t have it on hand. I was reading the MN suttas a while back, so perhaps it is there… If I come across it again though, I will let you know.

Yes, I’ve seen some of their writing. The problems they raise stem from their view that cessation means cessation of existence.

Were you able to read my article? I’ll link it below again. It breaks down why cessation is not cessation of existence, and provides support from the suttas. It is a long read, but provides support from the suttas from Ajahn Thanissaro’s position.

If you have time to read the article and find any flaws in it, or believe that there exists a sutta that contradicts the logic laid out please let me know. @ORsEnTURVi is the only person who has been critical of it thus far, but that was based on some faulty logic, which I’ve addressed in that thread. His tendency to straw-man my arguments has been unhelpful.

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It’s in the paragraph headed “A Gradual Refinement of Happiness” :

This is sense restraint, the first strategy of Right Effort.

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I found this essay by Ajahn Sumedho quite clarifying, so I’m going to take this as the solution. The other answers in this thread were very helpful too. Thanks everyone!

In Ajahn Sumedho’s essay, he says:

We also contemplate the feeling of wanting to become something. But if there is ignorance, then when we are not seeking something delicious to eat or some beautiful music to listen to, we can be caught in a realm of ambition and attainment - the desire to become. We get caught in that movement of striving to become happy, seeking to become wealthy; or we might attempt to make our life feel important by endeavouring to make the world right. So note this sense of wanting to become something other than what you are right now.
Listen to the bhava tanha of your life: ‘I want to practise meditation so I can become free from my pain. I want to become enlightened. I want to become a monk or a nun. I want to become enlightened as a lay person. I want to have a wife and children and a profession. I want to enjoy the sense world without having to give up anything and become an enlightened arahant too.’

Do you think that’s at odds with what Ven. Sujato wrote:

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Nevermind. Those questions are meant to show that you invent weird things but you didn’t understand.

We already both agreed. Clinging (or grasping) is the result of craving. The problem is not this statement.

The problem is when you move from there to such a conclusion: “grasping of view” is a result of “craving for view”.

I already provided logical reasoning and examples both in daily life and in the suttas but you still can’t see for yourselves. So I guess there is no other way we can continue this.

The OP already chose his own answer to satisfy him, I choose to move on.

Thanks for showing that post. I do think what Ven. Sumedho wrote is at odds with what Ven. Sujato did. An interesting consequence is that, if Ven. Sujato is right, then craving for jhanas, for example, is clearly outside of the three divisions for craving since it is not sensuality, rebirth, or annihilation. Therefore, this threefold division in the second noble truth would clearly not be exhaustive. What do you think?

After looking more carefully at what Ven. Sumedho describes as bhavatanha with regards to the N8FP, I don’t think that the two statements are at odds with one another. The thirsts that he lists are:

  • Meditation is just a way of getting out of pain
  • Enlightenment is just for the sake of being enlightened
  • Desire to become a monastic for ignoble reasons
  • Desire to be enlightened and still have worldly pleasures

All of those things (meditation, monasticism, enlightenment) can be noble and contribute to progress on the N8FP but not in the way he puts it. In the same way, craving for jhanas for the wrong reasons will be a hinderance.

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Thank you for your helpful response :smile:

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