Reply To: “Upadana” for Dhamma — Waharaka Thero sermon


The use of the words taṇhā and upādāna in the Kusala-Mula PS is not wrong, even though the words pasāda and adhimokkha are traditionally used.

  • Even though some English texts translate taṇhā as “craving” (implying a defiled mind), the word taṇhā implies a neutral sense.  It means getting fused or strongly attached. The word taṇhā comes from “thán” meaning “place” + “” meaning getting fused/welded or attached (හා වීම in Sinhala). 
  • In the same way, upādāna” (“upa” + “ādana” or “pulling close to the mind) has a neutral connotation.
  • When I discuss the PS processes involving inert objects, I will show that a tree’s roots get “attached” to the soil to extract water and nutrients. The word taṇhā and upādāna are used there as well.

However, in the “Paṭiccasamuppādavibhaṅga” the words pasāda and adhimokkha are specifically used in Kusala-Mula PS.

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