Reply To: Post On Kāma Guṇa – Origin of Attachment (Tanhā)


The term “pañca kāmaguṇāna” needs to be understood. 

  • pañca kāma” refers to the five sensory inputs and attachment to them: rūpā, saddā, gandhā, rasā, phoṭṭhabbā.
  • That attachment is based on the six characteristics (“iṭṭhā kantā manāpā piyarūpā kāmūpasaṃhitā rajanīyā”).
  • The “uneducated average person (puthujjana)” attributes those six characteristics to the EXTERNAL THINGS: rūpā, saddā, gandhā, rasā, phoṭṭhabbā. In other words, they attribute “pañca kāmaguṇāna” to those external rupa, sadda, gandha, etc.
  • For example, they think “pleasure is in owning a house or car,” “pleasure is in the music that one is listening to,” the food one is eating,” etc.

The Buddha taught that EXTERNAL THINGS (houses, cars, music, food…) do not have “pañca kāmaguṇāna.” They arise in the mind because of one’s ignorance of Buddha Dhamma. 

  • It may take a few posts to explain that in detail.

In a comment above, I stated: “Actually, I am still not on board with Arahant even having “kama sanna.” If there is not even “kama sanna” then An Arahant would not experience any taste! I am still trying to verify it. “

  • Even an Arahant would have the “kama sanna,” i.e., experience the sweetness of sugar, bitterness of lemon, etc. 
  • That “sanna about the sensory input” depends on the “bhavanga” that one is born with. Those born as humans will have the sanna of the sweetness of sugar, bitterness of lemon, etc. 
  • Attachment to a sensory input comes after (within that citta; for example, cakkhu vinnana) when a puthujjana attaches to that sanna with “pañca kāmaguṇāna.” An Arahant has removed “pañca kāmaguṇāna” and, thus, would not attach.
  • Anyway, this needs to be explained step-by-step.
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