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


You welcome LDF, I do hope / wish for what I have gained from the dhamma can be shared with others and anything discussed relating to the dhamma can be useful / helpful to others out there. 

It was mentioned:

  • Average humans believe that the kāmaguṇa (“iṭṭhā kantā manāpā piyarūpā kāmūpasaṃhitā rajanīyā”) are in external things (rūpā, saddā, gandhā, rasā, phoṭṭhabbā)
  • If that is the case, we will never be able to remove them from those external things and attain Nibbana!
  • One is able to remove them only because they arise in one’s own mind. “

That is very well said Sir. 

  • “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.” 

We believe those six characteristics are inherent in the external things rūpā, saddā, gandhā, rasā, phoṭṭhabbā, but actually those six characteristics arises from our mind projecting to external objects. 

  • “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. “


  • “The term “pañca kāmaguṇāna” needs to be understood”. 

After learning more about “pañca kāmaguṇāna” and seeing the teaching from sutta’s that the Noble 8 Fold Path and cattāro satipaṭṭhānā should be developed to give up kamaguna. I believe the knowledge / understanding of kāmaguṇā would be beneficial to one’s understanding and practice of the dhamma.

From the Sambādhasutta, I’m not exactly sure how I should interpret the English translation “confinement” being used in the sutta. But anyways, it teaches kāmaguṇa as the idea of confinement and that there’s an opportunity amid confinement. 

Sambādhasutta (AN 9.42)

‘Sambādhe gataṁ okāsaṁ,

Avidvā bhūrimedhaso;

‘The opportunity amid confinement

was discovered by the Buddha of vast intelligence

Sights known by the eye that are likable, desirable, agreeable, pleasant, sensual, and arousing.
These are the five kinds of sensual stimulation that are called ‘confinement’ by the Buddha.

Now, take a mendicant who, quite secluded from sensual pleasures … enters and remains in the first absorption.

To this extent the Buddha spoke of an opportunity amid confinement in a qualified sense.”


From Sakuṇagghisutta:

Sakuṇagghisutta (SN 47.6)

It teaches kāmaguṇa is the domain of Mara and cattāro satipaṭṭhānā is the domain of our fathers. The sutta helped me to come up with the idea of using kāmaguṇa as a warning / danger sign for possible attachment and/or that I have became attached (tanha) and have entered Mara’s domain where I can be unwholesomely influenced. When that happens, I need to put in more effort to carry out the 4 supreme efforts and satipaṭṭhānā to enter back into our fathers domain where Mara cannot influence or get a hold of me. <br /><br />

“So, mendicants, don’t roam out of your own territory into the domain of others. If you roam out of your own territory into the domain of others, Māra will find a vulnerability and get hold of you.

And what is not a mendicant’s own territory but the domain of others? It’s the five kinds of sensual stimulation. (kāmaguṇa)

This is not a mendicant’s own territory but the domain of others.
You should roam inside your own territory, the domain of your fathers. If you roam inside your own territory, the domain of your fathers, Māra won’t find a vulnerability or get hold of you.

And what is a mendicant’s own territory, the domain of the fathers? It’s the four kinds of mindfulness meditation.”

I often see Buddhist practitioners out there asking questions on how one should practice meditation relating to the senses and sense objects. Myself don’t focus on and know much about the subject, but now with a updated understanding of kāmaguṇa, I believe it could be used to help me better learn and comprehend the dhamma teachings on the senses and sense objects.
  • “The answer is no. External things (rūpā, saddā, gandhā, rasā, phoṭṭhabbā) do not have kāmaguṇa”. 
  • “The Buddha taught that EXTERNAL THINGS (houses, cars, music, food…) do not have “pañca kāmaguṇāna. 

I believe in the Kathāvatthu, it says that the sense-objects themselves are not kama;

Points of Controversy of Sense-Desires (Kv 8.4)

Attheva suttantoti? Āmantā. Tena hi na vattabbaṁ—“pañcevāyatanā kāmā”ti

“Hence it is wrong to say that just the five kinds of sense-objects constitute sense-desires.” 


After learning more about kāmaguṇa and reading this verse again.

“Saṅkapparāgo purisassa kāmo,

Na te kāmā yāni citrāni loke;

Saṅkapparāgo purisassa kāmo,

Tiṭṭhanti citrāni tatheva loke;

Athettha dhīrā vinayanti chandan”ti.”

From the sutta, the English word “beautiful” being used for the translation of citrāni caught my attention and felt that the word “beautiful” or yāni citrāni loke could possibly be some clue or idea that could be used for to further clarify kāmaguṇa and kāma / kāmā / kāmehi.    

Currently it’s my belief that when it’s said or taught by an Ariya in the sutta’s that something is beautiful, desirable and so on or yāni citrāni loke. Besides the implied mundane / conventional meaning of something that’s “beautiful, desirable, etc”, to me, it’s highly possible that the deeper understanding or meaning of those words could be referring to kāmaguṇaBecause now when I see the the words “beautiful”, “desirable” and similar words being used in the sutta’s, I feel that it could be referring to kāmaguṇa since something is only “beautiful” or “desirable” based on that living being perceiving it to be and not the object itself

(A) Could yāni citrāni loke and kāmaguṇa have a similar meaning? 

I have also come across a sutta where “yāni citrāni” shows up:

“There are so many pretty things in this vast territory
They disturb one’s thoughts, it seems to me,
attractive, provoking lust
“Bahūni loke citrāni,
asmiṁ pathavimaṇḍale;
Mathenti maññe saṅkappaṁ,
subhaṁ rāgūpasaṁhitaṁ.
The way now I would read this verse; “Kamaguna is vast in our world, they seem attractive, provoking lust and disturbing our thoughts”. 


(B) I thought of something, could the teaching of kāmaguṇa be connected with the teachings of the ayatana’s? Like how our senses are indriya’s, then becomes ayatana’s when kāmaguṇa arises and kāmaguṇa describes this manifestation of ayatana’s or something?


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