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


1. What you need to focus on is the following:

  1. kāmaguṇa” are not intrinsic to the external object (arammana) being discussed. Those arise in one’s mind.
  2. However, similar (but not exactly the same) kāmaguṇa arise in the minds of a given species. 

2. Let me give an extreme example to make that clear.

  • A pig likes to eat all sorts of garbage, including feces. That is due to “kama sanna” for pigs.
  • Humans are repelled even seeing feces. That is because “kama sanna” for humans is different.
  • So, I hope that makes it clear that our revulsion for feces is not intrinsic to the feces; in the same way, the “attractiveness” of feces for pigs is not intrinsic to the feces. 

3. That “species-specific” kama sanna arises automatically for anyone belonging to a given species based on the “natural bhavanga” one is born with. 

  • That is why a living Arahant (not in Arahant phala samadhi) likely also tastes sugar as sweet and lemon as sour (per kama sanna of humans.) However, their minds do not attach to any arammana with greed or revulsion.
  • Furthermore, an Arahant in Arahant phala samadhi is unaware of any external arammana.
  • Thus, even though Arahants have removed kāmaguṇa from their minds (and would not attach to any arammana,) it is likely that they automatically generate kama sanna. Of course, this needs to be confirmed by an Arahant.