Difference Between Tanha and Upadana

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    • #19072

      Hi Lal,

      I have 2 questions regarding the above post.

      1) Just want to clarify the difference between thanha and upadana. Is it that thanha is more automatic and upadana is more conscious / deliberate?

      2) You say that upadana could be stopped even after getting to the thanha stage by being mindful. However, in the PS cycles thanha is always followed by upadana; thanha pacchaya updana. These PS cycles are started with avijja and hence always end up with thanaha and upadana. Unless avijja is taken out completely at the beginning (avijja yaththeva asesa virago nirodo, sankhara nirodo… thanha nirodo, upadana nirodo) wouldn’t thanha always be followed by updana?

      I do realise that there could be multiple PS cycles running simultaneously and we will not be able to pin point and see exactly what or where in a particular PS cycle we are in. So when you say that we stop the mano sankara and therefore stop upadana isn’t it referring to a different PS cycle that starts with kusala mula pacchaya sanakara, which has no thanaha and upadana?


    • #19073

      Hi Akvan,

      “1) Just want to clarify the difference between thanha and upadana. Is it that thanha is more automatic and upadana is more conscious / deliberate?”

      Yes. That is exactly right.

      Regarding 2:
      In the case of a sense input, the PS cycle does not start with avijja, but tanha, as shown in the figure.

      However, multiple PS cycles can run starting at the mano sankhara to vaci sankhara stage. This is also shown in the figure.
      -The key to Anapana/Satipatthana is to break that and to stop more vaci sankhara.
      -So, basically the idea is to stop more of those PS cycles starting with “avijja paccaya sankhara” from running again and again in between the “tanha” and “upadana” steps shown in the figure.

      This post was written to clarify issues raised by upekkha100 in the discussion forum: “Difference between Tanha and Upadana“.

      In the “1. General Information and Updates” I wrongly stated that this post is related to the more recent 3-4 posts (I just revised that). They are somewhat related too, but one should really read the discussion topic: “Difference between Tanha and Upadana“.

    • #19077

      Siebe had posted this in a new thread. Please don’t open new threads when there is already a thread open. I am pasting that post here and will remove the new thread that he started.

      Siebe’s question:

      This refers to the post: https://puredhamma.net/key-dhamma-concepts/gati-bhava-jati/difference-between-tanha-and-upadana/

      There it said:

      “Gradually controlling upādāna is the way to reduce bad gati, cultivate good gati, and to eventually get rid tanhā.
      Removal of tanhā is the same as removing anusaya.
      To be more effective in this, one must also reduce avijjā by learning Dhamma, and specifically by comprehending Tilakkhana (anicca, dukkha, anatta nature)”.

      I wanted to share this with you: I have learned from studying some works of Nina van Gorkom on Abhidhamma that anuasaya can only be uprooted by magga citta. One can decrease the power of anusaya by controlling them when they become active but not uproot them by controlling them. Uprooting must be done by magga citta. In the stages of sotapanna etc. it is magga citta which uprootes certain anusaya.

      She says this in ‘Introduction to the Abhidhamma’, page 34 and ‘Abhidhamma in daily life’, page 157.

      So the idea seems that we can make some changes in gati by controlling, by not feeding bad gati for example, but in the end we cannot really uproot tanha and anuasaya by controlling them.

      Do you agree?


    • #19079

      Siebe: This post describes the actual process that makes it possible for one to remove anusaya at the magga citta.

      Removal of anusaya does not happen magically at the magga citta. One has to make an effort, and the post describes how it is done.

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