Chapter XVI - PIYA VAGGA - Affection

GRIEF SPRINGS FROM CRAVING

GRIEF SPRINGS FROM CRAVING

Tanhaya jayati soko tanhaya jayati bhayam.
Tanhaya vippamuttassa natthi soko kuto bhayam.
[216]


From craving springs grief, from craving springs fear; for him who is wholly free from craving there is no grief, much less fear. [216]



XVI:06 From craving springs sorrow

A brahmin lived in Savatthi, and he was a follower of another religion. But the Buddha knew that the brahmin would attain the first stage of Sainthood in the near future. So the Enlightened One went to the place where the brahmin was ploughing his field and talked to him. The brahmin became friendly and was thankful to the Buddha for taking an interest in him and his work in the field. So, he said, 'When I have harvested my rice from the field, I will first offer you some before I take it. I will not eat my rice until I have given you some.' However, the Buddha knew beforehand that the brahmin would not have the opportunity to harvest the rice from his field that year, but he kept silent.


One day before the brahmin could harvest his rice, there was a heavy downpour of rain and his entire crop of rice was destroyed. The brahmin was very sad because he would no longer be able to offer any rice to his friend, the Buddha.


The Buddha visited the brahmin to console him and the Brahmin related the great disaster that had befallen him. The Buddha advised him, 'Brahmin, sorrow and fear will never arise, if there is nocraving.'

Notes:

*Craving(Tanha): There are three kinds of craving.

  1. Kamatanhais the common form of craving, which is simple attachment to all sensual pleasures.
  2. Bhavatanhais attachment to existence or Realms of Form.
  3. Vibhavatanhais attachment to non-existence or Formless Realms.

According to the commentaries,bhavatanhaandvibhavatanhaare attachment to sensual pleasures connected with the belief of Eternalism(sassataditthi)and that which is connected with the belief of Nihilism(ucchedaditthi). This craving is a powerful mental force latent in all, and is the chief cause of most of the ills in life. It is this craving, gross or subtle, that leads to repeated births in Samsara and that which makes one cling to all forms of life.