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The difference between lobha/greed and tanha/craving? - Dhamma Wheel

The difference between lobha/greed and tanha/craving?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
buddhistfailure
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The difference between lobha/greed and tanha/craving?

Postby buddhistfailure » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:08 pm

I heard that in Buddhism that suffering is cuased mostly by craving(tanha) or thirst(tanha), which ultimately goes back to ignorance, this is part of the 4 noble truths.

I also heard that in Buddhism that all suffering ultimately goes back to the three poisons, which are greed (lobha), delusion, and adversion.

Lobha I am told means more than greed, and is sometimes translated as passion, attachement, passionate desire, and even desire.

Well in my view passion, desire, attachement have different meanings, and lobha sounds a lot like tanha, is there really any difference?

Is lobha synonymous with tanha or is there a subtle difference, could lobha/greed be a kind of tanha/craving?

Some people say lobha is just desire, but I heard Buddha said not all desires are unskillfull or unwholesome, and some are good, like desire to help others or learn the dharma, and he called them chanda.

Although some buddhists say all desires need to be eliminated for elightenment, even desire to learn the dhamaa, and help others, although I find hard to see how these could cause suffering, unless they are very strong.

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khaaan
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Re: The difference between lobha/greed and tanha/craving?

Postby khaaan » Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:47 pm

I like how Bhanta Varado glosses "tanha" as .

Jack
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Re: The difference between lobha/greed and tanha/craving?

Postby Jack » Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:31 pm

Tanha and lobha are both usually translated as desire or greed. They have the same meaning. However, there is a problem in my view here. Desire as we usually use the word in itself is not a problem. We might desire a drink of water when we are thirsty. We might desire to be more compassionate. These don't cause us problems. It is when we cling or are attached (upadana) that causes the problem. The Visuddhimaga uses this analogy. Tanha is like reaching for a glass of water. Upadana is grabbing hold of the glass and not letting go.

I think when we read that the problem is tanha or lobha, the meaning is really desire plus attachment or upadana.
Attachment is implied.

jack

buddhistfailure
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Re: The difference between lobha/greed and tanha/craving?

Postby buddhistfailure » Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:29 pm


santa100
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Re: The difference between lobha/greed and tanha/craving?

Postby santa100 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:46 pm

It seems to be the case that both greed and aversion are "manifestations" of tanha, because if tanha stands for "desire" or "craving", it should encompass both aspects of desire: 1. Desire to possess something (greed) AND 2. Desire to get rid of something (aversion). Without this "root" cause, neither greed nor aversion can arise..

buddhistfailure
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Re: The difference between lobha/greed and tanha/craving?

Postby buddhistfailure » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:21 pm

Cheers, I thought there was some kind of distinction.

All craving ultimately goes back to ignorance, I assume. Ignorance of the 3 marks of existance especially? Thus to key to overcoming greed (perhaps best described as attraction) and adversion, is overcoming ignorance.

whynotme
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Re: The difference between lobha/greed and tanha/craving?

Postby whynotme » Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:30 am

Desire is different from greed.

Greed is want something not good, like this, you are thirsty, you want to drink water. You have a desire in drinking water. You could drink a cup of water but if you think drinking is good, you drink 3 cups of water, you drink more than you need and bring bad things to your body then that is greed.

Desire is sometimes good sometimes bad. Desire for achieving dhamma is good, desire for noble things is good. Greed is always bad

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buddhistfailure
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Re: The difference between lobha/greed and tanha/craving?

Postby buddhistfailure » Mon Sep 05, 2011 1:30 pm


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Tex
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Re: The difference between lobha/greed and tanha/craving?

Postby Tex » Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:13 pm

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." -- Heraclitus

Nori
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Re: The difference between lobha/greed and tanha/craving?

Postby Nori » Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:33 pm

From the Pali Text Society Dictionary:

"Taṇhā
Taṇhā (f.) [Sk. tṛṣṇā, besides tarśa (m.) & ṭṛṣ (f.)=Av. tarśna thirst, Gr. tarsi/a dryness, Goth. paúrsus, Ohg. durst, E. drought & thirst; to *ters to be, or to make dry in Gr. te/rsomai, Lat. torreo to roast, Goth. gapaírsan, Ohg. derren. -- Another form of t. is tasiṇā] lit. drought, thirst; fig. craving, hunger for, excitement, the fever of unsatisfied longing (c. loc.: kabaḷinkāre āhāre "thirst" for solid food S ii.101 sq.; cīvare piṇḍapāte taṇhā=greed for Sn 339). Oppd to peace of mind (upekhā, santi). -- A. Literal meaning: khudāya taṇhāya ca khajjamānā tormented by hunger & thirst Pv ii.15 (=pipāsāya PvA 69). -- B. In its secondary meaning: taṇhā is a state of mind that leads to rebirth. ..."

It's very long, this is just a snippet.

"Lobha
Lobha [cp. Vedic & Epic Sk. lobha; fr. lubh: see lub- bhati] covetousness, greed. Defined at Vism 468 as "lubbhanti tena, sayaŋ vā lubbhati, lubbhana -- mattam eva vā taŋ," with several comparisons following. <-> Often found in triad of lobha, dosa, moha (greed, anger, bewilderment, forming the three principles of demerit: see kusala -- mūla), e. g. at A iv.96; It 83, 84; Vism 116; Dukp 9, 18 sq. See dosa & moha. -- D iii.214, 275; S i.16, 43, 63, 123 (bhava˚); v.88; A i.64 (˚kkhaya), 160 (visama˚), cp. D iii.70 sq.; ii.67; Sn 367, 371, 537 (˚kodha), 663, 706, 864, 941 (˚pāpa); Nd1 15, 16, 261; J iv.11 (kodha, dosa, l.); Dhs 982, 1059; Vbh 208, 341, 381, 402; Nett 13, 27; Vism 103; VbhA 18; PvA 7, 13, 17, 89 (+dosa), 102; VvA 14; Sdhp 52 (˚moha), 266. -- alobha disinterestedness D iii.214; Dhs 32.
-- dhammā (pl.) affection of greed, things belonging to greed; (adj.) (of) greedy character M i.91; iii.37; D i.224, 230; S iv.111; A iii.350; J iv.11. -- mūla the root of greed Vism 454 (eightfold; with dosa -- mūla & moha -- mūla)."

http://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/pali/
(Note: You must use correct romanized Pali to enter words with the proper accent symbols like above.)

My opinion: While I think the two are related, it may differ by its use in context. Taṇhā is a much more fundamental concept: an 'unsatisfied longing', associated with a feeling (maybe unpleasant) which is viewed as suffering. Lobha is in regard to a beings disposition or character: i.e. one *who wants more than what he needs (is required)*, or wants what he does not have or what others have. From English dictionary: "avarice; reprehensible acquisitiveness."

Jhana4
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Re: The difference between lobha/greed and tanha/craving?

Postby Jhana4 » Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:48 pm

This reminds me of an earlier interesting discussion on how Bhikkhu Bodhi chose to translate a term as "revulsion" and Thanisarro Bhikkhu chose "disenchantment" instead. Huge difference in implied meaning, emotional response, etc.

I feel the same way about "greed" vs "craving". I've seen "greed" used a lot in Bodhi's "In The Words Of The Buddha".

To me "greed" is Michael Douglas in the movie "Wallstreet" trashing lives to get ever more money. "Craving", IMO, is a more useful translation as it puts the average person in mind of many milder states which leads to many kinds of dukha ( also translated too harshly as "suffering" )
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

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DarwidHalim
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Re: The difference between lobha/greed and tanha/craving?

Postby DarwidHalim » Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:33 am

I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

PeterB
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Re: The difference between lobha/greed and tanha/craving?

Postby PeterB » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:02 am

'kin Norah.

namaste
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Re: The difference between lobha/greed and tanha/craving?

Postby namaste » Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:51 pm

It strikes me that since the Buddha didn't speak Pali, we don't really know what words he used. The Pali might not correspond exactly to the words he used.
However, my understanding is that "craving" refers to the grasping mind, the mind that attaches to anything: the need to be constantly entertained, workaholism, for example, is a type of grasping that is not necessarily related to greed, excessive grieving that may lead to depression is a form of grasping. "Greed" is lust for things, money, power (it does have the grasping mind at it's base). I'm not sure how well this clarifies the matter...

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mikenz66
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Re: The difference between lobha/greed and tanha/craving?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:37 am


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ground
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Re: The difference between lobha/greed and tanha/craving?

Postby ground » Sun Sep 11, 2011 3:25 am

Be mindful when attachment occurs and let go. That is far more important than ponder about the nuances of meanings that symbols are causing to arise in your consciousness.


Kind regards

namaste
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Re: The difference between lobha/greed and tanha/craving?

Postby namaste » Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:35 pm



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