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Taṇhāmūlaka Suttaṃ


Rooted in Craving

“Monks, I will teach you about the nine things rooted in craving (taṇhā), please listen. And what, monks, are the nine things rooted in craving?

  1. Dependent on craving, there is seeking (pariyesanā),
  2. Dependent on seeking, there is gaining (lābho),
  3. Dependent on gaining, there is discrimination (vinicchayo),¹
  4. Dependent on discrimination, there is desire and lust (chandrāgo),
  5. Dependent on desire and lust, there is attachment (ajjhosānaṃ),
  6. Dependent on attachment, there is grasping (pariggaho),²
  7. Dependent on grasping, there is meanness (macchariyaṃ),
  8. Dependent on meanness there is guarding (ārakkho),
  9. For the sake of guarding, there is the taking up of sticks (daṇḍādānaṃ), the taking up of weapons (satthādānaṃ), quarrels (kalaha), disputes (viggaha), contention (vivāda), strife (tuvaṃtuvaṃ), slander (pesuñña), false-speech (musāvādā), and various evil unwholesome things come into existence

“These, monks, are the nine things rooted in craving.”


1. Deciding “This is mine, not anyone else’s.”

2. PTS dictionary: Wrapping round, enclosing, taking up, seizing on, acquiring, acquisition, also in bad sense of grasping.

3. In brief, all suffering in the world has its roots in craving for sensual pleasures, attachment to views and opinions, and grasping onto things with the idea that they are one’s own. These all refer to the ignoble quest for material things. The Noble Quest for enlightenment, i.e. the desire to be completely liberated from the fetters of craving, sensual desire, lust, and attachment is the root of all wholesome and profitable things.