Tanha – Craving. The principle cause of suffering and dissatisfaction
Wet tar looks nasty (tanha), but some people have a craving for the smell of it.
Tanha literally means "thirst". In Buddhism, it is taken to mean "craving" – an intense desire for something.
Tanha features in the Four Noble Truths, where it is defined as the cause of suffering.
The Buddha taught that there are three types of tanha:
- Kama-tanha – craving for sensual pleasures, wealth or power.
- Bhava-tanha – craving for a fixed existence, not accepting that all things are impermanent
- Vibhava-tanha – craving for non-existence. This type of craving may include attempts at suicide and self-annihilation, which only results in rebirth in worse circumstances.