This post attempts to demonstrate that there is "desire" for many "things".
I will try to argue, in due course, that this "desire" is more fundamental
than craving, since it is the "root" or origin of many of the things which
craving is said to arise in dependence on.
These twenty-four things comprise what I will call Group A.
Eye, forms, eye-consciousness, eye-contact.
Ear, sounds, ear-consciousness, ear-contact.
Nose, odours, nose-consciousness, nose-contact.
Tongue, flavours, tongue-consciousness, tongue-contact.
Body, tangibles, body-consciousness, body-contact.
Mind, mind-objects, mind-consciousness, mind-contact.
In various discourses this group is extended in one of three ways:
a) The six (or eighteen) kinds of feeling are added after contact.
b) Feeling, perception, volition and craving are added.
c) Everything that arises due to contact is included.
In MN 147.9 we find: "Seeing thus, Rahula, a well-taught noble disciple becomes
disenchanted with the eye, disenchanted with forms, ..."
[ And so forth, for all the items in Group A, together with a type (c) extension.]
" ... and disenchanted with anything comprised within the feeling, perception,
formations, and consciousness that arise with eye-contact as condition."
The Pali word translated as "disenchanted" is - nibbindati: gets wearied of; is
disgusted with. [B. Bodhi, MLDB page 1127.]
So the 'ordinary man' is 'enchanted' with these things, and desires them.
The phrase "seeing thus" refers to seeing "the eye" as impermanent, suffering
and non-self. Seeing "the eye" in this way results in disenchantment. The ordinary
man sees "the eye" as permanent, a source of pleasure, and related to self. This
is why he is enchanted with "the eye", and has desire and lust for it.
"Bhikkhus, when one does not know and see the eye as it actually is ..."
" ... then one is inflamed by lust for the eye, for forms, ..."
"Bhikkhus, when one knows and sees the eye as it actually is ..."
" ...then one is not inflamed by lust for the eye, for forms, ..."
[ And so forth, for all the items in Group A, plus feelings.]
[ MN 149.3 to 149.9 - B. Bodhi, MLDB page 1137-8.]
The Pali word translated as "inflamed by lust" here is:
sārajjati: to be attached to, to be pleased with, (saṃ + raj + ya.
We have already noted SN 27.1 to 27.4 which say that:
" ... desire and lust for the eye is a corruption of the mind."
[ And so forth, for all the items in Group A.]
SN 27.5 to 27.8 speak of "desire and lust" for feeling, perception, volition,
and craving. A bhikkhu must abandon this mental corruption. [Bodhi, 2000, p.1012]
The Pali term translated as "desire and lust" here is - chandarāgo.
In SN 35.28 the items of Group A, plus the eighteen types of feeling are called
"the all", and are said to be "burning":
"Burning with the fire of lust, with the fire of hatred, with the fire of
"Seeing thus, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple experiences revulsion
towards the eye ..." [ and all the items in Group A, plus the eighteen feelings.]
"Experiencing revulsion, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion his mind
is liberated. ..." [Bhikkhu Bodhi, Connected Discourses, page 1143.]
Translation notes: rāgaggi: the fire of lust. (m.)
dosaggi: the fire of anger. (m.)
mohaggi: the fire of delusion.
Revulsion = nibbindati: gets wearied of; is disgusted with.
Dispassionate = virāga: dispassionateness; absence of desire. (m.)
In SN 35.76 - Radha (1) [Bodhi], [DPR, SN 35.59], we read:
"Radha, you should abandon desire (chando) for whatever is impermanent. And
what is impermanent? ..." [All the items in Group A, plus the eighteen feelings.]
If we are told to abandon desire for all these things then we obviously do have
such desires. But what exactly are these desires? Take "the eye" for example,
what does it mean that one has "desire and lust for the eye"?