The Second Noble Truth identifies three aspects of craving, one of them being craving for non-being.

How does the desire for cessation, to attain final Nibbāna, never to be reborn, differ from the desire for non-existence?


Vibhava tanha (craving not-to-be) is a type of craving.

Cessation of being (bhava nirodha) is the cessation of craving (tanha nirodha).

The "desire for cessation" called 'chanda iddhipada' is not a type of craving (tanha).

Also, bhava nirodha is not "never to be reborn". "Bhava" is "egoism". "Bhava nirodha" is the cessation of egoism.

If mind believes believes in "ego" or "self", now can it ever stop being "reborn"?

"Jati" ("birth") itself means "egoism'. "Jati nirodha" happens when egoism stops.

The only way to reach Nibbana is stopping egoism.

  • If Bhava is egoism, then what is attavādūpādānaṃ? – OyaMist Jul 26 '18 at 21:20
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    the start or initial mental conception of egoism; which is then developed (bhava) and fully formed (jati). – Dhammadhatu Jul 26 '18 at 23:30
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    Oh! So bhava is the existence of egoism inevitably arising from the concept, contact, feeling, craving and grasping of egoism thereby leading inevitably to that mess of suffering. 🙏 – OyaMist Jul 27 '18 at 0:34

I think that, according to Ananda in SN 51.15, the holy life is "give up or abandon desire" -- perhaps also (my paraphrase) "aiming towards [[being in] a state of] non-craving".

Having reached that state (of non-craving) then the desire is calmed.

Perhaps it's obvious that's not the same as craving for annihilation.

Dhammadhatu's answer mentioned chanda iddhipada which is analyzed e.g. in SN 51.20.

In both these suttas, 51.15 and 51.20 (and actually all of the SN 51.xx suttas describe the Iddhipada), Ven Sujato translates chanda as "enthusiasm" rather than "desire".

  • Ah right - cessation of craving is different from annihilation - that should be obvious! Probably got confused on how not being reborn is different from non-existence - similar-looking but different motivations I suppose. – avatar Korra Jul 27 '18 at 4:29
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    yes having a compassionate wish or enthusiasm to be free of craving does have a different feeling than an aversive desire to not exist. – avatar Korra Jul 28 '18 at 6:12
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    And also that's a helpful first point, that the holy life is "give up or abandon desire", an attitude of letting go and dispassion (nibbidā), rather than the kind of desire with craving. MN 22.29 The Simile of the Snake: Being disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion [his mind] is liberated. When it is liberated there comes the knowledge: ‘It is liberated.’ He understands: ‘Birth is destroyed, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more coming to any state of being. – avatar Korra Jul 28 '18 at 6:21

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