What is Vibhava Tanha? What is the destination (rebirth) of a person with Vibhaba Tanha? Is the view non-existence considered Vibhava Tanha? What is the Sutta reference relating to this teaching? Why the desire for Nibbana is not considered Vibhava Tanha?


Vibhava Tanha is simply the craving for an experience to go away or end. Ex: When you are meditating, if pain arises in the legs or back and if you are unmindful(ignorant), disliking will arise. This results in wanting the pain to go away. This wanting is Vibhava Tanha.

On a broader scale, craving for annihilation after death is also Vibhava Tanha. But the view that everything ends after death is not the craving itself. That comes under Micca Dhitti. This view can give rise to Vibhava Tanha.

Craving for Nibbana can be either Bhava Tanha or Vibhava Tanha depending on your false view of Nibbana. If you think of it as a status to achieve or a land/heaven to enter or a state of bliss, those false views can cause Bhava Tanha. If you think of it as nothingness or emptiness or end of a being, those false views can cause Vibhava Tanha.

But just like how the suffering of pain does not end by craving for it to end, Nibbana(end of all suffering) cannot be reached by craving for it. When pain arises in the body, if you practice mindfulness instead of wishing for it to go away, the suffering will stop regardless of if the pain is still there or not. This is a mild realization of the Four Noble Truths. When this realization becomes matured and all-encompassing, all suffering will cease.

Destination of Vibhava Tanha is obviously a lower realm of existence or a state of misery.

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  • craving for annihilation after death is not Vibhava Tanha. In this context, Vibhava Tanha.is simply the self craving for the self to die or be annihilated. The teaching of annihilation in the suttas in unrelated to life after death. It is merely a self-view. – Dhammadhatu Dec 5 '18 at 13:12
  • It is! Read the Satipatthana sutta I've linked in my answer – Sankha Kulathantille Dec 5 '18 at 13:14
  • Whatever you post is wrong view about annihilationism. annihilationism is defined in DN 1 and Iti 49 as the view that a "self" ends at death. It is a self-view. – Dhammadhatu Dec 5 '18 at 13:15
  • Right back at you :) – Sankha Kulathantille Dec 5 '18 at 13:15
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    You are doing it again :) – Sankha Kulathantille Dec 5 '18 at 13:20
  • Bhava tanha (craving to become) -- we want to be something, for example, "fat person want to become thin person"

  • Vibhava tanha (craving to become not) -- we don't want to be something, for example, "skinny person don't want be thin"

"Becoming craving" is self-denial, "not-becoming craving" is also self-denial -- both suffer in this craving.

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The destination (rebirth) of a person with Vibhaba Tanha is anger, frustration, stress & unhappiness; such as, for example, wanting to not be exposed to reading SarathW's posts but not being able to avoid them. Vibhava Tanha is egoism; as described in Iti 49:

How, bhikkhus, do some overreach? Now some are troubled, ashamed, and disgusted by this very same being and they rejoice in (the idea of) non-being, asserting: ‘In as much as this self, good sirs, when the body perishes at death, is annihilated and destroyed and does not exist after death—this is peaceful, this is excellent, this is reality!’ Thus, bhikkhus, do some overreach.

Aspiration for Nibbana is not considered Vibhava Tanha because there is no egoism.

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