can tathā be described as “thing-in-itself”? how about “natural state”? properly, thing-in-itself, is a Kantian invention that denotes objective existence. is tathā a buddhist goal? is tathā liberation? does the experience of tathā generate attachment to a self-entity? is there a useful relationship between tathā and bhava?

from https://www.learnreligions.com/tathata-or-suchness-450014

“the word tathata is sometimes used interchangeably with sunyata, or emptiness. While all phenomena are empty (sunyata) of self-essence, they are also full (tathata). They are "full" of reality itself, of everything.”

  • Do you mean tathata and not tatha?
    – ruben2020
    Aug 1, 2023 at 13:24
  • @ruben2020 wisdomlib.org/definition/tatha
    – blue_ego
    Aug 1, 2023 at 13:29
  • @ruben2020 is there a difference?
    – blue_ego
    Aug 1, 2023 at 13:30
  • I'm not a sanskrit/pali scholar, but as I understand the etymology, tatha means 'thus' or 'so'; tathata means 'it is thus/so'; tathagata meant 'he who has gone thus/so'. My impression is that 'tahtata' is more commonly used than 'tatha', but... Aug 1, 2023 at 14:57
  • Tatha was discussed in this topic. buddhism.stackexchange.com/a/48888/8157 It appears there is no definitive definition of the word Aug 2, 2023 at 1:20

2 Answers 2


You know what dukkha is? Dukkha is when your world is wrong. You feel you are with wrong people, or in a wrong place, or you feel you are on a wrong path, or something wrong is about to happen, or you desperately want something but you know it's impossible to get, or you've irrevocably lost something or someone dear, or you feel something is wrong with you, and so on and so forth.

Your world is "not so". It is not right.

Sukha is the other extreme, it is when you feel happy or exalted. You are in the right place, with the right people, you are awesome, the world is good, everything is perfect and gonna be great! Needles to say, sukha doesn't last because this perfect picture is a bit unreal.

Tatha is the opposite of both. It's not lukewarm "in-between", it is completely orthogonal to the dukkha-sukha dimension. Tatha is when your world is "just so". It doesn't have to be rich or comfortable or something special, it just has to be without that duality of expectation vs reality. Tatha (adjective) or rather tathata (noun) is suchness without wrongness (dukkhata) but also without the rose-tinted glasses of the sukha. It's just so, without comparison.

When you get through all Buddhist practices and arrive at a point when you have no craving for something not here, no aversion to something here, and no confusion about what's here - you automatically arrive at tathata, the suchness of the moment. Get it?

That's why it is synonymous with Enlightenment or Nirvana or whatever you want to call the big goal.

Tathata is the highest bliss of peace free from comparison. Tathagata is someone who is like that.

The reason it is also synonymous with Shunyata (Emptiness) is because Shunyata is without judgment. Seeing Shunyata is seeing that all the boundaries and all the judgements are empty man-made constructs, "overlaid" on the ground reality. When you see it like that, you look without judgment, and what you see is just so, tatha.


The word 'bhava' in Buddhism is not necessarily unwholesome. While terms such as 'ponobbhavikā'. 'bhavatanha', 'vibhavatanha' & 'punabbhavo' (in SN 56.11) or terms such as 'kamabhava', 'rupabhava' & 'arupabhava' (in SN 12.2) are unwholesome states of mind, the suttas contain passages such as:

Khippaṁ vāyama paṇḍito bhava

Strive swiftly to become a wise person!

Dhp 238

Dukkhassantakaro bhava

Become one who makes suffering pacify!

Nibbidābahulo bhava

Become one devoted to disenchantment!

Snp 2.11

Therefore, in Abhidhamma, the term 'sabhava' is used to refer to “thing-in-itself” or "intrinsic essence/quality".

The word 'tatha' can mean 'real', as discussed in this topic.

  • 1
    Bhava is the cost of maintaining the self.🤑
    – blue_ego
    Aug 6, 2023 at 14:45

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