- 1. subjective sensuality, 'sense-desire';
- 2. objective sensuality, the five sense-objects.
1. Subjective sensuality, or sense-desire, is directed to all
five sense-objects, and is synonymous with
- kĀma-cchanda, 'sensuous
desire', one of the 5 hindrances (nīvarana);
sensuous lust', one of the ten fetters (samyojana);
'sensuous craving', one of the 3 cravings (tanhā);
kāma-vitakka, 'sensuous thought', one of the 3 wrong thoughts (micchā-sankappa;
- Sense-desire is also one of the fermentations (Āsava)
and clinging (upādāna).
2. Objective sensuality is, in the canonical texts, mostly
called kāma-guna, 'cords (or strands) of sensuality'.
"There are 5 cords of sensuality: the visible objects,
cognizable by eye-consciousness, that are desirable, cherished, pleasant,
lovely, sensuous and alluring; the sounds ... smells ... tastes ... bodily
contacts cognizable by body-consciousness, that are desirable .... " (D.33; M.13, 26, 59, 66).
These two kinds of kāma are called
- 1. kilesa-kāma,
i.e. kāma as a mental defilement,
- 2. vatthu-kāma, i.e. kāma
as the object-base of sensuality; first in MNid.. I, p. 1, and frequently in the
Sense-desire is finally eliminated at the stage of the Non-Returner
(Anāgāmi; s. ariya-puggala,
The peril and misery of sense-desire is often described in
the texts, e.g. in stirring similes at M. 22, 54, and in the 'gradual
instruction' (s. Ānupubbī-kathā). See further M.13, M.45, M.75; Sn.v.766ff.; Dhp.186, 215.
The texts often stress the fact that what fetters man to the
world of the senses are not the sense-organs nor the sense-objects but lustful
desire (chandarāga). On this see A.VI.63; S.XXXV.122, 191. - (App.).