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Translated by Professor Ko Lay,
Revised by Sayadaw U Silananda,
International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University, Yangon, 1999

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Author's Preface xv - xix

Chapter I

Paramattha P1 - P11

Chapter II

Cetasikas, Akusala Cetasikas P12 - P74

Chapter III

Kusala Cetasikas P75 - P113

Chapter XI

The Abode of Devas P280 - P285

Author's Preface

Paja sabba sussayantu,

Vutthahanta sumangala.

Dusentu duggatimgamim,

Purentu sabbaparamim.

        May all beings residing in their respective dwellings sleep soundly and have pleasant dreams! Being blessed in glory, may they awake early in the morning with auspiciousness! May they be able to abstain from evil deeds which lead to the four woeful abodes. May they be able to fulfil the thirty Paramis (Perfections) incessantly and attain spiritual maturity stage by stage!

         Taking into consideration the situation of the present day, we find that the first three of four moral virtues called Brahmaviharas, namely, loving-kindness (metta), compassion (karuna), sympathetic joy (mudita) and equanimity (upekkha) appear to have ceased to flourish, to have dried up in the human mind. The element of 'heat' generated by beings through such cessation of virtues incinerates even the virtuous, who now find themselves on the verge of drying up.

         What Is Meant By the 'Heat Element'? The 'heat element' is nothing but greed (Lobha), hatred (dosa), conceit (mana), jealousy (issa) and avariciousness (macchariya), that leave no room for sympathy or compassion for one another. That 'heat element' causes drying up of virtuous elements not only in the present but also in the coming existences in the round of rebirths (samsara). Therefore people should endeavour in this very life to the best of their ability to extinguish the 'heat element' and seek to reside steeped in the cool elements of loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity which are the four sublime states of living (Brahmaviharas).

         Whatis Samsara? The material world in which beings live is not to be mistaken as samsara. The continuous coming into existence of consciousness (citta), and mental factors (cetasikas) together with matter (rupa) in succession is called samsara in the ultimate sense. [sam=in succession; sara going, wandering.)

         What Are Human Beings, Devas, and Brahmas?

         Consciousness (citta) and mental factors (cetasikas) are collectively called nama, the mind. The successive coming into existence of this nama and rupa, the material element, in combination is nominally called human being, deva and brahma, or person, being, I, he, she, man, woman, etc. In the ultimate sense, there are no humans, devas or brahmas, or other beings apart from nama and rupa.

         Why Do Nama and Rupa Come Into Existence? Nama and rupa do not come into successive existence without causes. They arise because of external objects experienced at the present and the kamma done in the past existences preserved in one's continuum. Hence, note that the two root causes of nama and rupa are external objects and past kamma.

         The Important Causes. Of the two causes, the external objects experienced are not so important, because they only serve as images that bring about various internal states of mind (consciousness). The important thing is for one's (internal) mind to be wholesome when perceiving various external objects, good or bad.

         "If the (internal) mind is always good, all the nama and rupa of future existences will also be good." Even though one has passed away from one existence, good nama and rupa will appear again, as good humans, good devas and good brahmas. If their internal minds are wicked, beings will be reborn in hell (niraya) or become ghosts (petas) , or animals with ugly minds and bodies.

         Proper Attitude (Yoniso Manasikara) Will Proddce a Good Mind.

         Only when there is yoniso manasikara, will the mind be good. Judicious consideration of whatever one comes across is called 'yoniso manasikara'. Nowadays people tend to abbreviate 'yoniso manasikara' into 'yoniso'. Due to proper attitude, unwholesome mind will not appear; only wholesome mind will arise. Wrongful consideration will not foster a good mind even under favourable circumstances for its arising. Correct mental attitude is, therefore, the most important for all beings to acquire a good mind.

         Causes for having or not having proper attitude are (1) reading or not reading good books, and (2) learning from the wise or not. Those who read good books and those who learn from the wise will amass useful knowledge. If those who have thus amassed knowledge, make resolution as "I will always have good mind arise in me", they tend to have rightful consideration regarding circumstances they meet with.

         Those who neither read good books nor learn from the wise will not amass useful knowledge and will not be able to better their mind or to cultivate good thoughts

         Therefore, a new treatise entitled "A bhidhamma in Daily Life" is written for the welfare of people, with a view to assist them in acquiring good conduct.

         The author's aim can be summarised as follows.

  1. For the readers to develop rightful attitude regard ing the circumstances he or she encounters, to be always broad-minded, to live the way of noble living (Brahmavihara), and to conduct a harmonious life.
  2. For the readers to be always in good mood, to develop an unwavering attitude towards life and to be able to live in grace whether they are wealthy and happy being successful and prosperous, or whether they are poor and unhappy meeting with failure and calamity.
  3. For the readers to be those who are making effort to fulfil the Paramis (Perfections) such as dana (charity), sila (morality), etc., in this existence so that they may elevate themselves gradually from the next existence till the attainment of Nibbana.


Just as you look at your image in the minor daily and tidy yourself, so you should read this treatise and reflect on yourself every day.

"Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato


"Veneration to the Exalted One, the Homage Worthy,

the Perfectly Self-Enlightened"


On Paramattha, the Ultimates and the Mind

         The Four Ultimates

         Paramattha is a Pali term which means lofty intrinsic nature. Lofty does not mean high, noble or good, but it means that which is upright and firm being unchanging by way of intrinsic nature. [ Parama + attha — lofty + intrinsic nature] The four Ultimates (Paramatthas) are consciousness (citta), mental factors (cetasikas), matter (rupa) and Nibbana, the only absolute reality.

         How They Are Unchanging

         The mental factors include Lobha, greed and dosa, hatred or anger. Lobha never changes its intrinsic nature of greed whether it arises in the mind of the wise and virtuous, or the wicked, or of dogs. Dosa also never changes its hard nature of hatred or ill will in whomsoever beings it arises. It should be noted that other Ultimates also maintain their intrinsic natures in the same way.

         The Ultimates are free from bias or partiality, and they always manifest by themselves on their own nature. The intrinsic nature of things should be earnestly digested and understood as explained here, so as to know the mental states of other people as well as one's own.


1. The real essence, being constant, steadfast and unchanging is called Paramattha, the Ultimate.

2. There are four kinds of Ultimates, namely, consciousness, mental factors, matter and Nibbana.

Citta or Consciousness

         That Which is Conscious of an Object is Consciousness

         We are conscious of objects all the time. This nature of awareness of objects is called consciousness. Here awareness does not mean comprehension by knowledge or wisdom. It means ability to take in objects through sense organs.

         Six objects of senses, Six forms of consciousness

  1. All forms of sight ruparammana
  2. All forms of sound=saddarammana
  3. All forms of smell=gandharammana
  4. All forms of taste=rasarammana
  5. All forms of touch=photthabbarammana
  6. All other perceptible objects=dhammarammana

         On seeing a visible object, consciousness of sight appears. On hearing a sound, consciousness of sound appears, On smelling a scent, consciousness of smell appears. On sampling a taste, consciousness of taste appears. On feeling a touch, consciousness of touch appears. On perceiving those five objects of senses and all other perceptible objects, consciousness of mind appears. Thus, the capability of taking in an object concerned is called consciousness (citta).

         The Nature of Mind

         "Mind can travel afar, it wanders alone. It has no material form and it generally dwells in the cave", according to the Dhammapada. It will be explained in detail as expounded therein.

         Mind Can Travel afar

         The mind does not move physically away like a man walking. But, as it can take in an object at a distance far way form where you are, it seems as if it has gone there. For example, while you are in Mandalay and think of something or someone in Yangon, your mind does not actually travel to Yangon, but registers its awareness of Yangon while still in Mandalay. As it can perceive an object at a distance, it is said, "Mind can travel afar".

         Mind Wanders alone

         Consciousness appears and vanishes very swiftly. More than one million million (or one thousand billion) units of consciousness can appear and vanish within one snap of fingers. The appearance and vanishing are so swift that two or three units of consciousness seem to be able to arise and perceive two or three objects at the same time. As a matter of fact, two or three units of consciousness never appear at the same time. They appear one after another, and only after taking one object do they take another object.

         While sitting on a scented bed, eating, and watching singers and dancers, we notice that there are five sense objects present, namely, sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. The mind does not take in these five objects all at the same time. Only after perceiving the object which we prefer most, do we perceive other objects one after another. Thus, two or three or many units of consciousness do not appear at the same time. Consciousness appears one at time, so it is said, "Mind wanders solitary."

         Moreover, the word "wander" here does not mean real 'going about', but means it can take in an object at a far away location. In perceiving a sense object a single unit of consciousness is not enough for full comprehension. A good number of units of consciousness is required to appear one after another in succession. As many billions of such units can appear and vanish within one snap of fingers we think that we perceive a form as soon as we see it; we know a sound as soon as we hear it; or we sense an aroma as soon as we smell it or we feel a touch as soon as we come into contact with it.

         Mind has no material form

         The mind has no form or shape. So, we cannot say that it is white or black or fat or thin. It is only the perceptibility, the capability of cognising an object.

         Dwelling in the cave

         Consciousness of seeing originates in the eye; consciousness of hearing originates in the ear; consciousness of smelling originates in the nose; consciousness of taste originates in the tongue, consciousness of touch originates in the body. Though some forms of consciousness originate thus in the eye, ear, nose, etc., most forms of consciousness originate in the cardiac cavity. Therefore it is said, figuratively, "dwelling in the cave."

         In brief, it should be noted that consciousness has no form; it can perceive a sense object; it has the nature of cognising an object. While in the process of cognition it does not go out of its dwelling even for a hair's breadth, but it can perceive objects far way. Two or three units of consciousness do not appear simultaneously. Each unit appears only one after another in succession.


The mind can take in senses objects; it travels afar; wanders alone; has no physical form; dwells in the cardiac cavity.

         How good and bad states of Mind mingle with each other

         As consciousness appears and vanishes very quickly, the good and bad or the wholesome and the unwholesome units of consciousness mingle even in a short time of five minutes. Getting up early in the morning, you pay homage to the Buddha and acquire a good mind. At that time when you hear someone calling you to go shopping, you develop greed. As someone comes and says something provocative, you tend to get angry.

         Even when you are involved in greed while doing some trading, if you happen to think of giving in charity, that is a wholesome thought of saddha (belief in beneficial effects of charity). When you are angry with someone or something, you happen to remember your teachers' advice or admonition and good mindfulness appears again.

         While the husband and wife are chatting with lust in mind, they may become angry because of some misunderstanding. When one of them makes an apology and proposes reconciliation, the mind becomes tender and lustful again. As consciousness changes very quickly, you should carefully differentiate between good and bad units of consciousness whenever they appear and try to cultivate many units of wholesome consciousness.

         Minds are different as are material properties

         Just as the form or shape of a man is different from that of another, so the mind of one person is also unlike that of another. Just as a heavy, clumsy body is quite different from an animated, sprightly one, so an obtuse, stolid mind is quite different form a vivacious, sparkling one. There are beautiful and lovely persons who outdo others in beauty and charm. In the cases of ugliness also, there are ugly persons who are as base as petas (ghosts) or demons. Concerning different kinds of good and sharp minds, there are minds of varying grades from the ordinary to the unique. Likewise concerning different kinds of bad or evil states of mind, there are varying degrees of wickedness and abject stupidity. Just as there are differing degrees of gracefulness in physique with those wining the laurels of beauty and charm at the top, so there are different classes of unsightliness, with petas (ghosts) and demons at the bottom step of ugliness. Similarly, there are different grades of wholesome group of minds ranging from the ordinary to the most noble spirits with the sharpest of intellects, and different levels of unwholesome category of mind stretching from the wicked, evil, repulsive types to the most heinous with abject stupidity.

         Mind can be tamed

         If someone born and brought up in the country emulates the vogue and way of living of the urbanites, trains himself physically and mentally, his rupa (physical appearance) will also change, become fashionable and stylish within one or two years beyond recognition by their old acquaintances. Thus if physical forms which are slow to change can be made to improve, why shouldn't it be possible to tame the mind which changes quickly and is easy to improve, if one really wants to improve it? If one monitors one's mind everyday and tames one's unruly mind, one will soon become a man of noble mind, and after two or three years, will have developed enough self-esteem to have respect for one's mind.

         Why Mind should be reformed

         There are many reasons why we should reform our minds. We ourselves know best the weaknesses and foibles of our minds. Even though some wicked people attain high status in worldly affairs, if they are mean or base in moral character, they will be reborn in lower abodes in their next existences. For this reason they should reform their minds and become noble.

         The wicked will lose self-respect. Their brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, bhikkhus to whom they make offerings and their intimates will not love, revere and respect them. Lest they should thus be looked down upon by their intimates, they should reform their minds and become pure, honest and noble.

         Moreover, people cannot believe that the wicked will be honest and sincere even when they give away in dana (charity), observe sila (precepts) and practise bhavana (meditation). Because of their wickedness their kamma will not bring wholesome benefits. Thus, out of fear of getting unwholesome consequences they should reform their minds and become pure, honest and noble.

         Moreover, the wicked will be wicked not only in this present existence, but their evil nature will continue to prevail successively in a great many future existences. Because their entire physical and mental continuum have been suffused with wicked minds, it is impossible for them to attain sufficiency in accumulating virtues. Therefore for fear of not becoming mature in Paramis (Perfections), they should discipline their wicked minds immediately. These are the reasons why people should reform their minds.

         How King Milinda disciplined his mind

         Having asked the Venerable Nagasena some questions, King Milinda thought of asking more questions which would be very important for the Sasana (the Teaching of the Buddha). However, he waited for seven days and disciplined his mind to get concentration. This is quite a good example to the virtuous to follow.

         How he prepared himself

         He rose early in the morning, took a bath, attired himself in a dyed yellow dress and put on a head-dress concealing his hair to resemble a shaven head. In other words, he attired himself like a bhikkhu though he was not one, and observed meticulously the following eight principles for seven whole days.

  1. I will not perform regal duties for seven days.
  2. I will restrain myself from raga (greed).
  3. I will restrain myself from dosa (hatred).
  4. I will restrain myself from moha (delusion).
  5. I will be humble and modest in dealing with my subjects and courtiers and restrain myself from conceit.
  6. I will carefully restrain my words and actions.
  7. I will restrain my sense organs, i.e., eyes, ears, etc., to be free from unwholesome thoughts when seeing, hearing and experiencing sense-objects.
  8. I will radiate loving-kindness to all living beings.

         He observed these eight principles for seven days, and on the eighth day he rose early in the morning, and in a cheerful, cool and calm attitude he asked the Venerable Nagasena questions on the profound Dhamma.

         A Good Example

         Following the example of King Milinda, good people should often practise restraining their minds even if it is for one or two days or for just one morning so that evil thoughts that habitually arise shall not appear. By repeated practice of restraining their minds, evil thoughts will get diminished and they will become noble and virtuous with development of faith and knowledge. Evil thoughts that usually occur will not appear for many days.

         The mind guides the world.

         The mind leads the world.

         All beings have to submit to the will of the mind.


Just as you prepare yourselves properly before posing for a photograph so as to get a good one; just so you should control your series of thoughts daily as a preparation for your journey to the Royal City of Peace, Nibbana.

Here ends the chapter on Consciousness.


On Cetasikas, Mental Factors and

Akusala Cetasikas
Unwholesome Mental Factors

Cetasikas, Mental Factors or Concomitants

         Cetasikas Determine the Mind

         In the chapter on Citta, the concepts of good and evil minds have already been explained. But as the only function of the mind is to know the objects, it cannot by itself be good or evil. Since it arises together with different mental factors or cetasikas, it becomes good or evil depending on the associated mental factors being good or evil. What is meant is this: "Mental factors associated with the consciousness induce it to become good or evil."

         Example: Even though water is in itself colourless it becomes red, yellow, blue or black respectively on addition of red, yellow, blue or black dye. In like manner consciousness behaves. Therefore, you should next pursue the study of mental factors so that you may understand good and evil minds.


Mind can only know objects; it by itself cannot determine good or evil. It is on account of the different cetasikas (mental factors) that the consciousness becomes good or evil.

14 Unwholesome Mental Factors
That Influence the Mind
(Akusala Cetasikas)


2.Ahirika=moral shamelessness,

3. Anottappa=moral fearlessness,

4.Uddhacca=distraction, restlessness,

5. Lobha=greed,

6. Ditthi =wrong view,

7. Mana=conceit, hatred, anger,

8. Dosa=hatred, anger

9. Issa=envy,

10. Macchariya =jealousy, selfishness,

11. Kukkucca =remorse,

12. Thina sloth,

13. Middha torpor,

14. Vicikiccha =doubt, scepticism

         (a + kusala =opposite of + wholesome=unwholesome)

1. Moha (Delusion)

         Two Kinds of Moha

         Not knowing (delusion) is moha. It is of two kinds, namely, anusaya-moha and pariyutthana-moha. The term anusaya means inherent tendency or lying latent. The term pariyutthana means rising up. Therefore, delusion, which lies latent in the mind of beings, is called anusaya moha, the latent delusion. The delusion that occasionally arises together with the consciousness is called pariyutthana moha, the rising-up delusion.

         Anusaya Moha

         Just as there is poison in a tree that bears poisonous fruits; just so in the mind-continuum of beings, there is an element, dhatu, which keeps hidden the Dhamma that ought to be known. That element is called anusaya moha, the latent delusion. Because of the concealing action of anusaya moha, worldlings, puthujjhanas, are unable to realise penetratingly the three characteristics of anicca (impermanence), dukkha (suffering) and anatta (non-self); neither do they grasp the Four Noble Truths nor Paticcasamuppada, (the Law of Dependent Origination) in a comprehensive manner.

         Worldlings cannot identify the latent delusion with their limited knowledge. Nowadays, even though people claim to know about anicca, dukkha, anatta, etc., through book learning, their knowledge is superficial; it is not clear, penetrative realisation. Even when one becomes a Stream-winner (Sotapanna), Once-returner (Sakadagami) or Non-returner (Anagami), anusaya moha only becomes thinner and thinner. Only when one attains Arahantship, is the anusaya moha dhatu, the latent delusion, completely eliminated. Therefore, even at the moment of performing good deeds or wholesome actions before becoming an Arahant, anusaya moha is present; it is only lying latent and quiet.

         Pariyutthana Moha

         When moha rises together with the mind it is said that the bad mind, the unwholesome one, has appeared. Because of the concealing nature of this pariyutthana moha, evil consequences which one may suffer in future are not understood. And the evils of unwholesome actions of the present are also not understood. Therefore, even the learned and virtuous cannot see the evils of moha and will commit wrong deeds when moha arises. This moha, in the domain of evil, is the most wicked. In this world all wickedness and stupidity originate from moha; moha is the tap root of all evil.

         The Wise Overwhelmed by Delusion

         The Bodhisatta, Haritaca by name, having renounced the world, abandoning his immense wealth of eighty crores of money, became a hermit and attained the great supernatural powers, jhanas and abhinnas. Then, as the rains were heavy in the Himalayas, he came to Baranasi and stayed in the King's garden. The king of Baranasi was his old friend who was fulfilling the Paramis (Perfections) to become the Venerable Ananda. Therefore, as soon as he saw the hermit, he revered him so much that he asked him to stay in the royal garden and supported him with four requisites; he himself offered the hermit morning meals at the palace.

         Once, as a rebellion broke out in the country, the king himself had to go out to quell it. Before setting out with his army, he requested the queen again and again not to forget to look after the hermit. The queen did as told. One early morning, she took a bath with scented water and put on fine clothes and lay down on the couch waiting for the hermit.

         The Bodhisatta came through space with his supernormal power, abhinna, and arrived at the palace window. Hearing the flutter of the hermit's robe, the queen hastily rose from her couch and her dress fell off her. Seeing the queen divested of her clothes, the anusaya moha which lay dormant in his mind-continuum, rose to the stage of pariyutthana moha, and filled with lust, he took the queen's hand and committed immoral transgression like a monster ogre.

         Note: We should consider the stupidity arising through moha in this story seriously. If such moha did not appear in him, he would not have committed such an evil deed even with the king's consent. But at that time, being overwhelmed by the darkness of delusion, he was unable to see the evil consequences of his deed in the present and the future existences throughout the samsara, and consequently, committed that improper transgression. The jhanas and abhinnas, which he had acquired through practice for all his life, were also unable to dispel the darkness of moha; instead, being overwhelmed by moha the power of jhanas and abhinnas themselves vanished from him.

         But the hermit, being already quite matured in the Paramis (Perfections), learnt a bitter lesson and greatly repented his deed on the return of the king. He endeavoured again to gain his jhanas and abhinnas and contemplating: " I have done wrong because of dwelling in close proximity with the people," returned to the Himalayas.

         Not Knowing is Not Always Moha

         As moha is explained as not knowing, some people think that not knowing a subject which one has not studied not knowing places where one has not been to, not remembering names which one has not been acquainted with, are also moha. Such kind of not knowing is merely lack of knowledge; it is not real moha at all; hence it is not an unwholesome mental factor; it is merely the absence of recognition, or perception, sanna, that has not perceived it before. Even Arahants have such a kind of not-knowing, let alone ordinary common worldling.

         Even the Venerable Sariputta, who is second only to the Buddha in wisdom, taught a meditation practice inappropriate to a young bhikkhu. Thinking that the young bhikkhu was at the lustful age, he prescribed asubha kammatthana, meditation on unpleasant objects (e.g., decaying corpses) which did not go with his pupil's disposition. Even though the pupil meditated for four months, he could not get the slightest nimitta, sign of concentration.

         Then he was taken to the Buddha who created and gave him a lotus blossom suitable to his disposition, and he was delighted. And when the Buddha showed him the lotus flower withering, he felt samvega, a religious sense of urgency. The Buddha then gave him the discourse designed to make him realise the characteristics of anicca, dukkha and anatta and he became an Arahant. Herein note the infinite knowledge of the Buddha; and also note that there are things not known even to the Venerable Sariputta who was already free from delusion.

         Thus, even the Venerable Sariputra did not know things beyond his ken. Thus, not knowing things which have not been taught and those which belong to the domain of the Buddhas, is not moha. It is merely the frailty of their knowledge or learning. For example, take the case of a man who cannot see a far away object in broad daylight. It is not due to a barrier concealing the object from eyesight; it is only because of the weakness of his eyesight.

         Gross and Fine Moha

         The moha which cannot discern between what is unwholesome or vice and what is wholesome or virtue is rather gross. The moha which prevents realisation of anicca, dukkha, and anatta nature of mind and matter, the Four Noble Truths, and the Law of Dependent Origination, is comparatively fine moha. The mind which is accompanied by moha is called "delusive mind, foolish mind" and one who is overpowered by delusion is called variously "the fool, the nincompoop, the dumb, the dull, the wild, the stupid, the useless."

         "This world is in utter darkness. Only few people in this world can perceive extraordinarily. Just as only a few birds can escape from the net, people who can be reborn in the abode of devas after death are very few in number." (Dhammapada, v. 174)

         Here ends the explanation about Moha, Delusion.

2. Ahirika (Moral Shamelessness)

         Lack of moral shame is called ahirika. All immoral, unwholesome deeds are like faeces. Shamelessness, ahirika, is like a village swine. Faeces is very disgusting; being soiled with it, is embarrassing in the presence of people. But for the swine faeces is fine food. It is not disgusting and so there is no need to be embarrassed when soiled with it. Swine surely enjoy rolling about in faeces and partaking of it.

         In the same way, duccaritas, wrong deeds, such as taking life, etc., are detestable deeds for the virtuous. Even when such deeds are committed unwittingly; it will be regarded shameful by the virtuous. But ahirika is not having detestation to do wrong deeds and not feeling ashamed of the wrong act. As a matter of fact, the shameless among themselves regard wrong deeds as something to take pride in.

         When moha arises, it leads to ahirika (shame lessness); so even the wise do wrong shamelessly when deluded. Therefore, those who are acclaimed to be wise should judge with their own experiences the truth of what is said.

         Note on the Story of Haritaca

         In the misbehaviour of the hermit Haritaca, (see previous section on moha), shamelessness is very prominent. The hermit was a holy man of the first grade virtue who had already attained abhinnas (the higher know ledges). What the hermit did was a shameful act of lust committed in the presence of the attendants of the queen in the upper chamber of the palace. Such a mean and degrading act was committed because of utter delusion, moha and shamelessness, ahirika.

         Every unwholesome deed is shameful. Not only dishonourable acts like that of the hermit but also acts of hatred such as abusing others, fuming and shouting, using coarse vulgar language, being puffed up with vain conceit, looking down upon others with foolish pride, decrying others in an indirect, allusive manner out of malicious envy, issa, etc., are also disgusting and shameful. Therefore we should bear in mind that all unwhole some deeds are shameful. The mind which arises together

         with this ahirika (shamelessness) is called "a shameless mind", and the doer of evils is called "a shameless man".

3. Anottappa (Moral Fearlessness)

         Lack of moral dread is having no fear, no dread (anottappa). In other words anottappa means devoid of moral dread. Evil deeds are like an open flame. Anottappa is like the moths. In fact the open flame is to be very much dreaded. However, moths do not think the open flame as dreadful and recklessly fly into it. Just so, evil deeds cause a variety of sufferings; so they are indeed to be dreaded. But moha (delusion) conceals those resultant sufferings; and anottappa does not see them as dreadful. Those factors prompt the doing of evil deeds boldly. With regard to evil deeds, the following dangers are impending.

         1. Attanuvada-bhaya: the danger of blaming or accusing oneself, losing self-respect and having no self-esteem. Such a person will be oppressed by the thought, "Though many people think I am a virtuous gentleman, I know myself: I am not a virtuous man as they think. I am a wicked man who does evil deeds stealthily." (atta oneself + anuvada blame, accuse)

         2. Paranuvada-bhaya: the danger of being blamed, being accused by others in this way, "You are a wicked person, doing unwholesome, evil deeds." (para by others; anuvada blame, accuse)

         3. Danda-bhava: the danger of suffering and punishment such as being killed by others for having committed murder; being beaten by the owner for having stolen his property; being killed for committing adultery; being imprisoned for various criminal acts.

         4. Duggati-bhaya: the danger of suffering from great remorse over one's evil deeds on one's deathbed and the prospect of being reborn in the four woeful abodes in the next existence.

         Through artfulness, guile and cunning, one may be able to avoid the first three dangers brought about by one's evil deeds, but one will not be able to avoid the danger of falling into the four planes of misery in the next existence. Hence evil deeds are very dreadful indeed. However, when anottappa steps in, even the wise who normally dread evil acts are inclined to commit fearful deeds without shame or dread.

         Note on the Story of Haritaca

         Herein, the case of the Bodhisatta (the hermit Haritaca) should be reviewed. There are so many dreadful things in the story. Needless to say, the hermit suffered from the danger of blaming himself and losing self respect (attanuvada-bhava). As the bad news, "The king's teacher, the hermit, had done wrong with the queen", spread over the whole town during the absence of the king, he suffered from the danger of being blamed by others (paranuvada-bhava).

         If the king, the would-be Ananda, were not a virtuous man fulfilling Paramis (Perfections), he would not have cared for the hermit's life as much as a blade of grass for his transgression. It was on account of the king's virtue that he narrowly escaped from being sentenced to death. As anottappa came in, the hermit dared to commit such an immoral act without fear of capital punishment. The mind which arises together with this recklessness is called anottappa-citta.

         Just as the village swine does not abhor faeces, so the shameless man is not ashamed of his evils. Just as the moth does not fear the open flame, so the man void of ottappa (dread of sin) does not fear evil deeds.

(From Vibhavini Tika.)

4. Uddhacca (Distraction, Restlessness, Wavering)

         Uddhacca means distraction. It may also be called the unsettled state of mind. Just as minute particles of ash fly about when a stone is thrown into a heap of ash, the mind which cannot rest quickly on an object but flits about from object to object is said to be distracted. The mind arising together with uddhacca is called the distracted mind. When one is overpowered by distraction, one will become a drifter, a floater, a loafer, an aimless person.

        Nanda Thera's Inability to Concentrate

         When Nanda, the young prince, was about to many Janapada Kalyani, Buddha took him to the monastery and ordained him a bhikkhu. He was so distracted that he could not concentrate on the Dhamma, his mind wandering back often to Princess Janapada Kalyani. In this story, Prince Nanda's state of mind which is unable to concentrate on Dhamma is a good example of uddhacca.

         The Feeble Power of Uddhacca

         Uddhacca is the inability to concentrate on any object steadfastly. Being distracted, one's mind wanders from this object to that object. Although uddhacca is akusala, of unwholesome nature, because it does no evil deeds effectively, it has no power to throw one into apayas, (the four woeful worlds), as greed, hatred and delusion do.

5. Lobha (Greed)

         Lobha is greed, i.e., craving for sensual pleasures. But wanting to attain Nibbana, wanting to get Dhamma, wanting to be learned, wanting wealth for giving in charity to the poor, are not lobha. They are called chanda (desire) which will be dealt with later.

         Other Terms for Greed

         Lobha is also termed pema or tanha or raga or samudaya. The term pema is used for the love exchanged between sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives or members of the family, relatives, etc. Therefore pema means sincere love. This kind of sincere love is also called samyojana, which means binding. Samyojana binds one person to another as a rope does. It makes one inseparable from the other.

         The five kinds of object, namely, sight, sound, smell, taste and touch, are sensuous objects; desired and cherished by people they are called kamaguna (kama=desirable + guna cords).

         Like hunger and thirst, intense desire for these desirable objects that surpass ordinary wish is called tanha, craving. One who hankers after another of the opposite sex is labelled "mad with lust". Tanha means craving or hunger. Of the five sensuous objects, bodily touch (sexual union) is the most longed for, when it is called raga, lust. Raga also means clinging or attachment to something. Just as colour fastening on dyed cloth, raga is lobha which clings to a person. [These are not literal meanings; they are classified according to common usage.]

         In the classification of the Four Noble Truths, lobha is termed samudaya. It means the cause of suffering or suffering-to-be. All beings who cannot do away with lobha have to wander round and round in the cycle of rebirths accompanied by suffering.

         The suffering, immense or petty, being undergone now by all beings, originates in this tanha, lobha or samudaya. Therefore the more intense the greed, the more severe the suffering, and the less intense the greed, the less there is suffering. If there is no greed, there is no suffering at all. The mind which arises with lobha, is called the greedy mind, craving mind, lustful mind, or bonded mind. Persons with such minds are called the greedy, the craving, the lustful or the fettered.

         Greed Does Not Get Diminished

         If greed which is called craving or lust is not controlled by Dhamma, and allowed to go on by itself, it will never get diminished. As the protruding horn of a calf grows longer and longer as it grows older, the greed of a man which accompanies him since the embryonic stage increases with age. The aged who cannot control greed are blamed with the words "The hair-knot droops with size; foolishness grows with age."

         Drinking Salty Water

         Since birth children begin to love their parents, relatives and friends, etc. As they grow older they develop fondness and affection for playmates and friends. As they are being led by basic instinct, they become thirstier and thirstier for love as if they had drunk salty water. Then they drink it again and again and become more and more thirsty. Being thirsty for sensual pleasures, they indulge in them as they are unable to see the impending sufferings; they swirl about merrily in the sea of love.

         "Love! Love! The more they love, the more they are insatiate, just as they cannot quench their thirst by drinking salty water. Love, pema or tanha, turns a blind eye to one's defects; expecting happiness through love, one nurtures love. This is the way of love, the nature of love." (An ancient Myanmar poem.)

         How lobha Leads to the Four Woeful Abodes

         Just as the smallest particle of a stone sinks in water, even petty greed can lead to the four woeful worlds if not supported by wholesome deeds. Therefore, there are many people who have become petas (miserable ghosts) because of attachment to their spouses, sons, daughters or wealth while on the death-bed. At the time of our Lord Buddha, a bhikkhu became a louse after his death because of attachment to his new robe. It is said that he was emancipated from the life of being a louse only after seven days.

         Lobha Will Not Lead to the Four Woeful Worlds If Supported by Wholesome Deeds

         Even though there is attachment, pema and tanha, for each other people will not be thrown down to the lower woeful worlds if they get the support of wholesome deeds. For example, a stone sinks in water, but will float if carried on a boat. Therefore, in the Jataka stories, there are instances of those who were not yet free from tanha and pema becoming close partners to fulfil Paramis (Perfections) together.

         Point to Ponder

         Having established a harmonious relationship, husband and wife do not want to part with each other; they want to fulfil Paramis (Perfections) together and attain Nibbana. A good lady, Sumitta by name, made a wish to be always together with the Bodhisatta Sumedha; Mahakassapa-to-be and Bhadda-to-be did the same. They fulfilled their Paramis together for many aeons. Are these instances of chanda, wish, (which will be dealt with hereafter) or of tanha-pema? It needs to be pondered upon.


         Indeed, the persons in the stories were good virtuous people. The wish to associate with the virtuous is kusala-chanda, (wholesome wilful) desire. They were also persons of morality who were practising Paramis. In the Pali Canon, mention is made thus: "The wish of the virtuous is always fulfilled. Through chanda everything is accomplished." Therefore, even though they might have had tanha and pema which bind them together, because of their strong chanda (wholesome wish) the Bodhisatta, etc., became partners in fulfilling Paramis together as determined by the wholesome deeds they had performed.

         "Ijjhati bhikkhave silavato cetopanidhi, visuddhatta."

         "Bhikkhus, the wish of the virtuous is fulfilled because it is pure." (Anguttara Nikaya.)

         Nakulapita and Nakulamata

         At the time of the Buddha there lived a wealthy man, Nakulapita and his wife, Nakulamata. They had been together for many existences. They had become Sotapannas (Stream-winners) since they first paid homage to the Buddha. This couple had been the parents, or elder uncle and aunt or uncle and aunt of the Bodhisatta in many previous existences. They were very fond of the Buddha as though he was their own son and were so intimate with him that they asked him any question. Once the wealthy man said: "Venerable Sir, I took Nakulamata as my wife since my youth. Since then I hadn't even thought of infidelity, let alone actually doing it. I had always wanted to be in the presence of Nakulamata in the present life and I always want to be so throughout the samsara.

         On hearing the words of Nakulapita, his wife also said frankly, "Venerable Sir, I came with him to his house since my youth. Since then I hadn't thought of anyone else. I had always wanted to be with him in the present life; and I always want to be with him throughout the samsara"

         The Buddha said: "If man and wife, who are leading a harmonious life, wish to be together in the next existences, they should have the same faith, saddha, the same morality, sila, the same liberality, caga and the same level of knowledge, panna".

         As the husband has pure faith, just so the wife should have the same. As he has pure morality, just so she should have. If one of them wishes to give charity, the other must comply. If she donates, he should encourage her. If he donates, she should be delighted. Their wisdom and knowledge must be same too.

         For further clarification, the passage from Pancavudha Pyo (a Myanmar poem) is translated as follows:

         "In the human abode, if husband and wife are in harmony and willing to be together, if they have the same liberality, morality, faith and confidence, they will be together in samsara like glorious devas and devis who are together in the heavenly abodes all along the cycle of rebirths."

         Note on the Story

         The love between husband and wife, who had already become Sotapannas (Stream-winners), should be considered first. As they loved each other sincerely enough, they did not think of being unfaithful. As their minds were so pure they held each other in high esteem and did not want to be separated from each other. They always wanted to be together in samsara. Although such a wish to be together is chanda based on lobha, the tanha, pema and lobha of these virtuous noble people would bind them to each other, and all their meritorious actions would lead them to a good destination.


         In some cases, tanha-lobha is also called maya. Therefore, the nature of maya will be explained herein. Maya is like a magician, a conjurer. Just as the magician picks up a stone and makes the audience believe it to be a gold nugget; just so does maya conceal one's faults. It means one who exercises maya pretends to be flawless though one is not.

         Woman's Maya

         Once there was a professor and his student. The student's wife used to do wrong with another man. On the day of doing wrong she waited upon her husband more tenderly than ever. But, on the day of doing no wrong, she treated him as a slave. The student was unable to understand the peculiar mood of his wife. He was confused and related his experience to his professor. The professor had to expound to him the nature of women.

         Note: In the story, as she wanted to conceal her faults on the day of adultery, she pretended to be very affectionate to her husband. That artfulness, craftiness, is maya. In some cases it is also called tankhanuppatti-nana, instant wit (tankhana at that moment; uppatti-nana — knowledge that appears). It is not real knowledge, but only spurious knowledge or simple cleverness. Real knowledge is concerned with only good matters.

         A Crafty Wife

         A housewife used to do wrong with her manservant. Once her husband saw her kissing the servant. As she noticed that she had been seen, she went to the husband and said: "Darling, this lad is dishonest. He had eaten your share of cookies. When I asked him, he denied. So I sniffed his mouth, and got the smell of cookies. We should not let him stay in our house."

         Note: In the story, the act of kissing the servant was a grave offence. The clever, sudden thought of deceiving and concealing her misdeed is none other than maya. Not only woman but also men have such maya (trickery or pretences).

         The Hermit's Maya

         Once there lived at a village a hermit revered by a layman donor. For fear of robbers, the layman donor hid one hundred pieces of gold in a hole near the hermit's monastery and said, "Venerable Sir, please take care of it." The hermit said, "Devotee, it is not proper to ask a hermit to do so."

         Then a thought occurred to the hermit: "One hundred pieces of gold will be sufficient for me to live in comfort", and he dug up the gold and hid it in another place close to a chosen footpath. On the next day after having his breakfast, the hermit said, "My donor, I have been living here for so long that I am inclined to be attached to you. So I must move to another place." The donor requested him again and again not to do so, but his pleadings were all in vain. All he could do was to see the hermit off at the village gate.

         After travelling some distance, the hermit returned and said, "Devotee donor, a blade of thatch from your roof is entangled in my hair. It is improper for a hermit to take things which are not given him." The simple donor thought him to be so virtuous that he revered him even more.

         However, at that moment, a very wise guest putting up at his house said, "Have you ever asked the hermit to keep anything under his care? If so please go and see." When he did so he could not find the gold, so together with the guest he pursued the hermit and caught him red-handed.

         Note: In the story, the hermit returned a blade of thatch to the devotee, in order to hide his theft; this wily act amounts to maya. Thus, as deceit, stratagems (pariyaya, maya) can be employed even by some hermits or samanas, there is much trickery and cheating amongst the laity these days. Few people can be trusted; to associate with honest people is possible only as a result of wholesome deeds done in the previous lives.

         Varieties of Maya

         Apart from stories about the concealment of one's faults, there are many other tricks such as show of indignation by trampling rudely to pretend innocence; concealing one's guilt by way of threatening the accuser or by way of flatteries, etc.

         Cunning people as such are commonly found in dwellings, houses, etc., where many people reside together. If during the night someone has discarded filth, night-soil, at an unsuitable place, he will pretend to have done nothing in the morning. If he releases foul wind, he will produce a similar sound by rubbing the leather rug so as to mislead others, i.e., (he will make others think it to be the sound of the leather rug). Thus, there are many kinds of maya. So, the old folks used to say; "One thousand stratagems (pariyaya), a hundred thousand artifices (maya), an infinite number of tricks. Grains from nine mats of sand and leaves from nine cutch trees are needed to reckon the number of tricks called maya, or pariyaya."


          Along with maya, satheyya should also be understood. When one pretends to have certain qualities and make others think highly of him, such kind of lobha is called satheyya. Maya conceals one's faults and pretends to be faultless, whereas satheyya pretends to have non-existent qualities. Both of them are trickery or deceptions.

          Monks' Satheyya

          Pretending to be virtuous though not; pretending to have good practice though having none; pretending to be learned though not; such pretences are called satheyya. So long as his pretensions are not discovered by clever lay donors, the pretentious satheyya monk may feel safe. Even when they see through the deceptions, they would opine "That is not our concern, whether he deceives or not." The monk continues to enjoy the fruits of his satheyya.

          Satheyya in the Laity

          Satheyya means pretending to be virtuous though not; pretending to have mental concentration though having none; pretending to have ability though not; pretending to be a graduate (B.A., M.A, etc.) though not; pretending to be rich though not, etc.—these are the satheyya in the laity.

          Evils of Satheyya

          Maya and satheyya are more wicked than lobha (common greed). The following will clarify this fact. Monks, who have no morality, concentration and wisdom, pretending to have them, will boast to be like the virtuous who have real morality, concentration and wisdom. As a result of such pretensions, they will suffer in samsara. The laymen, who happen to take refuge in such monks, will not gain knowledge; offerings given to them will not be of much merit to the donors. There are also cunning people, who pretend to have morality and concentration; many girls come to grief on account of them. Due to the indecent livelihood and the misdeeds of the so-called gentlemen, many people in towns and villages come to lead immoral lives.

          Not only do the so-called leaders, who pretend to possess good leadership ability though having none, squander the lives and property of their followers but they also bring about loss of sovereignty and finally the country itself. Some girls put their trust in the men who pretend to be rich and prestigious; when they happen to marry such men their marriage would in no way be blessed and auspicious but end in disaster.

          Moreover, if one or both parties conceal their faults with maya and pretend with satheyya to be wealthy, they will be exposed soon after marriage. Then can they love their cheating spouses (or their relatives)? Will they be happy if they live together without sincere love? To be a happily married couple, not only carnal desire but also true, sincere love is essential.

          A marriage between Buddhists is not meant for the present life only. If they live in harmony, together they will go to the temple and monastery, make offerings and do good deeds; they are then likely to enjoy the resultant benefits in the cycle of rebirths. If marriages are tainted with maya and satheyya, the couple will do good deeds unwillingly, and consequently be unable to enjoy benefits not only in this life but also in samsara. Therefore, people should be free from maya and satheyya if they ever intend to live a married life together.

          Thus, as maya and satheyya deceive one or many people or even the whole country (as in the case of sectarian leaders who pretend to be Buddhas) or the whole world, they should be categorised as very wicked. However, people who regard themselves to be virtuous and have fulfilled Paramis (Perfections) should take care that dishonest and wicked states of mind do not appear in them and in the people who are related with them; and they should all strive to be pure, intelligent, active, righteous and noble-minded personages.

6. Ditthi (Wrong View)

          Wrong view or wrong understanding is called ditthi. It may also mean wrong belief. Ditthi sees or understands wrongly what is absent to be present, what is present to be absent, what is right to be wrong and what is wrong to be right; it also dogmatically takes one's wrong view to be right and other's right views to be wrong.

          Believing in the almighty creator of the world and beings when there is none; believing that there is an atta (soul) in the body of beings when there is not; these wrong beliefs are ditthi which believes what is absent to be present. Falsely believing that neither good nor bad deeds will bring forth results later on, when they do so in reality; falsely believing that there are no results of kamma when beings do enjoy or suffer the results of kamma in many ways; falsely believing that there is no Nibbana, even though there is Nibbana, the cessation of mind, matter and suffering; falsely believing that there are no next existences even though there is an endless cycle of rebirths before the attainment of Nibbana. Such wrong beliefs are ditthi, which believes what is present to be absent.

          The following beliefs are ditthi, which sees what is false to be true:

          Killing beings for sacrificial offering is a meritorious deed. Bathing when it is very cold, heating one's body amidst four fires at noon when it is very hot and behaving like cows and dogs are good practices for purification of defilements. Washing away unwholesome deeds in the River Ganges at a suitable time is also good practice.

          Believing that charity, morality and mental development (dana, sila, and bhavana) do not lead to the realisation of Nibbana is ditthi which takes what is true to be false.

          In this way, wrong view, ditthi, is of many kinds. The mind which is soiled with ditthi is called ditthicitta, and one who adheres to wrong view is called a micchaditthi, a heretic. (With regard to the remaining mental factors, please note how minds and persons are named in accord with the accompanying cetasikas.)

7. Mana (Conceit)

          Haughtiness is called mana (conceit). Those who posses mana tend to be haughty and mean, turning their nose up at others. When they excel others in status, wealth, knowledge, health, etc., they think highly of themselves and look down upon others. When they are equal to others in status, wealth, etc., they reason thus:

          "Others are not different from us; we, too, have such things" and will be puffed up with pride nevertheless. When their position, wealth, knowledge, health, etc., are lower than others, they reason thus: "We needn't heed their higher position, wealth, etc., we eat only what we have; we get only what we work for. Why should we kowtow to others?"; though inferior to others they will still be conceited.

          Common Forms of Conceit, and How to Dispel Them

          Jati-mana: Being conceited of birth or caste is called jati-mana. Nowadays there still are fairly good people known by birth. However, their birth is not reason enough to be conceited, to boast about, to think of others as being despicable, as inferior or of low caste. Even though one is born of a noble family or of royal blood, if one is kind, polite and gentle to the poor, one will be loved and respected all the more. Some could argue, "Familiarity breeds contempt"; true, some rude persons may show disrespect to you. If so, it is their own fault and they will encounter unpleasant consequences. Thus you should be considerate and be careful not to be conceited of your birth.

          Dhana-mana: The conceit of the rich is called dhana mana. Nowadays, there are many people possessing some wealth who seldom associate with the poor. They may think of themselves to be immensely rich or wealthy as the Myanmar saying goes, "Having never seen a river, one thinks a creek to be the great river." But, if they are broad-minded and kind towards the poor, won't they be honoured more than ever? Won't they even get help from them when in danger? The smiling face and the gentle speech of the rich can be the most effective elixir for the poor.

          Therefore, wealth, which has been acquired for this existence because of charity done in the previous lives, should not be the basis of mana which would lead one to lower strata of life in future existences. The wealthy should strive to be of dignified manner to win the trust of the people and to render assistance to them. The immense wealth in this life faces many dangers. Even if there are no such dangers, it is good only for the present existence.

"The wealth of the king, dwelling in a golden palace, complete with regalia, surrounded by ministers and courtiers, is like a bubble appearing for a moment on the surface of the ocean."

(The Minister Anantasuriya)

          Panna-mana: The conceit of the educated is called panna-mana. Knowledge is an asset meant to teach people what is proper and what is not and how to be civilised in cultural and social relations. However, it is a great shame to be conceited because of one's education and academic qualifications. Education is something learnt from others and not an extraordinary achievement.

          Anyone can acquire formal education given the chance to learn from a good teacher.

          When we come across illiterates and very dull persons, we should not be conceited and proud and look down upon them, we should instead be kind to them and teach them what we can. Once there was a learned venerable abbot who was famous in both worldly knowledge and Dhamma scriptures, because he had taught others with great patience in his past existence. Hence, we should make use of our education to the benefit of ourselves in samsara.

          Two Paths of the Acquisition of Learning

          Since vocational training is meant for livelihood, it needs no further explanation. However, for bhikkhus who are studying the Pali canon, there are two paths to follow.

          The Lower Path

          Learning Pali scriptures with greed, hatred and conceit in mind; learning with the hope: "When I become learned, I shall be famous; my donors will increase in number; I shall get good alms-food, robes, and monasteries; I shall excel above others; I needn't care for anybody and I can do as I wish, etc." Having finished his education, he follows the set path of acquiring gains and fame and of flaunting his learning with conceit. Such learning of Pali scriptures to pursue gains and to boast is evil and will lead one to the woeful abodes. This is indeed the lower path. One had better pass the time snoozing rather than learn with wicked intention," said the scriptures.

          The Higher Path

          A bhikkhu learns Pali scriptures with the hope: "If I have digested the Pali scriptures, I shall truly understand the Dhamma and I shall teach others; I shall always look at the mirror of the Pitaka literature and correct, purify and straighten my mind and become noble"; he learns not to pursue gains and impress donors; instead, he tries to learn as he nobly aspires to. His way of learning will lead to the higher abodes. This is indeed the higher path.

          Some bhikkhus learn the scriptures with the intention to pass prescribed examinations, to gain academic fame. But they will change their mean objectives and become noble-minded when they actually become learned. Just as water in a half-filled jar laps about but is stable when it is full to the brim; just so when they get adequate learning, they will follow the higher path. May all young learners get on the higher path and become learned and noble!

          Conceit of Physical Beauty

          The conceit of physical beauty is also called the conceit of personal appearance. Because of being free from dosa (hatred) in the previous existences, offering flowers, cleaning the pagoda and monastery precincts, etc., one becomes famous for beauty in the present existence. One may well take pride in such pleasant appearance.

          However, on reflecting one's past, recalling how one had been free from hatred and had been virtuous donors of water, flowers, etc., one should not feel conceited in this life. One should try to culture good thoughts and be gentle and virtuous.

          Note: The virtuous, who had attained Nibbana could have taken pride in themselves and their conceit could have risen sky-high if they had wished to. Some had been of royal blood. In the realm of wisdom, a Bodhisatta, the wise Mahosadha was world-famous. Among women, there were the virtuous and beautiful such as Uppala vanna, Khema, Yasodhara who were of high birth, of great wealth and knowledge and also of great beauty and charm.

          Such men and women were not conceited for their wisdom, caste, virtue or beauty. On the other hand, people of inferior status are conceited for their caste, knowledge, petty wealth and common beauty as in the Myanmar saying: "In a grove of shrubs the castor-oil plant reigns" - it is indeed a great shame.

          One who is conceited, one with vain pride, one who is haughty, will be hated by others and having lived in vain, will be reborn in the lower woeful abodes in successive existences. Hence you should uproot your conceit and be as humble "as a snake whose fangs are removed, as the bull whose horns are broken, as the doormat stepped on with dirty feet", so that you may soar higher and higher in status in future existences.

8. Dosa (Hatred)

          Anger or violence of mind is called dosa (hatred). Dosa is not only violent but it also soils the mind. It is not only wild and rude, but also depressive resulting in inferiority complex and living in fear; they all belong to the category of dosa or hatred (ill will).

          In brief sorrow, grief, fear, depression, anger, grudge, frightening others with abusive language, attacking, planning to kill other people - all of these are dosa.

          Since dosa is with both fear and violence, the angry, violent person is also easily frightened. Be aware of such persons. (Violence is called ascending hatred, whereas fear is called descending hatred.)

          The Story of a Lass

          In India, there once was a young lady who suffered from the evil consequences of hatred. The story is related here not only to clarify the concept of dosa but also to remind the parents who used to force their sons and daughters into marriage without the their consent, without love between bride and bridegroom.

          A young lad and a young lady in this story were not acquainted with each other before. They were betrothed and married by arrangement of their parents. Though the young lady, being a daughter of a good family, did her chores dutifully, the young lad neither appreciated her services nor loved her sincerely. She began to be disappointed because he did not care for her in spite of her amiably attending to him. She was unhappy and was often lost in despair. Her husband, having no love lost for his wife, when seeing her cheerless behaviour hated her more and more and became violent. Although she was unsatisfied with her husband's behaviour, there was no choice for her but to carry on with her household duties.

However, she being not a lifeless rock, but a living being with a sentiment, often attempted suicide. Although she suffered much from disappointment, unpleasantness, unhappiness and fear, she bore the suffering till she got two children. But at last she could not bear the burden any more and wrote a letter to her husband away on business which runs thus—

"My lord, though you had become my husband married by order of my parents, I really loved you and tried to win your love. But it was all in vain. I was accused of cheating and concealing my faults; and I was so disappointed that I often tried to resort to suicide, but it was a failure because of my children. Anyhow, it is of no use to live any more. After writing this letter, I will take my own life after putting poison in my children's food."

          Having read this letter, the husband reflected over her goodwill and returned home quickly, only to find three dead bodies. He also shot himself in remorse. ( in this story, hatred is prominent.) When one happens to fall into such a situation, one should try to be broad-minded and treat one's wife kindly.


          In conjunction with dosa (hatred), makkha, palasa, soka, parideva, dukkha, domanassa and upayasa which are common to lay life should also be studied. Of them, makkha means ingratitude or being blind to the good turns of others; it is a kind of dosa. There are many good deeds done by others to a person since his childhood such as the good deeds of his parents, teachers, good friends, etc. If he does not regard the good deeds as such and does not thank them and is ungrateful to them saying, "No good deed have they done to me. I need not be grateful to them," and becomes blind to them, this is makkha.

          Some people are not only blind to the benevolence of their benefactors, but also do wrongs to them. They are called mittadubbhi (the wicked who have done wrong to their friends). Gratitude is similar to a debt, a deferred payment. Although you cannot yet return benevolence to them, you should regard your benefactors as benefactors. When you get a chance to repay the gratitude you should do so with all your heart.

          Dhamma: If you take shelter under a tree, don't break its boughs and branches. Those who break its boughs and branches are the wicked ones.

          The Grateful Son

          In a certain town there once was a lad who worked hard as a common labourer and looked after his widowed mother. His mother was immoral and was having affairs secretly. His friends who knew about the mother felt pity for the lad and disclosed the affair to him. However, he said, "Let my mother be happy; whatever she does, I shall attend to her." (Good sons and daughters are as rare as good parents.)

          Note: In this story, the immorality of his mother is her own burden. The work of attending on her is the duty of the son. In attending to such a single mother, the sons and daughters need not regard themselves as looking after her as a mother, instead, they should bear in mind that they are repaying their old debts of gratitude to a great benefactor. Therefore, every good man or woman who wishes to gain benefit in the present and next existences through out samsara, should try to repay his or her old debt of gratitude to great benefactors. The Bodhisatta, when he was an animal, repaid the gratitude of his mother elephant. (A white elephant looking after his blind mother elephant was captured by the king. He refused to take food in protest, told the king about his mother, and was released.)

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