Which leads to more harm unawareness or vindictiveness?

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Re: Which leads to more harm unawareness or vindictiveness?

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:51 pm

Thank you so much for the clarification. :anjali:
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Re: Which leads to more harm unawareness or vindictiveness?

Postby phil » Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:24 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:See the Anangana Sutta Majjhimanikāya Sutta 5

Here, friend, Moggallāna, this person with blemish, who does not know, as it really is, there is blemish in me, would not arouse interest, and make effort to dispel that blemish. So he would die with a defiled mind with greed, hate, and delusion. Just like a bronze bowl bought from a shop or smithy would be covered with dust and stains, its owner not partaking food in it would not clean it, would let it lie with dust and as time goes that bronze bowl would be much more dusty and stained. In the same way this person with blemish, who would not know, as it really is, there is blemish in me, would not arouse interest, and make effort to dispel that blemish. So he would die with a defiled mind with greed, hate, and delusion.

Friend, this person with blemish, who knows, as it really is, there is blemish in me, would arouse interest, and make effort to dispel that blemish. He would die with a non-defiled mind without greed, hate, and delusion. Just like a bronze bowl bought from a shop or smithy would be covered with dust and stains. Its owner partaking food in it would clean it. Would not let it lie with dirt and as time goes the bronze bowl would be more and more clean. In the same manner this person with blemish, who knows, as it really is, there is blemish in me, would arouse interest and make effort to dispel that blemish. So he would die with a non-defiled mind without greed, hate, and delusion.


Dear Bhante, may I respectfull ask the connection of this passage to the one in question? I've always taken the "blemish" here to be representative of an accumulated tendency that is seen in habitual behaviour of body, speech or mind rather than a momentary citta expressed through an action which is what the sutta passage in question is about, if I'm not mistaken..

Nobody had commented on it yet, but Isn't my above post about prompted and unprompted cittas relevant to this discussion? For example, last night a mosquito mysteriously appeared in my room when I was sleeping, although the temperature was close to the freezing point. A December mosquito! In summer, I am always aware of the high possibility that I will be tempted to kill a mosquito, and when the temptation arises, there is more often than not wise consideration that stops me from doing it. Last night, my guard was down and I just instinctively slapped at the mosquito without time to pause. Now, perhpas according to Abhidhamma if I understand correctly, and perhaps according to the sutta passage in question, there would be a stronger akusala kamma in the unprompted citta (slapping the mosquito instinctively last night) than there would be if I had stopped to consider ("well, I have to work early tomorrow, if I don't take care of this mosquito my day will be ruined due to sleeplessness, just this once won't hurt...) In conventional thinking, it would certainly seem the latter would be worse, but according to Abhidhamma, and perhaps the sutta passage in question, the latter bears a less strong kamma by being prompted. The Dhamma goes against conventional thinking, at times, though I agree with Alan that common sense usually reigns...

Thank you for any feedback Bhante, or anyone.
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Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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Re: Which leads to more harm unawareness or vindictiveness?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:45 am

I think the issue is not about prompted vs unprompted, but associated with wrong view (ditthigata sampayutta) vs dissociated from wrong view (ditthigata vippayutta). This applies to unwholesome consciousness rooted in greed (lobhamūla citta).

Premeditated killing is prompted consciousness, while spontaneous killing is unprompted consciousness. Prompted consciousness is more powerful than unprompted consciousness, not less powerful. In murder cases, premeditated murder is regarded as a more serious crime than a crime of passion that happens on the spur of the moment. In the matter of causing rebirth, habitual kamma takes precedence over kamma that is done only once or only occasionally. When the view is wrong, one tends to make a habit of doing unwholesome kamma. If the view is right, one does it rarely if at all.

For example, a Buddhist who knows that it unwholesome kamma to take intoxicants does it rarely, if at all. While taking alcohol he is ashamed in case another Buddhist might criticise him if he comes to know about it. A non-Buddhist who holds the wrong view that there is no harm in taking alcohol, does it frequently, and habitually, speaks on praise of it, and encourages others to do likewise. When told that it is unwholesome, he shows anger and feels ill-will, which is further unwholesome kamma.

Before gaining faith in the Buddha's teaching one might think that killing a mosquito is not a blemish, whereas now one realises that it is, in fact, a blemish to act with anger and aversion, whether spontaneously or deliberately.
Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Which leads to more harm unawareness or vindictiveness?

Postby phil » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:56 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:I think the issue is not about prompted vs unprompted, but associated with wrong view (ditthigata sampayutta) vs dissociated from wrong view (ditthigata vipayutta). This applies to unwholesome consciousness rooted in greed (lobhamūla citta).

Premeditated killing is prompted consciousness, while spontaneous killing is unprompted consciousness.

Before gaining faith in the Buddha's teaching one might think that killing a mosquito is not a blemish, whereas now one realises that it is, in fact, a blemish to act with anger and aversion, whether spontaneously or deliberately.


Dear Bhante

I see, thank you very much for the explanation.
I hope that every time I post it will be accompanied by a wish for the wellbeing of everyone in this sangha and all beings.
(so I don't have to write "metta" every time!)


Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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