Evil unwholesome states? (SN 35:96)

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Evil unwholesome states? (SN 35:96)

Postby phil » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:46 pm

In SN 35.96 and elsewhere Bhikkhu Bodhi uses "evil, unwholesome states." I've always wondered about that strong language and what the Pali is behind it. I'd appreciate it if someone could tell me the Pali and also if this addition of "evil" indicates a darker degree of defilement. Thanks!
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: Evil unwholesome states? (SN 35:96)

Postby Majjhima Patipada » Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:24 pm

The original Pali reads: "uppajjanti pāpakā akusalā sarasaṅkappā saṃyojaniyā", where "pāpakā" means evil and "akusalā" means unwholesome. See http://studies.worldtipitaka.org/tipitaka/13S4/1/1.2/1.2.5/1.2.5.3

Also, from http://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/pali/:
Pāpaka (adj.) [fr. pāpa] bad, wicked, wretched, sinful
akusala adj.: improper, wrong, bad; nt.: demerit, evil deed

It seems that "pāpakā akusalā", "evil, unwholesome" here is used to denote the especially negative quality of the states referenced, which are linked to the six sense bases and their capacity to elicit craving, thus binding one ever more tightly to Saṃsāra.
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Re: Evil unwholesome states? (SN 35:96)

Postby bodom » Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:30 pm

From Piya Tan:

The terms of this passage are explained according to the Sutta method in the Vibhanga (Vbh 208-
210).5 The “evil unwholesome states” (papakanam akusalanam dhammanam) here are greed, hate and
delusion, and the defilements associated with them.


http://dharmafarer.org/wordpress/wp-con ... 4-piya.pdf

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Evil unwholesome states? (SN 35:96)

Postby phil » Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:41 pm

Thanks for the explanation. Paapaka seems to be used to add a general emphasis to akusala without references to any particular forms, unless I've misunderstood.


Edit - I did misunderstand, as usual didn't read carefully enough. The akusala tied to the sense bases is packed with potential to unleash harm immediately in a way that, for example, the akusala lurking in the anusayas, although dangerous, doesn't pack as much immediate danger. Thus the paapaka.
I guess I should have left this in the thread I started on oppose akusala or see it with wisdom...but last time I asked for a Pali term in a thread in the general discussion corner, it was moved here.
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: Evil unwholesome states? (SN 35:96)

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:18 am

Pāpa (evil) and akusala (unwholesome) are very different. In the Buddha Vagga it says:

Sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṃ, kusalassa upasampadā.
Sacittapariyodapanaṃ, etaṃ buddhāna sāsanaṃ.

Not to do any evil, to cultivate good (kusala),
to purify one’s mind, this is the teaching of the Buddhas (Dhp v 183)

Note that it does not say, "Not to do any unwholesome deed (Sabbākusala akaraṇaṃ)" since that would not be possible for human beings. It says not to do any evil deed.

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