Three Unwholesome Roots--WHAT?

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Three Unwholesome Roots--WHAT?

Postby Son » Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:40 am

Okay, these three terms are generally translated as "greed," "hatred," and, "delusion."

Sometimes greed is taken to mean craving, then ill-will, and furthermore ignorance in place of delusion. Ignorance is part of the chain of origination. So is craving. Some sources dictate that the translated roots "greed" and "delusion" are actually synonymous with the "craving" link of the chain, the "attachment" link of the chain, or the "ignorance" link of the chain and so forth. All these words seem so jumbled up to me.

I've always assumed the correct roots to be greed, hatred, and delusion. Now, happening upon these misgivings about translation and examination, once again, I've come to a confusing impasse. What is the contextual translation of greed, hatred, and delusion according to the text? And, do these terms correspond to terms in the chain (ergo, ignorance, craving, and attachment/clinging), do they not, or do some of them? I would really be thankful for some clarification on this, because I can't find any. I have a thorough understanding of dependent origination and the aggregates, as well as the elements and so forth. But I'm confused how terminologically the three unwholesome roots should be translated with respect to these words.

[I apologize. Let me rephrase: I think this is more a matter of literal translation, Pali Terms, and textual application. Meaning, word for word, do either three of the unwholesome roots match any of the links in dependent origination (including the Buddha's talks about craving in respect to aggregates). Furthermore are ignorance and delusion interchangeable as a causal link with the same meaning as the unwholesome root of "delusion." And so forth...]

ignorance gives rise to volitional formations,
consciousness,
name and form,
sense bases,
contact,
sensation (+perception),
craving,
clinging,
birth,
suffering and dukkha.
Last edited by Son on Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Three Unwholesome Roots--WHAT?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:22 am

Greetings Son,

I think it's best to avoid assuming that because a mindstate is applicable to one of the twelve nidanas, that it therefore doesn't apply to another. They are not mutually exclusive in this regard.

The treatment of dependent origination in Classical Theravada is complex, so I won't comment beyond that for now.

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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Three Unwholesome Roots--WHAT?

Postby Son » Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:25 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Son,

I think it's best to avoid assuming that because a mindstate is applicable to one of the twelve nidanas, that it therefore doesn't apply to another. They are not mutually exclusive in this regard.

The treatment of dependent origination in Classical Theravada is complex, so I won't comment beyond that for now.


Well, that's something I already understand. It doesn't really illuminate the subject though.
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Re: Three Unwholesome Roots--WHAT?

Postby Alobha » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:14 am

Take a look here: http://www.palikanon.com/english/wtb/dic_idx.html

The pali term for the unwholesome root of delusion or ignorance is moha, as Nyanatiloka says:
moha: 'delusion', is one of the 3 unwholesome roots (mūla). The best known synonym is avijjā.

Avija is the first part of the chain of dependent origination, so the root of delusion is pretty much how the chain starts.. I don't know the exact difference between avija and moha, but if you regard them as synonymous as suggested, that makes pretty much sense.


The same goes for craving/greed (lobha) and craving in the teaching of dependent origination (which is here called tanha):
http://www.palikanon.com/english/wtb/s_t/tanhaa.htm
And yes, greed (the unwholesome root), synonmous to craving (Tanha in the dependent origination), is also similar to clinging. Clinging is regarded as a more intensified degree of craving.
Clinging, (pali: Upadana) can be looked up here: http://www.palikanon.com/english/wtb/u_v/upaadaana.htm

You can also find the pali-sources in the dictionary links provided. I find the pali words helpful for orientation, because the various english terms can cause quite a confusion.

Now about hatred/ill will (dosa)... from my perspective: it replaces greed when there is a negative feeling. A positive feeling can be craved for, but not a negative feeling - here ill-will or hatred would come in place as to "crave" for getting away from that which is unpleasant. But that is just my understanding how dosa fits in, really.

Best wishes,
Alobha
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Re: Three Unwholesome Roots--WHAT?

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:49 pm

Alobha wrote:Now about hatred/ill will (dosa)... from my perspective: it replaces greed when there is a negative feeling. A positive feeling can be craved for, but not a negative feeling - here ill-will or hatred would come in place as to "crave" for getting away from that which is unpleasant. But that is just my understanding how dosa fits in, really.


I find the words "craving" ( tanha ) and "aversion" ( dosa ) give a good feel. Pulling in and pushing away.
Well, oi dunno...
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Re: Three Unwholesome Roots--WHAT?

Postby reflection » Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:13 pm

What the Buddha taught was the dhamma (not capital d), in which he tries to puts in words the Dhamma (capital D). Personally I try not to get to much messed up in the small dhamma, and try to see the big Dhamma. You can know all the terms in Dependent Origination, but in reality it is beyond words. One can think one has a solid understanding while one actually doesn't. Only noble ones have a real understanding of it and only arahants really see through all delusion. See also the passage below.

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was living among the Kurus. Now, the Kurus have a town named Kammasadhamma. There Ven. Ananda approached the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "It's amazing, lord, it's astounding, how deep this dependent co-arising is, and how deep its appearance, and yet to me it seems as clear as clear can be."

[The Buddha:] "Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that. Deep is this dependent co-arising, and deep its appearance. It's because of not understanding and not penetrating this Dhamma that this generation is like a tangled skein, a knotted ball of string, like matted rushes and reeds, and does not go beyond transmigration, beyond the planes of deprivation, woe, and bad destinations.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Apart from that, it is delusion which is the mother of all problems. When a text states "greed, hatred and delusion", it could just as well only state delusion, because the others are founded upon delusion as well, and are forms of delusion. And it is this delusion which gives rise to unwholesome karmic actions and keeps Dependent Origination going life after life.


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Re: Three Unwholesome Roots--WHAT?

Postby Son » Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:49 pm

Alobha wrote:Take a look here: http://www.palikanon.com/english/wtb/dic_idx.html

The pali term for the unwholesome root of delusion or ignorance is moha, as Nyanatiloka says:
moha: 'delusion', is one of the 3 unwholesome roots (mūla). The best known synonym is avijjā.

Avija is the first part of the chain of dependent origination, so the root of delusion is pretty much how the chain starts.. I don't know the exact difference between avija and moha, but if you regard them as synonymous as suggested, that makes pretty much sense.


The same goes for craving/greed (lobha) and craving in the teaching of dependent origination (which is here called tanha):
http://www.palikanon.com/english/wtb/s_t/tanhaa.htm
And yes, greed (the unwholesome root), synonmous to craving (Tanha in the dependent origination), is also similar to clinging. Clinging is regarded as a more intensified degree of craving.
Clinging, (pali: Upadana) can be looked up here: http://www.palikanon.com/english/wtb/u_v/upaadaana.htm

You can also find the pali-sources in the dictionary links provided. I find the pali words helpful for orientation, because the various english terms can cause quite a confusion.

Now about hatred/ill will (dosa)... from my perspective: it replaces greed when there is a negative feeling. A positive feeling can be craved for, but not a negative feeling - here ill-will or hatred would come in place as to "crave" for getting away from that which is unpleasant. But that is just my understanding how dosa fits in, really.

Best wishes,
Alobha



My goodness me thank you so much. That's the sort of knowledge I was looking for. You're right, the English terms can be confusing especially if they're being used by non native Theravadin teachers, or by translations made by Americans. The Buddha does sort of describe ill will and hatred in that way, while answering the questions of Sakkha Deva. So I'm thankful for your insight. :)
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Re: Three Unwholesome Roots--WHAT?

Postby Alobha » Sat Jul 28, 2012 7:41 am

Son wrote:My goodness me thank you so much. That's the sort of knowledge I was looking for. You're right, the English terms can be confusing especially if they're being used by non native Theravadin teachers, or by translations made by Americans. The Buddha does sort of describe ill will and hatred in that way, while answering the questions of Sakkha Deva. So I'm thankful for your insight. :)


You're welcome :anjali:

porpoise wrote:I find the words "craving" ( tanha ) and "aversion" ( dosa ) give a good feel. Pulling in and pushing away.

Yes exactly! Pull and push, Push and pull! What a struggle ;)
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