Library | Dictionary index
macchariya: 'stinginess', avarice. "There are 5 kinds of stinginess, o monks;
regarding the dwelling place, regarding families, regarding gain, regarding recognition,
regarding mental things' (A. IX, 49; Pug. 56).
mada: 'infatuation'. "Infatuation is of 3 kinds: youth-infatuation,
health-infatuation, life-infatuation" (D. 33). "Infatuated by youth-infatuation,
by health-infatuation and by life-infatuation, the ignorant worldling pursues an evil
course in bodily actions, speech and thought, and thereby, at the dissolution of the body,
after death, passes to a lower world, to a woeful course of existence, to a state of
suffering and hell" (A. III, 39).
magga: 'path'. 1. For the 4 supermundane paths (lokuttara-magga), s. ariya-puggala
- 2. The Eightfold Path (atthangika-magga) is the path leading to the extinction of
suffering, i.e. the last of the 4 Noble Truths (sacca, q.v.), namely:
Wisdom (paññā) III.
1. Right view (sammā-ditthi)
2. Right thought (sammā-sankappa)
Morality (sīla) I.
3. Right speech (sammā-vācā)
4. Right bodily action (sammā-kammanta)
5. Right livelihood (sammā-ājīva)
Concentration (samādhi) II.
6. Right effort (sammā-vāyāma)
7. Right mindfulness (sammā-sati)
8. Right concentration (sammā-samādhi)
1. Right view or right understanding (sammā-ditthi) is the understanding of the
4 Noble Truths about the universality of suffering (unsatisfactoriness), of its origin,
its cessation, and the path leading to that cessation. - See the Discourse on 'Right
Understanding' (M. 9, tr. and Com. in 'R. Und.').
2. Right thought (sammā-sankappa): thoughts free from sensuous desire, from
ill-will, and cruelty.
3. Right speech (sammā-vācā): abstaining from lying, tale-bearing, harsh
language, and foolish babble.
4 Right bodily action (sammā-kammanta): abstaining from killing, stealing, and
unlawful sexual intercourse.
5. Right livelihood (sammā-ājīva): abstaining from a livelihood that brings
harm to other beings, such as trading in arms, in living beings, intoxicating drinks,
poison; slaughtering, fishing, soldiering, deceit, treachery soothsaying, trickery, usury,
6. Right effort (sammā-vāyāma): the effort of avoiding or overcoming evil and
unwholesome things, and of developing and maintaining wholesome things (s. padhāna).
7. Right mindfulness (sammā-sati): mindfulness and awareness in
contemplating body, feelings, mind, and mind-objects (s. sati, satipatthāna).
8. Right concentration (sammā-samādhi): concentration of mind associated with
wholesome (kusala) consciousness, which eventually may reach the absorptions (jhāna,
q.v.). Cf. samādhi.
There are to be distinguished 2 kinds of concentration, mundane (lokiya) and
supermundane (lokuttara) concentration. The latter is associated with those states
of consciousness known as the 4 supermundane paths and fruitions (s. ariya-puggala). As
it is said in M. 117:
"I tell you, o monks, there are 2 kinds of right view: the understanding that it
is good to give alms and offerings, that both good and evil actions will bear fruit and
will be followed by results.... This, o monks, is a view which, though still subject to
the cankers, is meritorious, yields worldly fruits, and brings good results. But whatever
there is of wisdom, of penetration, of right view conjoined with the path - the holy path
being pursued, this is called the supermundane right view (lokuttara-sammā-ditthi), which
is not of the world, but which is supermundane and conjoined with the path."
In a similar way the remaining links of the path are to be understood.
As many of those who have written about the Eightfold Path have misunderstood its true
nature, it is therefore appropriate to add here a few elucidating remarks about it, as
this path is fundamental for the understanding and practice of the Buddha's .teaching.
First of all, the figurative expression 'path' should not be interpreted to mean that
one has to advance step by step in the sequence of the enumeration until, after
successively passing through all the eight stages, one finally may reach one's
destination, Nibbāna. If this really were the case, one should have realized, first of
all, right view and penetration of the truth, even before one could hope to proceed to the
next steps, right thought and right speech; and each preceding stage would be the
indispensable foundation and condition for each succeeding stage. In reality, however, the
links 3-5 constituting moral training (sīla), are the first 3 links to be
cultivated, then the links 6-8 constituting mental training (samādhi), and at last
right view, etc. constituting wisdom (paññā).
It is, however, true that a really unshakable and safe foundation to the path is
provided only by right view which, starting from the tiniest germ of faith and knowledge,
gradually, step by step, develops into penetrating insight (vipassanā) and thus
forms the immediate condition for the entrance into the 4 supermundane paths and fruits of
holiness, and for the realization of Nibbāna. Only with regard to this highest form of
supermundane insight, may we indeed say that all the remaining links of the path are
nothing but the outcome and the accompaniments of right view.
Regarding the mundane (lokiya) eightfold path, however, its links may arise
without the first link, right view.
Here it must also be emphasized that the links of the path not only do not arise one
after the other, as already indicated, but also that they, at least in part, arise
simultaneously as inseparably associated mental factors in one and the same state of
consciousness. Thus, for instance, under all circumstances at least 4 links are
inseparably bound up with any karmically wholesome consciousness, namely 2, 6, 7 and 8,
i.e. right thought, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration (M. 117), so
that as soon as any one of these links arises, the three others also do so. On the other
hand, right view is not necessarily present in every wholesome state of consciousness.
Magga is one of the 24 conditions (s. paccaya 18).
Literature: The Noble Eightfold Path and its Factors Explained, by Ledi
Sayadaw (WHEEL 245/247). - The Buddha's Ancient Path, by Piyadassi Thera (BPS).- The Noble
Eightfold Path, by Bhikkhu Bodhi (WHEEL 308/311).
maggāmagga-ñānadassana-visuddhi: 'purification by knowledge of what is
path and not-path', is one of the 7 stages of purification (visuddhi V, q.v.).
magga-paccaya: 'path as a condition', is one of the 24 conditions (paccaya, q.v.).
magical powers: s. iddhi; abhiññā (1).
mahā-bhūta: the 4 'primary elements', is another name for the 4 elements (dhātu)
underlying all corporeality; s. dhātu.
mahā-brahmāno: the 'great gods', are a class of heavenly beings in the
fine-material world; s. deva, II.
mahaggata: lit., 'grown great', i.e. 'developed', exalted, supernormal. As mahaggata-citta,
it is the state of 'developed consciousness', attained in the fine-material and immaterial
absorptions (s. jhāna); it is mentioned in the mind-contemplation of the
Satipatthāna Sutta (M. 10). - As mahaggatārammana, it is the 'developed mental
object' of those absorptions and is mentioned in the 'object triad' of the Abhidhamma
schedule and Dhs. (s. Guide, p. 6).
mahāpurisa-vitakka: the 8 'thoughts of a great man', are described in A. VIII,
30, and D. 34.
mahā-vipassanā: the 18 'chief kinds of insight'; s. vipassanā.
maintain: effort to maintain wholesome things; s. padhāna.
majjhimā-patipadā: 'Middle Path', is the Noble Eightfold Path which, by
avoiding the two extremes of sensual lust and self-torment, leads to enlightenment and
deliverance from suffering.
To give oneself up to indulgence in sensual pleasure (kāma-sukha), the base,
common, vulgar, unholy, unprofitable; and also to give oneself up to self-torment (atta-kilamatha),
the painful, unholy, unprofitable, both these two extremes the Perfect One has avoided and
has found the Middle Path (s. magga), which causes one both to see and to know, and
which leads to peace, to discernment, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna. It is the Noble
Eightfold Path, the way that leads to the extinction of suffering, namely: right
understanding, right thought, right speech, right bodily action, right livelihood, right
effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration" (S. LVI, 11).
mala: 'stains', is a name for the 3 karmically unwholesome roots (akusala-mūla);
greed, hate and delusion (lobha, dosa, moha).
māna: 'conceit', pride, is one of the 10 fetters binding to existence (s. samyojana).
It vanishes completely only at the entrance to Arahatship, or Holiness (cf. asmi-māna).
It is further one of the proclivities (s. anusaya) and defilements (s. kilesa).
The (equality-) conceit (māna), the inferiority-conceit (omāna) and the
superiority-conceit (atimāna): this threefold conceit should be overcome. For,
after overcoming this threefold conceit, the monk, through the full penetration of
conceit, is said to have put an end suffering" (A. VI, 49).
"Those ascetics and brahman priests who, relying on this impermanent, miserable
and transitory nature of corporeality, feelings, perceptions, mental formations and
consciousness, fancy: 'Better am I', or 'Equal am I', or 'Worse am I', all these imagine
thus through not understanding reality" (S. XXII, 49).
In reality no ego-entity is to be found. Cf. anattā.
manasikāra: 'attention', 'mental advertence', 'reflection'.
1. As a psychological term, attention belongs to the formation-group (sankhāra-kkhandha;
s. Tab. II) and is one of the 7 mental factors (cetasika) that are inseparably
associated with all states of consciousness (s. cetanā). In M. 9, it is given as
one of the factors representative of mind (nāma) It is the mind's first
'confrontation with an object' and 'binds the associated mental factors to the object.' It
is, therefore, the prominent factor in two specific classes of consciousness: i.e.
'advertence (āvajjana, q.v.) at the five sense-doors' (Tab. I, 70) and at the
mind-door (Tab. I, 71). These two states of consciousness, breaking through the
subconscious life-continuum (bhavanga), form the first stage in the perceptual
process (citta-vīthi; s. viññāna-kicca). See Vis.M XIV, 152.
2. In a more general sense, the term appears frequently in the Suttas as yoniso-manasikāra,
'wise (or reasoned, methodical) attention' or 'wise reflection'. It is said, in M. 2, to
counteract the cankers (āsava, q.v.); it is a condition for the arising of right
view (s. M. 43), of Stream-entry (s. sotāpattiyanga), and of the factors of
enlightenment (s. S. XLVI, 2.49,51). - 'Unwise attention' (ayoniso-manasikāra)
leads to the arising of the cankers (s. M. 2) and of the five hindrances (s. S. XLVI,
manāyatana: 'mind-base', is a collective term for all the different states of
consciousness; s. āyatana.
mangala: means, in general usage, anything regarded as 'auspicious' 'lucky',
or a 'good omen'. Against the contemporary superstitions notions about it, the Buddha, in
the Mahā-mangala Sutta (Sn., w. 258 ff.), set forth 36 'blessings' that are truly
auspicious, i.e. conducive to happiness, beginning with the 'avoidance of bad company' and
ending with a 'serene mind'. It is one of the most popular Suttas in Buddhist countries,
and a fundamental text on Buddhist lay ethics.
Tr. in Everyman's Ethics (WHEEL 14). See Life's Highest Blessings, by
Dr. R. L. Soni. (WHEEL 254/256).
mano: 'mind', is in the Abhidhamma used as synonym of viññāna
(consciousness) and citta (state of consciousness, mind). According to the Com. to
Vis.M, it sometimes means sub-consciousness (s. bhavanga-sota).
mano-dhātu: 'mind-element', is one of the 18 elements (s. dhātu II).
This term, unlike manāyatana, does not apply to the whole of consciousness, but
designates only that special element of consciousness which first, at the beginning of the
process of sense-perception, performs the function of advertence (āvajjana; Tab.
I, 70) to the sense-object and, then after twice having become conscious of it performs
the function of reception (sampaticchana; Tab I- 39,.55) into mind-consciousness.
mano-kamma: 'mental action'; s. karma, kammapatha.
manomayā iddhi: s. iddhi.
manopadosika-deva: 'the celestial beings corruptible by temper', are a class
of devas (q.v.) of the sensuous sphere. "They spend their time in becoming
annoyed with one another, and getting into a temper, and thus by being bodily and mentally
exhausted, they pass from that world" (D. 1; 24).
manopavicāra: 'mental indulging'. There are mentioned 18 ways of indulging: 6
in gladness (somanassūpavicāra), 6 in sorrow (domanassa), 6 in
indifference (upekkhā). "Perceiving with the eye a visible form ... hearing
with the ear a sound ... being in mind conscious of an object, one indulges in the
joy-producing object, the sorrow-producing object, the indifference-producing object...
" (M. 137; A. III, 61). - In the Com. to A., upavicāra is said to be
identical with vitakka-vicāra (q.v.).
mano-sañcetanā: 'mental volition'; s. āhāra.
manovinñāna-dhātu: 'mind-consciousness element', one of the 18 'elements'
(s. dhātu II). This term is generally used as a name for that
consciousness-element which performs the functions of investigation (santīrana),
determining (votthapana), registering (tadārammana), etc. See Tab. I, 40,
41, 56, 71, 72.
Māra: (lit. 'the killer'), is the Buddhist 'Tempter-figure. He is often called
'Māra the Evil One' (pāpimā māro) or Namuci (lit. 'the non-liberator', i.e. the
opponent of liberation). He appears in the texts both as a real person (i.e. as a deity)
and as personification of evil and passions, of the totality of worldly existence, and of
death. Later Pāli literature often speaks of a 'fivefold Māra' (pañca-māra): 1.
M. as a deity (devaputta-māra), 2. the M. of defilements (kilesa-m.), 3.
the M. of the aggregates (khandha-m.), 4. the M. of the karma-formations (kamma-m.),
and 5. Māra as death (maccu-m.).
As a real person, M. is regarded as the deity ruling over the highest heaven of the
sensuous sphere (kāmāvacara), that of the paranimmitavasavatti-devas, the
'deities wielding power over the creations of others' (Com. to M. 1). According to
tradition, when the Bodhisatta was seated under the Bodhi-tree, Māra tried in vain to
obstruct his attainment of Enlightenment, first by frightening him through his hosts of
demons, etc., and then by his 3 daughters' allurements. This episode is called 'Māra's
war' (māra-yuddha). For 7 years M. had followed the Buddha, looking for any
weakness in him; that is, 6 years before the Enlightenment and one year after it (Sn. v.
446). He also tried to induce the Buddha to pass away into Parinibbāna without
proclaiming the Dhamma, and also when the time for the Buddha's Parinibbāna had come, he
urged him on. But the Buddha acted on his own insight in both cases. See D. 16.
For (3) M. as the aggregates, s. S. XXIII, 1, 11, 12, 23. See Padhāna Sutta (Sn. v.
425ff.); Māra Samyutta (S. IV).
marana: 'death', in ordinary usage, means the disappearance of the vital faculty
confined to a single life-time, and therewith of the psycho-physical life-process
conventionally called 'man, animal, personality, ego', etc. Strictly speaking, however,
death is the continually repeated dissolution and vanishing of each momentary
physical-mental combination, and thus it takes place every moment. About this momentaneity
of existence, it is said in Vis.M VIII:
"In the absolute sense, beings have only a very short moment to live, life lasting
as long as a single moment of consciousness lasts. Just as a cart-wheel, whether rolling
or whether at a standstill, at all times only rests on a single point of its periphery,
even so the life of a living being lasts only for the duration of a single moment of
consciousness. As soon as that moment ceases, the being also ceases. For it is said: 'The
being of the past moment of consciousness has lived, but does not live now, nor will it
live in future. The being of the future moment has not yet lived, nor does it live now,
but it will live in the future. The being of the present moment has not lived, it does
live just now, but it will not live in the future.' "
In another sense, the coming to an end of the psycho-physical life-process of the
Arahat, or perfectly Holy One, at the moment of his passing away may be called the final
and ultimate death, as up to that moment the psycho-physical life-process was still going
on from life to life.
Death, in the ordinary sense, combined with old age, forms the 12th link in the formula
of dependent origination (paticca-samuppāda q.v.).
For death as a subject of meditation, s. maranānussati; as a function of
consciousness, s. viññāna-kicca.
maranāsanna-kamma: s. karma.
maranānussati: 'recollection of death', is one of the 10 recollections treated
in detail in Vis.M VIII:
''Recollection of death, developed and frequently practised, yields great reward, great
blessing, has Deathlessness as its goal and object. But how may such recollection be
"As soon as the day declines, or as the night vanishes and the day is breaking,
the monk thus reflects: 'Truly, there are many possibilities for me to die: I may be
bitten by a serpent, or be stung by a scorpion or a centipede, and thereby I may lose my
life. But this would be an obstacle for me. Or I may stumble and fall to the ground, or
the food eaten by me may not agree with my health; or bile, phlegm and piercing body gases
may become disturbing, or men or ghosts may attack me, and thus I may lose my life. But
this would be an obstacle for me.' Then the monk has to consider thus: 'Are there still to
be found in me unsubdued evil, unwholesome things which, if I should die today or tonight,
might lead me to suffering?' Now, if he understands that this is the case, he should use
his utmost resolution, energy, effort, endeavour, steadfastness, attentiveness and
clear-mindedness in order to overcome these evil, unwholesome things" (A VIII, 74).
In Vis.M VIII it is said: 'He who wishes to develop this meditation, should retreat to
solitude, and whilst living secluded he should thus wisely reflect: 'Death will come to
me! The vital energy will be cut off!' Or: 'Death! Death!' To him, namely, who does not
wisely reflect, sorrow may arise by thinking on the death of a beloved person, just as to
a mother whilst thinking on the death of her beloved child. Again, by reflecting on the
death of a disliked person, joy may arise, just as to enemies whilst thinking on the death
of their enemies. Through thinking on the death of an indifferent person, however, no
emotion will arise, just as to a man whose work consists in cremating the dead at the
sight of a dead body. And by reflecting on one's own death fright may arise ... just as at
the sight of a murderer with drawn sword one becomes filled with horror. Thus, whenever
seeing here or there slain or other dead beings, one should reflect on the death of such
deceased persons who once lived in happiness, and one should rouse one's attentiveness,
emotion and knowledge and consider thus: 'Death will come, etc.' .... Only in him who
considers in this way, will the hindrances (nīvarana, q.v.) be repressed; and
through the idea of death attention becomes steadfast, and the exercise reaches
According to Vis.M VIII, one may also reflect on death in the following various ways:
one may think of it as a murderer with a drawn sword standing in front of oneself; or one
may bear in mind that all happiness ends in death; or that even the mightiest beings on
this earth are subject to death; or that we must share this body with all those
innumerable worms and other tiny beings residing therein; or that life is something
dependent on in-and-out breathing, and bound up with it; or that life continues only as
long as the elements, food, breath, etc. are properly performing their functions; or that
nobody knows when, where, and under what circumstances, death will take place, and what
kind of fate we have to expect after death; or, that life is very short and limited. As it
is said: 'Short, indeed, is this life of men, limited, fleeting, full or woe and torment;
it is just like a dewdrop that vanishes as soon as the sun rises; like a water-bubble;
like a furrow drawn in the water; like a torrent dragging everything along and never
standing still; like cattle for slaughter that every moment look death in the face"
(A. VII, 74).
"The monk devoted to this recollection of death is at all time indefatigable,
gains the idea of disgust with regard to all forms of existence, gives up delight in life,
detests evil, does not hoard up things, is free from stinginess with regard to the
necessities of life, the idea of impermanence (anicca) becomes familiar to him; and
through pursuing it, the idea of misery (dukkha) and of impersonality (anattā)
become present to him .... Free from fear and bewilderment will he pass away at death; and
should he not yet realize the Deathless State in his life-time, he will at the dissolution
of the body attain to a happy course of existence" (Vis.M VIII).
See Buddhist Reflections on Death, by V. F. Gunaratna (WHEEL 102/103).
-Buddhism and Death, by M.Q.C. Walshe (WHEEL. 260).
marvel: s. pātihāriya.
mastery (regarding the absorptions): s. vasī. - 8 stages of: abhibhāyatana
material food: kabalinkārāhāra (q.v.).
matter (corporeality): s. khandha, rūpa-kalāpa.
matured one, the: gotrabhū (q.v.).
maturity-knowledge: gotrabhū-ñāna; s. visuddhi (VII).
meaning: evident, and to be inferred: s. neyyatthadhamma.
meat-eating. Just as the karmical, i.e. moral, quality of any action is
determined by the quality of volition (cetanā) underlying it, and independently of
this volition nothing whatever can be called karmically wholesome or unwholesome (kusala,
akusala), just so it is with the merely external act of meat-eating, this being as
such purely non-moral, i.e. karmically neutral (avyākata).
'In 3 circumstances meat-eating is to be rejected: if one has seen, or heard, or
suspects (that the animal has been slaughtered expressly for one's own sake)" (M.
55). For if in such a case one should partake of the meat, one would as it were approve
the murder of animals, and thus encourage the animal-murderer in his murderous deeds.
Besides, that the Buddha never objected, in ordinary circumstances, to meat-eating may be
clearly understood from many passages of the Suttas (e.g. A. V. 44; VIII, 12; M. 55,
etc.), as also from the Vinaya, where it is related that the Buddha firmly rejected
Devadatta's proposal to forbid meat-eating to the monks; further from the fact that 10
kinds of meat were (for merely external reasons) forbidden to the monks, namely from
elephants, tigers, serpents, etc.
See Amagandha Sutta (Sn.). Early Buddhism and the Taking of Life, by I.
B. Horner (WHEEL 104).
meditation: s. bhāvanā, jhāna, samādhi.
mental action: mano-kamma; s. karma.
mental advertence: mano-dvārāvajjana; s. āvajjana.
mental formation: sankhāra (q.v.). s. Tab. II.
mental function: citta-sankhāra; s. sankhāra (2).
mental image: s. nimitta, kasina, samādhi.
mental obduracy: ceto-khila (q.v.).
merit, the 4 streams of: puñña-dhārā (q.v.). - For transference of
merit, s. patti-dāna.
meritorious action: s. puñña, puñña-kiriya-vatthu.
message, the 9-fold: of the Buddhasāsana, s. sāsana.
messengers, the 3 divine: s. deva-dūta.
method, the right: ñāya, is a name for the 8-fold path (s. magga)
mettā: 'loving-kindness', is one of the 4 sublime abodes
micchā-ditthi, -sankappa, -vāca etc.: s. foll.
micchā-magga, Atthangika: the 'eightfold wrong path', i.e. (1) wrong view (micchā-ditthi),
(2) wrong thought (micchā-sankappa), (3) wrong speech (micchā-vācā), (4)
wrong bodily action (micchā-kammanta), (5) wrong livelihood (micchā-ājīva), (6)
wrong effort (micchā-vāyāma), (7) wrong mindfulness (micchā-sati), (8)
wrong concentration (micchā-samādhi). Just as the Eightfold Right Path
(sammā-magga), so also here the 8 links are included in the group of mental
formations (sankhāra-kkhandha; s. khandha). The links 2, 6, 7, 8, are
inseparably bound up with every karmically-unwholesome state of consciousness. Often are
also present 3, 4, or 5, sometimes link 1.
micchatta: 'wrongnesses' = prec.
middha: 'sloth': Combined with thīna, 'torpor', it forms one of the 5
hindrances (nīvarana, q.v.). Both may be associated with greedy consciousness (s.
Tab. III and I, 23, 25, 27, 29).
middle path: majjhima-patipadā (q.v.).
mind: mano (q.v.); cf. nāma.
mind and corporeality: nāma-rūpa (q.v.).
mind-base: manāyatana; s. āyatana.
mind-consciousness-element: mano-viññāna-dhātu (q.v.).
mind-element: mano-dhātu (q.v.).
mindfulness: sati (q.v.); s. satipatthāna. - Right m.: s. sacca,
mind-object: dhamma; s. āyatana. - Contemplation of the, s. satipatthāna
mind-training, 'higher': adhicitta-sikkhā, s. sikkhā.
miracle: s. pātihāriya.
mirth (in the Arahat): s. hasituppāda-citta.
misapprehension: s. parāmāsa.
misery, contemplation of: dukkhānupassanā; s. ti-lakkhana.
moha: 'delusion', is one of the 3 unwholesome roots (mūla, q.v.).
The best known synonym is avijjā (q.v.).
moha-carita the 'deluded-natured'; s. carita.
momentaneity (of existence): s. marana.
monkhood, the fruits of; sāmañña-phala (q.v.).
monks' community: Sangha (q.v.); further s. pabbajjā, progress of
morality: sīla (q.v.). - Contemplation on, s. anussati (4).
morality-training, higher: adhisīla-sikkhā; s. sikkhā.
moral rules, the 5, 8 or 10: s. sikkhāpada.
muccitu-kamyatā-ñāna: 'knowledge consisting in the desire for
deliverance'; s. visuddhi (VI. 6).
muditā: 'altruistic (or sympathetic) joy', is one of the 4 sublime abodes (brahma-vihāra,
mudutā (rūpa, kāya, citta): 'elasticity' (of corporeality, mental factors,
consciousness); s. khandha (I) and Tab. II.
mūla: 'roots', also called hetu (q.v.; s. paccaya, 1), are those
conditions which through their presence determine the actual moral quality of a volitional
state (cetanā), and the consciousness and mental factors associated therewith, in
other words, the quality of karma (q.v.). There are 6 such roots, 3 karmically wholesome
and 3 unwholesome roots, viz.,: greed, hate, delusion (lobha, dosa, moha), and
greedlessness, hatelessness, undeludedness (alobha, adosa, amoha).
In A. III, 68 it is said that greed arises through unwise reflection on an
attractive object, hate through unwise reflection on a repulsive object. Thus, greed (lobha
or rāga) comprises all degrees of 'attractedness' towards an object from the
faintest trace of a longing thought up to grossest egoism, whilst hatred (dosa) comprises
all degrees of 'repulsion' from the faintest trace of ill-humor up to the highest pitch of
hate and wrath.
The 3 wholesome (kusala) roots, greedlessness, etc., though expressed in
negative terms, nevertheless possess a distinctly positive character, just as is also
often the case with negative terms in other languages, for example, the negative term
'immorality', which has a decidedly positive character.
Thus, greedlessness (alobha) is a name for unselfishness, liberality, etc.,
hatelessness (adosa) for kindness or goodwill (mettā), undeludedness
(amoha) for wisdom (paññā).
"The perception of impurity is to be developed in order to overcome greed
(lust); loving-kindness in order to overcome hate; wisdom in order to overcome
delusion" (A. VI, 107).
"Killing, stealing, unlawful sexual intercourse, lying, tale-bearing, harsh
language, frivolous talk, covetousness, ill-will and wrong views (s. kammapatha), these
things are due either to greed, or hate, or delusion" (A. X, 174).
"Enraptured with lust (greed), enraged with hate, blinded by delusion,
overwhelmed, with mind ensnared, man aims at his own ruin, at others' ruin, at the ruin of
both, and he experiences mental pain and grief. And he follows evil ways in deeds, words
and thought... And he really knows neither his own welfare, nor the welfare of others, nor
the welfare of both. These things make him blind and ignorant, hinder his knowledge, are
painful, and do not lead him to peace."
The presence or absence of the 3 unwholesome roots forms part of the mind contemplation
in the Satipatthāna Sutta (M. 10). They are also used for the classification of
unwholesome consciousness (s. Tab. I).
See The Roots of Good and Evil, by Nyanaponika Thera (WHEEL 251/253).
multiformity-perceptions: nānatta-saññā; s. jhāna (5).
mundane: lokiya (q.v.).
mutability: Contemplation of: viparināmanupassanā: see vipassanā.
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05 November 2005