Indeed, there are many cases concerned domestic violence. Yet what I have mentioned above is just in brief. Here, I would like to pick up another specific point which can be called the root cause of violence in the modern society- that is misunderstanding.
The world might not be glorious or peaceful or happy place to everyone if the conflicts, violence, insecurity, grief, lamentation, misunderstanding, etc, are still deeply remaining in human hearts. The views are always up and down. As the Mahadukkhakkhanda Sutta, for instance, uses graphic description to show that violence, conflict and war spring from misunderstanding of sensual desires:
And again, monks, when sense pleasures are the cause... having taken sword and shield, having girded on bow and quiver, both sides mass for battle and arrows are hurled and knives are hurled and swords are flashing. Those who wound with arrows and wound with knives and decapitate with their swords, these suffer dying then and pain like unto dying...
And again, monks, when sense pleasures are the cause... having taken sword and shield, having girded on bow and quiver, they leap on to the newly daubed ramparts, and arrows are hurled and knives are hurled and swords are flashing. Those who wound with arrows and wound with knives and pour boiling cow-dung over them and crush them with the portcullis and decapitate them with their swords, these suffer dying then and pain like unto dying.4
The golden words of the Buddha above show us clearly that people in the universe always dwell on the sense pleasures (lobha) which are the root cause of violence in the societies as their favorite things. Living beings misunderstand the characteristics of sense pleasures (lobha) that always defile the mind of beings. Here, 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.5 In addition, the violence occurs because of misunderstanding between wife and husband in one own family or society or community. One of them might think his wife or her husband did not trust or honest to her or him. All of them must be disappointed to live with each other. And one day the whole family or society will become ashes because of fire of jealousy. The story of a Lass, for example, is taken place here to remind every parent in the world.
In India, there once was a young lady who suffered from the evil consequences of hatred. In this story, a young lad and a young lady 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 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 so 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.”6
The conditions in any family around the world are always not going smoothly no matter how poor or rich it is. The story of a couple above, for example, shows us how much family life faces trouble day by day. Such kind of misunderstanding thoughts does not only cause troubles to husband and wife, but it also causes so many problems to the innocent children.
4. MN 13/I, p.86-87
5. Ashin Janakabhivaösa, Abhidhamma in Daily Life, p. 25
6. Ashin Janakabhivaösa, Abhidhamma in Daily Life, p.44-45