Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Obstacles for Social Development

          First of all, the characteristics of these three root causes of unwholesome must be understood. As we see the family life as well social situation is always going with troubles. In the modern society, domestic violence has been occurred everywhere around the world. The whole world is like the mad house. So, what causes such kind of problem to arise? How can the social development move forward for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the good, benefit, and happiness of gods and men? Now the characteristics of these roots must be noted as follows:
Greed has the characteristic of grasping an object, like birdlime (lit. 'monkey-lime'). Its function is sticking, like meat put in a hot pan. It is manifested as not giving up, like the dye of lamp-black. Its proximate cause is seeing enjoyment in things that lead to bondage. Swelling with the current of craving, it should be regarded as carrying beings along with it to states of misery as a swift-flowing river does to the great ocean.
      Hatred has the characteristic of savageness, like a provoked snake. Its function is to spread, like a drop of poison, or its function is to burn up its own support, like a forest fire. It is manifested as persecuting like an enemy that has got his chance. Its proximate cause is the grounds for annoyance (aghata-vatthu). It should be regarded as being like stale urine mixed with poison.
    Delusion has the characteristic of blindness, or it has the characteristic of unknowing. Its function is non-penetration, or its function is to conceal the true nature of an object. It is manifested as the absence of right view, or it is manifested as darkness. Its proximate cause is unwise (unjustified) attention. It should be regarded as the root of all that is unwholesome.15

In the modern society, the characteristics of these three root causes of unwholesome show us clearly that the social development has been stuck because of greed, hatred and delusion of the leaders. Some countries in the world have so bad leaders to lead the countries. They are so selfish to himself and his family. The countries become killing-field of hunger of greed, hatred and delusion. Here, in the Kàlàma Sutta, the Buddha taught to Kàlàmas thus:
What do you think, Kàlàmas? When greed, hatred and delusion arise in a man, is it for his benefit or harm?'-'For his harm, venerable sir.' - 'Kàlàmas, a person who is greedy, hating and deluded, overpowered by greed, hatred and delusion, his thoughts controlled by them, will take life, take what is not given, indulge in sexual misconduct, and tell lies; he will also prompt others to do likewise. Will that conduce to his harm and his suffering for a long time?' 'Yes, venerable sir.'
'What do you think, Kàlàmas? Are these things wholesome or unwholesome?' - 'Unwholesome, venerable sir.' 'Blamable or blameless?' - 'Blamable, venerable sir.' 'Censured or praised by the wise?' - 'Censured, venerable sir.'-'Undertaken and practised, do these things lead to harm and suffering, or not? Or how is it in this case?'-'Undertaken and practised, these things lead to harm and to suffering. So does it appear to us in this case.'
    'Therefore, Kàlàmas, did we say: Do not go upon repeated hearing (of orally transmitted religious tradition), nor upon a linear succession (of teachers), nor upon hearsay, nor upon the authority of scriptures, nor upon speculative and logical grounds, nor upon thought-out theories, nor on preference for views pondered upon, nor upon another's seeming competence, nor on the consideration that "The monk is our teacher."
    'But when you yourselves know: "These things are unwholesome, blamable, censured by the wise and if undertaken and practised they will lead to harm and suffering, " then give them up.'16
It is absolutely true to every family or society in the world. When greed, hatred and delusion arose in mind of anyone, he does not know even his or her parents or relatives or anyone who is honoured to him or her. He or she can kill even his or her own parents because of needs. A story of King Ajàtasattu, for example, showed us how much King Bimbisàra was tortured and caused him to death by his own son, King Ajàtasattu. And Let’s have a look another story of Angulimàla, in Angulimàla Sutta, what caused Angulimàla to be a murder. Did his teacher force him to do so? Did his greed, hatred and delusion cause to be so? Of course, both of stories are individual problems. In real conditions of family or society, it is much more dangerous related to violence. Innocent children may not go to school when their parents had quarrels to each other day by day. They have to face so much in their lives. Children need good education for their bright lives in the future in order to develop the society. In the modern societies, there are various root causes which bring obstacles to social development.
Indeed, there are three inner taints, three inner foes, three inner enemies, three inner murderers, three inner antagonists. What are these three? Greed is an inner taint . . . . Hatred is an inner taint . . . . Delusion is an inner taint, an inner foe, an inner enemy, an inner murderer, an inner antagonist.
Greed is a cause of harm,
 Unrest of mind it brings.
 This danger that has grown within,
    Blind folk are unaware of it.
A greedy person cannot see the facts,
 Nor can he understand the Dhamma.
    When greed has overpowered him,
 In complete darkness he is plunged.
But he who does not crave and can forsake.
 This greed and what incites to greed,
    From him quickly greed glides off,
 Like water from a lotus leaf.
Hate is a cause of harm,
 Unrest of mind it brings.
    This danger that has grown within,
Blind folk are unaware of it.
A hater cannot see the facts,
Nor can he understand the Dhamma.
    When hate has overpowered him,
In complete darkness he is plunged.
But he who does not hate and can forsake.
This hatred and what incites to hate,
    From him quickly hatred falls off,
As from a palm tree falls the ripened fruit.
Delusion is a cause of harm,
Unrest of mind it brings.
    This danger that has grown within,
Blind folk are unaware of it.
He who is deluded cannot see the facts,
Nor can he understand the Dhamma.
    If a man is in delusion's grip,
In complete darkness he is plunged.
But he who has shed delusion's veil,
Is undeluded where confusion reigns;
    He fully scatters all delusion,
just as the sun dispels the night.17
Greed, hatred and delusion do not harm others only, but these unwholesome roots started from ourselves first and then they effected on others. If we, for example, hold the fire, we will surely burn ourselves before we throw it on others.

End Note:
15. Vism, pp. 529 ff., 532
16. Thanissaro, Bhikkhu, (tr), Kàlàma Sutta, AN, 3: 65
17. Iti, 88, p.74-75

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