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22. The Three Evils

13/05/202014:34(Xem: 853)
22. The Three Evils



THE THREE EVILS

Venerable Sumangalo

Sometimes these three evils are known as “the Three Poisons” and that is quite a good name for them. The three are – craving, hatred and delusion. In very many books these three poisons are called by either their Sanskrit or Pali names. In Sanskrit they are lobha, dvesa and moha. The only difference when they are given in Pali is that dvesa becomes dosa. But, no matter how we may call these three evils, they are sources of sorrow to all who allow such poisons to come into their minds.

Craving is a form of slavery, it is likely being a chained prisoner. When Buddhists speak of this evil they always mean a desire that makes a prisoner of the person who has that desire. When we speak of the ordinary, normal desires of life we do not consider them as lobha. For example, we naturally desire water when we are thirsty and, when we are tired, we want to rest. Lobha is the making of the false for the real. A person who desperately craves glory and power and frame is a prisoner of craving. He does not realise that all these things he desires will pass away.

Perhaps some of you, when you have been out for a hike, have seen shiny rocks of a golden colour. These rocks are known as “fool’s gold”. They merely look like gold, but are not at all true gold. It is the same with craving for wrong things. They are not true values, they are “fool’s gold”. Remember that any desire that makes a slave of us is lobha.

The second poison is hatred (dvesa) and it is a very dangerous poison indeed. In fact, extreme anger actually causes real poison to come to our bloodstreams. Such poisons make us sick in both body and mind. Anger and hatred are closely akin and frequently are found together. No one can truthfully say that he is a real follower of Lord Buddha’s Dharma, if his heart and mind are filled with hatred and anger. Not only must we get rid of dvesa, we must also fill our hearts with kindliness and goodwill towards all.

The third poison is delusion. There are very many ways to describe delusion. Wrong ideas is one way. All these three poisons come from wrong thinking. Moha is always the mistaking of the false for the real. It is mistaking “fool’s gold” for real gold. The Buddha told us that we must see clearly and think clearly. We must see things as they are and not as we imagine them to be, or wish them to be or fear them to be. If we have to describe moha in one English word, perhaps stupidity is the best word to use. No one can get rid of moha for us. Each of us must do that for himself. We have described these three evils as poisons. There is another way to speak of this third evil. It is like a blindfold that completely covers the eyes. As long as we are prisoners of moha we cannot see the truth of the Dharma.

 

THE ANTHEM OF THE UNIVERSAL

One Cosmic brotherhood,
One Universal good,
One Source, One Sway;
One purpose moulding us,
One life enfolding us,
In love always.
Anger, resentment, hate,
Long made us desolate;
Their reign is done.
Race, colour, creed and caste
Fade in the dreamy past
Man wakes to learn at last:
All life is one!

                                           -Sir Francis Younghusband.

 

THE BUDDHIST’S FATE

Happy is the Buddhist’s fate,
For his heart knows not of hate;
Haters may be all around,
Yet in him no hate is found.

Happy is the Buddhist’s fate,
He all pining makes abate;
Pining may be all around,
Yet in him no pining’s found.

Happy is the Buddhist’s fate,
Him no greed will agitate;
In the world may greed abound,
Yet in him no greed is found.

Happily then let us live,
Joyously our service is give;
Quench all pining, hate and greed
Happy is the life we lead.

                   -Paul Carus.

 

QUESTIONS

  1. What is another name for The Three Evils?
  2. If we have these poisons in our hearts and minds, do they bring us happiness?
  3. If we have craving, what are we like? Are we free?
  4. What do we call the shiny rocks that have a golden colour?
  5. Do these rocks have any true value?
  6. Is craving true gold or “Fool’s Gold”?
  7. What is another way to describe delusion?
  8. How can we describe delusion in one word?
  9. If we are prisoners of moha can we ever understand truth?
  10. Does Lord Buddha’s teaching make any difference between races and castes?


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