Lōbha, Dōsa, Mōha versus Rāga, Patigha, Avijjā

1. It was explained in the previous post that lōbha is extreme greed; see, “Lōbha, Rāga and Kāmaccanda, Kāmarāga“. One is willing to do any immoral act to get what one wants. One can become blind by greed, i.e. kāmaccanda can arise.

  • Dosa (or dvesha) is the hate that arises due to lōbha (dvesha comes from “devana” + “vesha” — දෙවන වේශය — or second manifestation of lōbha), especially when someone else is in the way of getting what one wants.
  1. Acts with lōbha and dōsa are done with mōha. Mōha comes from “muva” + “” which symbolizes a vessel with it mouth closed; thus one cannot see what is inside. In the same way, one acts with mōha because one is totally unaware that such immoral acts will have very bad consequences; one’s mind is totally dark.

3. Acts done with lōbha, dōsa, and mōha are called pāpa kamma, strong versions of akusala kamma. Such pāpa kamma make one eligible to be born in the lower four worlds.

  • Specifically, acts done with dōsa are the worst with niraya (hell) as the possible destination, and lōbha is cause for rebirth in the preta (peta) lōka of hungry ghosts. Acts done with both lōbha and dōsa have all three “san” (since mōha is always there), and thus lead to rebirth in the animal or “thirisan” (“thiri”+”san” or all three “san”) realm.
  • As one engages in moral actions and gets rid of one’s tendency (“gati”) to do immoral actions, one starts “cooling down” and one’s likelihood of being born in the lower four realms diminish.

4. However, Lobha, dōsa, mōha are permanently reduced from one’s mind to rāga, patigha, avijjā levels only when one attains the Sōtapanna stage. All pancanivara are permanently removed at the Sōtapanna stage.

  • Of course one is now able to “see” the real nature of the world (anicca, dukkha, anatta) to some extent (one is not totally blind) and thus mōha is reduced to avijjā level.
  • As explained in the previous post, rāga is the craving for sense pleasures. Of course there are different levels here too, but in general this level of greed makes one eligible only for birth in the human and deva worlds. Patigha is a lower level of hate, more like “friction”. One may get annoyed when someone and even say something in return, but will never do anything “really bad” that makes one eligible to be born in the lower four realms.

5. At the next level of Nibbāna of the Sakadāgāmi level, kāma rāga and patigha are both reduced to the extent that one will not be reborn in the human level, but only deva or higher realms.

  • Kama rāga is the rāga or craving for sense pleasures in the kāma lōka. There are two levels of kāma rāga: vatthu kāma (craving for OWNING objects that provide sense pleasures) and kilesa or klesha kāma (craving for sense pleasures is there, but not necessary to “OWN THEM”). A Sakadāgāmi has lost the vatthu kāma, but still has kilesa (or klesha) kāma, i.e., he/she still craves for sense pleasures, but has no desire to “own them”. For example, a Sakadāgāmi may still like to live in a nice house with comforts, but the desire to “own the house” is not there.
  • Above the human realm (in deva and brahma realms) beings have very fine bodies that are not subjected to decay or diseases. Thus they never get sick or visibly old (but of course death is inevitable to anyone anywhere in the 31 realms). This is why a Sakadāgāmi is said to be healthy forever (after the human life).

6. When one attains the Anāgāmi stage, both kāma rāga and patigha are eliminated. Thus one will not even be offended by harsh words/acts and will not retaliate. An Anāgāmi will never be born anywhere in the kāma lōka including the deva worlds; they are reborn only in brahma realms.

  • While a Sōtapanna may still have some tendency to give priority to sense pleasures at certain times, all such tendencies are reduced at the Sakadāgāmi stage, and removed at the Anāgāmi stage.

7. For an Anāgāmi, what is left of rāga is only rupa rāga and arupa rāga, i.e., desire for jhanic pleasures in the rupa and arupa lōka (the four rupa jhanas and four arupa jhanas). And he/she still has avijjā left to a certain extent together with mäna (some level of pride) and uddacca (some level of sense of superiority).

  • All these are eliminated at the Arahant stage. An Arahant is free from even a trace of defilements and will never be reborn in “this world” of kāma lōka, rupa lōka, or arupa lōka (anywhere in the 31 realms).
  • This is why it is not productive to meditate trying to get rid of the sense of “self” before the Sōtapanna stage. Many people incorrectly interpret anatta as “no self”. But the feeling of “me” is removed only at the Arahant stage, after the Anāgāmi stage. As long as mana and uddacca are there, the sense of “me” is still there.

8. What needs to be done to get to the Sōtapanna stage is to realize the true meaning of anicca (that there is no point in hurting others to achieve temporary sense pleasures), and that until one has that mindset one is truly helpless in this round of rebirths (anatta).

  • Until one realizes that one is prone to act with extreme greed (lōbha) and can act like a hungry ghost (peta), then one has not been released from such a birth.
  • Until one grasps the true meaning of anicca, one could still act with extreme hate (dōsa) in the heat of the moment, and that can lead to a rebirth in the niraya (hell).
  • Until one realizes the unfruitfulness of depending on others by cheating/stealing (without trying to make an honest living for oneself), one is not released from the asura realm.
  • Until one gets rid of “animal gati” such as having sex with young children like dogs or being able to kill others for one’s food or pleasure, etc., (i.e., both lōbha and dōsa) one is not released from the animal realm.
  • Those are the four lower realms. Thus one will be truly helpless (anatta) unless one removes such bad habits (“gati“). Thus until then dukkha (suffering) is going to be there in the long-term, if not in this lifetime. Those are the true meanings of anicca, dukkha, anatta.
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