Lobha, Dosa, Moha versus Raga, Patigha, Avijja

1. It was explained in the previous post that lobha 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. kamachanda can arise.

  • Dosa (or dvesha) is the hate that arises due to lobha (dvesha comes from “devana” + “vesha” or second manifestation of lobha), especially when someone else is in the way of getting what one wants.
  • And acts with lobha and dosa are done with moha. Moha 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 moha because one is totally unaware that such immoral acts will have very bad consequences; one’s mind is totally dark.
  • In the pancanivarana, lobha and dosa are listed as abhijja and vyapada; those are synonymous terms for lobha and dosa; see, “Key to Calming the Mind – The Five Hindrances“.

2. Acts done with lobha, dosa, and moha are called päpa kamma, strong versions of akusala kamma. Such päpa kamma make one eligible to be born in the lower four worlds.

  • Specifically, acts done with dosa are the worst with niraya (hell) as the possible destination, and lobha is cause for rebirth in the preta (peta) loka of hungry ghosts. Acts done with both lobha and dosa have all three “san” (since moha 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 (“gathi”) to do immoral actions, one starts “cooling down” and one’s likelihood of being born in the lower four realms diminish.

3. However, Lobha, dosa, moha are permanently reduced from one’s mind to raga, patigha, avijja levels only when one attains the Sotapanna stage. All pancanivara are permanently removed at the Sotapanna 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 moha is reduced to avijja level.
  • As explained in the previous post, raga 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.

4. At the next level of Nibbana of the Sakadagami level, kama raga 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 raga is the raga or craving for sense pleasures in the kamaloka. There are two levels of kama raga: vatthu kama (craving for OWNING objects that provide sense pleasures) and keles or klesha kama (craving for sense pleasures is there, but not necessary to “OWN THEM”). A Sakadagami has lost the vatthu kama, but still has keles (or klesha) käma, i.e., he/she still craves for sense pleasures, but has no desire to “own them”. For example, a Sakadagami 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 Sakadagami is said to be healthy forever (after the human life).

5. When one attains the Anagami stage, both kama raga and patigha are eliminated. Thus one will not even be offended by harsh words/acts and will not retaliate. An Anagami will never be born anywhere in the kamaloka including the deva worlds; they are reborn only in brahma realms.

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

6. For an Anagami, what is left of raga is only rupa raga and arupa raga, i.e., desire for jhanic pleasures in the rupa and arupa loka (the four rupa jhanas and four arupa jhanas). And he/she still has avijja 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 kama loka, rupa loka, or arupa loka (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 Sotapanna stage. Many people incorrectly interpret anatta as “no self”. But the feeling of “me” is removed only at the Arahant stage, after the Anagami stage. As long as mana and uddacca are there, the sense of “me” is still there.

 7. What needs to be done to get to the Sotapanna 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 (lobha) 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 (dosa) 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 gathi” 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 lobha and dosa) 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 (“gathi“). 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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