Dasa Akusala/Dasa Kusala – Basis of Buddha Dhamma

June 20,2018

1. Dasa kusala and dasa akusala are the foundations of Buddha Dhamma. Nature’s laws are based on them.

  • A wide variety of synonyms are given for dasa kusala and dasa akusala in a number of short suttas in Anguttara Nikāya; see, “Anguttara Nikāya – Suttā on Key Concepts“.
  • Dasa akusala corrupt a mind and and they lead to sansāric suffering.
  • Dasa kusala purify a mind and and they lead to permanent happiness (Nibbāna).

2. We can easily see connections to a number of key Pāli words and concepts with this information.

  • The most potent of the dasa akusala is micca ditthi, which basically corrupts the mind and lead to other nine types of akusala. As we have discussed, micca ditthi is of two types: 10 types of micca ditthi and being unaware of Tilakkhana.
  • As one first starts getting rid of the 10 types of micca ditthi, one’s tendency to do other nine types of akusala will decrease. This is the same as saying that one will be cultivating samma ditthi and the tendency to do other nine types of kusala will also increase.
  • One is fully on the mundane path when one gets rid of the 10 types of micca ditthi. One switches to the Noble Path when one starts comprehending Tilakkhana.

3. This is why dasa kusala and dasa akusala are really the foundation of Buddha Dhamma. All deeper concepts like anatta are embedded in these; see, “Dasa Akusala and Anatta – The Critical Link“.

  • I had used two other suttā (note that plural of sutta is suttā) not listed below to point out the connection to anatta in that post.
  • The other concepts listed below: Dhamma/Adhamma, Ariya dhamma/Anariya dhamma, Saddhamma (beneficial dhamma)/Assaddhamma, Sappurisa (moral) dhamma /Asappurisa dhamma, Sādhu (praiseworthy)/Asādhu, Tapaniya (lead to a stressful mind) /Atapaniya, Acayagāmi (lead to rebirth)/Apacayagāmi, Dukkudrayō (lead to suffering) dhamma /Sukkudrayō dhamma, Ariyo magga/Anariya magga.
  • Several other concepts become clear from other suttā, showing connections to other concepts. I may add more suttā, as I find them.
PaliEnglish
Kusala Sutta (AN 10.180)
“Kusalañca vo, bhikkhave, desessāmi akusalañca. Taṃ suṇātha … pe … katamañca, bhikkhave, akusalaṃ? Pāṇātipāto … pe … micchādiṭṭhi—idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, akusalaṃ.

Katamañca, bhikkhave, kusalaṃ? Pāṇātipātā veramaṇī … pe … sammādiṭṭhi—idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, kusalan”ti.
Akusala: taking a life, stealing, abusing sense pleasures, speaking untruth, slandering, harsh speech, gossiping, greed, ill-will, wrong views (defined in terms of dasa akusala).
Kusala: Opposites: see, "Kusala and Akusala Kamma, Punna and Pāpa Kamma"
Akusala Sutta (AN 10.136)
“Akusalañca vo, bhikkhave, desessāmi kusalañca. Taṃ suṇātha … pe … katamañca, bhikkhave, akusalaṃ? Micchādiṭṭhi … pe … micchāvimutti—idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, akusalaṃ. Katamañca, bhikkhave, kusalaṃ? Sammādiṭṭhi … pe … sammāvimutti—idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, kusalan”ti.Akusala: Wrong views, wrong thoughts, wrong speech, wrong actions, wrong livelihood, wrong effort, wrong mindset, wrong samadhi, wrong understanding, wrong vimutti (defined in terms of micca path).
Kusala: Opposites in the Noble Eightfold Path.
We see that Kusala/Akusala can be defined in two ways (dasa akusala/dasa kusala or micca path/Noble Path), as shown by the above two suttas. The same is true for all other terms discussed below. However, in order to save space, I will just provide the name of the sutta on the right that gives the definition in terms of micca path/Noble Path.
Dhamma Sutta (AN 10.182) and Dhamma Sutta (AN 10.138)
“Dhammañca vo, bhikkhave, desessāmi adhammañca. Taṃ suṇātha … pe … katamo ca, bhikkhave, adhammo? Pāṇātipāto … pe … micchādiṭṭhi—ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, adhammo.

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, dhammo? Pāṇātipātā veramaṇī … pe … sammādiṭṭhi—ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, dhammo”ti.
Adhammo: taking a life, stealing, abusing sense pleasures, speaking untruth, slandering, harsh speech, gossiping, greed, ill-will, wrong views.
Dhammo: Opposites: see, "Kusala and Akusala Kamma, Punna and Pāpa Kamma"
Ariyadhamma Sutta (AN 10.179) AND Ariyadhamma Sutta (AN 10.135)
“Ariyadhammañca vo, bhikkhave, desessāmi anariya­dhammañca. Taṃ suṇātha … pe … katamo ca, bhikkhave, anariyo dhammo? Pāṇātipāto … pe … micchādiṭṭhi—ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, anariyo dhammo.

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, ariyo dhammo? Pāṇātipātā veramaṇī … pe … sammādiṭṭhi— ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, ariyo dhammo”ti.
Anariyadhammo: taking a life, stealing, abusing sense pleasures, speaking untruth, slandering, harsh speech, gossiping, greed, ill-will, wrong views.
Ariyadhammo: Opposites: see, "Kusala and Akusala Kamma, Punna and Pāpa Kamma"
Saddhamma Sutta (AN 10.191) AND Saddhamma Sutta (AN 10.147)
“Saddhammañca vo, bhikkhave, desessāmi asaddhammañca. Taṃ suṇātha … pe … katamo ca, bhikkhave, asaddhammo? Pāṇātipāto … pe … micchādiṭṭhi—ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, asaddhammo.

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, saddhammo? Pāṇātipātā veramaṇī … pe … sammādiṭṭhi—ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, saddhammo”ti.
Asaddhammo (Asath/Bad dhamma): taking a life, stealing, abusing sense pleasures, speaking untruth, slandering, harsh speech, gossiping, greed, ill-will, wrong views.
Saddhammo (Sath/Buddha dhamma): Opposites: see, "Kusala and Akusala Kamma, Punna and Pāpa Kamma"
Sap­purisa­dhamma Sutta (AN 10.192) and Sap­purisa­dhamma Sutta (AN 10.148)
“Sap­purisa­dhammañca vo, bhikkhave, desessāmi asap­purisa­dhammañca. Taṃ suṇātha … pe … katamo ca, bhikkhave, asap­purisa­dhammo? Pāṇātipāto … pe … micchādiṭṭhi— ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, asap­purisa­dhammo.

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, sap­purisa­dhammo? Pāṇātipātā veramaṇī … pe … sammādiṭṭhi— ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, sap­purisa­dhammo”ti.
Asap­purisa ­dhammo (Asath purisa or wicked person's dhamma): taking a life, stealing, abusing sense pleasures, speaking untruth, slandering, harsh speech, gossiping, greed, ill-will, wrong views.
Sap­purisa ­dhammo (Sath purisa or Moral person's dhamma): Opposites: see, "Kusala and Akusala Kamma, Punna and Pāpa Kamma"
Sadhu Sutta (AN 10.178) AND Sadhu Sutta (AN 10.134)
“Katamañca, bhikkhave, asādhu? Pāṇātipāto, adinnādānaṃ, kāmesu­micchā­cāro, musāvādo, pisuṇā vācā, pharusā vācā, samphappalāpo, abhijjhā, byāpādo, micchādiṭṭhi—idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, asādhu.

Katamañca, bhikkhave, sādhu? Pāṇātipātā veramaṇī, adinnādānā veramaṇī, kāmesu­micchā­cārā veramaṇī, musāvādā veramaṇī, pisuṇāya vācāya veramaṇī, pharusāya vācāya veramaṇī, samphappalāpā veramaṇī, anabhijjhā, abyāpādo, sammādiṭṭhi—idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, sādhū”ti.
Blameful (Asadhu): taking a life, stealing, abusing sense pleasures, speaking untruth, slandering, harsh speech, gossiping, greed, ill-will, wrong views.
Praiseworthy (Sadhu): Opposites: see, "Kusala and Akusala Kamma, Punna and Pāpa Kamma"
Tapaniya Sutta (AN 10.185) AND Tapaniya Sutta (AN 10.141)
“Tapanīyañca vo, bhikkhave, dhammaṃ desessāmi atapanīyañca. Taṃ suṇātha … pe … katamo ca, bhikkhave, tapanīyo dhammo? Pāṇātipāto … pe … micchādiṭṭhi—ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, tapanīyo dhammo.

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, atapanīyo dhammo? Pāṇātipātā veramaṇī … pe … sammādiṭṭhi—ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, atapanīyo dhammo”ti.
Stressful (Lead to heating the mind) (Tapaniyo): taking a life, stealing, abusing sense pleasures, speaking untruth, slandering, harsh speech, gossiping, greed, ill-will, wrong views.
Calming (Lead to cooling the mind) (Atapaniyo): Opposites: see, "Kusala and Akusala Kamma, Punna and Pāpa Kamma"
Ācayagāmi Sutta (AN 10.186) AND Ācayagāmi Sutta (AN 10.142)
“Ācayagāmiñca vo, bhikkhave, dhammaṃ desessāmi apacayagāmiñca. Taṃ suṇātha … pe … katamo ca, bhikkhave, ācayagāmī dhammo? Pāṇātipāto … pe … micchādiṭṭhi—ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, ācayagāmī dhammo.

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, apacayagāmī dhammo? Pāṇātipātā veramaṇī … pe … sammādiṭṭhi—ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, apacayagāmī dhammo”ti.
Lead to rebirth (Ācayagāmi Dhammo): taking a life, stealing, abusing sense pleasures, speaking untruth, slandering, harsh speech, gossiping, greed, ill-will, wrong views.
Calming (Lead to Nibbana) (Apacayagāmī Dhammo): Opposites: see, "Kusala and Akusala Kamma, Punna and Pāpa Kamma"
Duk­khud­ra­ya Sutta (AN 10.187) AND Duk­khud­ra­ya Sutta (AN 10.143)
“Dukkhudrayañca vo, bhikkhave, dhammaṃ desessāmi sukhudrayañca. Taṃ suṇātha … pe … katamo ca, bhikkhave, dukkhudrayo dhammo? Pāṇātipāto … pe … micchādiṭṭhi— ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, dukkhudrayo dhammo.

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, sukhudrayo dhammo? Pāṇātipātā veramaṇī … pe … sammādiṭṭhi—ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, sukhudrayo dhammo”ti.
Lead to suffering (Duk­khud­ra­yo Dhammo): taking a life, stealing, abusing sense pleasures, speaking untruth, slandering, harsh speech, gossiping, greed, ill-will, wrong views.
Calming (Lead to Sukha/Nibbana) (Sukhudrayo Dhammo): Opposites: see, "Kusala and Akusala Kamma, Punna and Pāpa Kamma"
Vipāka Sutta (AN 10.188) AND Dukkhavipāka Sutta (AN 10.144)
“Duk­kha­vipākañca vo, bhikkhave, dhammaṃ desessāmi sukhavipākañca. Taṃ suṇātha … pe … katamo ca, bhikkhave, dukkhavipāko dhammo? Pāṇātipāto … pe … micchādiṭṭhi—ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, dukkhavipāko dhammo.

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, sukhavipāko dhammo? Pāṇātipātā veramaṇī … pe … sammādiṭṭhi—ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, sukhavipāko dhammo”ti.
Dukkhavipāko dhammo: taking a life, stealing, abusing sense pleasures, speaking untruth, slandering, harsh speech, gossiping, greed, ill-will, wrong views.
Sukhavipāko dhammo: Opposites: see, "Kusala and Akusala Kamma, Punna and Pāpa Kamma"
Ariya­magga Sutta (AN 10.189) AND Ariya­magga Sutta (AN 10.145)
“Ariyamaggañca vo, bhikkhave, desessāmi anariya­maggañca. Taṃ suṇātha … pe … katamo ca, bhikkhave, anariyo maggo? Pāṇātipāto … pe … micchādiṭṭhi—ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, anariyo maggo.

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, ariyo maggo? Pāṇātipātā veramaṇī … pe … sammādiṭṭhi— ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, ariyo maggo”ti.
Anariyo maggo: taking a life, stealing, abusing sense pleasures, speaking untruth, slandering, harsh speech, gossiping, greed, ill-will, wrong views.
Ariyo maggo: Opposites: see, "Kusala and Akusala Kamma, Punna and Pāpa Kamma"
Kaṇha­magga Sutta (AN 10.190) AND Kaṇha­magga Sutta (AN 10.146)
“Kaṇhamaggañca vo, bhikkhave, desessāmi sukkamaggañca. Taṃ suṇātha … pe … katamo ca, bhikkhave, kaṇho maggo? Pāṇātipāto … pe … micchādiṭṭhi—ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, kaṇho maggo.

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, sukko maggo? Pāṇātipātā veramaṇī … pe … sammādiṭṭhi— ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, sukko maggo”ti.
Kaṇho maggo (Dark path): taking a life, stealing, abusing sense pleasures, speaking untruth, slandering, harsh speech, gossiping, greed, ill-will, wrong views.
Sukko maggo (Bright path): Opposites: see, "Kusala and Akusala Kamma, Punna and Pāpa Kamma"
Print Friendly, PDF & Email