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3. Root Causes of Evil and Merit (Akusalamula-Kusalamula)
3.1 AKUSALAMuu.gif (70 bytes)LA (Root causes of evil) :

     This implies whatever drives a person to do evil of all kinds. What has been seen as newspaper headlines nowadays reporting the acts of thefts, deceits murders, suicides and other evils stem from, according to Buddhism, the original causes within a person's mind called Kilesa (Defilements).

       From the secular point of view, it is the critical or adverse situation in the people's life that are the culprits driving them to do those wrongs and evils. These imply, for instance, poverty, which is regarded as a cause of such crimes as stealing, robbing and other forms of violent acts. However, it is to be seen that quite a number of wealthy people there are who condescend to do the same evils. Such an accusation, therefore, serves only as a pretext, since there can be found many poor people have been diligently doing good, never resorting to such wrongful means.

        According to Buddhism, the roots of evil are of three kinds viz.

        3.1.1 LOBHA (Greed or Lustful Desires) -- For most people this is insatiable, with more desires growing as a result of more gratifications. What is worse, it drives a person to eye others' belongings with a greedy, possessive desire. This is both legally and morally wrong. For if such a desire is unchecked, the person is sure to resort to whatever means is available. Hence the acts of stealing, robbing, cheating, smuggling and other corrupted practices will be done.

        This insatiable nature of Greed results in a person's constant self-inflicted suffering, which is unknown to poor people who know how to put a curb, or limit on their own desires. Of course, when a desire does not outrun one's capacity or overshoot one's status as far as the legal, economic and social norms are concerned, it can be productive of a degree of benefit both to oneself and to the society as a whole.

        3.1.2 DOSA (Anger Irritation, Anger, or Hatred etc.) ---This Defilement has its roots in the feeling of irritation in the first place. Thereafter it develops, in varying degrees of intensity, into what can be called impatience, annoyance, resentment, anger, hatred, fury and revenge, to be followed by the desire to insult and to use violent means such as to kill or destroy by whatever means is possible.

Inflamed by Dosa, a person is irresistibly urged to resort to strong words and violent acts, the former to be expressed in insulting or sarcastic remarks and false accusations whereas the latter in violent and destructive deeds such as an assault, murder or arson. These are instances of the destructive effects of Dosa acting on the mind, inflamed by it.

        3.1.3 MOHA (Delusion)--This includes various other shades of meaning connoted by Delusion such as bewilderment, ignorance, not knowing what is good from what is evil anti what is right from what is wrong. A person overwhelmed by this Defilement is like a blind man who has to grope about in the dark, being often led astray by his own hesitation, distraction and eventual wrong ideas, leading him to absent-mindedness and heedlessness or over-confidence., all of which drag him to wrongful thoughts and acts.

3.2 KUSALAMuu.gif (70 bytes)LA (In contrast of AKUSALAMuu.gif (70 bytes)LA) :
There are three kinds of producing right attitudes of mind and right actions as a result, as follows :

        3.2.1 ALOBHA (Non-greed): ---This is to be without lustful or greedy desired. It implies the ability to feel content, to 'have enough'. Such a person is not tortured by an insatiable desire, having this Defilement reduced or removed thereby. Without eyeing other persons' belongings, an aspirant is not driven to commit an illegal or immoral act. This really is a kind of bliss.

        3.2.2 ADOSA (i.e. to be without Dosa) : A mind not under the influence of this Defilement is cool, calm and clear. Always refreshes, it does not feel hurt and as a result does not cherish a desire to retaliate by insulting words or revengeful act, be it upon anybody's belongings or person.

        3.2.3 AMOHA (Non-delusion) : This is opposite to Delusion or Bewilderment. It refers to the mind illuminated by the light of discriminating wisdom, the ability to distinguish what is right from what is wrong, what is good from what is evil, and what is beneficial from what is baneful. A mind unclouded by the various shades of Defilements is not troubled by doubt, hesitation, distraction or heedlessness. It is blessed with right attitudes, which, as a matter of coarse, is conductive to the benefit, progress and prosperity of one's self and society, including the country as a whole.

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