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Buddhist view of Mind and Body

By Panduka Mahanama

All unwholesome thoughts, create akusala kamma which have the potency of making one suffer some time later as akusala vipaka. Akusala based on the root dosa or anger, make that person suffer even at the time it is present in one's mind. Akusala thoughts based on lobha or attachment gives a temporary happiness

when they are present. Hence, most beings spend considerable time with lobha and moha based thoughts, not knowing that it is akusala.
Part of the kamma vipaka, approximately 1/71h may yield results during this birth itself as dittha-dhamma-vedaniya kamma. Some during the next birth as upapaccha vedaniya kamma and some any time in any future birth as aparapariya vedaniya kamma. The vipaka may come as patisandhi vipaka or rebirth consciousness. If the kamma has been completed it is a karnmapatha, and can decide where one is to be reborn or if not a completed kamma, it can give vipaka after one is born during the life period, as pravurti vipaka.

However it should be noted that wholesome thoughts - kusala kamma, with roots of Alobha or detachment, Adosa or metta and Amoha or wisdom are more powerful than akusala kamma. They can over ride the effects of akusa/a kamma, and make them ineffective as Ahosi kamma.

Moha or Ignorance of Realty is the main cause of all evil. It is common to all akusala thoughts. Buddha has stated that Moha can be gradually eliminated by developing wisdom in three stages.

1. By Sutamaya-panna - Listening and reading the Dhamma - the Buddha's original teaching, found only in the Theravada Tipitaka and the commentaries - atuva and sub commentaries' tika.
2. By Chintamaya-panna, by thinking and pondering over what one has read or heard.
3. By Bahavamaya-Panna, by developing the mind in vipassana meditation.

The easiest and quickest way to develop sutamaya nana, is to read and study the Abhidhamma which is the Buddha's special teaching. A study of at least the Abhidhammatta-sangaha, which is a summary of the entire seven books of Abhidharnma Pitaka, will greatly help one in seeing reality. The Sutta Pitaka is a random collection of the summaries of the Buddha's teachings, collected and codified at the first sangayana or Council. A knowledge of at least the basics of Abhidhamma will help one to understand the abstruse teachings recorded in the Sutta Pitaka correctly.

In Abhidhamma, Bhikkhu Bodhi has stated that there are only fourteen akusala cetasika or unwholesome menta factors operating in the mind. The three evil roots have been stated earlier. Some of the others stated in the Abhidhamma and which should be recognized and avoided are:

1. Uddhacca - agitation or restlessness of the mind, which causes the body also to be restless. This is common to a11 akusala thoughts.
2. Miccha ditthi - Wrong views such as not believing in Kamma and Vipaka, rebirth etc.
3. Mana - Inferiority or superiority complex
4. Issa or Jealousy over others doing well.
5. Macchariya - miserliness, not enjoying one's wealth or allowing others to benefit by them.
6. Kukkuccha - repenting over the bad one has done and the good that could not be done.
7. Vicikiccha - doubting over facts that should not be doubted, such as the qualities of the Buddha, Dhamma and Ariya sanga, rebirth, kamma and vipaka, law of cause and effect - Paticcha samuppada, etc.

To lead a happy life one must care not only for the body but keep the mind healthy by not allowing the mind to be unwholesome. For this purpose, one must develop Sati or mindfulness, and recognize and avoid the evil mental factors stated earlier as they arise in the mind. This can be done by cultivating wholesome mental factors such as Alobha or detachment, Adosa or metta, karuna or compassion, mudita or appreciative joy, which is the opposite of jealousy, and upekkha or balance of mind. The most important mental factor that one should develop is insight wisdom or vipassana panna. It will make one see things as they are and not as they appear to be.

The mental factor mindfulness or Sati can be applied in daily life also to recognize the unwholesome mental factors as they arise in the mind to avoid much trouble and unpleasantness. Sati when developed according to the instructions in the Satipatthana Sutta can gradually eliminate all evil from the mind. Finally develop Insight Wisdom or Vipassananana and realize Nibbana the ultimate happiness. Arahats are such a persons, who are free from all defilements. They have realized Nibbana and live a contended life even though living under trees and caves in the forest. Let us also gradually avoid akusala conduct and lead a contended, happy life. May all beings be well and happy.

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