The Buddha said that the root cause of falling into woeful and miserable planes of existence (apayagati) must be uprooted. The root cause is the manifestation of wrong view (miccha ditthi). Those who have wrong view inherent in them have no compunction to
- take the life of a being
- commit sexual misconduct
- commit matricide or even
- shed the blood of the Buddha.
All sorts of wrongdoings and misdeeds are the outcome of wrong view. Therefore, the Buddha said the root cause of falling into woeful states must be uprooted.
The majority of people consider that it is unwholesome (akusala) karma responsible for an unfortunate rebirth. But thorough examination reveals that the real culprit is wrong-view. There is no doubt that it is the hangman who executes the condemned person. But the real power is the judge who hands down the sentence.
In the same way, it is the view that sends the sentient being (satta) to a miserable rebirth. Karma only hurls one and is not the real culprit. Hence, views are harmful and deleterious. Why one's view is the root cause may be explained as follows:
There arises thought for eating, thought for sleeping, thought for speaking, but all sorts of thoughts that arise are mistaken for personality: I want to eat, I want to sleep, I want to speak, and so on.
- See anatta for the Buddha's liberating teaching of "egolessness."
Such a mistaken notion develops into personality or ego as I -- "I am" or mine -- on the arising of each mental phenomenon. A thought or consciousness arises as the result of the impact of an object on a sense door. This is how and from where the idea of personality, I, ego, mine, and me comes in.
Therefore, we must be careful not to misconceive seeing as "I see" or hearing as "I hear." There is no seer, hearer, or doer. This is only the resultant effect of causal law. When hatred or craving arise, they are to be understood, observed, and cognized as hate-consciousness (citta or "thought moment"), greed-consciousness, deluded-consciousness, and so on. It must be understood that they arise in accordance with their own impersonal function.
After some practice it will occur to the yogi that there is nothing but consciousness. At this stage, more emphasis should be given to the experience that the arising of mental states is merely phenomenal. There is nothing but consciousness. There is no I, ego, me, or mine!
Again, there will arise jealousy or thought for almsgiving. Whatever thought or consciousness may arise it is to be understood and noted that it is only a mental state. When a thought for smoking arises, it should be understood and noted that it is a thought or consciousness only, not "I" who want to smoke. More>>