Different Degrees of Lobha - Subtle lobha II

Not only the suttas, but also the Vinaya (Book of Discipline for the monks) gives examples of lobha which is more subtle. Each part of the teachings, the Vinaya, the Suttanta and the Abhidhamma can help us to know ourselves better. When we read the Vinaya we see that even monks who lead a life with contentment with little, still have accumulated conditions for lobha. Every time there was a case where monks deviated from their purity of life, a rule was laid down in order to help them to be more watchful. Thus we can understand the usefulness of the rules, which go into even the smallest details of the monk's behaviour. The rules help the monk to be watchful even when performing the most common actions of daily life such as eating, drinking, robing himself and walking. There are rules which forbid seemingly innocent actions like playing in the water or with the water (Expiation, Pācittiya 53), or teasing other monks. Such actions are not done with kusala cittas, but with akusala cittas.


We read in the Vinaya ('Suttavibhanga', Pācittiya 85) that the monks should

not enter a village at the wrong time. The reason is that they would indulge

more easily in worldly talk. We read:


Now at that time the group of six monks,

having entered a village at the wrong time,

having sat down in a hall,

talked a variety of worldly talk,

that is to say: talk of kings, of thieves, of great ministers,

of armies, of fears, of battles, of food, of drink, of clothes,

of beds, of garlands, of scents, of relations, of vehicles,

of villages, of little towns, of towns, of the country,

of women, of strong drink, of streets, of wells,

of those departed before, of diversity,

of speculation about the world, about the sea,

on becoming and not becoming

thus and thus....


This passage is useful for laypeople as well. We cannot help talking about

worldly matters, but we should know that our talking, even if it seems

innocent, is often motivated by lobha-mūla-cittas or by dosa-mūla-cittas

(cittas rooted in aversion). In order to know ourselves we should find out by

what kind of citta our talking is motivated.

Topic 178