Different Degrees of Lobha - Ten unwholesome courses of action II

As far as the akusala kamma-pathas through speech are concerned, lying, slandering and frivolous talk are performed with lobha-mūla-citta if one wishes to obtain something for oneself, or if one wishes to endear oneself to other people. As regards lying, we may thing that there is no harm in a so- called 'white lie' or a lie said for fun. However, all kinds of lies are motivated by akusala cittas.
We read in the 'Discourse on an exhortation to Rāhula at Ambalatthikā’ (Middle Length Sayings II, no. 61, Bhikkhu-vagga) that the Buddha spoke to his son Rāhula about lying. The Buddha said:


Even so, Rāhula, of anyone for whom

there is no shame at intentional lying,

of him I say that there is no evil he cannot do.

Wherefore, for you, Rāhula,

'I will not speak a lie, even for fun' - -

this is how you must train yourself, Rāhula.


Lying can also be done with dosa-mūla-citta and this is the case when one

wants to harm someone else.


As regards slandering, we all are inclined to talk about other. When there is

no intention to harm the reputation of others, there is no akusala kamma-

patha. However, when talking about others becomes a habit, there can easily

be an occasion for akusala kamma-patha. This kind of akusala kamma-patha

is performed with lobha-mūla-citta if one slanders in order to obtain

something for oneself or to please others. It is performed with dosa-mūla-

citta if one wants to harm someone else. We will be less inclined to talk about

others or to judge them when we see ourselves and others as phenomena

which arise because of conditions and which do not stay. At the moment we

talk about other people's actions, these phenomena have fallen away already;

What they said or did exists no more.


Rude speech is performed with dosa-mūla-citta.


Frivolous talk is talk about idle, senseless things. This kind of talk can be

performed with lobha-mūla-citta or by dosa-mūla-citta. Frivolous talk is not

always akusala kamma patha. It can be done with by akusala citta which does

not have the intensity of akusala kamma-patha.

Topic 178