Different Degrees of Lobha - Eradication of lobha I

All degrees of lobha, be it coarse or more subtle, bring sorrow. We are like slaves so long as we are absorbed in and infatuated with the objects which present themselves through eyes, ears, nose, tongue, bodysense and mind. We are not free if our happiness depends on the situation we are in, and the way others behave towards us. One moment people may be kind to us, but the next moment they may behave in an unpleasant way towards us. If we attach too much importance to the affection of others, we shall be easily disturbed in mind, and thus become slaves of our moods and emotions.


We can become more independent and free if we realize that both we

ourselves and other people are only nāma and rūpa, phenomena arising

because of conditions and falling away again. When others speak in an

unpleasant way to us there are conditions which cause them to speak in that

way, and there are conditions which cause us to hear such speech. Other

people's behaviour and our reactions to it are conditioned phenomena which

do not stay. At the moment we are thinking about these phenomena, they

have fallen away already. The development of insight is the way to become

less dependent on the vicissitudes of life. When there is more understanding

of the present moment, we will attach less importance to the way people

behave towards us.


Since lobha is rooted so deeply, it can only be eradicated in different stages.

Ditthi has to be eradicated first. The sotāpanna, the person who has realized

the first stage of enlightenment, has eradicated ditthi. He has developed the

wisdom which realizes that all phenomena are nāma and rūpa, not self. Since

he has eradicated ditthi, the lobha-mūla-cittas with ditthi do not arise

anymore. As we have seen, four types of lobha-mūla-citta arise with ditthi

(they are ditthigata-sampayutta) and four types arise without ditthi (they are

ditthigata-vippayutta). As for the sotāpanna, the four types of lobha-mūla-

citta without ditthi still arise; he has not yet eradicated all kinds of

attachment. The sotāpanna still has conceit. Conceit can arise with the four

types of lobha-mūla-citta which are without ditthi (ditthigata-vippayutta).

There may be conceit when one compares oneself with others, when one, for

example, thinks that one has more wisdom than others. When we consider

ourselves better, equal or less in comparison with others we may find

ourselves important and then there is conceit. When we think ourselves less

than someone else it is not necessarily kusala; there may still be a kind of

upholding of ourselves and then there is conceit. Conceit is rooted so deeply

that it is eradicated only when one has become an arahat.

Topic 178