The Characteristic of Dosa - The real cause of aversion

We would like to live in a world of harmony and unity among nations and we are disturbed when people commit acts of violence. We should consider what the real cause is of war and discord between people: it is the defilements which people have accumulated. When we have aversion we think that other people or unpleasant situations are the cause of our aversion. However, our accumulation of dosa is the real cause for aversion to arise time and again. If we want to have less dosa we should know the characteristic of dosa and we should be aware of it when it arises.


Dosa has many degrees; it can be a slight aversion or it can be more coarse,

such as anger. We can recognize dosa when it is coarse, but do we realize

that we have dosa when it is more subtle? Through the study of the

Abhidhamma we learn more about the characteristic of dosa. Dosa is an

akusala cetasika (mental factor) arising with an akusala citta. A citta rooted

in dosa is called in Pāli: dosa-mūla-citta. The characteristic of dosa is

different from the characteristic of lobha. When there is lobha, the citta

likes the object which it experiences at that moment, whereas when there

is dosa, the citta has aversion towards the object it experiences. We can

recognize dosa when we are angry with someone and when we speak

disagreeable words to him. But when we are afraid of something there is dosa

as well, because one has aversion towards the object one is afraid of. There

are so many things in life we are afraid of; we are afraid of the future, of

diseases, of accidents, of death. We look for many means in order to be cured

of anguish, but the only way is the development of the wisdom which

eradicates the latent tendency of dosa.

Topic 179