The Characteristic of Dosa - Eradication of dosa

The Buddha taught us not to be angry with those who are unpleasant to us. We read in the Vinaya (Mahๅvagga X, 349) that the Buddha said to the monks:


They who (in thought) belabour this:

That man has me abused, has hurt,

has worsted me, has me despoiled:

in these wrath is not allayed.     

They who do not belabour this:

That man has me abused, has hurt,

has worsted me, has me despoiled: 

in them wrath is allayed.

      Nay, not by wrath are wrathful moods allayed

here (and) at any time,

but by not-wrath are they allayed:

this is an (ageless) endless rule.


At times it seems impossible for us to have mettā instead of dosa. For

example, when people treat us badly we may feel very unhappy and we keep

on pondering over our misery. So long as dosa has not been eradicated there

are still conditions for its arising. By being mindful of all realities which appear

the wisdom is developed which can eventually eradicate dosa.


Dosa can only be eradicated stage by stage. The sotāpanna (the

streamwinner, who has attained the first stage of enlightenment) has not yet

eradicated dosa  at the subsequent stage of enlightenment, the stage of the

sakadāgāmī (once-returner), dosa is not yet eradicate completely. The

anāgāmī (non-returner, who has attained the third stage of enlightenment)

has eradicated dosa completely; he has no more latent tendency of dosa.

We have not eradicated dosa, but when dosa appears, we can be mindful of

its characteristic in order to know it as a type of nāma, arising because of

conditions. When there is no mindfulness of dosa when it appears, dosa

seems to last and we take it for self. Through mindfulness of nāmas and

rūpas which present themselves one at a time, we will learn that there are

different characteristics of nāma and rūpa, none of which lasts and we will

also know the characteristic of dosa as only a type of nāma, not self.


When a clearer understanding of realities is developed we will be less inclined

to ponder for a long time over an unpleasant experience, since it is only a

type of nama which does not last. We will attend more to the present

moment instead of thinking about the past or the future. We will also be less

inclined to tell other people about unpleasant things which have happened to

us, since that may be a condition for both ourselves and others to accumulate

more dosa. When someone is angry with us we will have more understanding

of his situation; he may be tired or not feeling well. Those who treat us badly

deserve compassion because they actually make themselves unhappy.


Right understanding of realities will help us most of all to have more

lovingkindness and compassion towards others instead of dosa.

Topic 179