Moha - The world in the ariyan sense

The world experienced through the six doors is real, but it does not last; it is impermanent. When we see, there is the world of the visible, but it falls away immediately. When we hear, there is the world of sound, but it does not last either. It is the same with the world of smell, the world of flavour, the world of tangible object and the world of objects experienced through the mind- door. However, we usually know only the world of concepts, because ignorance and wrong view have been accumulated for so long. Ignorance of paramattha dhammas is the kind of ignorance which should be eradicated; it brings sorrow. Ignorance conditions the wrong view of self and all other defilements. So long as there is ignorance we are deluding ourselves, we do not know what our life really is: conditioned phenomena which arise and fall away.


The world in the sense of paramattha dhammas is in the teachings called 'the

world in the ariyan sense'. The ariyan has developed the wisdom which sees

things as they are; he truly knows 'the world'. We read in the 'Kindred

Sayings' (IV, Salāyatana-vagga, Kindred Sayings on Sense, Second Fifty, Ch.

IV, par. 84, Transitory) that Ānanda said to the Buddha: 


' "The world! The world" is the saying, lord.

Pray, how far, lord, does this saying go?'


' What is transitory by nature, Ānanda,

is called "the world" in the ariyan sense.

And what, Ānanda, is transitory by nature?

The eye, Ananda, is transitory by nature. . .

objects. . . tongue. . . mind is transitory by nature,

mind-states, mind-consciousness, mind-contact,

 whatsoever pleasant feeling, unpleasant feeling or

indifferent feeling which arises owing to mind-contact,

that also is transitory by nature.

What is thus transitory, Ānanda,

is called  "the world" in the ariyan sense.'

Someone may think that he can truly know himself without knowing the world

as it appears through the six doors. He may think that he knows his anger

and attachment, but, in fact, he has not experienced them as they are: only

different types of nāma and not self. So long as he has wrong view of realities

he does not really know himself and he cannot eradicate defilements. He

clings to an idea, to the concept of self; he has not directly experienced any

characteristic of reality. It is difficult to know when there are lobha, dosa and

moha, and it is difficult to be aware also of the more subtle degrees of

akusala. When we start to develop ''insight'', right understanding of realities,

we realize how little we know ourselves.

Topic 180