Thursday, October 20, 2011

The third evil

3) the third evil [37] The Buddha continued, "The third evil is this. People of the world live together, inhabiting this realm between heaven and earth, with a limited life-span. On the one hand, among the higher levels there are wise, rich, honorable, noble, and wealthy people. On the other hand, among the lower levels there are people who are poor, debased, crude and foolish. Besides, there are evildoers who always harbor vicious thoughts and think only of self-gratification; they are full of worries, sunk in lust and attachment, are restless in their daily lives, greedy and miserly, and desirous of what they have no right to possess. They gloat over fair-skinned women, behave licentiously and commit obscene acts with them, hate their own wives, and secretly frequent brothels. Consequently, after squandering all their resources, they begin to break the law. They form bands, start riots, engage in fighting, unlawfully attack and kill people and plunder property.
"Some have evil designs on the possessions of others. Without working at their own occupations, they acquire things through theft. Driven by desire, they commit further offenses. Feverishly agitated, they intimidate and rob people to support their own wives and children with the goods thus acquired. Obeying only the dictates of their passions, they become addicted to wanton pleasures. They also disregard seniority in kinship, causing sorrow and anguish to other family members and relatives; furthermore, they take no account of the laws of the State.
"But such evils are known to others and also to demons. The Sun and the Moon recognize them and demigods keep records of their doings. Thus, because of the natural working of karma, there are three evil realms and innumerable sufferings through which evildoers must pass, life after life, for many kalpas, with no end in sight. It is indeed difficult for them to gain release. The pain they must undergo is indescribable. This is called the third great evil, the third suffering, and the third burning. The afflictions are such that they are comparable to a huge fire burning people alive.
"If in the midst of this one controls one's thoughts with single-mindedness, does worthy deeds with proper demeanor, commits no evil, and performs only good, then with the merit and virtue acquired one reaches emancipation and is able to escape from this world, be reborn in heavenly realms and finally reach Nirvana. This is the third great good."

No comments: