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Home Teachings Love and Hatred What Caused Love and Hatred - Cause of Love and Hatred

What Caused Love and Hatred - Cause of Love and Hatred

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Cause of Love and Hatred

Sakka continued to ask,

"But what, dear sir, is the cause of love and hatred, what is their origination, what gives them birth, what is their source? When what exists do they come into being? When what doesn't exist do they not?"

The Buddha answered, "Love and hatred have desire as their cause, have desire as their origination, have desire as what gives them birth, have desire as their source. When desire exists, they come into being. When desire is not, they don't."

Sakka then asked the Buddha about the cause of love and hatred. The Buddha said that desire was the cause of love and hatred. Here, the desire the Buddha referred to is not wholesome desire but the desire associated with pleasure and craving (tanhâ chanda).

Desire is of five kinds:

  1. The insatiable desire to seek sensual objects. This desire is the driving force behind men's ceaseless activities until the moment of death in each existence.
  2. The insatiable desire to get sensual objects. When one desire is fulfilled, another arises and so in this way the acquisitive drive never ends. No wonder that even millionaires crave for more wealth and money instead of being content with what they have.
  3. The insatiable desire to consume various sensual objects and material goods. People who like shows, songs, etc., never tire of enjoying them.
  4. The insatiable desire to store gold, silver, etc., or to hoard money in any form to be used in case of an emergency.
  5. The desire that some people have to give money to their followers, employees, etc.

These five kinds of desire lead to love and hatred. Those objects and living beings that help to fulfil our desires cause love to arise, while those that obstruct our desires cause hatred.

"But what, dear sir, is the cause of desire, what is its origination, what gives it birth, what is its source? When what exists does it come into being? When what doesn't exist does it not?"

The Buddha answered, "Desire has discursive thinking as its cause, has discursive thinking as its origination, has discursive thinking as what gives it birth, has discursive thinking as its source. When discursive thinking exists, desire comes into being. When discursive thinking is not, it doesn't."

Sakka then asked the Buddha about the origin of desire. The Buddha answered that desire is caused by discursive thinking (vitakka). According to the commentary, vitakka means thinking and deciding. This vitakka is of two kinds: one is based on desire while the other has its origin in views. In other words, you think and decide when you regard a sense-object, or a person or another living being as pleasant and desirable. Thus, if you are not mindful at the moment of seeing, hearing, etc., you think and decide. This mental action leads to craving and attachment.

"But what, dear sir, is the cause of thinking, what is its origination, what gives it birth, what is its source? When what exists does it come into being? When what doesn't exist does it not?"

The Buddha answered, "Discursive thinking has perceptions & tendency of the mind to proliferate issues from the sense of self as its cause, as its origination, as what gives it birth, as its source. When perceptions & tendency of the mind to proliferate issues from the sense of self exists, discursive thinking comes into being. When the perceptions & categories of complication are not, it doesn't."

Then Sakka asked the Buddha about the cause of discursive thinking. The Buddha replied that discursive thinking is due to perception, which tends to expand or diffuse (papañca-sañña). There are three such kinds of perception: craving (tanhâ), conceit (mâna) and wrong-view (ditthi). Like a small photograph that can be enlarged, every mental image or thought lends itself to expansion. An unmindful person usually falls prey to one of these agents of expansion. He expands every sense-object that he perceives and remembers because of his attachment, conceit or wrong-view.

At the moment of seeing one sees only visible form, but then reflection brings into play craving, conceit and wrong-view. Craving makes the form appear pleasant and amplifies it. The same happens with conceit and wrong-view. So later, every recollection of the moment of seeing leads to thinking and decision, which in turn causes desire. Again, desire leads to love and hatred that make a man prey to envy and ill-will. These cause the frustration and suffering of humanity.

 



 

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