Wisdom Library Logo

Entering the Conduct of the Bodhisattvas

Text Section 162

(1) The individual explanation of overcoming [spang pa], as included in the first interpretation of the term ’sugata’, is, as the text says: ’Excellently or beautifully gone,’ meaning that (the Buddha) has gone excellently or beautifully, as he is untainted by the defects of (the truth of) suffering and (the truth of) its origination, (both of) which point at afflictions.

Buddha is not tainted by the defects of the truth of suffering [sdug / sdug bsngal gyi bden pa] and the truth of origination [kun / kun ’byung gi bden pa], which both concern saṃsāra, the realm of afflictions [kun nyon ’khor ba’i phyogs]. Afflictions [kun nyon] are understood to be ’totally polluted’ or ’utterly defiled’ [kun nas btsog pa / kun nas nyon mongs pa].

The truth of origination refers to karma [las] and afflictions [nyon mongs pa]. Karma is enacted by body, speech and mind. The term afflictions refers to the six main afflictions [rtsa ba’i nyon mongs pa drug / rtsa nyon drug], the twenty secondary afflictions [nye ba’i nyon mongs pa nyi shu / nye nyon nyi shu] as well as the three or five mind poisons.[1]

The six main afflictions [rtsa nyon drug] are:

  1. ignorance [ma rig pa],
  2. desire [’dod chags],
  3. aggression or anger [khong khro],
  4. pride [nga rgyal],
  5. doubt [the tshom], and
  6. wrong views or wrong believes [lta ba].

The twenty secondary or subsidiary afflictions [nye nyon nyi shu] are:

  1. anger [khro ba],
  2. holding a grudge [’khon ’dzin pa],
  3. concealment [’chab pa],
  4. spiteful anger [’tshig pa],
  5. jealousy [phrag dog],
  6. miserliness [ser sna],
  7. hypocrisy [sgyu],
  8. pretense [g.yo],
  9. haughtiness [rgyags pa],
  10. resentment [rnam par ’tshe ba],
  11. lack of a sense of shame [ngo tsha med pa],
  12. lack of a sense of embarrassment [khrel med pa],
  13. dullness [rmugs pa],
  14. agitation [rgod pa],
  15. lack of faith [ma dad pa],
  16. laziness [le lo],
  17. heedlessness [bag med pa],
  18. forgetfulness [brjed ngas pa],
  19. distraction [rnam g.yeng], and
  20. lack of introspection [shes bzhin ma yin pa].

The three mind poisons [dug gsum] or the three afflictions [nyon mongs gsum] are:

  1. desire [’dod chags],
  2. aversion [zhe sdang] and
  3. ignorance [gti mug].

The five mind poisons [dug lnga / nyon mongs dug lnga] are:

  1. desire [’dod chags],
  2. aversion [zhe sdang],
  3. ignorance [gti mug],
  4. arrogance [nga rgyal], and
  5. jealousy [phrag dog].

Because the Buddha has ’overcome’ [spongs pa] the obscurations of afflictions [nyon sgrib] as well as all obscurations of cognition [shes sgrib], he has thus excellently or beautifully gone [legs pa’am mdzes par gshegs pa]. Buddha is not tainted any longer by karma and afflictions because he gathered the accumulations of merit and wisdom for three countless aeons. He overcame all there is to overcome.

The example for being untainted by afflictions is that of a person with a beautiful body. As the Buddha is free from all suffering and the origination of suffering, he can be compared to a beautiful person washed utterly clean. The Buddha has surpassed saṃsāra, the truths of suffering and the origination of suffering. Therefore, he has excellently or beautifully gone [legs pa’am mdzes par gshegs pa]. Worldly beings have not transcended suffering, its causes and their fruition.

’Worldly beings’ [srid pa rnams] are all beings within the three realms of saṃsāra [srid pa khams gsum ’khor ba].

The cause for suffering [sdug bsngal gyi rgyu] is the truth of origination [kun ’byung gi bden pa]. The truth of origination refers to karma and afflictions. Karma and afflictions arise from holding on to ego [bdag ’dzin]. Ego-clinging results from ignorance [ma rig pa]. As sentient beings have not realized the wisdom of egolessness [bdag med rtogs pa’i shes rab], they are constantly involved in afflictions and thus create karma. They create the causes for suffering and experience the fruition of suffering.

first previous index next last

Footnotes and references:


For a detailed discussion of afflictions see Gateway to Knowledge Vol. II, pages 121-139.

first previous index next last