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Chapter 13 - Sakkaya Ditthi

Its Causes And Consequences

Sakkaya (Sa or Santo, that means which really exists, and Kaya, aggregate) means the five aggregates which really exist. Ditthi means 'wrong view'. These two words constitute Sakkaya Ditthi.

How and in what manner the Wrong View arises? When Pancakkhandha is viewed and taken as personality Ego, I or Me, this is called the Wrong View. Wrong View arises whenever Khandha is taken as personality or when the idea of Ego, Soul, Self or I, comes in. Ditthi is the most deleterious and harmful offence in the thirty one places of existence.

  • (4 Apayabhumi,
  • 1 Manussa Bhumi,
  • 6 Devaloka,
  • 20 Brahmaloka.)

The Buddha says,

'Vijjanam Bhikkhave Miccha Ditthi Paramani'.

This means, of all the offences Micchaditthi (the Wrong View) is the most deleterious and harmful.

In the Anguttara Nikaya, the Buddha says

'Twenty kinds of Sakkaya Ditthi can never lead a being to the Sugati but instead it can lead him down to Duggati (Apaya Bhumi). As the pebbles of the size of a pea can never float on the water so never could a being with Sakkaya ditthi come up and float on the surface of Samsara.'

Sakkaya Ditthi is the breeding and the birth place of the sixty two kinds of Ditthi. Depending on Sakkaya Ditthi all kinds of Ditthi arise, hence the Buddha said, 'Satthiya Viya Omatho, Dashyamanova matthake; Sakkayaditthim Pahanaya, Sato Bhikkhu Paribbhaje'. It means, as a man who has caught fire on his head and being pierced by a spear on the chest so the Bhikkhu who is mindful should try to eliminate Sakkaya Ditthi with all haste.

If a man has Sakkaya Ditthi, there is no doubt that he may attain Sugati Bhumi (pleasurable abode) by doing Dana, Sila and Bhavana, but he could never realise Magga and Phala. He who has Sakkaya Ditthi has no compunction to commit matricide, patricide or even shed the blood of the Buddha. There is no Akusala Dhamma for him which he does not dare to do. It was this very Sakkaya Ditthi which prompted Devadatta to try and assassinate the Buddha by all conceivable means in order to make himself the Buddha.

Prince Ajatasattu being ill-advised by Devadatta into believing that he could never become a king so long as his father King Bimbisara was alive, and being so self conscious to become a king himself in his youth that he had his father killed. It was the Sakkaya Ditthi which prompted him to have his father the old king killed.

It was also Ditthi Vipallasa or Sakkaya Ditthi which caused Patacari (a rich man's daughter) to be in the state of deranged mentality. Being led by the wrong view, after misconstruing and wrongly conceiving Pancakkhandha as husband, son, daughter, father and mother, she reached the state of insanity and consequently became an actute maniac beyond control.

He who has Sakkaya ditthi is just like the kite which would fly only as high as the length of the thread, then it would fall to the ground because it is Sakkaya Ditthi which goes along with it and makes him fall.

The Buddha says,

'Ukkhitta punnatejena, kamarupa gatimgata bhavaggantampi sampatta, puna gacchanti duggatim'.

It means that because of Samatha or meritorious deeds one may attain Kamaloka Rupaloka and Arupaloka but he is bound to come down to Duggati again (woeful plane of existence) because of Sakkaya Ditthi which is inherent in him.

From the basic Sakkaya Ditthi branch out other four dreadful and dangerous Ditthis, i.e.

  1. Akiriya Ditthi,
  2. Nattika Ditthi,
  3. Ahetuka Ditthi
  4. and Issaraninmana Ditthi.

Akiriya Ditthi: This wrong view advocates that all the deeds, actions, whether physical, verbal or mental, meritorious or otherwise, right or wrong, moral or immoral are devoid of all effects or consequences, fruitless, barren and will amount to nothing.

Ahetuka Ditthi: is the total denial of law of Causality or in other words the view that Animate or Inanimate things or phenomena are fortuitous and events are only chance occurrences which are void of cause.

Natthika Ditthi: is the wrong view which denies both the Law of Causality and the Resultant effect. It emphasizes that all animate or inanimate things are causeless, and deeds good or evil will not bear any fruit and have no meaning and will amount to nothing.

Denial of one amounts to denial of the Effect, also denial of one amounts to denial of the other two, and the presence of any one of the Ditthis is more harmful and detrimental than the one who commits Pancanantariya Kamma. Therefore we must be careful lest we might fall wittingly or unwittingly into any of these Niyata Miccha Ditthis.

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