Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammāsambuddhassa

Introduction to 3.3.2
(Ill Will Arising)

Whenever any of those three constituents of micchāsaṅkappo arise, an attentive observer will easily notice that they go along with noticeable physical manifestations, but especially the arising of byāpādasaṅkappo and vihiṃsāsaṅkappo, thoughts filled with ill will, hatred and the wish to harm are those more obviously and visible distracting and disturbing mental calm. These can even result in physical unease: breath may intensify, blood pulsation increase and even the facial features and muscles may stiffen. Like any other language Pāli makes use of different terms to express strong negativities based on anger to characterise different intensities or manifestations of similar kinds of sensations with the base of dosa. (i.e.: āghāto; byāpādo; īgho; kujjhano; kodho; kopo; paṭigho, roso; viddeso; virodho; veraṃ ;…)1. An ardent, attentive meditator will be able to understand by his detached observation how these strong negativities that arise in the mind find their counterpart in corresponding mental and physical reactions. They display themselves in sensations that arise, manifest, intensify, search for outbreak and – if simply observed rather than adhered to – eventually pass away. The Buddha advised his followers not only to overcome these tendencies but rather to delight in the absence of them as the way to develop their respective opposites by dwelling in goodwill and non-violence and fostering and cultivating compassionate love:

‘‘Tasmātiha, bhikkhave, tumhepi abyāpajjhārāmā2 viharatha abyāpajjharatā3. Tesaṃ vo, bhikkhave, tumhākaṃ abyāpajjhārāmānaṃ viharataṃ abyāpajjharatānaṃ eseva vitakko bahulaṃ samudācarissati4 – ‘imāya mayaṃ iriyāya na kiñci byābādhema tasaṃ vā thāvaraṃ vā5 ’ti. - Therefore, Bhikkhus, you should dwell delighting in the absence of ill will, you should dwell finding joy in goodwill. While you, Bhikkus, dwell delighting in the absence of ill will, finding joy in goodwill to you this kind of thought will repeatedly ensue: ‘By this our demeanour we will not afflict anyone neither weak nor strong!’6

This present Āghātavatthusuttaṃ discloses the base, the reasons and the ground of anger. If these reasons are intellectually analysed and their base understood as being and arising from within; their validity thus put into proper context and the deriving emotional push reduced by observing its evolving and fading, one truly follows the teaching as described in the Dhammapada, Yamakavaggo:

Akkocchi7 maṃ avadhi8 maṃ, ajini9 maṃ ahāsi10 me;
Ye ca taṃ nupanayhanti
11, veraṃ tesūpasammati.

He abused me, he crushed me, defeated and deprived me
To those who do not cherish such grudges hatred gets pacified.


1. Of those detailed definitions in the Abhidhamma some examples will be given in the next introduction.
2. abyāpajjhārāmā: a + byāpajjha + ārāmā: not + ill will + pleasure
3. abyāpajjharatā: a + byāpajjha + ratā: not + ill will + delight
4. samudācarissati: sam + ud + ācarati (fut.): be current, occur, befall
5. tasaṃ vā thāvaraṃ vā: this dyad is used to express the variety of beings with no exceptions (anavasesā) starting from those that thirst, crave and therefore are frail and with anxiety to those who stand firm because they have left all craving behind, the fearless Arahants: Tattha tasantīti tasā, sataṇhānaṃ sabhayānañcetaṃ adhivacanaṃ. Tiṭṭhantīti thāvarā, pahīnataṇhābhayānaṃ arahataṃ etaṃ adhivacanaṃ.
6. Vitakkasuttaṃ, Dutiyavaggo, Itivutthaka
7. akkocchi: akkosati (aor.): scold, abuse
8. avadhi: vadhati (aor): strike, kill, punish
9. ajini: jināti (aor.): defeat, surpass, conquer
10. ahāsi: harati: (aor.): take, take away, steal
11. nupanayhanti: na + upa + nayhanti: not + tie up, bind together, nurse a grudge

Pāli lesson (with audio) 3.3.2

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Last modified: Thursday, 28 December 2023, 10:45 AM