佛學講座 - 佛學問答(English) - What is defilement?
What is defilement?

 

Defilement denotes negative emotions in mind like greed, anger, and

ignorance. Allowing such negative emotions to evolve stands to offset

inner balance, impact on behavior and activity, and, if left without

intervention, turn into killing, stealing, engaging in sexual misconduct,

and lying, the first three of which termed three poisons in Buddhism.

It is imperative that prior efforts are made to prevent and resolve.

Defilement is so called because it is emotional disturbance and loss

of independence in mind, discomfort and disharmony. The Weishi sect

divides defilement into two groups, fundamental and accordant.

Fundamental defilement denotes greed, anger, ignorance, arrogance,

doubt, and view.

Greed denotes unstoppable delusional and insatiable chase after

material and affection;

Anger denotes emotional imbalance and instability giving rise to anger

in the face of negative condition, assuming reckless behavior as outlet,

and hurting self and another in the end;

Ignorance denotes inability to comprehend the source of defilement and

that of cause and effect, in turn giving rise to greed, anger, and

ignorance itself;

Arrogance denotes pride or reluctance in doing what should be done,

slacking and indolence, nonchalance about time, self-aggrandizement,

and contempt for another;

Doubt denotes inability to handle the truth, hesitation and distrust; and

View denotes assumption of erroneous perspective, unreadiness to

accept the truth, and inability to read cause and effect.