Wrong Views (Micchādiṭṭhi)


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Wrong Views (Micchādiṭṭhi)

"No other thing than evil views do I know, o monks, whereby to such an extent the unwholesome things not yet arisen arise, and the unwholesome things already arisen are brought to growth and fullness. No other thing than evil views do I know, whereby to such an extent the wholesome things not yet arisen are hindered in their arising, and the wholesome things already arisen disappear. No other thing than evil views do I know, whereby to such an extent human beings at the dissolution of the body, at death, are passing to a way of suffering, into a world of woe, into hell."

"Whatever a man filled with evil views performs or undertakes, or whatever he possesses of will, aspiration, longing and tendencies, all these things lead him to an undesirable, unpleasant and disagreeable state, to woe and suffering."

In Buddha's philosophy, nothing is worse than wrong views. Wrong views are incorrect seeing and corrupted reasoning. There are many wrong views, 62 in total, but these can be grouped into two main types: Eternity-belief (sassata-ditthi) and Annihilation-belief (uccheda-ditthi).

Eternity-belief (sassata-ditthi)

  1. Belief in the existence of selves, souls, individuals - instead of understanding that everything is assembled from many conditionalities.

  2. Belief in a permanent heaven or hell, where every thing will be rewarded or punished

  3. Belief in existence of a creator god, who creates all things and has total control of everything

Annihilation-belief (uccheda-ditthi)

  1. Nattika-diṭṭhi – there is no result of kamma,

  2. Ahetuka-diṭṭhi – there is no cause in happening, and

  3. Akiriya-dṭṭhi – there is no such thing as kamma

Combining both types and we have 2 situations:

  1. saggāvaraṇādiṭṭhi: wrong views that prevent happiness

  2. maggāvaraṇādiṭṭhi: wrong views that prevent enlightenment

The beliefs in stupid rituals, like killing pigs and chicken and offering their blood and flesh as sacrifice to some gods, are wrong views that prevent happiness. Some wrong views that do not go against the goodness of 10 wholesome karmas may still lead to happiness, like living righteously, giving alms, showing compassion but due to false belief in some folk supernatural beings.

Wrong views that go against Four Mindfulness Domains are ‘maggāvaraṇādiṭṭhi’. One example is the thinking in the line of "I believe there is a heaven where i would be very happy once I get there, while I am in this world I suffer because of constant struggles, bad weather, hunger, thrist, I have to wait until I go to heaven to really enjoy lots of pleasurable things ... " - this kind of false belief can be slight and fixable (aniyatadiṭṭhi) but sometimes can be so severe and is unrepairable (niyatamicchadiṭṭhi).

Annihilation-belief (uccheda-ditthi) and Eternity-belief (sassata-ditthi) are all wrong views but uccheda-ditthi is many times much worse. Here there is no belief in good vs evil, no belief in restrictions in evil actions, and worst of all, no belief in spiritual liberation. Buddha once said "O monks, there are persons who fell down a sewer pit. If they got sewer waste up to their ankles, it is easy to save them. If they got sewer waste up to their knees, their belly button, their chest, they still can be saved. Even to their necks, or over their heads, but some hairs are still visible, it is possible to save them. But those that are totally covered, there is nothing we can grab on to save them ... "

There are many types of people with wrong views. Some just have stupid unhealthy thoughts with corrupt ideas and illusions (viparītadassana, vipallāsa).

Wrong views are one of the 10 causes of sufferings, and together with doubts, they cause the endless turns of the birth-death cycle. If you stop personality belief then doubts will follow and disappear. When both of these causes of suffering are stopped, the maximum number of times one must re-enter the birth-death cycles is 7 - just like a car that has been running for trillions of kilo-meters and now can only roll on for another 7 meters.

Right or wrong views are from our focus and concentration in all things on this life. Focusing and concentrating correctly (Upāyamanasikāra) bring right views. Incorrectly (Anupāyamanasikāra), wrong views will happen.


Fear of Death | | Introduction to Satipatthana Sutta

To Have and To Own | | Right Views (Sammādiṭṭhi)

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