A Critical study of Buddhist Perspective on the Wrong action (Agati)
Four wrong actions are described in a lot of places in Buddhist scriptures and concerned with laypeople, monks and nuns. In spite of the fact that there are some different ethical systems introduced by the Buddha and his disciple, it is undeniable that those are the key points to be avoided in all fields.
Those are especially mentioned in the Suttanta texts but they can also be found in other Buddhist texts such as Vinaya and Abhidhamma. The Buddha gave the best instruction regarding Agati to be avoided in the field of religion, social, economic, education and cultural. Not only for external peace in the world but also for internal peace in the mind, four wrong actions should be kept away with by people. It should be therefore understood that those four wrong actions are the parts to be restrained in daily life for dignity and pure mind.
In the Agatisutta, the Buddha said: ‘There are these four ways of going off. Which four? One goes off course through desire. One goes off course through aversion. One goes off course through delusion. One goes off course through fear. These are the four ways of going off course. So don’t live your life on auto pilot, blindly following your gps, that’s a good way of getting yourself killed! In fact if you live without mindfuleness the Buddha said you are like the walking dead.(Dhp II PTS: Dhp 21-32)
Thus spoke the Exalted one. And when he Master had thus spoken, he spoke yet again: Whoever through desire, hate, or fear, or ignorance should transgress the Dhamma, all his glory fades away like the moon during the waning half. Whoever through desire, hate or fear, or ignorance never transgresses the Dhamma, all his glory ever increase like the moon during the waxing half. This was called by the Buddha “going off course”. Normally we are on an unmindful course, lead by automatic pilot or GPS and not thinking like those people who follow when the GPS says to turn here and they drive into a lake, no being mindful or their surroundings.(AN 4.19 PTS: A ii 18)
According to the words of the Buddha mentioned above, a person who goes off course not only get bad result in this present life but his prosperities which he got will disappear later as well. Being lack of morality, his sprit will also decrease slowly. With lower spirit, one cannot go to the audiences who are endowed with morality.
The problem of research:
The problem to be investigated regarding this study and research can be stated under the following aspects:
- Nature of human existence has to be investigated in the light of the modern philosophical researches with parallel teachings of Buddhism.
- The nature of human problems and their basis related to mental, physical and environmental aspects should be investigated in order to emphasize the need of a universal ethical system.
- Ethical teachings based on selected Vinaya, Suttanta and Abhidhamma texts should be investigated in order to find suitable criteria for a universal ethical system.
A universal ethical system should be formulated based on the life-style of the modern world.
The basic methodology of the research is to find relevant data from the Buddhist scriptures and study them comparatively in order to achieve the main objective of this study which is mentioned above. This methodology include the following aspects:
- Collection of data from the primary sources.
- Classification of data according to the research scheme.
- Comparative analysis of data in the light of the secondary sources.
- Comparing the analysis of data with the information related to practical aspects.
The data to be collected will mainly be the factual information recorded in the Buddhist scriptures in Pali, Atthakatha , Tika and Sanskrit. Photographs of some important Buddhist temples in Burma, Sri Lanka, Thailand and India to the expression of Agati will be collected. The factual data will be mainly collected from the following Buddhst scriptures.
The term Agati means wrong action to others depending on desire, love, fear and ignorancd. Most of the people use agati as a corruption.,but it is one of four agati according to the Buddha. In fact, if someone knows Agati and its concept, one can overcome his desire and fear and he or she can practise good dhamma to reach Nibba. shame of doing harm onto others and oneself whereas Ottappa is fear of doing harm onto others and oneself.
These two qualities are called world protectors according to Dukanipāta of the Aṅguttaranikāya. The Abhiddhamma defines moral shame as ‘to be ashamed of what one ought to be ashamed of, to be ashamed of performing evil and unwholesome deeds'[footnoteRef:3].
It is one of the seven noble treasures (ariya, dhama): faith, moral conduct, moral shame, moral fear, learning, generosity and wisdom. Moral shame (Hirī) is often paired with moral fear (Ottappa) and, as the foundation for morality, called the world protectors[footnoteRef:5] since they are the preconditions for a functional society. As earlier stated, a person with an established Hirī or shame of evil and Ottappa or moral fear in his or her mind must be one who has long been habituated to doing good and at the same time is proud of the dignity of human being.
Tentativ Outline of the Research
In my work, the tentative chapters run as follows:
- Literature Review
- Research Problem
- Research Methodology
- Moral Shame (Hirī)
- Fear of Wrongdoing (Ottappa)
- Contemporary social issue which is relate to the reason of social, nature of social issue, type of social issue and impact on the society.
- The importance of practicing Hirī and Ottappa
- The impact of Hirī and Ottappa in solving individual issues.
- The impact of Hirī and Ottappa in solving social issues.
- The utility of Hirī and Ottappa for a better world.
The main objective of my study is an attempt to present a trustworthy and information of the two custodians. One more thing is that I am going to try to answer the two custodian Dhammas can utilize for world peace. By cultivating within ourselves the qualities of moral shame and fear of wrongdoing we not only accelerate our own progress along the path to deliverance, but also contribute our share toward the protection of the world. Given the intricate interconnections that hold between all living forms, to make the sense of shame and fear of wrong the guardians of our own minds is to make ourselves guardians of the world.
- Tentative Outline of the Research
Our thesis shall consist of the following chapters.
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
In this chapter, we shall discuss importance and scope of the topic. We shall also show the source material, research methodology and related in this chapter.
CHAPTER 2: DEFINATION OF FOUR WRONG ACTIONS
In this chapter, we will discuss what are four wrong actions and what are the characteristics of them according to Buddhist teachings.
CHAPTER 3: RELATIOSHIP BETWEEN FOUR WRONG ACTIONS AND HUMAN BEINGS
In this chapter, we will discuss concept of relationship between four wrong actoins and human beings
CHAPTER 4: DETERIOATION THROUGH CONDUCT OF FOUR WRONG ACTIONS
Here we will discuss the importance of deterioration through lack of lokapala dhamma
CHAPTER 5; FLOURISH THROUGH AVOIDING FOUR WRONG ACTIONS
In this chapter, we will discuss flouring through avoiding by four wrong actions.
CHAPTER 6: CONCLUSION
In this chapter, we will explain summary of four wrong actions.
- The Buddha or Peerless Benefactor of Humanity by U Shwe Aung, Myawaddy Press, Yangon, 1995
- Analysis of Perfections by Rerukane Chandavimala Mahathera, Published by Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy, Sri Lanka, 2003
- The Buddha and His Teaching by Venerable Narada Maha Thera,Published by Buddhist Missionary Society, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1988
- Buddha in Theravada Buddhism by Toshichi Endo, Published by Buddhist Cultural Centre, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 1997
- Essential Themes Of Buddhist Lectures by Ashin Thittila, Published by Wisdom Audio Visual Exchange, Bankok, Thailand , 1986
- Milinda’s Questions (MilindapaGha PALi), Tr. I.B. Horner, Vols. I-II, PTS, London, UK, 1990-1991
- A Textual and Historical Analysis of the Khuddaka Nikaya by Oliver Abeynayake, Tissa Press, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 1984
- The Long Discourses of the Buddha (DIghanikAya), Tr. MauriceWalshe, Wisdom Publications, Boston, USA, 1995
- The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha (MajjhimanikAya), Tr.Bhikkhu Nanamoli, edited and revised by Bhikkhu Bodhi. Wisdom Publications, Boston, USA, 1995,
- The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (SamyuttanikAya), Tr. Wisdom Publications, Boston, USA, 2002
- The text of Minor Sayings(KhuddakapATha) , Tr. Mrs. C.A.F. Rhys Davids, PTS, London, UK, 1997
- The Minor Readings and The Illustrator of Ultimate Meaning(KhuddakapATha and KhuddakapATha ôTThakathA), Tr. Bhikkhu Nanamoli, PTS, London, UK, 1994
- The Path of Purification (Visuddhimagga), Tr. Nanamoli, Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy, Sri Lanka, 1975
- Silva, Lily de. Paritta: A Historical and Religious Study of the Buddhist Ceremony for Peace and Prosperity in Sri Lanka. Spolia Zeylanica, vol. 36, part I, Bulletin of the National Museums of Sri Lanka, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 1981
- Bodhi, Bhikkhu, The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, Kandy, Buddhist Publication Society, 1995.
- Bodhi, Bhikkhu, The Connected Discourses of the Buddha, Kandy, Buddhist Publication Society, 2000.
- Woods, J.H., and Kosambi. D., Majjhima Nikaya__hakatha, The Pali Text Society, Text series No. 82, 1979.
- The commentary on the Majjhima Nikaya (Papañca Sudani) (Sinhala Script Edition), The Tripitake Publication Press, Colombo, Vol. 35, 1933.
- Masefeild, Peter. The Udana Commentary, Oxford, Pali Text Society, 2001.
- Bodhi, Bhikkhu. The Mahanidana Sutta and its Commentaries, Kandy, Buddhist Publication Society, 2000.
- Bodhi, Bhikkhu. The Brahmajala Sutta and its Commentaries, Kandy, Buddhist Publication Society, 1978.
- Collins, Steven. Aggañña Sutta An Annotated Translation, Delhi, Swastik Offset Printers 2001.
- Malalasekera G.P, Dictionary of Pali Proper Names, Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, 2002.
- Anuruddha Maha Thero, Kakkapalliye. Pali Dictionary of Idioms, Hong Kong, Chi Lin Nunnery, 2004.
- Buddhadatta Maha Thero, Pollwatte. Pali-Sinhala Dictionary, Colombo, Buddhist Cultural Centre, 1998.
- Davids, Rhys T.W., Stede, William. Pali-English Dictionary, New Delhi, Munshiram