Evil Is Driving the Wheel of Life

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Satan, is red, has a pitch fork, pointed tail and horns. Ask a child to represent evil and this is likely one answer received. Discussions of good and evil often revolve around highly honed perceptions of good versus evil. “Good and evil are not figments of the mind or the subjective creations of men; they are inherent in creation.” (Kinneging 256) Concepts of good and evil conform to absolute perception in western cultural philosophy. Buddhist philosophy has a different perception concerning good and evil. Buddhist philosophy illustrates the path to an enlightened soul using the Bhavacakra, or “Wheel of Life”, a representation of saṃsāra, or the cyclic existence. The center of this wheel contains the “Roots of Evil” - represented by a cock, a snake and a pig. The “Three Poisons” corrupt man from within. The cock represents desire, the snake hatred and the pig delusion or ignorance. While these three poisons are the root of human bondage and misery, it is delusion that drives the wheel. No meaningful discussion of good or evil in Buddhism can be undertaken without a summary understanding of karma. Buddhist philosophy teaches karma as a “creation” based on intentional acts of body, speech and mind, and that man is affected by the karma he creates. “When we plant a seed – an act, a statement, or a thought – it will eventually produce a fruit, which will ripen and fall to the ground and perpetuate more of the same.” (Makransky 334) This is to say that the “fruit” (creation of karma) results from care of the tree or as commonly mentioned in Buddhism; what a man does is what happens to him. Western philosophy might argue that desire, hatred and delusion are not the roots of evil. It could be argued: “For the love of money is the r... ... middle of paper ... ...ally principled core. Through exacting application of the three trainings, corporate managers will recognize and understand undesirable mental states that produce suffering for their customers, employees and shareholders. Works Cited Kinneging, Andreas. The Geography of Good and Evil. Translated: Ineke Hardy. Wilmington: ISI Books, 2011. 256. Print. Makransky, John. "Buddhist perspectives on truth in other religions: past and present." Theological Studies 64.2 (2003): 334+. Academic OneFile. Web. 7 Feb. 2012. Kaza, Stephanie. The Vision of Dhamma. Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc., 2005. 24. Print. Palmo, Tenzin. Reflections on a mountain lake: A Western Nun Talks on Practical Buddhism. 1st ed. Crows Nest: Snow Lion Publications, 2002. 43. eBook. Thera, Nyanaponika. The Vision of Dhamma. 2. Onalaska: BPS Pariyatti Editions, 1994. 122. Print.
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