The Origin of Conflict

From Anguttara Nikaya 2

The brahmin Aramadanda approached the Venerable Mahakaccana, exchanged friendly greetings with him, and asked him: “Why is it, Master Kaccana, that khattiyas fight with khattiyas, brahmins with brahmins, and householders with householders?”

It is, brahmin, because of attachment to worldly pleasures, adherence to worldly pleasures, fixation to worldly pleasures, obsession with worldly pleasures, holding firmly to worldly pleasures that khattiyas fight with kattiyas, brahmins with brahmins and householders with householders.

“Why is it that, Master Kaccana, that ascetics fight with ascetics?”

“It is, brahmins, because of attachment to views, adherence to views , fixation on views, addiction to views, obsession with views, holding firmly to views that ascetics fight with ascetics.”

I thought this was an interesting passage from the Anguttara Nikaya to keep in mind. Especially in relation to past, recent and future contentions that are bound to arise as Buddhism continues to grow in the West. I think that some individuals (in general) and Buddhists (specifically) spend much of their time focusing on is the renunciation of attachment to worldly objects and pleasures while simultaneously fostering attachments to their own specific views. It matters very little if these views are political, personal, religious or philosophical. When we no longer attempt to view the world through the eyes of others and strictly rely on the tunnel-vision of our own experience, we quietly and subtly walk off of the path…

…but I am not attached to that view. Just something to keep in mind. It seems that even the Buddha admits that you can be in the stream and still be somewhat of an ass. There is hope for me yet.



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