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Dhamma Wheel • View topic - Is righteous greed OK?

Is righteous greed OK?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Is righteous greed OK?

Postby mal4mac » Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:42 pm

"And what, monks, are the defilements of the mind? (1) Covetousness and *unrighteous* greed;..."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nypo.html

If you are poor, ignorant, and unaccomplished, and covet "rich Jack's" complete collection of the suttas, encyclopaedic knowledge, and undoubted accomplishments in meditation, would that be righteous greed?
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Re: Is righteous greed OK?

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:59 pm

I think this is probably the result of translation. There is no "righteous" greed. I would bet that it's a single Pali term. Hopefully one of our scholars will chime in on this.
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Re: Is righteous greed OK?

Postby reflection » Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:08 pm

I'm no scholar but the site suttacentral has a very nice automatic pali dictionary by clicking on button on the right, here:
http://suttacentral.net/mn7/pi/

It says;
Abhijjhāvisamalobho:
abhijjhā: covetousness + visama: uneven; unequal; disharmonious. + lobha: greed; covetousness. (m.)



There is no righteous greed, to me it's just emphasizing the unrighteousness (disharmonious-ness) of it.
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Re: Is righteous greed OK?

Postby mal4mac » Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:02 pm

The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha: A Complete Translation of ... - Page 1645
books.google.co.uk/books?isbn=161429044X

Unrighteous greed (visamalobha): Though greed is never actually righteous, greed arisen for an object that belongs to oneself is called righteous greed.
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Re: Is righteous greed OK?

Postby santa100 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:40 pm

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Re: Is righteous greed OK?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:12 pm

mal4mac wrote:If you are poor, ignorant, and unaccomplished, and covet "rich Jack's" complete collection of the suttas, encyclopaedic knowledge, and undoubted accomplishments in meditation, would that be righteous greed?


Coveting could be greed or become envy and jealousy. Better to look at the other's success with mudita, appreciative joy and then try to emulate that so one could have those accomplishments too. In that way, I don't think it would be "greed" since one is happy with the other person's success and then you try to accomplish what they have done (or some degree of it).
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Re: Is righteous greed OK?

Postby mal4mac » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:34 am

mal4mac wrote:... greed arisen for an object that belongs to oneself is called righteous greed.


Are we to understand that "greed for an object that belongs to oneself" isn't one of the sixteen defilements?

The commentary to the sutta I posted suggest there are other defilements, so are we take the "16" just as "examples"? If we get rid of "the 16" might you need to get rid of many more defilements before perfect samadhi can be attained?
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Re: Is righteous greed OK?

Postby robertk » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:24 am

samalobha (normal or 'righteous' lobha) is the normal attachment we have to our own possesions, car, computer etc.
BUT Visamalobha is excessive, abnormal lobha that covets anothers wife or wants to steal something etc.
Both are akusala but the second is most dangerous
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