AN 10.76: What do shame, remorse, and negligence refer to?

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perkele
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Re: AN 10.76: What do shame, remorse, and negligence refer to?

Post by perkele » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:45 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:40 am
The Buddha never commends feeling remorseful, for remorse (kukkucca is a hindrance and always unskilful. The passage you allude to advises not remorse, but rather reflection on the nature of a mental action one has performed.
Was this an unskilled deed of mind, its yield anguish, its result anguish? If you, Rāhula, while reflecting thus, should find: ‘This deed that I did with the mind was a deed of my mind that conduced to the harm of self and to the harm of others and to the harm of both; this deed of mind was unskilled, its yield anguish, its result anguish’, such a deed of your mind, Rāhula, should be confessed, disclosed, declared to the Teacher or to intelligent Brahma-farers so that, confessed, disclosed and declared, it would induce restraint in the future.

https://suttacentral.net/en/mn61
Bhante, whose translation is this? [Edit: The translation is by I.B. Horner.] (Offtopic remark to the universe: I think this bad design on SuttaCentral, that the information about authorship for translations is so hidden that I don't even know where to look for it. [Edit: One can find it by clicking on the "hamburger menu" on the top left from the translation, and then on "Metadata" (which I still think is not easy to find)])

In all the other translations that I read there is this one notable difference in advice regarding mental unskillful deeds that deviates from the otherwise repititive enumeration pattern:
MN61, Thanissaro trans. wrote:Was it an unskillful mental action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it led to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it was an unskillful mental action with painful consequences, painful results, then you should feel distressed, ashamed, & disgusted with it. Feeling distressed, ashamed, & disgusted with it, you should exercise restraint in the future.
MN 61, Upplavanna trans. wrote:When reflecting if you know, this mental action caused me, others, trouble. It is demerit and unpleasant. Then you should be disgusted and loathe such mental actions.
MN 61, Nyanaponika trans. wrote:“If, Rāhula, when reflecting you realize; ‘Now this action that I have done by mind is conducive to my own harm, to the harm of others, and to that of both, hence unskilful is this mental action entailing suffering and productive of pain,’—such mental actions of yours, Rāhula, should be loathed, abhorred and despised. [13] Thus loathing, abhorring and despising, you should acquire restraint in the future.

Footnote
13. Being a mental offence, Rāhula is not exhorted (as in the case of bodily, and verbal, action) to confess it to anyone.
(Same with German translation by Kay Zumwinkel [Metthiko Bhikkhu] - which, I believe, is strongly oriented on Bhikkhu Bodhi's English translation.)

The noteworthy difference is, as remarked in the footnote to Ven. Nyanaponika's translation, that regarding unskillful mental actions (thought crimes), the Buddha does not recommend confession or disclosure, but instead to feel abhorred and disgusted (and ashamed?) by it.

I think the translation on SuttaCentral is wrong. Maybe the translator (Ven. Sujato, I guess [No, I.B. Horner]) simply continued the repetitive pattern from before according to the same formula as for bodily and verbal actions, without checking the Pali for possible differences after that. I will inform them about it.



I think this is a very thin line to tread, between feeling ashamed, abhorred and disgusted, and feeling remorseful. Feeling ashamed, abhorred and disgusted by an evil thought that one had seems almost like a description of feeling remorseful about it. What is the exact difference here between these two?

What else could it mean to feel ashamed, abhorred and disgusted by a deed (in body, speech or mind) that one committed, than to feel remorse?

I had some questions about this topic here before, some years ago. If I remember correctly, Ven. Dhammanando mentioned some abhidhammic stuff about remorse being an example of "an unwholesome citta that can give rise to wholesomeness" or something like that. In light of such possibilities, could it not make sense that the Buddha recommended feeling remorseful in response to certain situations (actions one performed, by body, speech or mind)? (I'll have to look for that older thread.)
Last edited by perkele on Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:57 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: AN 10.76: What do shame, remorse, and negligence refer to?

Post by befriend » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:24 pm

i just looked at b Bodhi and Bhikkhu nanamoli's translation in the majjhima nikaya and it doesn't say one should feel remorse. But in the removal of distracting thoughts sutta a method for mental purification is to see ones unwholesome mental action as a carcass of a snake dog or human were hung around ones neck where one would be horrified, humiliated and disgusted. Humiliation in the context of evil mind states seems to suggest remorse? Food for thought.
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

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Re: AN 10.76: What do shame, remorse, and negligence refer to?

Post by binocular » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:35 pm

perkele wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:45 pm
I think this is a very thin line to tread, between feeling ashamed, abhorred and disgusted, and feeling remorseful. Feeling ashamed, abhorred and disgusted by an evil thought that one had seems almost like a description of feeling remorseful about it. What is the exact difference here between these two?

What else could it mean to feel ashamed, abhorred and disgusted by a deed (in body, speech or mind) that one committed, than to feel remorse?
A sociopath or a narcissist can probably feel ashamed, abhorred, and disgusted by a deed (in body, speech or mind) that they committed, but feel no remorse. Such a person's shame, horror, and disgust are probably motivated by and linked to other factors than in normal (" ") people.
Something similar could also be the case with people who frequently use intoxicants: they occasionally feel ashamed, abhorred, and disgusted by something they did, but feel no drive or have no moivation to change their ways, they feel no remorse.

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Re: AN 10.76: What do shame, remorse, and negligence refer to?

Post by binocular » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:43 pm

perkele wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:45 pm
In light of such possibilities, could it not make sense that the Buddha recommended feeling remorseful in response to certain situations (actions one performed, by body, speech or mind)? (I'll have to look for that older thread.)
Please do find that older thread; it sounds interesting!

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Re: AN 10.76: What do shame, remorse, and negligence refer to?

Post by binocular » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:12 pm

Venerable, thank you for your reply.
Dhammanando wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:50 am
Shame (hiri) is what restrains one from unwholesome acts by way of self-regard.
What do you mean "by way of self-regard"? A selfish regard for one's own wellbeing?

I'm asking because I'm coming from a culture where being moral not rarely corresponds with sacrificing one's own wellbeing (in fact, a frequent idea seems to be that if one doesn't sacrifice one's wellbeing, then one probably isn't being moral at all -- morality and happiness/wellbeing seem mutually exclusive for the most part).

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Re: AN 10.76: What do shame, remorse, and negligence refer to?

Post by perkele » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:43 pm

perkele wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:45 pm
Bhante, whose translation is this?
Ayya Vimala on the SuttaCentral forum clarified that the translation quoted earlier was by I.B. Horner.

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Re: AN 10.76: What do shame, remorse, and negligence refer to?

Post by perkele » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:03 pm

binocular wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:43 pm
perkele wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:45 pm
In light of such possibilities, could it not make sense that the Buddha recommended feeling remorseful in response to certain situations (actions one performed, by body, speech or mind)? (I'll have to look for that older thread.)
Please do find that older thread; it sounds interesting!
I'm sorry to disappoint you. I think now that thread may only have existed in my own mind. I thought I had asked questions about it here myself, and discussed it to some extent. But maybe I was just reading the discussions of others and had my own thoughts and conclusions back and forth about it.

But at least here there are some confused thoughts from a confused time (and some clarification) about the topic. (That was the first time I noticed this difference and corrected the same mistaken repetition in translation of MN 61 in this essay by Ven. Johann [fka. Hanzze].) But that's probably not very enlightening. (I was remorseful at that time still about evil thoughts I had long time ago, which were, however, very powerful, and in their cumulative effect, have caused bad things, and was in the process of sorting myself out about this, and thus, obviously quite confused and somehow "mentally inhibited". I still think that remorse was helpful, although it was an oppressive, painful torturous burden for many years).

But the topic of remorse being an unwholesome state that can potentially prompt wholesome states was at least touched upon a couple of times by Ven. Dhammanando:

viewtopic.php?t=23759#p342343

Here on the topic of remorse and regret as fruits of kamma, maybe also vaguely related: (Bhante states that they are not fruits of kamma.)
viewtopic.php?t=30003
viewtopic.php?t=18955#p265557

While searching, I found something else maybe of interest regarding the topic of this thread, though:
SN 42.8 wrote:"A disciple has faith in that teacher and reflects: 'The Blessed One in a variety of ways criticizes & censures the taking of life, and says, "Abstain from taking life." There are living beings that I have killed, to a greater or lesser extent. That was not right. That was not good. But if I become remorseful for that reason, that evil deed of mine will not be undone.' So, reflecting thus, he abandons right then the taking of life, and in the future refrains from taking life. This is how there comes to be the abandoning of that evil deed. This is how there comes to be the transcending of that evil deed.

"[He reflects:] 'The Blessed One in a variety of ways criticizes & censures stealing... indulging in illicit sex... the telling of lies, and says, "Abstain from the telling of lies." There are lies that I have told, to a greater or lesser extent. That was not right. That was not good. But if I become remorseful for that reason, that evil deed of mine will not be undone.' So, reflecting thus, he abandons right then the telling of lies, and in the future refrains from telling lies. This is how there comes to be the abandoning of that evil deed. This is how there comes to be the transcending of that evil deed.

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Re: AN 10.76: What do shame, remorse, and negligence refer to?

Post by binocular » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:42 pm

perkele wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:03 pm
I'm sorry to disappoint you.
Thank you for the links!

Reading your discussion about remorse, I was already earlier reminded of MN 131:
You shouldn't chase after the past
or place expectations on the future.
What is past
is left behind.
The future
is as yet unreached.
Whatever quality is present
you clearly see right there,
right there.
Not taken in,
unshaken,
that's how you develop the heart.
Ardently doing
what should be done today,
for — who knows? — tomorrow
death.
There is no bargaining
with Mortality & his mighty horde.

Whoever lives thus ardently,
relentlessly
both day & night,
has truly had an auspicious day:
so says the Peaceful Sage.
I find that this also covers issues of remorse, for remorse is a kind of chasing after the past and a kind of placing expectations on the future. When one feels remorse, one is mentally living in a parallel world, vicariously experiencing delight in that parallel past or future.
But the topic of remorse being an unwholesome state that can potentially prompt wholesome states was at least touched upon a couple of times by Ven. Dhammanando:
viewtopic.php?t=23759#p342343
As far as I can tell, remorse does have an element of considering that things could or should be otherwise, and such a consideration can be skillful.

For someone who doesn't have a systematic approach to morality, remorse is probably closest to a system of morality.
Here on the topic of remorse and regret as fruits of kamma, maybe also vaguely related: (Bhante states that they are not fruits of kamma.)
viewtopic.php?t=30003
viewtopic.php?t=18955#p265557
That's interesting! I haven't thought this way before.
While searching, I found something else maybe of interest regarding the topic of this thread, though:
SN 42.8 wrote:"A disciple has faith in that teacher and reflects: 'The Blessed One in a variety of ways criticizes & censures the taking of life, and says, "Abstain from taking life." There are living beings that I have killed, to a greater or lesser extent. That was not right. That was not good. But if I become remorseful for that reason, that evil deed of mine will not be undone.' So, reflecting thus, he abandons right then the taking of life, and in the future refrains from taking life. This is how there comes to be the abandoning of that evil deed. This is how there comes to be the transcending of that evil deed.

"[He reflects:] 'The Blessed One in a variety of ways criticizes & censures stealing... indulging in illicit sex... the telling of lies, and says, "Abstain from the telling of lies." There are lies that I have told, to a greater or lesser extent. That was not right. That was not good. But if I become remorseful for that reason, that evil deed of mine will not be undone.' So, reflecting thus, he abandons right then the telling of lies, and in the future refrains from telling lies. This is how there comes to be the abandoning of that evil deed. This is how there comes to be the transcending of that evil deed.
In other words, this looks like Right Resolve, samma sankappo.
Last edited by binocular on Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: AN 10.76: What do shame, remorse, and negligence refer to?

Post by binocular » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:56 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:11 am
Right shame should not be indoctrinated but should occur naturally.
This sounds like an elitist and hopeless predicament!
Elitist in that you suggest that right shame is something one either has or doesn't have; and hopeless because one without it cannot attain it deliberately.

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Re: AN 10.76: What do shame, remorse, and negligence refer to?

Post by Nicolas » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:57 pm

binocular wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:41 am
AN 10.76 lists triads of things which need to be dispelled in order to ultimately dispel birth, decay, and death. The basic triad seems to be lack of shame, lack of remorse, and negligence; and dispelling these three, one can then dispel other things, up to and including birth, decay, and death.

In this sutta, what do lack of shame, lack of remorse, and negligence refer to?
Is this meant in a general sense, as in whatever a person currently considers to be shame, remorse, and negligence; or is it meant in some specific sense?

I'm asking because shame, remorse, and negligence can be felt in various contexts, skillful and unskillful ones.
For example, one can be neglectful in how one sweeps the floor; but a drug dealer can also be neglectful in how he prepares the drugs meant for selling on the street.
One can feel remorse about harshly speaking to one's parents; but one can also feel remorse about not buying a lottery ticket.
One can feel shame when telling a deliberate lie; but one can also feel shame when one doesn't have the newest iPhone when one's friends have it.
Regarding shame [hiri] and remorse [ottappa]:
Dhana Sutta (AN 7.6) wrote: “And what is the treasure of a sense of shame [hiri]? There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones feels shame at (the thought of engaging in) bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, mental misconduct. He feels shame at falling into evil, unskillful actions. This is called the treasure of a sense of shame.
“And what is the treasure of a sense of compunction [ottappa]? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones feels compunction at (the suffering that would result from) bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, mental misconduct. He feels compunction at falling into evil, unskillful actions. This is called the treasure of a sense of compunction.

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Re: AN 10.76: What do shame, remorse, and negligence refer to?

Post by Dhammanando » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:42 am

perkele wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:45 pm
Bhante, whose translation is this? (Offtopic remark to the universe: I think this bad design on SuttaCentral, that the information about authorship for translations is so hidden that I don't even know where to look for it.)
The translation is I.B. Horner's.

On Sutta Central if someone posts a link to an English translation, like this:
https://suttacentral.net/en/mn61

you can find out who the translator is by removing the "en" from the url:

https://suttacentral.net/mn61

which will take you to a page where all the site's available translations of the sutta are listed and the translators identified.

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Re: AN 10.76: What do shame, remorse, and negligence refer to?

Post by perkele » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:53 am

Dhammanando wrote:The translation is I.B. Horner's.
Thanks Bhante. Ayya Vimala already clarified this for me on SuttaCentral. I had forgotten to edit my post.
Dhammanando wrote:On Sutta Central if someone posts a link to an English translation, like this:
https://suttacentral.net/en/mn61

you can find out who the translator is by removing the "en" from the url:

https://suttacentral.net/mn61

which will take you to a page where all the site's available translations of the sutta are listed and the translators identified.
It seems this is not correct (anymore?). There is no translator information to be found there. But one can find it from the translation by clicking on the "hamburger menu" icon in the top left and then on "Metadata", as Ayya Vimala also explained.

:anjali:

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Re: AN 10.76: What do shame, remorse, and negligence refer to?

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:42 am

Hi perkele

If you hover over the link you'll see the translator's name.

Not sure how to get that info on a phone or tablet...

:heart:
Mike

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Re: AN 10.76: What do shame, remorse, and negligence refer to?

Post by Dhammanando » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:00 am

binocular wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:12 pm
What do you mean "by way of self-regard"? A selfish regard for one's own wellbeing?
1. If you're alone and holding your cat and it starts to urinate on you, then you'll probably put it down out of disgust at the prospect of having your clothes soaked in cat's piss.

2. If you're in company and a cat is urinating on you, then you'll probably put it down out of embarrassment at others seeing you being urinated on.

3. If you know that a cat has a habit of urinating on people, then you'll probably not want to pick it up because of the likely outcome of doing so.

Now if we replace cat's piss with misconduct, then #1 would be analogous to hiri, while #2 and #3 would be analogous to two different explanations that are given for ottappa.

From the Visuddhimagga:
This virtue (sīla) is manifested as the kinds of purity stated thus: “Bodily purity, verbal purity, mental purity” (A. i. 271); it is manifested, comes to be apprehended, as a pure state. But moral shame (hiri) and moral caution (ottappa are said by those who know to be its proximate cause; its near reason, is the meaning. For when moral shame and moral caution are in existence, virtue arises and persists; and when they are not, it neither arises nor persists.

[...]

When a bhikkhu is devoted to recollection of the Buddha, he is respectful and deferential towards the Master. He attains fullness of faith, mindfulness, understanding and merit. He has much happiness and gladness. He conquers fear and dread. He is able to endure pain. He comes to feel as if he were living in the Master’s presence. And his body, when the recollection of the Buddha’s special qualities dwells in it, becomes as worthy of veneration as a shrine room. His mind tends toward the plane of the Buddhas. When he encounters an opportunity for transgression, he has awareness of moral shame and caution as vividly as though he were face to face with the Master. And if he penetrates no higher, he is at least headed for a happy destiny.

(The last two sentences are repeated in the accounts of recollection of the Dhamma, the Saṅgha, and peace)

[...]

It is ashamed of (hiriyati) bodily misconduct, etc., thus it is called moral shame (hiri). This is a term for modesty. It is cautious/apprehensive (ottappati) of those same things, thus it is called moral caution (ottappa). This is a term for anxiety about evil. Herein, moral shame has the characteristic of disgust at evil, while moral caution has the characteristic of dread of it. Shame has the function of not doing evil and that in the mode of modesty, while caution has the function of not doing it and that in the mode of dread. They are manifested as shrinking from evil in the way already stated. Their proximate causes are self-respect and respect of others [respectively]. A man rejects evil through shame out of respect for himself, as the daughter of a good family does; he rejects evil through caution out of respect for another, as a courtesan does. And these two states should be regarded as the guardians of the world.

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Re: AN 10.76: What do shame, remorse, and negligence refer to?

Post by binocular » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:18 pm

Thank you for your reply, Venerable.
Dhammanando wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:00 am
binocular wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:12 pm
What do you mean "by way of self-regard"? A selfish regard for one's own wellbeing?
1. If you're alone and holding your cat and it starts to urinate on you, then you'll probably put it down out of disgust at the prospect of having your clothes soaked in cat's piss.
2. If you're in company and a cat is urinating on you, then you'll probably put it down out of embarrassment at others seeing you being urinated on.
3. If you know that a cat has a habit of urinating on people, then you'll probably not want to pick it up because of the likely outcome of doing so.

Now if we replace cat's piss with misconduct, then #1 would be analogous to hiri, while #2 and #3 would be analogous to two different explanations that are given for ottappa.
I find this very difficult to understand.

Since we have cats, and some hygiene problems with them, I can relate to the above scenario, but not to the explanations for the motivations for those actions.
For example, to go into gross details, our cats sometimes have diarrhea. Then, esp. one long-hair gets dirty under his tail and on the back of his legs. Nevertheless, he still wants to be indoors and to cuddle. I can tell you exactly what I think and do in those situations. I put on my dirty work clothes and rubber gloves and wash the cat's behind and dry him. I think , "Poor cat, of course he isn't keen on cleaning himself, who would want to lick excrement!" My emotional capacities are focused on sympathizing with the cat and trying to calm him down as I wash him (cats generally hate to be washed, especially around their intimate parts).
Also, esp. when it rains a lot and in the winter, cats often have dirty, muddy feet, and I routinely wash their feet. For me, these are primarily technical/engineering problems, I think about how to clean clothes and floors, how to maintain proper hygiene in general, how to best wash out different types of filth out of cat fur, and such.
If a cat were to pee on me, I would probably be disgusted at first, but then I would try to figure out why it peed on me, what the medical or psychological cause for it could be and try to do something about it.
I can't imagine feeling embarrassed at others seeing me being urinated on.

I looked up further references to hiri and ottappa:
Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:/.../ While moral shame and fear of wrongdoing are united in the common task of protecting the mind from moral defilement, they differ in their individual characteristics and modes of operation. Hiri, the sense of shame, has an internal reference; it is rooted in self-respect and induces us to shrink from wrongdoing out of a feeling of personal honor. Ottappa, fear of wrongdoing, has an external orientation. It is the voice of conscience that warns us of the dire consequences of moral transgression: blame and punishment by others, the painful kammic results of evil deeds, the impediment to our desire for liberation from suffering. /.../
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... ay_23.html
I clean cat poo on a daily basis. I have no personal honor. :tongue: Seriously, I don't normally think like what the above passage says. When blame and punishment by others are a given in one's life, and one's main transgression is that one is alive at all, blame and punishment by others aren't motivating; and when one's life has been miserable for as long as one can remember, getting more painful kammic results isn't motivating either (if one has already been crushed by tons of rocks, adding a few more rocks or pebbles really doesn't make a difference).
When he encounters an opportunity for transgression, he has awareness of moral shame and caution as vividly as though he were face to face with the Master.
/.../
(The last two sentences are repeated in the accounts of recollection of the Dhamma, the Saṅgha, and peace)
What do I think the Buddha would think of me, if anything at all ... I think he'd be aloof.
Visuddhimagga wrote:It is ashamed of (hiriyati) bodily misconduct, etc., thus it is called moral shame (hiri). This is a term for modesty. It is cautious/apprehensive (ottappati) of those same things, thus it is called moral caution (ottappa). This is a term for anxiety about evil. Herein, moral shame has the characteristic of disgust at evil, while moral caution has the characteristic of dread of it. Shame has the function of not doing evil and that in the mode of modesty, while caution has the function of not doing it and that in the mode of dread. They are manifested as shrinking from evil in the way already stated. Their proximate causes are self-respect and respect of others [respectively]. A man rejects evil through shame out of respect for himself, as the daughter of a good family does; he rejects evil through caution out of respect for another, as a courtesan does. And these two states should be regarded as the guardians of the world.
I don't understand the references to the daughter of a good family and a courtesan (I looked up the passage you quoted in the Visuddhimagga, but couldn't find a clarification).

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Re: AN 10.76: What do shame, remorse, and negligence refer to?

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:06 pm

binocular wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:18 pm
I don't understand the references to the daughter of a good family and a courtesan (I looked up the passage you quoted in the Visuddhimagga, but couldn't find a clarification).
Doesn't this mean that the daughter of a good family will avoid compromising herself because she holds herself in high regard; whereas the courtesan will avoid such an encounter because she holds the honour of her lord or master in high regard, and doesn't wish to sully his reputation or anger him? The former rejects inappropriate men so she can avoid shame, and the latter so she can avoid harming her lover. Hiri is care of oneself, whereas ottappa is care of others.

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Re: AN 10.76: What do shame, remorse, and negligence refer to?

Post by samseva » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:01 am

Dhammanando wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:42 am
The translation is I.B. Horner's.

On Sutta Central if someone posts a link to an English translation, like this:
https://suttacentral.net/en/mn61

you can find out who the translator is by removing the "en" from the url:

https://suttacentral.net/mn61

which will take you to a page where all the site's available translations of the sutta are listed and the translators identified.
If you click on the grey icon with three bars in the top-left corner, and then Metadata, you can see the name of the translator and other similar information.

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Re: AN 10.76: What do shame, remorse, and negligence refer to?

Post by samseva » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:25 am

Dhammanando wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:50 am
Shame (hiri) is what restrains one from unwholesome acts by way of self-regard. Lack of shame (ahiri) is its opposite.

"Lack of remorse" is just a bad translation. Ottappa is moral caution or regard for consequences. It's what restrains one from unwholesome acts either by consideration of how they will be viewed by others or out of regard for their undesirable consequences. Anottappa is its opposite: moral recklessness or disregard for consequences.
Dhammanando wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:40 am
The Buddha never commends feeling remorseful, for remorse (kukkucca is a hindrance and always unskilful. The passage you allude to advises not remorse, but rather reflection on the nature of a mental action one has performed.
I think my understanding of hiri and ottappa were incorrect, and that hiri might often be mistranslated by a lot of translators.

Are you saying that both hiri and ottappa usually occur before an unwholesome action (but can also come after)? And also that shame, as it is usually thought of, which occurs after an unwholesome action, is not hiri, but kukkucca?

What better translations have you found for the words hiri and ottappa?

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Re: AN 10.76: What do shame, remorse, and negligence refer to?

Post by Dhammanando » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:07 am

samseva wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:25 am
Are you saying that both hiri and ottappa usually occur before an unwholesome action (but can also come after)?
If hiri and ottappa are present on an occasion when there is an opportunity to do something unwholesome, then one won't do it.

If they are not present, then one may do it. Having done it, upon recalling it there may arise regret/remorse (vippaṭisāra / kukkucca).

The arising of remorse is an unpleasant experience because it always accompanies an aversion-rooted consciousness and the accompanying feeling is always domanassa vedanā.

In the case of the wise, the unwillingness to undergo such unpleasantness again will be a spur to resolve upon greater restraint in future. The remembrance of this resolve will be a condition for the arising of hiri and ottappa on future occasions when they are faced with an opportunity to do something unwholesome.

In the case of the foolish, the remorse will be dealt with in other ways: sleeping, getting drunk, seeking distractions, etc.
samseva wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:25 am
And also that shame, as it is usually thought of, which occurs after an unwholesome action, is not hiri, but kukkucca?
Yes. However, in some contexts (especially in Vinaya) kukkucca is also used for the concern that a morally earnest person experiences when considering whether something he is about to do, or is considering doing, is right or wrong. Hence the differing translations of the term: regret/remorse and worry.
samseva wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:25 am
What better translations have you found for the words hiri and ottappa?
I don't know of anything better than "moral shame" for hiri, while for ottappa I'm torn between "moral caution" and "regard for consequences".

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Dhammanando
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Re: AN 10.76: What do shame, remorse, and negligence refer to?

Post by Dhammanando » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:38 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:06 pm
binocular wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:18 pm
I don't understand the references to the daughter of a good family and a courtesan (I looked up the passage you quoted in the Visuddhimagga, but couldn't find a clarification).
Doesn't this mean that the daughter of a good family will avoid compromising herself because she holds herself in high regard;
Yes, I think so. There are some further illustrations of the terms in the Atthasālinī:
In the last pair, hiri is that which abominates or shrinks from. It is a synonym for shame. Ottappa is [lit.] “glowing” [i.e., with nervous heat]. It is a synonym for agitation at evil. In the table of contents shame was stated to be the characteristic. In the following detailed discourse will be shown their mutual difference, their origin and how they are influenced. Hiri has a subjective origin, ottappa has an external cause. Hiri is influenced by the self, ottappa is influenced by the world. Hiri is rooted in the intrinsic nature of shame, ottappa in the intrinsic nature of fear. Hiri has the characteristic of respectful obedience, ottappa that of viewing a fault with timidity and fear.

Of the two, hiri with its subjective origin, arises from four causes: consideration of birth, of age, of heroism, of wide experience. How?

‘This evil act is not such as would be done by those of good birth; it is such as those of low birth, fishermen and the like, would do; it is not fitting that such as I who am well-born should do it,’ — thus considering one’s birth, and not committing evil such as life-taking, etc., one maintains [a standard of] hiri.

Again, ‘This evil act is only worthy of boys; it is not fitting that one of my years should do it,’ — thus considering age, hiri is maintained.’

Again, ‘This evil act is an act for the weak; it is not fitting that I, who have courage and strength, should do it,’ — thus considering, one refrains and maintains hiri.

Again, ‘This evil act is an act for blind fools and not for the wise; it is not fitting that I, endowed with wisdom and wide experience, should do it,’ — thus considering one’s wide experience, one refrains and maintains hiri.

Having thus set up hiri by introducing it into the mind, one does not do evil acts, and thus hiri has a subjective origin.

How has ottappa an external origin? ‘If you do an evil act, you will get blame among the four assemblies.

‘The wise will blame you. As the citizen
Shuns all impurity, the good shun you.
How, bhikkhu, will you do that which is wrong?’


Thus considering, one does not do evil owing to ottappa from without. Thus ottappa has an external origin.

How is hiri influenced by the self? Take a certain son of noble family who makes self the chief influence, and so refrains from evil: ‘It is not fit that such a man as I, who left the world through faith, endowed with wide experience, believing in the ascetic life, should do evil.’ Thus is hiri influenced by the self. Hence the Blessed One has said: ‘He makes self the chief influence, and abandons immorality, develops morality, abandons faults and develops faultlessness, and keeps himself pure.’

How is ottappa influenced by the world? Here a certain son of noble family makes the world the chief influence and does not do evil. As the Blessed One has said: ‘Wide indeed is the world; in the wide world are monks and brahmins of supernormal potency, with clairvoyance and knowledge of others’ thoughts. They see afar, although near at hand they are not seen; mentally they know the thoughts of others, me also (he thinks) they will know thus: “Look at this son of noble family. Though he has become a monk by faith, leaving his home for the homeless state, he lives mixed with evil immoral things. There are spirits with supernormal potency, clairvoyance, knowing the thoughts of others. They see afar,” etc. Thus he makes the world the chief influence, abandons immorality, develops morality, abandons faults and develops faultlessness, and keeps himself pure.’ Thus ottappa is influenced by the world.

Hiri is rooted in the intrinsic nature of shame, ottappa in that of dread. Herein shame means the manner of being ashamed, and hiri is rooted in the intrinsic nature of that. Dread means the fear of purgatory, and ottappa is rooted in the intrinsic nature of that. And both are manifested in the avoiding of evil. For a certain son of noble family, in obeying the calls of nature, on seeing a certain person worthy of respect, would manifest shame, would be ashamed. In the same way, sunken in an internal sense of shame he does not do evil. A certain man frightened by the fear of purgatory does not commit sin. Here is an illustration: As of two iron balls, one being cold and besmeared with dung, the other being hot and burning, a wise man does not catch the cold one from loathing its being smeared with dung, nor the other one for fear of getting burnt. Here the not grasping the cold ball from loathing its being smeared with dung is like the not doing wrong from being sunk in an internal sense of shame. The not grasping the hot ball from fear of being burnt should be considered as the not doing evil from fear of purgatory.

Hiri has the characteristic of respectful obedience, ottappa that of viewing with timidity the fearful aspect of wrong-doing. This pair is manifested in the avoiding of evil. A certain man, indeed, from the four causes of consideration for his high birth, for the dignity of his Teacher, for the greatness of his inheritance, for the honour of his fellow-brethren, produces hiri with the characteristic of respectful obedience and does not do evil. A certain man, from the four causes of self-accusation, of accusation by others, of punishment, of evil destiny, produces ottappa with the characteristic of viewing with timidity the fearful aspect of wrong-doing and does not do evil. Herein considerations for high birth, etc., and fear of self-accusation, etc., can [as above] be explained in detail.
Sam Vara wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:06 pm
whereas the courtesan will avoid such an encounter because she holds the honour of her lord or master in high regard, and doesn't wish to sully his reputation or anger him?
I think it's fearfulness of his anger.

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