NAMO BUDDHAYA!

The Supreme Buddha taught us four dangers of engaging in evil (unwholesome) acts by body, speech and mind. They are the danger of self-accusation, the danger of accusation by others, the danger of punishment, and the danger of being born in a bad destination.

01. One accusing one’s own-self is a serious consequence of engaging in evil acts by body, speech and mind. One may think that none in this world knows the evil acts one has done, thus, may wish no dire consequences; despite that, one’s own-self accuses him or her day and night. One will not be able to eat, carry out routine work, rest and sleep peacefully because one repents internally for the evil acts one has done. When, one who has done evil acts sits in solitude, his or her mind enshrouds with the thoughts of pain and apology. When one hears a group of people discussing an evil act done by another man or women, internally, one starts feeling guilty of one’s own evil acts and accuses one’s own-self. Thus, one who has done evil acts cannot avoid the danger of self-accusation. The Buddha said self-accusation is the first danger of engaging in evil acts by body, speech and mind. Therefore, wise ones, knowing the danger of self-accusation, do not engage in evil acts by body, speech and mind; instead, they engage in wholesome acts by body, speech and mind. Thus, the wise ones avoid the danger of self-accusation; they live in peace.

02. Accusation by others is another serious consequence of engaging in evil acts by body, speech and mind. You might think, “Others can know my bodily acts and verbal acts, but, how come others know what I think”. Yet, what one speaks is what one thinks; what one intends is what one thinks; what one does is what we thinks; therefore, others can easily be aware of one’s line of thinking. Knowingly or unknowingly, one displays what one thinks. When others learn the evil acts of a person, they accuse him or her; they shun him or her; they humiliate him or her; they look down upon him or her. Hence, he or she cannot face a crowd without guilt; he or she runs away from crowds. He or she fears that one’s acts of evil will spread to others’ ears; spread to the authorities. He or she feels the pain of rejection and dejection. He or she loses the credibility. The employers will be unhappy and might fire him or her. A bad report spreads across about one who has done evil acts. The Buddha said accusation by others is the second danger of engaging in evil acts by body, speech and mind. Therefore, wise ones, knowing the danger of accusation by others, do not engage in evil acts by body, speech and mind; instead, they engage in wholesome acts by body, speech and mind. Thus, the wise ones avoid the danger of accusation by others; they live in peace.

03. Punishment is another serious consequence of engaging in evil acts by body, speech and mind. One who has done acts of evil by body, speech and mind always live in fear of punishment. How do mental acts of others are known?
For example, one planning to do a crime, which is an evil act by mind, can be known through one’s communications, affiliations, and change in behaviour. When authorities learn the evil acts one has done by body, speech and mind they will follow him or her; seize him or her; punish him or her. Punishments can be of various nature; it can be as simple as a fine or doing community work, and it can be as serious as imprisonment or execution. In some parts of the world, even today, punishments are cruel: cut off hands or feet of the accused; beaten the accused with cane, clubs or stones; or even beheaded the accused. The Buddha said punishment is the third danger of engaging in evil acts by body, speech and mind. Therefore, wise ones, knowing the danger of punishment, do not engage in evil acts by body, speech and mind; instead, they engage in wholesome acts by body, speech and mind. Thus, the wise ones avoid the danger of punishment; they live in peace.

04. The most serious consequence of engaging in evil acts by body, speech and mind is the danger of being born in a bad destination. The Buddha said volition is the karma; wholesome volitions make good-karma and unwholesome volitions make bad-karma. The Buddha also said karma serves as the field for the next birth of a being. Those who produce bad-karma by evil acts of body, speech and mind will be born in deprivation, born in the ghostly world, born in the animal world, or born in the hell.  Being born in a bad destination, they live in misery experiencing racking and piercing pain. Those who produce good karma will born in the human-world or in the divinely-worlds with five-cords of sensual pleasure (forms, sounds, smells, tastes, and sensations) in abundance. One who engages in doing evil acts by body, speech and mind, worry about being born in a bad destination. Day and night, internally, he or she burns with the fear of being born in a bad world. There are stories in the Buddhist scripture about people who had done unwholesome acts had seen the hell, fierce fire or agents from the hell approaching them in their deathbed. Even today, we still hear such stories. The Buddha said being born in a bad destination is the fourth and the last danger of engaging in evil acts by body, speech and mind. Therefore, wise ones, knowing the danger of being born in a bad destination, do not engage in evil acts by body, speech and mind; instead, they engage in wholesome acts by body, speech and mind. Thus, the wise ones avoid the danger of being born in a bad destination. The wise ones live in peace knowing that they will be born in a good destination.

Sādhu ! Sādhu !! Sādhu !!!
Namo Buddhaya!
Homage to the Supreme Buddha!

(Adapted from Self-Reproach (AN 4:121.1) of the Numerical Discourses of the Buddha
Translated from the Pali Cannon by Bhikkhu Bodhi)