Points of Controversy

13.5. Of One in the Toils.

Controverted Point: That a Hindrance is cast off by one who is entangled in it.

Theravādin: Equally then he who is infatuated abandons lust; he who is malign, stupid, corrupt, abandons hate, delusion, corruptions, respectively. Now, does he cast off lust by lust, hate by hate, and so on?

Uttarapāthakas: If this is not so, you are suggesting that the Hindrances are cast out by the Path. Now you allow that lust, for instance, and the Path are both conscious experiences. But do you not hereby imply a combination of two rival mental procedures? Lust is immoral, the Path is moral—does not your position imply that good and bad, moral and immoral, radiant and sinister mental states.

confront each other in the mind? And was it not said by the Exalted One:

“These four things are very far apart: the sky and the earth, the hither and the yonder shore of the ocean, whence the sun rises and where he sinks… . Hence far is norm of good from that of evil.”

Hence it is also wrong to say good and bad states confront each other in the mind at the same moment.

Theravādin: But was it not said by the Exalted One:

“With consciousness thus concentrated, made pure, translucent, cleared, void of defilement, made supple, wieldy, firm, imperturbable, he applies and bends over the mind to insight into the destruction of defilements?

Uttarapāthakas: But was it not also said by the Exalted One:

“He thus knowing, thus seeing, his heart is set free from the defilements—sense-desires, lust of becoming, error and delusion.”

Hence surely it is one who is entangled by the Hindrances who casts them off.