Friends:

What is the Cause of Defilement & Purification?



Venerable Mahāli once asked the Buddha:

But, Venerable Sir, what is the causing condition of mental defilement?
By what reason, do beings become mentally defiled and degraded?
The Buddha then explained:
If, Mahali, this form, this feeling, this perception, this construction and
this consciousness were exclusively suffering, immersed only in frustration,
soaked solely in trouble, and if it were not also sometimes soaked in pleasure,
beings would not become enamoured with it. But since this form, this feeling,
perception, construction & this consciousness is also occasionally pleasurable,
immersed now and then in pleasure, soaked momentarily in delight, & it is not
soaked only & always in pain, beings become enamoured & enthralled with it!
By being enamoured with it, they are captivated by it, and obsessed with it...
By being captivated by it, and obsessed with it, they are defiled & degraded!
This, Mahali, is the causing condition for the mental defilement of beings...
By this reason, do beings become mentally defiled & detrimentally degraded!


Mental Defilement veils the light of the mind by obscuring it like clouds!

But, Venerable Sir, what is the causing condition of mental purification?
By what reason, do beings become mentally purified & released?
The Buddha then explained:
If, Mahali, this form, this feeling, this perception, this construction and
this consciousness were exclusively pleasurable, immersed only in pleasure,
soaked solely in satisfaction, and if it were not also quite soaked in suffering,
beings would not become disgusted with it. But because form, feeling, perception,
construction, and consciousness is also pain, immersed in distress, soaked in agony,
and it is not soaked only in pleasure, beings are disgusted with it. Being disgusted,
they experience disillusion, and through this disillusion, they are mentally purified!
This, Mahali, is the causing condition for the mental purification of beings...
By this reason, do beings become mentally purified and finally happily released!



More on mental purification:
https://What-Buddha-Said.net/drops/IV/Mental_Purity.htm
https://What-Buddha-Said.net/drops/IV/Ability_Purification.htm
https://What-Buddha-Said.net/drops/II/The_7_Purifications.htm
https://What-Buddha-Said.net/drops/II/The_purpose_of_purification.htm
https://What-Buddha-Said.net/drops/IV/The_7_stages_of_Purification.htm

Source:
The Grouped Sayings by the Buddha. Samyutta Nikāya III 69-71
http://store.pariyatti.org/Connected-Discourses-of-the-Buddha_p_1379.html
https://What-Buddha-Said.net/library/ati_website/html/tipitaka/sn/index.html




Buddha said: Naturally the mind is pure and luminous all around!
https://What-Buddha-Said.net/Canon/Sutta/AN/AN.I.8-10.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luminous_mind

What is the Cause of Mental Purity?