Attachment To Views

A little over three years ago I published a post about 3 small Buddhist discourses I felt were often ignored and inversely of immense value to modern Buddhists.   I would now like to add a fourth obscure-but-incredibly-valuable-to-modern-Buddhists sutta to that collection.    It is about attachment to views:

“The brahmin Aramadanda approached the Venerable Mahakaccana, exchanged friendly greetings with him, and asked him:
“Why is it, Master Kaccana, that khattiyas fight with khattiyas, brahmins with brahmins, and householders with householders?”
“It is, brahmin, because of attachment to sensual pleasures, adherence to sensual pleasures, fixation on sensual pleasures, addiction sensual pleasures, obsession with sensual pleasures, holding firmly to sensual pleasures that khattiyas fight with khattiyas, brahmins with brahmins, and householders with householders.”
“Why is it, Mater Kaccana, that ascetics fight with ascetics?”

“It is, brahmin, because of attachment to views, adherence to views, fixation on views, addiction to views, obsession with views,holding firmly to views that ascetics fight with ascetics.”

AN 2:iv,6,abridged; I 66
“In the Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon”,  edited and introduced by Bhikkhu Bodhi
ISBN 0-86171-491-1

A lot of lip service gets paid to attachment to “sensual pleasures”, but hardly any to attachment of views, which are particularly dangerous as they are not very visible, especially to people who have moved beyond more concrete attachments.   Attachments to views start wars, end relationships, and contribute to the maintenance of negative aspects of the human condition.   Many people can learn to live without the latest iPhone, but very few people can maintain affection in relationships or friendships where there is a deep disagreement in views.

I remember reading in a book called “The Broken Buddha” that at one point in history different orders of Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka massacred each other over a disagreement about which shoulder to drape their robes over.

In modern times many secular Buddhists flush the wonderful mental states they hope for down the toilet by getting involved in petty arguments, ironically with other Buddhists hoping for the same.

In my opinion, attachment to views has to be one of the hardest to give up, especially since it can be so hard to see.



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