By Frts. Gautam* Mohanty in Bhubaneswar, August 17, 2021: Kaliya was a dreaded, many-hooded poisonous serpent who used to live on the banks of Ramanaka Dwipa. He was driven away from there by the fear of Garuda – the mount of Lord Vishnu and the arch enemy of all serpents.

Many years ago, Garuda had been cursed by a sage that he would meet his death in Vrindavan. Kaliya was a ferocious naga (cobra) that lived on the Ramanaka Dwipa of the Yamuna River but left the island in fear of the Garuda, a celestial possessing human and eagle features. Since eagles feed on snakes, Garuda was Kaliya’s nemesis.

The multi-headed naga came to Vrindavan as Garuda was cursed and could not enter the village. The venom that seeped out of its multiple mouths boiled the water around him and killed any living being that came in contact with the contaminated water. He, unlike the other nagas, does not have an origin in the scriptures. Dalana means to diminish all arches of life. Each face of a serpent is an arch of our life.

“It is the state of the Earth, ridden with Kali, that has made us dread the future”, said Shaunaka. “Man is no longer assured of his 100 years of life. Diseases rob him of his youth and his death is premature. His physical well-being is threatened by many ills: His Mind is clouded by Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada, and Matsarya….. Mada and Matsarya…the six arch enemies of MAN.

1. Lust or desire – Kama
2. Anger – Krodha
3. Greed – Lobha
4. Delusion – Moha
5. Arrogance or pride – Mada
6. Jealousy or envy – Matsarya

In this material world (confines of Maya or relative existence), especially the first three are said to pave the way towards hell. The first two bring about difficult experiences we face in our lives.

The Mada or Ahankar, the false ego, all our actions in the world are for selfish ends. Hence there is no other factor causing the illusory duality of differentiation between ‘us’ and ‘them’ and the repeated pain and delusion it entails than the psychological ego-sense. When the materially identified ego has sided with the materialistic forces of creation (Maya), it is said to have the following faults: kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada and matsarya.

Also called evil passions, man’s spiritual heritage constantly gets looted by these internal thieves (and their numerous variations), causing him to lose knowledge of his True Being.

If a person is virtually a prisoner of arishadvargas (the six internal enemies), then his life is completely governed by destiny. As a person moves ahead on the path of Self-Realization, the grip of destiny over him loosens and he gets more and more leverage to change his destiny. When a person identifies himself with the Self, then he becomes part of the power of destiny.

Merely his power of Sankalpa is good enough to materialize and change any situation either for good or bad according to his Sankalpa.

Doubt has positive and negative nature; this is the opposite of the nature of an object. According to Naiyayikas, knowledge is based on perception (anubhava), which is valid. But those based on remembrance (Smriti), doubts, errors, and hypothetical arguments are invalid. Similar unique or rare features in an object create doubt as to where it’s from and perhaps when exhibited from within a person’s mind or from delusions, its validity.

“Sometimes real and false create doubt or doubt arises about the appearance of false as real.” (See also Maya) Like any scene of a mirage, if it is perceived then it might not be real, but if it is not perceived it can be felt or experienced. “Unattainability of the truth of the real, as well as the unreal, creates doubt of its reality.”

Kama (lustfulness):  a strong sexual desire, lecherousness, lust, concupiscence, physical attraction, sexual desire, eros – a desire for sexual intimacy. Lust is a psychological force producing intense desire for an object, or circumstance while already having a significant other or amount of the desired object.

Lust can take any form such as the lust for sexuality (see libido), money, or power. It can take such mundane forms as the lust for food (see gluttony) as distinct from the need for food. It is similar to but distinguished from passion, in that passion propels individuals to achieve benevolent goals whilst lust does not. Religions tend to draw a distinction between passion and lust by further categorizing lust as an immoral desire and passion as morally accepted.

Lust is defined as immoral because its object or action of affection is improperly ordered according to natural law and/or the appetite for the particular object (eg sexual desire) is governing the person’s intellect and will rather than the intellect and will governing the appetite for that object.

Krodha (anger): Anger is an emotion characterized by antagonism toward someone or something you feel has deliberately done you wrong. Anger can be a good thing. It can give you a way to express negative feelings, for example, or motivate you to find solutions to problems. But excessive anger can cause problems. Anger, also known as wrath or rage, is an intense emotional state involving a strong uncomfortable and non-cooperative response to a perceived provocation, hurt or threat.

Anger can have many physical and mental consequences. The external expression of anger can be found in facial expressions, body language, physiological responses, and at times public acts of aggression. Facial expressions can range from inward angling of the eyebrows to a full frown.

While most of those who experience anger explain its arousal as a result of “what has happened to them”, psychologists point out that an angry person can very well be mistaken because anger causes a loss in self-monitoring capacity and objective observability.

Lobha (greed): Lobha literally means ‘greed’. All religions in general stress on the importance of cultivating some basic ethical principles and one of these is eschewing greed.

Lobha is the excessive desire, especially the desire to appropriate to oneself what belongs to others; that too against the principles of dharma.

The Īśāvāsya Upaniṣad in its very first verse advises us not to covet anyone’s wealth and possessions. The Bhagavadgitā calls it as a gateway to hell and exhorts the aspirant to give it up.

Lobha is classed among the six enemies of man. Greed (or avarice) is an uncontrolled longing for increase in the acquisition or use of material gain (be it food, money, land, or animate/inanimate possessions); or social value, such as status, or power. Greed has been identified as undesirable throughout known human history because it creates behavior-conflict between personal and social goals.

Moha (delusion): Moha is a Vedic concept of character affliction or poison, and refers to “delusion, confusion, dullness”. It is sometimes synonymous with “ignorance” (avidya).

Moha, along with Raga (greed, sensual attachment) and Dvesha (aversion, hate) are unskillful roots that lead to Tanha (craving) in the Buddhist thought (a term also used in Hinduism), which is part of the Twelve Nidanas that propel the wheel of life. It is symbolically present as the pig in the center of Tibetan bhavachakra drawings.

Moha is identified in the following contexts within the teachings of Buddhism and Hinduism:

• One of the three poisons within the Mahayana Buddhist tradition.
• One of the three unwholesome roots within the Theravada Buddhist tradition
• One of the fourteen unwholesome mental factors within the Theravada Abhidharma teachings
• Moha appears in the Vedic literature, and has roots in early Vedic word mogha which means “empty, unreal, vain, useless, foolish”. The term, as well as the three defects concept appears in the ancient texts of Jainism and some schools of Hinduism such as Nyaya, in their respective discussion of the theory of rebirths.

• The term means “delusion, confusion, dullness”. The opposite of Moha is Prajna (insight, wisdom). Beliefs different from those considered as insights in Buddhism, are forms of delusions or Moha in Buddhism. Moha is one of the roots of evil, in the Buddhist belief.

Mada (arrogance): In Hindu mythology, Mada is a gigantic Rakshasa (demon or monster by the time) from the Hindu text, Mahabharata. It is created by sage Chyavana in return for the Aswins’ act of returning his youth and vision. Mada’s name means the intoxicator, his strength is being feared by the king of gods, Indra. It has the ability to change its size to swallow the entire universe in one gulp.

When the twin deities, the Aswins, wished to become complete immortals by drinking the elixir of immortality known as Soma they were insulted to discover that the king of the devas Indra had not invited them to his party at Svarga.

Feeling insulted, the twins rushed to speak with Indra on the matter. Indra refused to allow them access to Svarga or the elixir and said that as they associated with mortals so freely and took any form they pleased, they should not be granted full immortality or receive any offerings as devas. Angry at Indra’s words and the insult to their pride, the twins sought the aid of the great sage Chyavan.

Matsarya (jealousy):Matsarya is a Buddhist/Hindu term translated as “stinginess” or “miserliness”. It is defined as being incapable of enjoying one’s own possessions and other material objects, clinging to them and being unwilling to part with them or share them with others.

It is identified as:

• One of the twenty subsidiary unwholesome mental factors within the Mahayana Abhidharma teachings.
• One of the fourteen unwholesome mental factors within the Theravada Abhidharma teachings.
• One of the ten fetters in the Theravada tradition (according to the Dhammasangani)

It has, as characteristic, the concealing of one’s property, either attained or about to be attained; the not enduring the sharing of one’s property in common with others, as function; the shrinking from such sharing or niggardliness or sour feeling as manifestation; one’s own property as proximate cause; and it should be regarded as mental ugliness.

The Abhidharma-samuccaya states: It is an over-concern with the material things in life stemming from over-attachment to wealth and honor, and it belongs to passion-lust. Avarice functions as the basis for not letting up in one’s concern for the material things of life.

Alexander Berzin explains:
Miserliness (ser-sna) is a part of longing desire (Sanskrit: raga) and is an attachment to material gain or respect and, not wanting to give up any possessions, clings to them and does not want to share them with others or use them ourselves. Thus, miserliness is more than the English word stinginess. Stinginess is merely unwillingness to share or to use something we possess. It lacks the aspect of hoarding that miserliness possesses.

Jealousy generally refers to the thoughts or feelings of insecurity, fear, and concern over a relative lack of possessions or safety.

  • Research Theosophist

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