Eleven Virtuous Mental Events

In case one should think that this is all there is to these eleven positive factors, one should know that the eleven, beginning with confidence-trust, are said to be wholesome by their very nature in view of the fivefold classification of the positive:

1.    Wholesome by its very nature
2.    Wholesome by being related
3.    Wholesome by being related to that which follows
4.    Wholesome by inspiring
5.    Wholesome in the ultimate sense
    They are spoken of in this way because they originate as the wholesome by just being there, independent of other factors such as causative circumstances. Therefore, it is in this context that they are explained as the eleven primary positive factors.
    That which is known as 'wholesome by being related' are the mind and mental events that are associated to each other by means of the five functional co-relations which operate at the level of the eleven positive factors beginning with confidence-trust.
    That which is known as 'wholesome by being related to what follows' are those
    That which is known as 'wholesome by inspiring'  are actions of body, speech and mind that have been initiated through confidence.
    That which is known as 'wholesome by ultimate sense' is called the absolute. One labels this postive because, when one mediates on the absolute, all obscurations are removed -- but it is not a concrete positive.

These positive factors that have been explained can be divided according to the occasion in which they occur:

1.    Wholesome by being inborn
2.    Wholesome by means of involvement
3.    Wholesome by means of what has been done
4.    Wholesome by being involved with benefiting
5.    Wholesome by leaving out nothing
6.    Wholesome by being a counteragent
7.    Wholesome by being in a state of rest
8.    Wholesome by being in a similar to the cause
    'Wholesome by being inborn', to give an example, is confidence-trust which has been set up by the latent potentialities that have come from a previous life independent of what one does about it in this life.
    'Wholesome by means of involvement', for example, is the desire to become a Buddha by relying on the four conditions:
1.    To rely on spiritual friends in this life
2.    To listen to the teachings of the Buddha
3.    To pay proper attention
4.    To realize what is conducive to the attainment of nirvana.
    'Wholesome by means of what has been done', for instance, are special bright pure actions that make one attain heaven or the good things in life.
    'Wholesome by being a counteragent', for instance, is the wholesome action that has special power of overcoming thoroughly all that is not conducive to the positive and all that has to be given up.
    'Wholesome by being in a state of rest', for instance, is the truth of cessation (of frustrations) as indicated by the following verse:
When one becomes separated from cupidity-attachment
And has overcome evil actions by positive acts.
He becomes immediately adorned with the Supreme
And this is called 'having come to rest'.
'Wholesome by being similar to the 'cause' means the five higher kinds of insight that come with the attainment of the truth of cessation (of frustrations) and the ten powers**(of a Buddha).

There is no foundation for considering the wholesome things as entities.

Unwholesome factors are explained in the same manner as being fivefold:

1.    Unwholesome by its very nature
2.    Unwholesome by being related
3.    Unwholesome by being related to that which follows
4.    Unwholesome by inspiring
5.    Unwholesome in the ultimate sense
    The first is, in general, the basic and proximate factors of (emotional) instability.
    The second is the mind and mental events which are simulateneous and on the same level as those (unstable) emotions.
    The third are the experientially initiated potentialities of experience which are negative.
    The fourth are the activities of body and speech initiated by those (unstable) emotions.
    The fifth is all that is summarized by samsara. Insofar as these are considered to be the situation of the mortals by those who will become elevated, they are said to be unwholesome in the ultimate sense, but there is nothing to establish that everything in samsara is concretely an unwholesome thing.
    Accordingly, the need to distinguish these unwholesome factors as to their actual and postulated particularities seems to be very important. These unwholesome factors can be divided according to their circumstances:
1.    Unwholesome by being inborn
2.    Unwholesome by means of involvement
3.    Unwholesome by what has been done
4.    Unwholesome by harming
5.    Unwholesome by leaving out nothing
6.    Unwholesome by things not conducive to good things
7.    Unwholesome by being destructive
'Unwholesome by being inborn' is exemplified by the impulse to kill, which comes through tendencies implanted in a previous life. There may be a point in making a distinction between the actual act and intention, but even though young people nowadays do not consider this division between good and evil as something very important, it is stated that when one practices the stages as indicated in the byang chub lam rim it is very important to make this distinction. Hence, without quibbling about words, one must turn the mind inward and think about it.

'Unwholesome by means of involvement' is, for instance, evil behavior which comes from associating with evil friends, listening to religious freaks, and indulging in sloppy thinking.

'Unwholesome by what has been done' is, for instance, making bloody sacrifices to idols by following those who have been deceived by evil friends in the belief that harming is a religious activity.

'Unwholesome by harming' is, for instance, to harm sentient beings by body, speech and mind.

'Unwholesome by leaving out nothing' is, for instance, activity which sets out on a course and makes certain that there is nothing left but to bestow only painful results.

'Unwholesome by things not conducive to good things' are, for instance, the evil views that obstruct the birth of a path which does not collapse.

'Unwholesome by being destructive' are, for instance, those evil views that destroy everything conducive to that which is wholesome.

'Indeterminate' also covers the range from what is indeterminate in itself to what is indeterminate by being similar to its cause. Moreover, in the positive and negative, there is that which seems to be positive but it is not and that which seems to be negative but is not; however, it would be going too far to put it all down here. If you wish to know it thoroughly, then look them up in the Abhidharma texts.

A dictum:

How foolish is the person who indulges in meaningless activities
And fatigues himself like one who sifts the grain from the chaff
When he rejects the seven jewels which grant all superior things in this life and the next
After he has obtained or met them.

The eye of intelligence which distinguishes the path from that which is not
Is blinded by the foul waters of the fools and idiots.
To claim that one can walk the path and scale the spiritual levels by using an artificial staff
That resembles the dharma is too ridiculous for words.

Oh friends with intelligence and sustained interest,
If you want to search for the jewel that elevates your mind to the two positive qualities,
Then follow Tsong kha pa, the supreme Bodhisattva, and
Dive deep into the ocean of the Buddha's words which is like a Wish-fulfilling Gem.

These few lines are meant to summarize what has been said so far.

**    The ten powers of the Buddha are the ten kinds of knowledge possessed by a Buddha. The ten are: