The Cause and Reason for Doing bad Deeds, for Performing bad Deeds

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With Mahāli

At one time the Buddha was staying near Vesālī, at the Great Wood, in the hall with the peaked roof. Then Mahāli the Licchavi went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to him:

“What is the cause, sir, what is the reason for doing bad deeds, for performing bad deeds?”

Greed is a cause, Mahāli, greed is a reason for doing bad deeds, for performing bad deeds. 

Hate is a cause, Mahāli, hate is a reason for doing bad deeds, for performing bad deeds. 

Delusion is a cause, Mahāli, delusion is a reason for doing bad deeds, for performing bad deeds. 

Improper attention is a cause, Mahāli, improper attention is a reason for doing bad deeds, for performing bad deeds. 

A wrongly directed mind is a cause, Mahāli, a wrongly directed mind is a reason for doing bad deeds, for performing bad deeds. 

This is the cause, Mahāli, this is the reason for doing bad deeds, for performing bad deeds.”

“What is the cause, sir, what is the reason for doing good deeds, for performing good deeds?”

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“Contentment is a cause, Mahāli, contentment is a reason for doing good deeds, for performing good deeds. 

Love is a cause, Mahāli, love is a reason for doing good deeds, for performing good deeds. 

Understanding is a cause, Mahāli, understanding is a reason for doing good deeds, for performing good deeds. 

Proper attention is a cause, Mahāli, proper attention is a reason for doing good deeds, for performing good deeds. 

A rightly directed mind is a cause, Mahāli, a rightly directed mind is a reason for doing good deeds, for performing good deeds. 

This is the cause, Mahāli, this is the reason for doing good deeds, for performing good deeds. 

If these ten things were not found in the world, we wouldn’t see either unprincipled and immoral conduct, or principled and moral conduct. But since these ten things are found in the world, we see both unprincipled and immoral conduct, and principled and moral conduct.”

Source: https://suttacentral.net/an10.47 Mahāli Sutta AN 10.47  AN v 86

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