triviṣa

From Buddha-Nature

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Glossarytriviṣa

Sanskrit Noun

triviṣa

three poisons
त्रिविष
དུག་གསུམ་
三毒

Basic Meaning

The three poisons are a reference to the afflictive emotions of rāga (Tib. 'dod chags), dveṣa (Tib. zhe sdang), and moha (Tib. gti mug). These three detrimental states or afflictive behavioral patterns are difficult to definitively translate, and thus there are several common English variations of this group of three, such as desire, aggression, and bewilderment, or attachment, aversion, and delusion. It is useful to think of these three as a process that involves our insatiable urge to possess that which we desire and the ensuing aggravation that arises when we don't get what we want or have what we don't want forced upon us. Yet we are oblivious to the futility of these conditioned responses due to our lack of discernment, and thus we mindlessly continue to get caught up in this causal nexus.

Has the Sense of

These three are traditionally featured as the central hub in depictions of the so-called wheel of life (Skt. bhāvacakra, Tib. srid pa'i 'khor lo). In these images they are represented by a pig known for sleeping in their own filth and other such behavior as the embodiment of moha, a type of Indian bird that is known for its possessive attachment to its mate as the embodiment of rāga, and a snake that is quick to strike at the slightest provocation as the embodiment of dveṣa. These three are likewise depicted as chasing after, or being pulled along, by each other in a circle to demonstrate how these emotional reactions feed into each other and thus perpetuate this cycle. Though sometimes it is the pig which is pictured biting the tails of both the bird and the snake to show that both those emotional responses are rooted in our lack of understanding.

Term Variations
Key Term triviṣa
Topic Variation Three poisons
Tibetan དུག་གསུམ་  ( duk sum)
Wylie Tibetan Transliteration dug gsum  ( duk sum)
Devanagari Sanskrit त्रिविष
Romanized Sanskrit triviṣa
Chinese 三毒
Chinese Pinyin sandu
Japanese Transliteration sandoku
Korean Transliteration samdok
Buddha-nature Site Standard English three poisons
Gyurme Dorje's English Term three poisons
Term Information
Source Language Sanskrit
Basic Meaning The three poisons are a reference to the afflictive emotions of rāga (Tib. 'dod chags), dveṣa (Tib. zhe sdang), and moha (Tib. gti mug). These three detrimental states or afflictive behavioral patterns are difficult to definitively translate, and thus there are several common English variations of this group of three, such as desire, aggression, and bewilderment, or attachment, aversion, and delusion. It is useful to think of these three as a process that involves our insatiable urge to possess that which we desire and the ensuing aggravation that arises when we don't get what we want or have what we don't want forced upon us. Yet we are oblivious to the futility of these conditioned responses due to our lack of discernment, and thus we mindlessly continue to get caught up in this causal nexus.
Has the Sense of These three are traditionally featured as the central hub in depictions of the so-called wheel of life (Skt. bhāvacakra, Tib. srid pa'i 'khor lo). In these images they are represented by a pig known for sleeping in their own filth and other such behavior as the embodiment of moha, a type of Indian bird that is known for its possessive attachment to its mate as the embodiment of rāga, and a snake that is quick to strike at the slightest provocation as the embodiment of dveṣa. These three are likewise depicted as chasing after, or being pulled along, by each other in a circle to demonstrate how these emotional reactions feed into each other and thus perpetuate this cycle. Though sometimes it is the pig which is pictured biting the tails of both the bird and the snake to show that both those emotional responses are rooted in our lack of understanding.
Did you know? This list of three is sometimes expanded to five with the additions of pride or hubris (Skt. māna, Tib. nga rgyal) and envy or jealousy (Skt. īrṣyā, Tib. phrag dog).
Related Terms kleśa, nyon mongs
Term Type Noun
Definitions
Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism See page 926: In Sanskrit, “three poisons”; the three primary afflictions (mūlakleśa) of sensuality, desire, or greed (rāga or lobha), hatred or aversion (dveṣa), and delusion or ignorance (moha), regarded as poisons because of the harm they cause to those who ingest them or the way they poison the mind. This same list of three is also known as the three “unwholesome faculties” (akuśalamūla), which will fructify as unhappiness in the future and provide the foundation for unfavorable rebirths (apāya).
Rangjung Yeshe Dictionary Three mind poisons. Attachment, anger, and delusion.
Tshig mdzod Chen mo 'dod chags dang/ zhe sdang/ gti mug bcas nyon mongs gsum