Causes of misconduct and sila?

Promiscuity is not caused by feminism. Promiscuity is not caused by feminists. Promiscuity is not caused by women. Or by men. It is not caused by any gender. Promiscuity is not caused by The West.

We can recognize this by recognizing it is not new.

Promiscuity is caused I think by craving and or ignorance. All misconduct perhaps is caused by craving, ignorance, hate.

When misconduct is ascribed to politics, or activist movements, or The West, or liberalism, it seems to discourage examination of the actual causes of misconduct. It seems to suggest misconduct is not linked to defilements. It seems to encourage views which do not lead towards liberation.

So what are the causes of sila? Also, not feminism, the West, any gender, or persons, or political views or movements… ? Is the cause of sila morality perhaps the seeds of wisdom, insight, tranquility? Is it perhaps restraint of speech, body, thought? Is it perhaps renunciation of wrong views? It might be helpful to many for teachers to speak on this, so that attention and effort are given to what leads to liberation.

As i am not a teacher or scholar or able to guide a discussuon skillfully at this time, the kind support of those who are or can would be appreciated. :slight_smile: It’d be a wonderful generosity to many!


I believe promiscuity can also be caused by ill-will - particularly, ill-will towards oneself. The feeling that one has no value unless the object of desire by (or conqueror of) someone else. Looking to the root is the only way to address it, and the best way is for each being to learn how to see the root of their own behavior. Restraint alone is just repression, IMHO.

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I agree, and ill will towards oneself could be sometimes expressed in sabotaging relationships, either intimate or wider family. People can get rather creative in self harm.

Also agree, eliminating roots has to be a DIY Do It Yourself investigation, whether one has support, encouragement or guidance.

I think restraint can be cultivated as a habit, though, and reduce readily available fuel. Lately, i try to restrain impulses to watch news; it can be a distraction, and a sink for energy. Sometimes meditation seems easier having a restricted or restrained news diet. ?

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The most direct answer to the question “Cause of misconduct and sila?” can be found in two related suttas, AN 10.61 & AN 10.62. Here is a quote of the segment translated by Sujato (AN 10.62):

“…I say that the three kinds of misconduct are fueled by something, they’re not unfueled. And what is the fuel for the three kinds of misconduct? You should say: ‘Lack of sense restraint.’ I say that lack of sense restraint is fueled by something, it’s not unfueled. And what is the fuel for lack of sense restraint? You should say: ‘Lack of mindfulness and situational awareness.’ I say that lack of mindfulness and situational awareness is fueled by something, it’s not unfueled. And what is the fuel for lack of mindfulness and situational awareness? You should say: ‘Improper attention.’ …”

Ill-will is part of the 5 hindrances. it’s also pointed out in the discourse. These two suttas are not studied enough.

Read the suttas (compare Sujato’s & Bodhi’s translations too)


What are the “three kinds of misconduct” (Tīṇipāhaṃ)? I don’t find this phrase defined or used elsewhere.

I don’t have a definitive answer about the Pali word. My interpretation: it refers to the first three bodily misconducts listed against the 5-precepts. Killing driven by ill-will & aversion, stealing driven by greed & cravings, sexual misconduct driven by lust & desires. Hard to think of other misconducts as high up on the list to avoid.

Lacking moral shame (conscience) & moral dread (prudence) are not mentioned here but they are taught in many other suttas, such as the Fortress (Citadel) Sutta. AN 7.67 (again, compare different translations)


Misconduct by body, speech, or mind.
(According to Ajahn Brahmali’s explanations to this sutta, given at various retreats.)


Searching SC for that exact phrase, Tīṇipāhaṃ, returns only those two suttas (AN10.61 & .62), but as an extension of Ang. Sabbamitta’s comment, the results given for the search “kāyena AND vācāya AND manasā” provide a pretty strongly evidence base for Ajahn Bhramali’s explanations as reported by Ang. Sabbamitta (:grin:). Seems pretty reasonable to think that not every concept has to be systematised around one single word or phrase.


It makes sense. Seems to match the 5-precepts & 10-wholesome conducts entirely.

Bhikkhu Bodhi did not provide a footnote for the word Tīṇipāhaṃ in his translation. Wonder how often it was used in the Nikaya.

Maybe bhante @dhammanando could help us with what the commentaries may or not have to say on what the term tīṇipāhaṃ is traditionally said to mean?

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The relevant word is actually duccarita, but you don’t need a commentary for this. As other posters have said, the three kinds of duccarita are of body, speech and mind. Elsewhere in the suttas the ten akusala kammapathas are divided between the three duccaritas:

Misconduct of body: killing, stealing, sexual misconduct.
Misconduct of speech: false, divisive, harsh, frivolous.
Misconduct of mind: malice, covetousness, wrong view.


Thanks once again for your attention and always informative reply bhante! :anjal:


Just found Ajahn Brahmali’s 2016 talks on AN 10.61 & 10.62.

AN10.61 Avijja Sutta - Ignorance (part one) | Ajahm Brahmali | 13 Nov 2016

AN10.61 Avijja Sutta - Ignorance (part two) | Ajahn Brahmali | 11 Dec 2016


Thank you Bhante. I found the Pali verses in AN 10.61 & AN 10.62 that contained the word Tinipaham. There are 3 occurrences:

(1) Tinipaham, bhikkhave, duccaritani saharani vadami, no anaharani.
(2) Tinipaham, bhikJđiave, sucaritani saharani vadami, no anaharani.
(3) Tinipaham, bhikkhave, duccaritani saharani vadami, no anaharani.

I don’t know Pali, but it seems “duccarita” (the 10 wholesome behaviors) was not translated to connect them with “Tinipaham” (the 3 misconducts). Perhaps to translators the connection is perfectly clear and thus redundant?

What I meant is that in other suttas (e.g., MN 117) the ten items that constitute the akusalakammapathas are mapped onto the three items called duccaritas.

I didn’t mean that in doing so the suttas use the actual word akusalakammapatha. This practice starts with the Nettipakaraṇa.

As for tīṇipāhaṃ, this doesn’t mean “three misconducts”. Tīṇi means “three”. Ahaṃ means “I”. The p in the middle will be short for either pi, pe or api, (probably the first), all connective particles.


I have only listened partway so far, but there is a nice explanation of “restraint” that clears up a misunderstanding I had.



sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṃ, kusalassa upasampadā,
sacittapariyodāpanaṃ, etaṃ buddhāna sāsanan’ ti.

sabbapāpaṃ nāma tīṇi duccaritāni kāyaduccaritaṃ vacīduccaritaṃ manoduccaritaṃ, te dasa akusalakammapathā pāṇātipāto adinnādānaṃ kāmesumicchācāro musāvādo pisuṇā vācā pharusā vācā samphappalāpo abhijjhā byāpādo micchādiṭṭhi.
(Netti 43)

“Not doing any kind of evil,
Perfecting profitable skill,
And purifying one’s own heart:
This is the Buddhas’ Dispensation.”
(Dhp. 183)

What is called ‘any kind of evil’ is the three kinds of misconduct, namely bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, and mental misconduct. These are the ten unprofitable courses of action, namely killing breathing things, taking what is not given, and misconduct in sensual-desires; false speech, malicious speech, harsh speech, and gossip; and covetousness, ill will, and wrong view.
(tr. Ñāṇamoli, The Guide)


Wonderful. Thank you for the explanation.

I just read MN-44 (Cūḷa Vedalla) again to refresh my memory of venerable Dhammadinnā’s exposition on physical (body), verbal (speech) & mental (mind) formations (processes). A joy to see the dots connected across early texts.


Ajahn Brahmali gave another talk on AN 10.61 in 2017. I listened to both 2016 & 2017 talks, together they clarified many fine points, some I had not thought of before.

AN 10.61 Ignorance (Part 1) Ajahn Brahmali BGF 2017
AN 10.61 Ignorance (Part 2) Ajahn Brahmali BGF 2017

BTW: I located Ajahn Brahmali’s 2017 talks from the Trekmentor site, another great find.

I found this thread by chance because of the title. As a result learned a lot more about this important sutta. My gratitude to the forum. I highly recommend listen to them carefully.

There is no such thing as pure randomness because everything has causes, still I feel lucky! :pray: