Looking for an EBT reference regarding the cause of doubt

I’ve heard that there is a sutta which states that the cause of doubt is an “unwise thought”. I’d love to know which sutta or other EBT this comes from; can anyone tell me?

Many thanks.:anjal:

1 Like

“And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen doubt and for the increase and expansion of arisen doubt? There are, bhikkhus, things that are the basis for doubt: frequently giving careless attention to them is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen doubt and for the increase and expansion of arisen doubt.


This doubt refers- not to having doubts, but continuing with them. It might be better to say one might have a question, a point of clarification and that that does not mean someone has doubts. The latter is about disquiet about the very foundations of one’s practice. This would be something which would disturb one’s meditation (ie- one of the five hindrances). Giving ‘careless attention’ (from the post above) would be ‘did I exist in the past, and now that there is no self, do I not exist anymore’ etc or empty speculations about the universe (MN 2).

with metta

Thanks @Gabriel_L I believe that’s what I have been looking for.

If anyone else knows of any other similar texts, I’d be most interested. Thanks in advance.

1 Like

Hi Mat

Actually, this is not what I meant and not what I was discussing with a friend recently. This friend was sharing how he had read in a sutta that the cause of doubt was unwise attention to the thoughts that create them. He was not referring to a spirit of inquiry or contemplation or investigation. He was referring to doubt as a hindrance of the mind, and that an unwise thought was it’s cause. However, he couldn’t remember the sutta this had come from.

Thank you though, for sharing your thoughts.


Hi @Kay, on the broader topic of hindrances (nivarana) I would suggest you checking this link:


1 Like

Unwise reflection can lead to doubt. It is here in AN 1.15 (link)

15.Bhikkhus, I do not know of a thing more conducive to the arising of non-arisen doubts and the development of arisen doubts as unwise reflection. Unwise reflection arouses non-arisen doubts and develops arisen doubts.

how exactly do you chose to interpret ‘unwise reflection’?

Bhikkhu Analayo suggests that Unwise reflection (ayoniso manasikara) is the main condition for the arising of unwholesome doubt, as in AN 1.15. He goes on to say that doubt is closely related to an inability to recognise and distinguish between what is wholesome and skilful on the one hand, and what is unwholesome and unskilful on the other.

There are, bhikkhus, wholesome and unwholesome states… …frequently giving careful attention to them is the nutriment for the arising of the unarisen enlightenment factor of discrimination of states and for the fulfilment by development of the arisen enlightenment factor of discrimination of states. sn46.51


Brilliant DaoYaoTao! Thank you, I believe this is exactly what I was looking for! :slight_smile: