Q-60pxWhat does Buddhism say about impure thoughts and immoral impulses? In other religions it is looked at as temptation from evil spirits and such, but how does Buddhism explain the root cause behind the temptation of sin and what can be done to help ourselves when tempted?

Is there such a thing as a naturally evil person?

A-60pxSecond question first: In Shin Buddhism (but not all schools of Buddhism), there is no such thing as a naturally evil person. Everyone is evil, so it is only a matter of degree.

Impure thoughts and immoral impulses—an interesting question. Certainly from a Buddhist point of view, this is not “sin” since there is no sin in Buddhism (sin as understood as breaking commandants or rules).

The bottom line is “we are responsible for our thoughts, words and actions” thus, we have to use our judgment, knowledge, wisdom and experience to handle any thoughts (pure or impure) we might have, and then decide what words and/or actions we will use.

Also, as Buddhists, we cannot judge other people’s actions (being non-judgemental), and we cannot know the whole situation. We can only judge ourselves and use our tools (judgment, knowledge, wisdom and exerpience) to determine our thoughts and then, maybe, our actions. Thus, our course of action, when “being tempted,” is to take responsibility for our actions.

Gassho (with palms together), Rev. Ron