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In the Cakkavatti Sihanaada Sutra it is mentioned about three types of raaga or unwholesome acts that people did at the lifespan of 500 years. It is named

  1. Adharma Raaga
  2. Visama Lobha
  3. Michcha Dharma

What does these 3 mean? The meaning is not specially mentioned in the pali canon.

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Page 19 of the Dharmafarer PDF says they're explained in the commentary:

The Commentary here explains them as follows:

  • “abnormal lust” (adhamma,raga) as incest, that is, “lust between mother and mother’s sister and father’s sister and maternal uncle’s wife and other such improper situations” ;
  • “excessive greed” (visama,lobha) or “neurotic desire,” as excessive greed by way of consuming things (in other words, unbridled materialism and consumerism); and
  • “deviant conduct” (miccha,dhamma) as homosexuality, ie, sex “between men and men, women with women.”

I haven't quoted the whole page here: see page 19 of the PDF for more.

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    My impression based on what I have read & heard is the suttas are silent on homosexuality. What is the source of Piya Tan's commentary here. I browsed the PDF but this was unclear to me. Thanks – Dhammadhatu Oct 23 '16 at 21:39
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    @Dhammadhatu I was surprised at that too. Page 2 of the PDF says, The Commentary here explains “abnormal lust” as incest, “excessive greed” or “neurotic desire,” as unbridled materialism and consumerism, and “deviant conduct” as homosexuality (DA 3:853). According to page 17 of Technical, Textual and Scriptural Abbreviations, "DA" is the Sumangala-vilasini which is "Buddhaghosa's commentary on the 'Digha-nikaya'" (from the 5th century). – ChrisW Oct 23 '16 at 22:31
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These three terms appear to be not mentioned anywhere else in the suttas, which, like many suttas of the Digha Nikaya, creates doubt to whether the Cakkavatti-Sīhanāda-Sutta was spoken by the Buddha himself. The doubt is increased with verses by the Buddha, such as in AN 4.77, that state:

"Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it."

Or MN 122:

'I will not engage in talk that is base, vulgar, common, ignoble, unbeneficial, that does not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calm, direct knowledge, self-awakening, or Unbinding — i.e., talk about...the creation of the world & of the sea...


When these three terms are first mentioned, the Cakkavatti-Sīhanāda-Sutta states:

Among humans of the latter span of life, brethren, three things grew apace: adhammarāgaṃ visamalobhaṃ micchādhammaṃ.

Thereby the life-span of those beings and their comeliness wasted, so that, of humans whose span of life was five hundred years, some sons lived but two and a half centuries, some only two centuries.

Among humans of a life-span, brethren, of two and a half centuries, these things grew apace—lack of filial piety to mother and father, lack of religious piety to holy men, lack of regard for the head of the clan.

Based on the suttas, 'adhammarāgaṃ' (non-dhammic lust) in the context of "lack of filial piety to mother/s and father/s" does not necessarily only mean extremes such as 'incest', as has been translated. It can also refer to sexual promiscuity in general, as follows:

Bhikkhus, these two bright principles protect the world. What are the two? Shame and fear of wrongdoing. If, bhikkhus, these two bright principles did not protect the world, there would not be discerned respect for mother or maternal aunt or maternal uncle's wife or a teacher's wife or the wives of other honored persons, and the world would have fallen into promiscuity, as with goats, sheep, chickens, pigs, dogs, and jackals. But as these two bright principles protect the world, there is discerned respect for mother... and the wives of other honored persons.

AN 2.9

This is confirmed, when the Cakkavatti-Sīhanāda-Sutta later states:

Among such humans, brethren, they who lack filial and religious piety, and show no respect for the head of the clan—’Tis they to whom homage and praise will be given, just as today homage and praise are given to the filial-minded, to the pious and to them who respect the heads of their clans.

Among such humans, brethren, there will be no [such thoughts of reverence as are a bar sexual intercourse with] mother, or mother’s sister, or mother’s sister-in-law, or teacher’s wife, or father’s sister-in-law.

The world will fall into promiscuity, like goats and sheep, fowls and swine, dogs and jackals.


Similarly, 'micchādhammaṃ' can more broadly mean 'wrong religion' or 'wrong doctrine', such as religions that worship sex &/or money; engage in human & animal sacrifice; or preach tribal warfare.

I personally doubt micchādhammaṃ refers explicitly to homosexuality, given promiscuous (rather than non-promiscuous) homosexuality would simply fall under 'adhammarāgaṃ'. To blame homosexuality for major world problems is what fundamentalist Christians, Catholics & Muslims do.

Unlike 'adhammarāgaṃ' & 'visamalobhaṃ', there is no reference to homosexuality as being a major problem anywhere in the suttas. Where as forms of 'adhammarāgaṃ' (eg. AN 2.9) & 'visamalobhaṃ' are described in many places as being significant problems, such as:

Now, craving is dependent on feeling, seeking is dependent on craving, acquisition is dependent on seeking, ascertainment is dependent on acquisition, desire and passion is dependent on ascertainment, attachment is dependent on desire and passion, possessiveness is dependent on attachment, stinginess is dependent on possessiveness, defensiveness is dependent on stinginess, and because of defensiveness, dependent on defensiveness, various evil, unskillful phenomena come into play: the taking up of sticks and knives; conflicts, quarrels, and disputes; accusations, divisive speech, and lies

The Cakkavatti-Sīhanāda-Sutta later states the following, which could also apply to 'micchādhammaṃ' ('wrong religion'):

Among such humans, brethren, keen mutual enmity will become the rule, keen ill-will, keen animosity, passionate thoughts even of killing, in a mother towards her child, in a child towards its mother, in a father towards his child and a child towards its father, in brother to brother, in brother to sister, in sister to brother.

Just as a sportsman feels towards the game that he sees, so will they feel.

Among such humans, brethren, there will arise a sword-period of seven days, during which they will look on each other as wild beasts; sharp swords will appear ready to their hands, and they, thinking ‘This is a wild beast, this is a wild beast,’ will with their swords deprive each other of life.

Some examples of this (killing family in the name of religion) from the Bible include:

  • Someone else may say to you, “Let’s worship other gods.” That person may be your best friend, your brother or sister, your son or daughter, or your own dear wife or husband. But you must not listen to people who say such things. Instead, you must stone them to death. You must be the first to throw the stones, then others from the community will finish the job. Don’t show any pity. Deuteronomy 13:6

  • Leviticus 20:9 Whoever curses their father or mother must be put to death. They cursed their father or mother, so they are responsible for their own death!

  • Leviticus 21:9 If a priest’s daughter becomes a prostitute, she ruins her reputation and brings shame to her father. She must be burned to death in the fire!

To conclude, I would confidently guess 'micchādhammaṃ' means 'wrong religion' or 'wrong doctrines'.

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    Thank you for answering. When you mentioned "promiscuous homosexuality", the "page 19" that I cited claims that homosexuality was an example of narcissism (self-love), which is why it's not in the same category as adhammarāgaṃ (not that I want to argue that, but only for the sake of reporting what's written; it's not clear whether that opinion/conjecture is from Piya Tan or from Buddhaghosa). Also, apart from the Biblical Old Testament, a more topical example of killing family for the sake of religion might be the opening of the Bhagavad Gita, where Arjuna faces his relatives in war. – ChrisW Oct 24 '16 at 11:02
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    Thanks Chris. Sounds like lots of subjective judgments about 'homosexuality' in general. 'Micchādhammaṃ' is such broad term. It can mean anything. Where as "adhammarāgaṃ" is very specific, namely, about lust. – Dhammadhatu Oct 24 '16 at 11:25

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