The Anguttara Commentary to AN 3.68 explains that “has little blame” means “both by way of worldly blame and by way of its (karmic) results”, that is, both in the worldly and the spiritual senses. It goes on to show that lust (lobha) “has little blame”by the fact that there is no social stigma to marriage, although it is rooted in sexual desire (that is, if lust remains within the moral limits). Such lust would not in itself lead to a painful rebirth in lower states. As such, it is less blameworthy in regard to karmic consequences.
This statement may appear strange in
view of the fact that greed (lobha) is one of the roots of the unwholesome or evil and that it also falls under the wider-ranging term of Craving, the fundamental cause of suffering. Yet greed is “less blameworthy” than hate in all those instances where the gratification
of lust does not violate basic morality and is not harmful to others, as, for instance, the enjoyment
of delicious food, sex gratification within the bounds of the Third Precept, and so forth.
Lust, however, is “hard to remove” as it has deep roots in human nature, and is “as hard to remove as oily soot, and a particular attachment might follow a person even through two or three lives”. In a single moment the roots of lust can sink deeply into man’s heart; its fine hair roots of
subtle attachments are as difficult to remove as the great passions, or even more so.
The Anguttara Commentary similarly says that “much blame” means “both by way of worldly blame and by way of its (karmic) results,” that is, both in the worldly and the spiritual senses.
Hate (dosa) is more blameworthy than lust and delusions because the results of a hateful act are often
immediate apparently, widespread and protracted. Hate is almost always behind killing, acts of violence
and life-threatening deeds. As such, hate is greatly blameworthy. However, people often quickly forget
such violent acts when they are distracted by other pursuits, especially those concerning living needs,
comfort and pleasure: in other words, they are more easily distracted by the drive of lust.
Delusion (moha) is both greatly blameworthy and hard to abandon. It is always at the root of the
motivation in the breaking of the precepts, indeed in any evil unskillful act.
Both hate and delusion are regarded as blameworthy in society and have negative karmic results, as both may lead one to rebirth in painful states. Hate, however, is an unpleasant state of mind, and as beings naturally desire happiness, they will generally wish to abandon it. Moreover, by asking for forgiveness from those one has wronged through anger, it is easier to nullify the negative effects of anger in oneself and in others. Delusion, however, is usually deeply rooted in craving, wrong view and conceit, and as such will be as hard to remove as lust.