The Seven Deadly Sins (Christianity) and the Five Poisons (Buddhism)

The Seven Deadly Sins

The Seven Deadly Sins (Proverbs 6:16-19)

Proverbs 6:16-19 in the Book of Proverbs in The Holy Bible lists “six things the Lord hateth, and the seventh His soul detesteth” (from the American Standard Version):

  1. haughty eyes,
  2. a lying tongue,
  3. hands that shed innocent blood,
  4. a heart that deviseth wicked purposes,
  5. feet that are swift in running to mischief,
  6. a false witness that uttereth lies,
  7. he that soweth discord among brethren.

The Seven Deadly Sins (The Common List)

In AD 590, Pope Gregory I amended and consolidated the various lists of seven sins that were in vogue then and created the more common list of Seven Deadly Sins. Even Dante Alighieri, the celebrated Italian poet of the Middle Ages, quoted this list of Seven Deadly Sins in his epic, The Divine Comedy.

  1. lechery / lust (luxuria in Latin)
  2. gluttony (gula in Latin)
  3. avarice / greed (avaritia in Latin)
  4. sloth / discouragement (acedia in Latin)
  5. wrath (ira in Latin)
  6. envy (invidia in Latin)
  7. pride (superbia in Latin)

“Five Poisons” in the Mahayana tradition of Buddhism

The Mahayana tradition of Buddhism inventories five kleshas, mental states that can cloud the mind and result in unwholesome actions:

  1. Ignorance. Also: confusion, bewilderment, delusion, disorder
  2. Attachment. Also: desire, passion, yearning
  3. Aversion. Also: anger, hatred, rage, fury
  4. Pride. Also: arrogance, conceit, overconfidence, condescension
  5. Jealousy. Also: envy, spite, covetousness
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