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The Perfections developed in Daily Life, Ch 5, no 2.

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  • Nina van Gorkom
    Dear friends, We have accumulated attachment to sense pleasures, we never have enough of them, but when we see their danger there can be a sense of urgency to
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 5, 2012
      Dear friends,

      We have accumulated attachment to sense pleasures, we never have
      enough of them, but when we see their danger there can be a sense of
      urgency to develop right understanding. Through right understanding
      we can come to know our attachment, we can learn to see it as it is:
      a conditioned reality which is not self. Only when the wrong view of
      self has been eradicated clinging can be gradually eliminated. The
      perfection of energy has to be developed together with right
      understanding. The aim should be the eradication of defilements,
      otherwise energy is not a perfection leading to enlightenment. We
      read in the commentary to the Cariy�pitaka [1]:

      �Energy devoid of wisdom does not accomplish the purpose desired
      since it is wrongly aroused, and it is better not to arouse energy at
      all than to arouse it in the wrong way. But when energy is conjoined
      with wisdom, there is nothing it cannot accomplish, if equipped with
      the proper means....�

      The Bodhisatta was intent on his ultimate goal while he with ardent
      energy developed all kinds of kusala. We read in the �Sivi-
      J�taka� (no. 499) that the Bodhisatta, in one of his lives when he
      was a king, gave his own eyes to a blind brahmin who was actually
      Sakka, king of the devas, in disguise. Although others had tried to
      dissuade the Bodhisatta he was unshakable in his resolution. The pain
      was extreme when he had his own eyes taken out, but he endured it
      with heroic fortitude. We read that when his right eye had been taken
      out already he gazed at it with his left eye and enduring the pain he
      asked the brahmin to come. He said:

      � �The eye of omniscience is dearer than this eye a hundred fold, yes
      a thousand fold; there you have my reason for this action', and he
      gave it to the brahmin, who raised it and placed it in his own eye
      socket. There it remained fixed by his power like a blue lotus in
      bloom. When the Great Being with his left eye saw that eye in his
      head, he cried: 'Ah, how good is this my gift of an eye' and thrilled
      straightway with joy that had arisen within him, he gave the other
      eye also... Later on his sight was restored to him.�

      When the Bodhisatta was intent on his ultimate goal, saying, �The eye
      of omniscience is dearer than this eye�, he did not merely think:
      �Once I have to become a Samm�sambuddha�, but he developed the
      conditions for it right there and then. Could he have endured such
      extreme pain without mindfulness of the present moment? When there is
      firm resolution to develop the conditions for enlightenment at this
      moment there is mindfulness of the present reality since this is the
      only way. At the same time there is right effort, and this is the
      perfection of energy.
      We should not merely think: �Once we should reach our goal, once we
      should attain enlightenment�, but we have to be resolute with regard
      to mindfulness at this moment. We should have courage and
      perseverance to begin again and again to develop right understanding.

      [1] Ven. Bodhi, p. 279.


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