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Sri Lanka Revisited, Ch 2, no 6

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  • Nina van Gorkom
    Dear friends, We all have weak points and we may not notice them. When someone tells us, for example, that we are interrupting others, it reminds us to
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2008
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      Dear friends,

      We all have weak points and we may not notice them. When someone
      tells us, for example, that we are interrupting others, it reminds us
      to consider more our different cittas, whereas before, we may have
      been forgetful at such moments. All aspects of the Dhamma can help us
      to develop right understanding in daily life. When one develops
      satipatth�na one should not neglect other ways of kusala.

      When someone tells us what is wrong with us he renders us a service.
      He finds something for us that is as hard to find as a hidden
      treasure. We read in the �Dhammapada� (vs. 76):

      �Should one see a wise man, who, like a revealer of treasures, points
      out faults and reproves, let one associate with such a wise person;
      it will be better, not worse, for him who associates with such a one.�

      We can say that such a person actually hands us a treasure.

      The good friend in Dhamma not only helps us to develop satipatth�na,
      he also points out our faults to us.

      We may not find someone who tells us the truth and the cause may be
      our unwillingness to listen. We may always talk back and find excuses
      for what we are doing. Bhante Dhammadhara spoke several times about
      the �Anum�na Sutta� (Middle Length Sayings I, no. 15). In this sutta
      it is said that there are sixteen qualities which make a monk
      �difficult to speak to�, sixteen reasons why someone else does not
      want to point out to that monk his weak points. The monks have to
      reflect on this sutta twice or three times daily, but also laypeople
      can benefit from this sutta. We should remember that the purpose of
      the suttas is not just reading, they must be applied in daily life.
      We read that Mah� Moggall�na, while he was staying in Sumsum�ragira,
      in Bhesakal� Grove in the deerpark, spoke to the monks about the
      qualities which make a monk difficult to speak to:

      �.... Herein, your reverences, a monk comes to be of evil desires and
      in the thrall of evil desires. Whatever monk, your reverences, comes
      to be of evil desires and in the thrall of evil desires, this is a
      quality that makes him difficult to speak to. And again, your
      reverences, a monk exalts himself and disparages others... a monk
      comes to be wrathful, overpowered by wrath.... a monk comes to be
      wrathful and because of his wrath is a faultfinder.... a monk comes
      to be wrathful and because of his wrath is one who takes offence....
      a monk comes to be wrathful and because of his wrath utters words
      bordering on wrath.... a monk, reproved, blurts out reproof against
      the reprover.... a monk, reproved, disparages the reprover for the
      reproof.... a monk, reproved, rounds on the reprover for the
      reproof... a monk, reproved, shelves the question by (asking) the
      reprover another, answers off the point, and evinces temper and ill-
      will and sulkiness... a monk, reproved, does not succeed in
      explaining his movements to the reprover.... a monk comes to be
      harsh, spiteful... a monk comes to be envious, grudging... a monk
      comes to be treacherous, deceitful... a monk comes to be stubborn,
      proud... And again, your reverences, a monk comes to seize the
      temporal, grasping it tightly, not letting go of it easily, this too
      is a quality that makes him difficult to speak to. These, your
      reverences, are called the qualities which make it difficult to speak
      to a monk.�

      *******

      Nina.




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