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The Three Kinds of Persons

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  • NamoAmituofo
    ... For www.TheDailyEnlightenment.com ... The Three Kinds of Persons Understand that there are three kinds of persons Because of their small, middling and
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 31, 2005
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      The Three Kinds of Persons



      Understand that there are three kinds of persons
      Because of their small, middling and supreme capacities.
      I shall write clearly distinguishing
      Their individual characteristics.

      Know that those who by whatever means
      Seek for themselves no more,
      Than the pleasures of cyclic existence
      Are persons of the least capacity.

      Those who seek peace for themselves alone,
      Turning away from worldly pleasures
      And avoiding destructive actions,
      Are said to be of middling capacity.

      Those who, through their personal suffering,
      Truly want to end completely
      All the suffering of others,
      Are persons of supreme capacity.

      - A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment (Atisha Dipamkara Shrijnana)

      The "first level" above is also known as the "small scope", which seeks a better life now and a better rebirth. The "second level" is also known as the intermediate scope", which seeks to renounce personal suffering, to attain liberation for oneself. The "third level" is also known as the "great scope", which is the Bodhicitta aspiration, which seeks to liberate others from suffering while liberating oneself.

      It is possible to "upgrade" our capacities through diligent spiritual practice along the graduated path to full Enlightenment (Buddhahood) by increasing our Compassion and Wisdom. However, we should not pressurise others to "upgrade" their capacities. We should instead use skilful means to encourage them to spiritually grow beyond their current capacity in good time. Sometimes, others need more than this lifetime alone to "upgrade" their capacities.


      - Shen Shi'an

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