The Perfection of Truthfulness - Truthfulness with regard to realities

The perfection of truthfulness, sacca paramí, is sincerity and truthfulness with regard to realities. It means truthfulness through body, speech and mind. In order to realize the four noble Truths, one should be truthful, sincere, with regard to oneself, and this means, truthful with regard to the realities which appear just as they are. Kusala is kusala and akusala is akusala; they cannot be otherwise, no matter whether they arise in oneself or in someone else.
If we see the disadvantage of untruth and falsity, we shall further develop the perfection of truthfulness. In the Tipitaka deceitful speech is compared to bean- soup, because when one cooks beansoup, some beans are cooked while others are not cooked. When eating, one comes sometimes across hard beans which are not cooked. It is the same with speech: when a person speaks a great deal, some deceptive words may permeate his speech. Or it may also happen that everything he says is true, from the first word until the last. We can only know with regard to ourselves when we are insincere and when truthful. It is panna that knows akusala as akusala. We may begin to see that akusala is ugly, that it is wrong. Panna that is of a higher degree can gradually eliminate akusala. However, if one does not see the disadvantage and the danger of akusala dhammas, akusala will only increase. The realization of the four noble Truths leads to the eradication of defilements, but in order to realize the four noble Truths we should be truthful in action, speech and mind.
Akusala dhammas arise because of their appropriate conditions. If sati arises, it can at such moments be aware of the characteristic of akusala dhamma and in this way akusala can be given up. We should not delay being aware of the characteristic of the dhamma that naturally appears so that it can be known as it is. When akusala appears and there is awareness of it, we can immediately abandon it.
We have a great deal of defilements and without the support of the perfections it is impossible to penetrate the four noble Truths, to become a “streamwinner”, sotapanna, who will not be reborn more than seven times before the attainment of arahatship.
Even Sariputta, who had panna of the degree of a chief disciple, developed the perfections during one incalculable period and a hundred thousand aeons so that he could become a sotapanna. Since he had accumulated the perfections for such a long time, he could become an arahat fifteen days after he had attained the stage of sotapanna. The perfection of truthfulness is truthfulness or sincerity in developing kusala, with the aim to eradicate defilements. If there is no truthfulness with regard to the development of kusala, defilements cannot be eradicated.

Topic 283