The Perfection of Truthfulness - Truthfulness in action, speech and thoughts

Everybody should know for himself what degree of kusala he wants to develop and to what extent. If someone does not listen to the Dhamma and does not accumulate all kinds of good qualities, he may not even be intent on the development of kusala. He may only be infatuated with pleasures and perform very few good deeds. Whereas if someone has listened also in past lives to the Dhamma of former Buddhas, if he has contemplated the Dhamma and acquired more understanding, he will be inclined to develop kusala. Some people may, throughout life, have no inclination to develop kusala as much as they are able to. They may not have the accumulated conditions to even think of kusala, and therefore, they cannot perform it. Someone may not be intent on helping others, or he has wrong understanding about kusala; he may wonder why he should tire himself or take the trouble to help others.
This shows us the diverse nature of the cittas we accumulate day after day. Some people, even if they have listened to the Dhamma, may not be able to forgive others, because they cannot apply the Dhamma. We have to accumulate kusala from now on so that it can be further developed. We can begin to be intent on forgiving others, not disapproving of them.
All of us who traverse the cycle of birth and death have many defilements and hence we should develop all the different ways of kusala so that defilements can be eradicated. If we merely think about developing kusala, kusala will not be strong enough to be a condition for sincerity and truthfulness, for the practice in conformity with our resolutions. The accumulation of wholesome qualities is the condition for truthfulness in action and speech. We have to continue to  accumulate kusala so that we shall not be neglectful in applying kusala, in practising it.
It is difficult to know the truth, also in worldly matters. For example, when we hear news through different media about an event that occurred near to us or far away, it is difficult to find out whether it is true. What we hear is sometimes not true, but we take it for the truth. Our confusion, our defilements make it most difficult to know what is true.
To know realities as they are is even more difficult than knowing the truth of worldly matters. We should see the value of truthfulness, including sincerity with regard to ourselves. We should develop truthfulness in action, speech and thoughts, even in seemingly unimportant matters. This means, truthfulness in speech, also when it regards appointments or promises. One may believe that these matters are unimportant. We should know what type of citta arises when we feel that with regard to unimportant matters we do not need to be truthful to act in accordance with our speech and thoughts. The citta of each person is most intricate, and if there is no panna accompanying sati, it is impossible to understand that even a slight degree of akusala that arises is conditioned by our accumulations. Defilements have been accumulated not only during this life but also in past lives. Our life today is conditioned by past lives and the accumulation of defilements will continue from life to life. Someone who earnestly develops panna should not only be intent on knowing the truth, but he should also strive after the eradication of his defilements, so that he is truthful in action and speech. He should be steady and firm in the development of kusala, including the following perfection: the perfection of determination, aditthana parami.

Topic 283