The Perfection of Truthfulness - Truthfulness with regard to the Triple Gem

Truthfulness in the development of kusala with the aim to eradicate defilements begins with truthfulness with regard to the Triple Gem. We should be truthful and honest with ourselves while we consider in what way we show our reverence, respect and confidence towards the Triple Gem. Do we sincerely have respect and confidence in the Buddha, the Exalted One, when we see a Buddha statue?
We can test our truthfulness with regard to the Triple Gem, if we are aware of our thoughts when we see a Buddha statue. Do we take refuge in the Triple Gem with truthfulness? We may think of the excellent qualities of the Buddha with respect, reverence and esteem. Or, when we see a Buddha statue, do we ask for favours such as protection, possessions, praise or a position of honour?
We should know ourselves as we really are. We should be truthful, and we should not ask for gains and favours. We should be intent to apply the Dhamma while we show respect to our Teacher, the Exalted One. We can be truthful in the application of the Dhamma as taught by the Buddha. In this way we truly take our refuge in the Triple Gem.
After the Buddha, the Exalted One, finally passed away, the Dhamma became the teacher in his stead. Truthfulness to the Dhamma means studying it with sincerity, with the aim to have correct understanding of it. We should not study the Dhamma with the aim to gain something, to acquire honour or praise, but only to have correct understanding of it. We should develop right understanding of the realities which appear so that defilements can be eradicated and ignorance abandoned.
The temple is a dwelling place, a place where we can hear the Dhamma and study it. It does not belong to the monks but it belongs to the Triple Gem. Because of confidence in the excellent qualities of the Triple Gem, temples are built as dwelling places, places where the Dhamma can be studied. We should always consider which ways of paying honour and respect to the Triple Gem are truly beneficial.

Topic 283