The Perfection of Truthfulness - Practice of the Bodhisatta

We read in the Commentary to the “Basket of Conduct”, in the “Miscellaneous Sayings”, about the way of practice of the Bodhisatta during the time he was developing the perfections. If someone wants to realize the noble Truths, be he monk or layman, he should consider what practice he should follow so that he will realize the noble Truths, and he should be truthful and sincere in his practice. We read:

“He should work energetically for the welfare of beings,

be capable of enduring everything whether desirable or undesirable,

and should speak without deception.”
This is only a short phrase, but we can grasp the essence of it by considering it deeply and by applying it. In order to be able to apply these words, we should be patient with regard to what is desirable or undesirable. We read:

“He should speak without deception.

He should suffuse all beings with universal loving-kindness and compassion.

Whatever causes suffering for beings,

all that he should be ready to take upon himself;

and he should rejoice in the merits of all beings.”
We should consider what was said about applying energy for the welfare of beings. We should not have selfish motives, not act for our own sake when we are giving support to others. We need energy, otherwise we could not help others in an unselfish way. We should support others as far as we are able to, such as sharing in the performance of their tasks, alleviating their burden. At such moments we can realize immediately that we need energy when we want to help others. We can understand that, in order to eradicate defilements, we should follow the example of the Bodhisatta’s practice. We should apply energy for the welfare of beings in whatever way we can, depending on the situation of our daily life, even by way of speech, by giving guidance to others. It may be somewhat troublesome for us to help others, but our support can be a condition for others also to develop a great deal of kusala in their lives. We can give support to others if we apply energy for their benefit.
As we read in the Commentary: “He should be capable of enduring everything whether desirable or undesirable.” When we are infatuated with something, we may realize that this is not ordinary attachment, but a stronger degree of lobha. We may be absorbed in the object of attachment, but when sati-sampajanna arises we can realize that we should endure everything, whether desirable or undesirable. If we very gradually learn to be patient, we shall know what the characteristic of true patience is. We can accumulate patience in all situations, no matter whether we experience objects through the bodysense or hear someone else’s speech. We can learn to be patient and not complain about cold, heat or difficult situations in life. Then we shall understand what patience is.
As we read in the Commentary, “He should suffuse all beings with universal loving-kindness and compassion.” One’s loving-kindness should be universal, without partiality. Generally, people have lovingkindness for someone who is righteous, not for an evil person. This shows that loving-kindness and compassion are not extended to all beings, that they are not yet universal. If someone has developed loving-kindness, he can extend it to all beings, be they righteous or evil. Then sati-sampajanna is aware and understands what is proper and what is improper.
When we are angry and displeased, when we look down upon someone who is evil or commits bad deeds, we have akusala citta; our citta is similar to the citta of an evil person, because we have contempt for him. Even a short phrase of the Dhamma can help us to develop satisampajanna and to have a growing understanding of the realities arising within ourselves, so that we can further develop kusala.
We read in the Commentary: “He should rejoice in the merits of all beings.”
When we notice someone else’s kusala and we rejoice in it, we are truthful, we are sincere in our appreciation of his kusala. We may not be able to perform a good deed ourselves, but we can appreciate someone else’s kusala. If we do not appreciate this, the citta is akusala.

Topic 283