The Perfection of Patience - The danger of impatience



Some people do not consider and think of patience and endurance, they have not accumulated patience. We can see the danger of impatience when someone who is happy himself and without trouble, cannot stand another person’s happiness. We read in the Commentary to the Gradual Sayings, Book of the Fives §5,  “Begrudging” (macharí) about the five kinds of avarice (macchariya) of a miser:

 

“With regard to avarice as to dwelling (avasa),

he cannot bear to see someone else in that dwelling,

 

with regard to avarice as to family (kula),

he cannot bear to see someone else visiting that family,

 

with regard to avarice as to gain (labha),

he cannot bear someone else to obtain something,

 

with regard to avarice as to praise (vanna),

he cannot bear that people praise the good qualities of others,

 

with regard to avarice as to Dhamma,

he does not want to explain the theory of the Dhamma to someone else.”

This shows the importance of patience. If sati arises which is nonforgetful of kusala, one is able to have endurance. We should know what the Scriptures say about the excellence of patience and the disadvantage of impatience.

We read in the “Gradual Sayings” (III), Book of the Fives, Ch XXII, § 5, Impatience, that the Buddha said:

“Monks, there are these five disadvantages from being impatient.

What five?

Not to many folk he is dear and pleasing;

he is full of malevolence;

there is much harm for him;

he dies muddled in thought and rises in unhappy planes, such as hell planes.

Monks, these are the five disadvantages from being impatient.”

 

It is true that someone who is impatient is not dear and pleasing to many people,

he is full of malevolence and he may cause quarreling, injuring, fighting, harming

and killing. When he is irritated and displeased because of an unpleasant

experience, he should know that accumulated inclinations condition him to be

bad-tempered and impatient and that he will receive the harmful effect of his own

akusala.

  Someone else cannot harm him, only his own defilements will cause him harm, and moreover, he will die muddled in thought. If someone is often impatient and overcome by anger, he may also be so when he is near death. Everybody has to leave this world, and when the citta is impure just before dying, his akusala citta is the condition for rebirth in an unhappy plane such as hell. This is a danger much more fearsome than the dangers in this world.

Thus, we should train ourselves in patience, acceptance and endurance with regard to our living conditions, our environment, patience with regard to all kinds of situations (adhivasana khanti).


Topic 282