The Perfection of Patience - Right & wrong kind of patience



Patience has many degrees. We need patience to listen to the Dhamma, to study and to consider it, in order to have right understanding of what is taught. We should not merely listen, we should also consider with wise attention what we have heard. The Dhamma is very subtle and deep and if we do not consider thoroughly what we have heard and studied, we can easily have confusion and wrong understanding, there may be conditions for wrong conduct and wrong practice.

When patience with regard to listening to the Dhamma increases we shall see the benefit of all kinds of kusala and further develop it. This means that we shall have more understanding of the right cause that brings its effect accordingly.

We read in the ‘Kindred Sayings” (V, Maha-vagga, Kindred Sayings on  Streamwinning, Ch II, § 2, Brahmins) that the Buddha, while he was dwelling at Savatthí, was reminding the monks about the right kind of patience and the wrong kind of patience. We read:

“Monks, the brahmins proclaim this practice which leads to prosperity:

they instruct their disciples thus:

 

‘Come, good fellow!

Rise up betimes and go facing east.

Don’t avoid a hole,

a village pool or cesspit.

You should go to meet your death wherever you may fall.

Thus, good fellow, on the break up of body,

after death you will be reborn in the Happy Lot, in the Heaven World.’ ”

  Those brahmins taught endurance and patience, but if patience is not  accompanied by panna it is not beneficial at all. This teaching of the brahmins was devoid of panna, unreasonable and not beneficial.

We read further on that the Buddha said:

“But, monks, this practice of the brahmins is the way of fools,

it is the way of infatuation.

It conduces not to revulsion, to dispassion, to cessation,

to calm, to full comprehension, to the wisdom,

it conduces not to Nibbana.

 

Now, monks, I too proclaim, in the Ariyan discipline,

a practice which leads to prosperity,

but it is one which conduces to downright revulsion, dispassion, cessation,

to calm, to full comprehension, to the wisdom, to Nibbana.”

Those brahmins used the same wording, “leading to prosperity”, but the meaning is different, and it refers to a different way of practice. We read that the Buddha said:

“Herein, monks, the Ariyan disciple has unwavering loyalty to the Buddha...

the Dhamma...the Order.

He is blessed with the virtues dear to the Ariyans,

virtues unbroken, whole, unspotted, untarnished, virtues untainted,

which lead to concentration of mind.

This, monks, is the practice which leads to downright revulsion,

dispassion, cessation, to calm, to full comprehension,

to the wisdom, to Nibbana.”

  This is a short text, but it deals with the dhammas which are naturally appearing just as they are, at this moment. This is the way leading to dispassion, calm, full comprehension, enlightenment, nibbana.

 

Topic 282