The Perfection of Patience - The unimpeded weapon of the good II



If we are able to be patient, anger cannot arise, there cannot be wrong speech, not even the slightest amount. We shall not utter angry words. As we read, patience is “the adornment of those capable of vanquishing the foe.”

We may well adorn ourselves profusely with things that beautify, but if our action and speech are evil, we are not beautiful. The absence of anger, patience, is the adornment of those capable of conquering others; with this kind of adornment one is beautiful and does not need other kinds of adornment. However, if patience is lacking, one’s action and speech are ugly.

Patience is “the strength of recluses and brahmins”. It is the attainment of strength (bala sampada) of a tranquil person. A tranquil or calm person does not have any disturbance or trouble with regard to anybody, and thus calm which is freedom from akusala is the strength of recluses and brahmins.

Patience is “a stream of water extinguishing the fire of anger.” If we are angry, anger can be overcome by the perfection of patience. At such a moment we accumulate conditions for refraining more easily from akusala.

Patience is “the basis for acquiring a good reputation, a mantra for quelling the poisonous speech of evil people.”

When we are angry and we utter evil speech, we ourselves are evil people. Whoever utters evil speech is an evil person. Patience is a mantra, a medicine against poison, namely speech of an evil person.

Patience is “the supreme source of constancy in those established in restraint.”

Patience is the nature of those with supreme panna. In order to develop panna it is necessary to have endless patience: patience to listen to the Dhamma and to consider it in all details so as to understand the deep meaning of the teachings and their benefit. In that way we shall know that listening is not enough, that we should also apply the teachings. If someone wishes to have panna he should first of all have endurance and accumulate the perfection of patience.

As we read: “Patience is an ocean on account of its depth.”

Patience is profound. Akusala arises more often than kusala. When  satisampajanna arises, someone realizes the disadvantage of akusala citta, and he has patience to refrain from it, be it lobha, dosa, jealousy, avarice or conceit. This shows that patience is profound. If someone has no understanding, he cannot develop the perfection of patience. The perfection of patience and sati- sampajanna are very subtle and refined, they are conditions for refraining from akusala.

Patience is “a shore bounding the great ocean of hatred; a panel closing off the door to the plane of misery.”

Many people are afraid of unhappy planes and they perform kusala so that they will not be born there. However, if someone does not want to be reborn in an unhappy plane, he should be patient and refrain from akusala, because patience is “a panel closing off the door to the plane of misery.”

Patience is “a staircase ascending to the worlds of the gods and Brahmas; the ground for the habitation of all noble qualities; the supreme purification of body, speech and mind.”

We should consider again and again whether we have further developed patience in each situation of our life. When we train ourselves often in good qualities, sobhana cetasikas, when we develop them, they can become our nature. Some people are by nature more patient than others, and this shows that they have developed all kinds of wholesome qualities.


Topic 282