The Perfection of Patience - Dhamma Jataka



We read in the Commentary to the “Basket of Conduct”, with regard to the “Conduct of Dhamma the Devaputta” that the Bodhisatta was born as Dhamma, a Devaputta (son of a Deva), and Devadatta as Adhamma. Dhamma would on Uposatha days (vigil days) appear among men and propagate what was right, the ten wholesome deeds, whereas Adhamma propagated the ten evil actions. One day their two chariots met in mid-air, and they each claimed the right of way.

We read in the “Dhamma Jataka”(no. 457) which gives the same story, that Adhamma said to Dhamma, while comparing himself with iron, and Dhamma Devaputta with gold:

“By iron gold is beaten, nor do we

Gold used for beating iron ever see:

If Wrong against Right shall win the fight today,

Iron as beautiful as gold will be.”

We read in the Jataka that Dhamma answerd with the stanza:

“If you indeed are mighty in the fray,

Though neither good nor wise is what you say,

Swallow I will all these your evil words;

And willy nilly will make your way.”

Dhamma did not want to give in to anger, and, according to the Commentary, he aroused patience, loving-kindness and compassion. He gave Adhamma the right of way, but the earth formed a fissure and swallowed Adhamma.

As we read, Adhamma could kill Dhamma, just as iron can beat gold, whereas gold cannot beat iron. People who are on the side of Adhamma, who are wrong, think that they are like iron and can make iron appear as beautiful as gold, thus, they make akusala appear as good.

When someone has done wrong, he is likely to be blamed by society. If we believe that we should join in judging that person and blaming him time and again, the citta is akusala and then we are actually on the side of Adhamma, not of Dhamma. If sati-sampajanna arises, we can have loving-kindness and patience; we can refrain from blaming someone else, so that aversion and other kinds of akusala do not increase.

As we read, Dhamma answered that he would have patience and endure the coarse speech of Adhamma.

We read in the Commentary to the “Basket of Conduct” (Miscellaneous Sayings):

“Again, only the man of wisdom can patiently tolerate the wrongs of others,

not the dull-witted man.

In the man lacking wisdom, the wrongs of others only provoke impatience;

but for the wise, they call his patience into play and make it grow even stronger.”

  How shall we live from now on? If we have right understanding, we can patiently tolerate the wrongs of someone else, but if we lack understanding, impatience will increase. We read further on:

“Only the man of wisdom is skilful in providing for the welfare of all beings,

without discriminating between dear people, neutrals, and enemies.”

All the teachings are beneficial. We can see that the Buddha helped his followers in explaining the Dhamma and exhorting them time and again to consider the benefit of kusala dhammas. We read in the text: “Only the man of wisdom is skilful in providing for the welfare of all beings, without discriminating between dear people, neutrals, and enemies.” This reminds us that we should be skilful in providing for the welfare of all beings, that we should be impartial in giving assistance to others, and not only help our close friends.


Topic 282