The Perfection of Patience - Patience is the highest ascetism



When someone is really skilful, he has patience so that he is intent on what is beneficial. When he is impatient this is of no benefit to him.   We read in the Commentary to the “Basket of Conduct”, no. 1, the Conduct of Akitti:

“Síla has been called ‘tapa’, ascetism or austerity,

because it burns the impurity arising from akusala.

Because of the splendour and power of the perfection of patience

and the perfection of viriya,

also these perfections have been called tapa, ascetism:

they burn the impurity of craving and laziness.

The Bodhisatta developed those perfections to the highest degree
when he was in this life.

It should be said that he developed them

by the power of the perfection of patience (khanti paramittanubhavena),

because the restraint by patience leads to what is supreme.

The Exalted One said:

‘patience is the highest ascetism’ (khanti paramang tapo).”


The first words of the “Exhortation to the Patimokkha” are, “Patience is the highest ascetism”. If patience and endurance are lacking, the perfections cannot lead to the realization of the four noble Truths. We should think of the patience of people at the time when the Buddha had not yet finally passed away. When we read the Suttas and reflect on them in detail we can see the patience and endurance of people at that time who applied the Dhamma in their conduct and practice.


Topic 282