The Perfection of Determination - Steadfastness in relinquishment

The Buddha, whose excellent qualities are incomparable, extended his great compassion to us. He became a Sammasambuddha so that we could gain the benefit of the Dhamma he taught to all people. He taught the Dhamma to us who can investigate and consider it, and this is the condition for panna to arise that leads to the eradication of our defilements and the realization of the four noble Truths.
When we see the immense benefit of the Dhamma the Buddha taught because of his great compassion, we become humble and respectful. We become people who are “easily instructed”, that is, openminded to the Dhamma, and in this way our defilements can gradually be eliminated.
The foundation dhamma of relinquishment, caga, pertains to the abandoning of defilements, it pertains to síla, our conduct through body and speech in daily life. We should investigate whether we already eliminated some of our wrong conduct through body and speech, or not yet, inspite of having listened to the Dhamma.
The abandonment of defilements in our conduct is a condition for heedfulness in action and speech. We can notice this in someone who has pleasing manners, who is gentle and does not show anger; he does not cause uneasiness in others by a cross and fierce facial expression and harsh manners.
Heedfulness in conduct is to be applied in daily life. When kusala citta arises our behaviour changes. Heedfulness in speech means that we have to give up wrong speech. Some people are straightforward, but this does not mean that they should speak disagreeable words and be heedless in speech. When they develop the kusala kamma which is the “straightening of one’s views” (ditthujukamma), they have right view which knows when there is kusala that is to be developed and when there is akusala that is to be abandoned. The “straightening of one’s views” can be accumulated and can become one’s nature.
If we want to relinquish defilements, if we have steadfastness in relinquishment (cagaditthana) with regard to síla, our conduct in action and speech, we have to guard the faculties of eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind-door in daily life. When akusala citta arises, the faculties of the senses and the mind-door are unguarded, whereas when kusala citta arises, they are well guarded. When the eye-door is not well guarded, this will result in seeing wrongly and understanding wrongly, and hence there will be more trouble and disturbance in our life. We can also see in daily life the consequences of not being heedful as to the faculty of the ear. We cannot avoid hearing senseless words very often, but when we are heedful as to the faculty of the ear we do not pay attention to such words. We should know for ourselves when satisampajanna arises which is heedful or when we are not heedful.
There can also be heedfulness with regard to the faculty of the nose. Then we are not infatuated with enticing odours, we do not cling to them, or strive to experience them, and we are not disturbed by them. Some people cling to the fragrance of flowers and if they always try to experience more of such odours, it leads to distress. When one has developed heedfulness of the sense faculties, all anxiety will gradually decrease.
When we are heedful with regard to the body, we shall not be meddlesome, jesting, ridiculing others and be reckless in conduct, we shall not molest or harm others.
When we are heedful with regard to the mind, we are not worried and  preoccupied, we do not think about things that make us unhappy. Some  people seem to be happy in appearance, but in reality they are worried all the time. If they would know that at such moments there are akusala cittas, they would not give in to their worries and make themselves unhappy. They would not think of matters that would cause them to be angry with others, that would cause them to be jealous or to have conceit. If they could consider themselves a dustrag they would be able to guard the faculties of the eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue, and the body, and they would be able to abandon defilements. This is  steadfastness in relinquishment.



Topic 284