The Perfection of Determination - Steadfast in one’s determination
Someone who studied the Dhamma was reflecting on the cycle of birth and death and on the extent of his defilements; he longed for the end of rebirth. However, desiring the end of rebirth is not the same as being steadfast in one’s determination to develop panna. This person did not take an interest in the development of satipatthana, even though he had listened to the Dhamma and saw the benefit of satipatthana. He was not steadfast in his determination to listen to the Dhamma and develop panna; he had no conditions for the perfection of determination.
We should not be neglectful in our determination for kusala. Day after day we are infatuated with the objects appearing through eyes, ears, nose, tongue and bodysense, and we are absorbed in thinking of the objects we experience. If we often listen to the Dhamma, we accumulate the inclination to contemplate the Dhamma instead of thinking of insignificant things. Even if we do not always have the opportunity to listen, we may still reflect on the Dhamma and this shows us the strength of accumulated inclinations. It reminds us not to be neglectful with regard to the perfection of determination.
The Dhamma as taught by the Buddha is of immense benefit to all of us. We should contemplate the Dhamma in all details. If we wish to develop panna and all the different ways of kusala, we should not neglect knowing and understanding our own akusala. Otherwise we cannot accumulate the perfections of determination and of truthfulness.
If we see the danger and disadvantage of akusala, it can condition the firm resolution to develop kusala with the aim to eradicate defilements, and this is the perfection of determination. If a person does not know himself as he really is and if he believes himself to be superior to other people, he is attached to the good qualities he erroneously pretends to have. We are full of all kinds of akusala, no matter whether we are eating, enjoying ourselves or performing our tasks in daily life. If we do not know ourselves as we really are and if we take ourselves for a righteous person who does not need to develop kusala, we do not notice that we are guided by akusala.
As we develop the perfection of determination, we shall be steadfast in our resolution to develop panna through the study and practice of the Dhamma with the aim of eradicating all defilements. We also need the perfection of truthfulness and this means that we should be sincere and straightforward in our determination. If we do not develop the perfection of truthfulness we shall vacillate and be defeated by akusala. We can see that we need a refined and detailed understanding of our different cittas for the development of kusala. We should not be neglectful with regard to this.
17 Dec 2014
- We need firm determination
- Conduct of Wise Temiya I
- Conduct of Wise Temiya II
- Conduct of Wise Temiya III
- Conduct of Wise Temiya IV
- Conduct of Wise Temiya V
- Steadfast in one’s determination
- Four firm foundations
- If he were to hear
- Eight qualifications I
- Eight qualifications II
- Steadfastness in relinquishment
- Steadfastness in calm and panna