Wednesday, November 9, 2016
your turn #7 (the dhammapada)
by oneself evil is done; by oneself one suffers; by oneself evil is left undone; by oneself one is purified. purity and impurity belong to oneself, no one can purify another.
didn't want to leave the dhammapada without a proper comment session. please, participate.
just to refresh some themes:
1- the insistence of the causal connection of evil & life. in the twin verses of 1:1."we become what we think." then, 1:5: "hatred can never put an end to hatred". this is a novel way of looking at ethics. wrong actions carry moral (causal) consequences = you reap what you sow is not a metaphor, it's cause & effect! of course, 9:119: "the evil doers may be happy as long as he does not reap what he has sown, but when he does sorrow overcomes him." yeah, there's no way out of paticca samuppada.
2- the control of the mind: "hard is to train the mind, which goes where it likes..." 3: 35
the importance of self-governance of the mind. ..."those who can direct thoughts are freed from the bond of mara" (3:37).
and this one: "make your mind a fortress to conquer maya with the weapon of wisdom".
i doubt something this deep has been said with this simplicity.
the beautiful chapter 4, "on flowers". this stands out: "do not give your attention to what others do or fail to do, give it to what you do or fail to do" 4:50.
3- a central lesson in the dhammapada is that good is objective, it can be perceived: "the fragrance of the good spread everywhere..." 4:54. good is an essence.
4- the importance of self-governance. the self is a refuge, not a place to waste. so, we must keep our house in order. these three are key:
"do not give your attention to what others do or fail to do; give it to what you do or fail to do." 4:50
"if you find no one to support you on the spiritual path, walk alone". 5:61
"a solid rock cannot be moved by the wind, the wise are not shaken by praise or blame." 6:81
(that doesn't mean we don't try to build our own sangha):
"make friends with those who are good and true, not with those that are bad and false." 6:78