Perfections Corner (42)

Dear All,

This is the continuation of Chapter 7: The Perfection of Truthfulness, taken from the book "The Perfections Leading to Enlightenment" by Sujin Boriharnwanaket and translated by Nina van Gorkom.
Questions, comments, or different opinions are welcome.

We read:

"When the Buddha had told the Haarita Jaataka, he explained the Truths and after he had finished, that monk attained the fruition of arahatship."
Truthfulness is sincerity in the development of kusala to the degree of a perfection. If there is no truthfulness, no sincerity in one's actions, they cannot reach accomplishment. Sacca, truthfulness, is necessary for all kinds of kusala, be it daana, siila or mental development. One should not neglect the development of even the slightest degree of kusala.

If one develops the perfections in order to abandon defilements, one should notice also subtle defilements such as deceptive speech even with regard to small matters. If deceptive speech becomes someone's habit, it will be easy to speak a lie and he will believe that it is not wrong to do so. If someone abstains from deceptive speech, if he is truthful, and acts in accordance with his promise, truthfulness will become natural to him. Then he is able to see the danger of akusala at the moment he tells a lie. Even deceptive speech concerning unimportant matters is akusala, but if someone accumulates deceptive speech all the time, he does not see its danger. Thus, we see that it is not easy to discern the characteristic of akusala.

We can have understanding of realities stemming from listening to the Dhamma but this does not mean that we know their characteristics when they are appearing. We should further develop understanding in conformity with what we learnt by listening and we should be aware of realities. We may be deceptive in speech, be it even a little, or we may not act in accordance with our promise, but when sati-sampaja~n~na arises it can realize that this is akusala. Many akusala cittas arise in a day, but we do not know this because of our forgetfulness; there is no awareness of the characteristics of realities, no understanding of them as they are. Understanding has to be very detailed and refined so that the characteristics of realities can be known as they are. The development of satipa.t.thaana will lead to a more precise discrimination between different realities and thus, pa~n~naa is able to know the characteristic of akusala. When akusala arises pa~n~naa can know what type of akusala arises, and it can know its characteristic as different from kusala. In this way kusala dhamma can gradually be further developed.

=== to be continued,




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