When the Going Gets Good … …

Of late I recall what my Instructor Master said during our Upasampada (higher ordination), that in future if we get a lot of (material) support while serving the community and/or practising, do not be quick to think that it is because of our cultivation or merit or that we are doing the right things, for Mara also has his supporters!

How true! When we get praises and support for our deeds, we tend to blind-sight ourselves and become even self-righteous at times. Ego and pride follow swiftly thereafter. This is somewhat like the blind leading the blind, the leader and the followers all go down the wrong path. One should note that the followers in this case, being blind themselves may not be able to tell that the leader is going down the wrong path and may possibly even urge him onwards, cheering him.

On the flip side, sometimes we may be doing the right thing but be criticised by the masses. A parable tells of this one sane person in a village of crazy people; this sane person’s opinion is deemed insane by the masses, who are crazy! Some versions tell of this sane person ultimately giving up sanity and becoming insane, just to be sane, while other versions tell of how this sane person decides to leave the village alone, choosing to remain sane.

Maybe sometimes when we face much difficulties and obstacles in life or our practices, it is not because we are wrong, but it is because we are right. How then can we tell? A better way is to not be swayed by the mass, but to reflect on the effect one’s practise have on oneself; or to reflect on one’s deeds. If the result is more ego, pride and defilements etc, then one may wish to rethink or seek one’s master for guidance; if the result is less ego, pride and defilements etc, then one can proceed and head for the next checkpoint. 🙂

So what do you think? Are you garnering support from Mara, or facing obstacles by ‘insane villagers’? 😉

1 thought on “When the Going Gets Good … …”

  1. 印順法師著《寶積經講記》:

    「憍慢自高,卑下他人」:修學佛法的,容易犯一種過失,就是義理愈了解,或多少有些行持功德,憍慢心就起來了。覺得自己了不起,高人一等。看起他人來,論教理、論修行,都卑下低劣,不及自己。於是覺得沒有值得尊敬的法師,沒有可以造就的學者。憍慢狂妄,結果是『滿招損』,智慧日漸退失了。( Y 2p26 )

    – – –

    印順法師著《教制教典與教學》:

    我想再說三個字,修行是好事,每病在一「怪」字。有些標榜修行:留長髮哪,頸項燒一串念珠哪,不喫飯哪,不睡覺哪,放光哪,說前生後世哪,一天念多少哪……。說不修行,假修行嗎?卻活像修行模樣。說修行嗎?卻有點不倫不類。有些是理路不清,有些是眩奇惑眾。「索隱行怪」,在中國文化中,是不足取的。在佛教中,不是邪命,就是大妄語(例如不喫、不睡,是不能生存於世間的)。再不然,理路不清,增上慢人。將所學而用於修行,應從平常切實中做去;否則,滑向歧途,前途是黑暗的!

    學問是好事,但每病在一「慢」字。古德說:「說法必憍慢」。於經論多知多見,或者
    能講能說,名利恭敬之餘,慢心也容易囂張起來。以研究著作來說,如文義善巧,或條貫整理一番,有一些些貢獻,就被稱為學者。其實,在出家學佛的立場,這算不得什麼!在佛家的富有中,琳瑯滿目,應有人來發心,登記、管理、陳列、介紹,以便人鑑賞受用。但數點寶物,並不成為管理數點者的家珍。發心去從事研究講說,是必要的,但憍慢是大可不必!

    興福是好事,每病在一「俗」字。如不發真切心,沒有為教的誠意,那麼從事與佛教有關的事業,與俗人的成家立業,攬權獲利,本質上並沒有什麼不同。一切以私人利益為原則,對人對事,勢必以權利為轉移。市儈氣,勢利態,就會相隨而來。佛法平等,不主功利;但如有人說出家人勢利,勢利的問題就在這裡。在這種情形下,一切努力,都是為了自己。全盤俗化,毫無道意。即使表面上為佛教而努力,副作用潛滋暗長,終必敗壞而後已!

    不要說學無所用,不要說無法進步,能從小處做起,與實用相結合,邊學邊用,越用越學,佛法將成為自己的,充實而有光輝!不要怪,不要慢,不要俗,觸處都是功德,無往而非進步。為自己學佛,為佛教久住,珍惜我們自己吧!( Y 21p211~212 )

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