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 )

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    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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