Posted by: Upāsaka | 05/24/2018

Seeing the Good

Now as for a person who is impure in his bodily behavior but pure in his verbal behavior, how should one subdue hatred for him? Just as when a monk who makes use of things that are thrown away sees a rag in the road: Taking hold of it with his left foot and spreading it out with his right, he would tear off the sound part and go off with it. In the same way, when the individual is impure in his bodily behavior but pure in his verbal behavior, one should at that time pay no attention to the impurity of his bodily behavior, and instead pay attention to the purity of his verbal behavior. Thus the hatred for him should be subdued.

And as for a person who is impure in his verbal behavior, but pure in his bodily behavior, how should one subdue hatred for him? Just as when there is a pool overgrown with slime & water plants, and a person comes along, burning with heat, covered with sweat, exhausted, trembling, & thirsty. He would jump into the pool, part the slime & water plants with both hands, and then, cupping his hands, drink the water and go on his way. In the same way, when the individual is impure in his verbal behavior but pure in his bodily behavior, one should at that time pay no attention to the impurity of his verbal behavior, and instead pay attention to the purity of his bodily behavior. Thus the hatred for him should be subdued.

And as for a person who is impure in his bodily behavior & verbal behavior, but who periodically experiences mental clarity & calm, how should one subdue hatred for him? Just as when there is a little puddle in a cow’s footprint, and a person comes along, burning with heat, covered with sweat, exhausted, trembling, & thirsty. The thought would occur to him, ‘Here is this little puddle in a cow’s footprint. If I tried to drink the water using my hand or cup, I would disturb it, stir it up, & make it unfit to drink. What if I were to get down on all fours and slurp it up like a cow, and then go on my way?’ So he would get down on all fours, slurp up the water like a cow, and then go on his way.

In the same way, when an individual is impure in his bodily behavior & verbal behavior, but periodically experiences mental clarity & calm, one should at that time pay no attention to the impurity of his bodily behavior… the impurity of his verbal behavior, and instead pay attention to the fact that he periodically experiences mental clarity & calm. Thus the hatred for him should be subdued.

And as for a person who is impure in his bodily behavior & verbal behavior, and who does not periodically experience mental clarity & calm, how should one subdue hatred for him? Just as when there is a sick man — in pain, seriously ill — traveling along a road, far from the next village & far from the last, unable to get the food he needs, unable to get the medicine he needs, unable to get a suitable assistant, unable to get anyone to take him to human habitation. Now suppose another person were to see him coming along the road. He would do what he could out of compassion, pity, & sympathy for the man, thinking, ‘O that this man should get the food he needs, the medicine he needs, a suitable assistant, someone to take him to human habitation. Why is that? So that he won’t fall into ruin right here.’ In the same way, when a person is impure in his bodily behavior & verbal behavior, and who does not periodically experience mental clarity & calm, one should do what one can out of compassion, pity, & sympathy for him, thinking, ‘O that this man should abandon wrong bodily conduct and develop right bodily conduct, abandon wrong verbal conduct and develop right verbal conduct, abandon wrong mental conduct and develop right mental conduct. Why is that? So that, on the break-up of the body, after death, he won’t fall into the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, purgatory.’ Thus the hatred for him should be subdued.

And as for a person who is pure in his bodily behavior & verbal behavior, and who periodically experiences mental clarity & calm, how should one subdue hatred for him? Just as when there is a pool of clear water — sweet, cool, & limpid, with gently sloping banks, & shaded on all sides by trees of many kinds — and a person comes along, burning with heat, covered with sweat, exhausted, trembling, & thirsty. Having plunged into the pool, having bathed & drunk & come back out, he would sit down or lie down right there in the shade of the trees. In the same way, when an individual is pure in his bodily behavior & verbal behavior, and periodically experiences mental clarity & calm, one should at that time pay attention to the purity of his bodily behavior… the purity of his verbal behavior, and to the fact that he periodically experiences mental clarity & calm. Thus the hatred for him should be subdued. An entirely inspiring individual can make the mind grow serene.

— AN 5.162


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