Bodhisattvacharyavatara by Acharya Śāntideva

Chapter VI– verse 80

Transglomeration: And you, [O mind], having generated a Mind of Bodhichitta which wishes the happiness and Awakening of all sentient beings, then how, yet again, do you become resentful and angry with these same beings, now, when they have happened upon some happiness [praising others] by themselves?

~~~ “BCA” ~~~

V. 79 my rejoicing in good qualities is (currently) entirely self-centered – I’m not really concerned about others’ happiness
↑ Stitch ↓
V. 80 therefore reminder of the Vow of Bodhichitta taken for the sake of all sentient beings

Reflection: this is bringing it home for the aspiring Bodhisattva: there’s no room for pretence and just ‘playing nice’ here; this Vow to seek Enlightenment for the sake of all mother sentient beings is serious, not half-hearted, not ‘oh I’ll do what I can, but I’m that good at it, and sometimes I just can’t help it’, this is “if you’re really being honest with yourself you’ll see that what you are resisting is infested within you – it’s there, running rampant in you and you are barely aware of it – and to begin working on it at all means being scrupulously honest about it”; in fact I am so infested with it (so unaware that I am riddled with it) that it is very difficult for me to be honest about it without keeping something back (i.e. justifications, provisos, excuses … appeals to common sense), I can’t see outside of myself enough to see the problem, so that I need someone like Śāntideva to point it out to me (reminder of what Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche says, that the role of the Spiritual Teacher is to insult you, to undermine you, to point out to you what you are incapable of appreciating because you are so mired in it); this is not about addressing the world with a milky smile on your face, this is about getting uncomfortably invasive about where your ‘edge’ is and probing into it … another instance of the ‘courage’ and bravery (chapter 5 and later in chapter 7) that the spiritual aspirant needs in order to progress rather than play act; another instance of Pema Chodron’s ‘leaning into’ that which is most difficult to you in order to make the gain

Practice: reminding oneself that Bodhichitta has been generated for the sake of the happiness of all sentient beings; just remember it, so many times, all of the time, and specifically, here, when you get resentful (let alone angry) with others’ praise and success

Stitch: de la Vallee Poussin brings out that this happiness is the happiness that other sentient beings have found in praising the virtues of others; I hadn’t consciously realised this, I thought it was just any old happiness they’d found …

Embroidery: … these verses (starting with verse 76) are turning into quite a reflection on the mechanism of the anger (and the patience) which cultures around envy of others’ praise