Bodhisattvacharayvatara by Acharya Śāntideva

Chapter VI– verses 85-86

Transglomeration: [But others don’t deserve to be happy, I’m the virtuous one here!]   [85] OK, so you would perversely have it that others should not have the ripenings of their own virtue, the support of their families and communities, that they disavow and nullify their own good qualities?   And then you get angry with them that they enjoy their success!   Rather, it is because you get angry that you lose hold over your own virtue, that you lose the faith of others and the kindness they show you, that all your spiritual worth comes to nothing.   Is there nothing you don’t get angry with?   Tell me, would it not be better to get angry with yourself for not having the causes for gain?   Where will this perversity of yours end up?   [86] It is bad enough that you feel no regret about the un-virtuous deeds you commit now (and have before), O mind, but why do you then compound it by arrogantly thinking to measure yourself against others who undertake the practice of virtuous deeds as well?

~~~ “BCA” ~~~

V. 84 indifference to getting/not getting
↑ Stitch ↓
V. 85-86 fault of resenting others’ happiness and fortune

Sanskrit/Tibetan Text: in verse 85, it seems the Sanskrit addresses oneself talking about ‘him’ supressing, or not taking (expressing, participating in), his virtues, (being with) kind people and good qualities (i.e. because you, O mind, resent them having these things), but then asking with what should one (really) be being angry with; whereas the Tibetan turns the same glove inside out and makes the conclusion for you, O mind, that you, being angry about others’ virtue and good fortune, destroys one’s own virtue, faith (others have in you) and good qualities; in the transglomeration – to include both outside-in and inside-out – start with a dripping-sarcastic Sanskrit (‘OK, so …’ ending with ‘that’s right, get angry with others!’, and then (‘rather’, ‘because you get angry … affecting virtue, faith, qualities …’) drive it home with a Tibetan saying it like it is

Reflection: all, still addressed to, ‘O mind’, self-obsessed, self-grasping, self-cherishing, self-justifying and in all other ways, self-ish; all of these two verses are in the form of self-addressed questions; this is Śāntideva getting angry with the self-centered mind (as he himself advises), but getting angry because the self-centered mind (OK, me, me, me) is stupidly denying the whole of causality to just fit in with what I want and then shouting about it when it doesn’t work out as I want, Śāntideva’s anger is the combined exasperation and understanding when faced with a tired toddler throwing a tantrum because the wooden bricks won’t stack up; the same as is shown in chapter five earlier, this anger is directed against one’s own faults and mistakes (it’s no good being tolerant and indulgent with a self-centered mind, this causes the build-up of problems in the first place) and for the meanwhile is to be tolerated; a fine line to balance on, admitted, but one that is a true practice of the Middle Way between self-indulgence and self-denial – a skilful virtue, because it is truer

Reflection: Śāntideva’s response (to the self-obsessed mind) is a re-affirmation of the inexorability of cause and effect: the self-absorbed mind, in the throes of envy and resentment, thinks happiness and fortune are ‘bestowed’, are a matter of justice and ownership, and it stays in this perverse way of seeing things precisely because it refuses to acknowledge the cause and effect of how things work – in fact, because it has reached a state of anger about the situation (others getting happiness and not oneself), it is really holding tight to the notion that others getting happiness is ‘unfair’ and thereby strengthening the belief in things happening a-causally

Practice: is implicit in these verses, but rather obvious, given Śāntideva’s sarcasm towards the self-cherishing mind: recognise that things happen causally, and rejoice in others’ virtue when it reaches fruition – whether it is of relative scope, and definitely if it is ultimate; when jealous of others getting something, would I want them to deny their virtue which has brought them good fortune – or, why don’t I rejoice in their (virtue which has engineered their) good fortune and thereby create the causes for my own

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