Chapter 6

[This is not a translation, but a transglomeration; it is based upon an agglomeration of various part- and complete- translations into English, French and Spanish, and on my word-by-word translations from the Sanskrit root text and Tibetan root translation; I am proficient in none of these languages, but in working to agglomerate them together into a one, I am soaking into the text like cream into a cake and can never eat enough; all missed points, emphases and allusions are mine, all the wisdom is Shantideva’s; I present my work here because it may be useful to anyone else …]

—~~~ “BCA” ~~~—

Chapter 6 – The Perfection of Patience

Chapter VI – verse 1

Just an instant, a quick burst, a sudden flash of any anger or hostility or hatred or retaliation will nullify and destroy all of the wholesome, beneficial, positive and virtuous conduct and practice, such as giving or making worship to the Sugātas, which I may have worked hard to gather and accumulate during many thousands of aeons.

Chapter VI – verse 2

There is nothing so destructive and negative as hatred or aggression; there is no discipline or austerity stronger than tolerance, forbearance, patience.   Consequently it is only right to practise and cultivate patience and to do so constantly and persistently in all ways and in all situations.

Chapter VI – verse 3

A mind which walks with, which harbours, which is in the grip of, which is poisoned with anger and hate can neither establish nor enjoy any state of calm or peace, any sense of well-being or equipoise, any contentment, any resolution, neither can it feel any joy or delight, any sense of kindliness or love, nor can it sleep or rest, when the shard of aversion and hate is stuck and buried deep in one’s heart.

Chapter VI – verses, Skt. 4-5a; Tib. 4-5ab

[4] Even those who are employees and subordinates, who gain repute, recognition and favour, and who receive payment and provision and reward for their work, and even those who are dependent on someone (with anger in their heart), even they are provoked and moved to despise, attack, to harm or to kill that head or boss who is possessed, and rendered repugnant by, their hatred, their brutality, their disfigured spirit.   [S5a/T5ab] Such a one inevitably terrorises, and becomes estranged from, those to whom they are allied, those to whom they are close, from their loved ones, all of whom become saddened, disheartened and weary of them; although they may gather people with gifts and favour, they are not served or honoured, they will be distrusted and their plans will come to naught.

Chapter VI – verses, Skt. 5b-6a; Tib. 5cd-6ab

[S5b/T5cd] In short one who long-harbours anger, one who is well-established in their anger can be satisfied with nothing in life, can find no peace, any possible happiness, spoiled.   [S6a/T6ab] Thereby hate is to be recognised as one’s worst enemy for it is the author of all suffering and sorrow in life like this.

Chapter VI – verse, Skt. 6b; Tib. 6cd

Whoever is steadfast in bearing down to overcome their hatred and rage will find happiness and well-being both in this life now and hereafter.

Chapter VI – verse 7

Encountering that which I fear or do not want, and obstructed or frustrated in obtaining what I want, these provide the fuels of discontent, of unhappiness, of irritation.   They smoulder and then flare-up, spreading within me.   I become built-up and headstrong with anger which eats away inside and will eventually consume me and the toxic world I have created for myself.

Chapter VI – verses 8-10

[8] Therefore, as a matter of urgency, I shall clear out and get rid of this fuel which would consume me, I shall starve this adversary of the nourishment that allows hatred and unhappiness to grow within my mind, since it can do nothing other than enact the harm, the injury, the destruction, the killing, the sorrow due me in so many ways.   [9] No matter what happens to me – whatever adversity, frustration, difficulty, calamity, anything that is unwanted – my even mood, my mental joy, my peace of mind shall not be shaken or disturbed; any feeling myself as a victim, of discontent or depression will work no good for me, nothing will happen as I would wish, nothing profitable, nothing accomplished and any built-up and gathered virtue and well-being will weaken, warp and be lost: [10] (when adversity strikes), if anything can be done about it what is the point in getting upset about it; if nothing can be done about it what is the point in getting upset about it.

Chapter VI – verse 11

Any pain or sorrow, any experience of humiliation, belittling or disrespect, or rudeness, insult, curse or gossip, or any ill-repute or dishonour, all are not wished for and are avoided both for oneself and for our loved ones (neither, for that matter, do our enemies want it); but [our desire] for our enemy is reversed – we wish them suffering etc.

Chapter VI – verse, Skt. 12aba; Tib. 12abc

How can I attain happiness when the causes for happiness are obtained only through great effort and very rarely, and when the seeds­ of pain and sorrow are so prevalent, relentless and multifarious that they are realised easily and without any effort?   And yet it is only from suffering that the thought and longing for escape and liberation from the suffering of conditioned existence will come about …

Chapter VI – verses, Skt. 12bb-13; Tib. 12d-13

[S12bb/T12d] Therefore, O my deepest mind, hold yourself strong, patient, steadfast!   [13] If the devotees of Durgā, the people of Karnāta, can pointlessly endure the torment and agony of self-inflicted burns, piercing, mutilation and the like in order to free the atman, then why am I so timid, weak and faint-hearted when my aim is for the Great Liberation of all?

Chapter VI – verse 14

There isn’t anything whatsoever that can remain difficult by itself and that doesn’t become easier to accomplish through familiarity, through practice, through acquaintance.   And so through tolerance and habituation with slight pain and difficulty even great suffering and adversity is gradually rendered bearable as I learn to practise acceptance, endurance, forbearance.

Chapter VI – verses 15-16

[15] Do you not see, it is pointless suffering through various discomforts acquired from bites of bugs, gadflies, mosquitoes, (snakes, animals…), from feelings of thirst and hunger, from the irritation of rashes and the like, all of these rendered of little importance or trivial through a modicum of familiarisation and forbearance.   [16] Cold, heat, rain, wind, arduous travel, illness, captivity, even beating and torture, should not induce in me a sense of vulnerability and defeat (feeling sorry for myself like some lost child), otherwise the distress will only aggravate and increase, (rather I should become hardened to them by practising patience).

Chapter VI – verses, Skt. 7-18a; Tib. 17-18ab

[17] Some [warriors], seeing their own blood are emboldened in their advance showing especial determination, strength and courage, while others lose heart and collapse within their own footsteps even as they advance at the sight of others’ blood.   [S18a/T18ab] These reactions [of the warrior] come from the set of the spirit, the disposition of the mind, whether it be resolute and brave or weak and faint-hearted.

Chapter VI – verses, Skt. 18b-19a; Tib. 18cd-19ab

[S18b/T18cd] In this way, I should become the master, invulnerable to all sorrow, harm and injury, not allowing discomfort and hardship to throw me off, not allowing it to become unbearable, insurmountable.   [S19a/T19ab] Not even when in pain or distress – not even in the thick of battle – should I, using my wisdom, let my mind become troubled or disturbed, my spirit retaining its tranquillity, its lightness, its composure, its balance, its confidence, its joy.

Chapter VI – verses, Skt. 19b-21; Tib. 19cd-21

[S19b/T19cd] For those who engage in the struggle with the kleśas, when in battle there will be much hardship, pain and injury, for these are plentiful during struggle.   What battle is fought without the experience of suffering?   It is quite unimportant.   [20] There are those who take their enemies’ blows upon their chests, (taking them on the chin).   It is they who are the victors, the heroes, they who courageously disregard all suffering and pain in vanquishing the enemies such as hatred and so forth.   Ordinary warriors are just killers of the dead.   [21] And more so, there is further worth and benefit that arises from sorrow: hardship and despair will fell one’s puffed-up arrogance and ignite the desire for emancipation; it will nourish compassion for migrators who wander in saṃsāra; one will come to loathe un-virtue, have joy in virtue and direct one’s deepest thought to the Conqueror.

Chapter VI – verses 22-23

[22] So, I do not get angered and enraged when my body feels out of sorts, such as jaundice of the liver (which is inanimate), even though they are a major source of quite intense sorrow; then, why get angry at those (things which happen to be animate, sentient beings)?   They too are impelled and provoked on by circumstance and conditions.   [23] Just as acute pain comes about, although in no way wanted or expected, so anger (and the other damaging kleśas) are strong and quick to arise in beings quite automatically, although equally not desired.

Chapter VI – verse 24

Without intentionally thinking “I shall get angry”, people just become angry spontaneously, impulsively, of their own accord.   [Likewise], anger just naturally happens without planning beforehand, ‘to break forth before it breaks forth’, to produce itself from now on.

Chapter VI – verse 25

Whatever offends, is faulty, makes mistakes, has shortcomings, transgresses, and whoever commits misdeeds or evil, whoever acts negatively, errs or commits crimes, in whatever various and diverse ways, all of these arise through the force of implacable and necessary causes and conditions and do not rise, move or operate under their own power, nor do they just happen on their own, spontaneously or self-directed; independence is not known.

Chapter VI – verse 26

A complex of causes and conditions bunching up and coming together has no intention or conscious thought that “I shall produce something, make something happen, create, bring something about” (i.e. a suffering result); and nor is it the case that the effect produced, (the suffering), has the intention, thought or desire itself to be specifically produced, created or bought about.

Chapter VI – verses, Skt. 27-28a; Tib. 27-28ab

[27] That which is considered and asserted as the Primal Matter and that which is imputed and designated as an (independent, permanent) Self do not come into being purposing “I shall arise and come into being” (in order to harm).   [S28a/T28ab] Since they have not yet arisen or manifested, they do not, then, exist, there is nothing there, therefore what could wish to come into existence (in order to harm), how could that wish exist?

Chapter VI – verse, Skt. 28b; Tib. 28cd

Since this Self would be drawn to apprehend objects of the senses [manifested through prakrti] and would be occupied with them, enmeshed with them, absorbed in them permanently, it could not hope to stop or finish so doing (i.e. change pleasant to unpleasant, or just stop being (what it is)).

Chapter VI – verses 29-30

[29] If the Self is innate and static (as the Naiyāyika assert) it is therefore not sentient and thereby quite clearly and evidently cannot perform actions just as space cannot perform action – how could it?   And even when in proximity with – even if surrounded by – causes and conditions, how could that whose nature is unchanging do anything, how could it connect with causes and conditions to act?   [30] And even if it could connect with causes and conditions to bring about an act, at the time of the (connecting) action, in what way could the Self have participated in, or responded to, the act when, both at the time and afterwards, it remains as it was before?   In what sense could it be said that anything happened?   And even if it were conceived that the Self had had the action (that this condition had made the Self act), then which of the two, the condition or the Self, caused the other to connect, how could the two have become related (when the Self is held to be innate and static)?

Chapter VI – verse 31

Thus, everything that happens is under influence of, subject to and governed by something else, and even those other governing factors, powers, causes, influences on which they are dependent are not autonomous: they are not self-controlled, they are not self-caused.   So, having understood this correctly, why, and how, could I get angry at things – people, the way things are, events, attitudes – that, like automatons, do not initiate activity themselves and move about like magical apparitions and phantoms.

Chapter VI – verse 32

But if, as you say, everything is like an apparition, then trying to avert anger is illogical, it just doesn’t make sense – “resistance is futile” – for who (that is autonomous) averts from what (autonomous) anger?   On the contrary, it makes every sense to practise restraint: it is precisely because everything is conventionally dependent that restraint from anger is correctly understood to be both a cessation, an interruption in the continuity of sorrow, and a cause of the eventual end of all suffering.

Chapter VI – verse 33

Consequently, on seeing or experiencing someone being annoying or improper, someone behaving badly or dishonourably or shamefully, someone committing a crime, whether towards someone else or oneself, no matter if they be someone close to or someone distant from (or, even, unknown to) you, one should consider and remember that this has come about and been influenced by circumstances: such and such determining factors, specific causes and influences … reasons, and so reflecting, I should maintain myself at ease, happy and non-judgemental.

Chapter VI – verse 34

(And, moreover, everything definitely arises through causes and conditions because) if all beings (within a causal universe) could find accomplishment, fulfilment, success by having things turn out (by having things become embodied (within a causal universe)) just as they would like, according to their own choice, then, no one would experience suffering because no one would want to suffer.

Chapter VI – verse 35-36

[35] Through desire, lust and obsession for what is beyond reach, for more than one already has, one’s whole self is consumed for partners (positions, possessions).   People will harm themselves without thought or care and completely self-infatuated, dragging themselves through thorns, denying themselves food, burning with fury and frustration.   [36] Some are led to hang themselves, throw themselves into the abyss, stuff themselves with food until they are glutted or poisoned and otherwise living a life of excess bringing their destruction both in this life and lives to come.

Chapter VI – verse 37-38

[37] And like this, when they are so bewildered under the spell and influence of the kleśas, they will even destroy and, finally, take their own treasured life, then, how might it be hoped they would hold themselves back from harming or killing the bodies of others?   [38] Even if I have lost, or cannot develop, compassion for these beings intoxicated and driven mad by their kleśas, who are engaged within their own self-destruction – lost in their own perdition, chained within their own fall – and who are, even now, committed to my destruction, then, how could I develop anger towards them?   The least I could do would be to restrain from anger.

Chapter VI – verse 39-40

[39] Because, if it were the nature of these beings – these blind and volatile beings who act ‘outwardly’ to an illusory world – to harm and cause suffering to others, then, holding onto anger towards them would be as senseless as it would be to begrudge fire for burning.   [40] And moreover, if these wielded faults were just adventitious and passing in these beings who, usually, were kind and upright, even then, anger and resentment towards them would be as senseless, again, as it would be to smoke in the air, or clouds in the sky.

Chapter VI – verse 41

Although the immediate cause of the blows and injury I receive is delivered by the stick yet I do not take this into account but, rather, become angry at the wielder of the stick, my aggressor, my attacker.   But then, as the attacker, likewise, is wielded under the influence of anger, if I really must get angry, it would be more fitting for me to rise and become angry at the anger instead.

Chapter VI – verse 42

In previous lives and former times, I myself have subjected just such pain, suffering and torment on other sentient beings, therefore, it is only just and fitting that I, the former perpetrator, who distressed, wronged and harmed all these beings, deserve the return, that I become the attacked, that this becomes my lot.

Chapter VI – verse 43-44

[43] Here is a brandished weapon, and here is my body ready and presented, both of them the causes of my eventual suffering.   My attacker has laid hold of his stick (tena śastraṃ), and I both wear and brandish my body.   With what should I get angry?   [44] It is I who have obtained and hold on to this boil, this pressured blister of a human body – sack of suffering – which cannot even bear to be touched and, moreover, it is I who am blind-sided through my own attachment to it, so that when the pain comes and the ‘boil’ bursts, with whom should I get angry?

Chapter VI – verses 45-46

[45] No one wants suffering – certainly I do not seek or desire it – and yet, here I am, the deranged child, obsessed with and craving after those very things which are the cause of my suffering (my own body, for instance); so, when hurt and harm occur due to the wrongdoing I myself have wrought, why blame it on others and hold the grudge?   [46] Just as the forest of razor-sharp leaves as well as the winged creatures of hell are engendered only by my own impulsive actions – my previous anger, for instance – so also do I experience this suffering now.   With whom or what should I get aeriated and enraged?

Chapter VI – verse 47

Impelled by my actions – [drawn out by circumstance, incited by the heat of the moment, prompted by hearsay, provoked by trigger, instigated by design, mobilised by obligation, shoved by control, summoned by role] – those who cross or hurt me, those who do me wrong just appear, right in my way and do what they have to do.   And because of their actions, they will end up fallen and consigned to the infernal realms … surely, isn’t it actually me who have destroyed and damned them, haven’t I just been the mirror to magnify back to them their harm?

Chapter VI – verses 48 – 49

[48] On account of these attackers – this person with a stick – who have appeared here before me due to my bad actions, this same karmic force of mine will be purified and diminished by my self-control and by my enduring the harm with patience; but, on account of me, they will fall to the joyless infernal realms, there, long to endure unrelenting agony and torture.   [49] Since I benefit from them through developing self-control, while they just become cooked, isn’t it I who actually harm them?   Why, O slippery, perverse, wilful, base-spirited, pernicious and toxic mind, do you misconstrue all this – mixing it up, distorting it, ‘messing up the papers’ – in such an absurd and disengenuous way, and then gather your mind in anger and revenge against them?

Chapter VI – verses 50 – 51

[S50/T51ab] If I maintain this practice of being patient and build up my reserve of good and noble qualities, then I will not go to hell.   But although I would be protecting myself, what about these attackers?   They would not be protected, they would receive the faults of their anger only, not of my patience, they would continue to become, again and again.   [S51/T51cd] [So would it not be better (for them) to return the harm (in the hope that I would serve as my enemy’s object of patience)?]   But returning the harm – an eye for an eye – is not the way to protect them either, on the contrary, my spiritual practice, my Bodhisattva Vow, would be compromised and brought to nothing, my patient endurance lost, and thereby these anguished, retched, tormented creatures, les misérables, would be completely lost.

Chapter VI – verses 52 – 54

[52] [And then], as the mind is itself immaterial and bodiless, it is not possible that anyone, or anything, can physically harm it in any way.   And yet even though this perishable body exists distinct from the mind, the mind still feels harmed when the body is hurt, and this is due to obsessive attachment to it, rather, the body, in enduring this harm, could thereby become purified through this endurance.   [53] Disrespect and humiliation, rude and abusive language, insulting and defamatory words – if the body itself cannot be troubled by them, this menacing hoard which is ‘getting at’ me – then, why, O my paranoid mind, do you become so irritated and upset with them?   [54] But I can’t stand this disrespect, this ill will, that others show me.   And yet none of this can actually bite and swallow you, either in this life or in any future ones, so why not just declare it all meaningless?   For what reason must I be so averse to it, why do I let it bother me?

Chapter VI – verses 55 – 56

[55] But anger directed against me stops my making a living, even hinders my life, let alone my wealth and status.   But, whether I want it or not, this livelihood, these possessions I shall have to relinquish soon enough when death comes anyway, yet all the non-virtue that I created getting it, will remain, all charged up, steadfast and patient long after my death.   [56] More than getting rid of my possessions, it would be better for me to just die today, right now, rather than live a life long in dishonesty and corruption, because even after a long life, the inevitable fact and sorrow of death would still await me anyhow.

Chapter VI – verses 57 – 59

[57] Consider: a person sleeps and dreams of encountering happiness after happiness for a hundred years wherever they go; and another has a dream in which they experience pervasive happiness for just an instant.   [58] Surely once they have woken from their dreams, their happiness will also just disappear for them both.   Similarly, everything is lost, whether life was long or short, when the time of death arrives.   [59] Likewise too, having long savoured all of my many, stored-up pleasures and acquisitions, having enjoyed my long life to the full, at the time of death, just like that, I shall nevertheless have to leave this life as though I had been stripped bare and broken by thugs, left to go forth with empty hands and naked.

Chapter VI – verses 60 – 61

[60] But, let me say, with the support of a secure and comfortable life I would be able more to augment and accumulate virtue and to reduce and purify my faults.   But if, while earning my comfortable life, I exercise ruthlessness, determination – make the difficult decisions – would not, contrarily my virtue be reduced and used up and my faults augment and accumulate?   [61] And if, in earning my comfortable life, I would lose the very purpose and significance of it – especially if I lost hold of my Vow – and my life, rather, falls apart and degenerates, then, what good is there in working so hard for a life which actually spends and depletes my virtue and ends up producing only ongoing suffering through accumulating un-virtuous and un-lovely activity instead (I thought you were trying to get rid of your suffering)?

Chapter VI – verses 62 – 63

[62] Should you say that you should be angry and indignant against those who malign or ridicule or disparage or insult you, thereby weakening the trust and esteem which others hold in you, turning them against you, well then why don’t you get similarly angry and indignant when defamation, ridicule, dishonour and spite are directed towards others in the same way as when directed towards yourself?   [63] Should you tolerate such disrespect towards others and uphold and believe what has been said of them – there’s no smoke without fire, they must have similarly said something bad previously – then why are you not likewise tolerant when others say bad things about you which are believed by others which weakens their confidence in you, since these words have arisen due to the force of similarly disturbed words that you used previously.

Chapter VI – verse 64

And toward those who end up destroying, denigrating, insulting, violating or in any otherwise damaging the Sacred Images or Statues, Stupas or the Sacred Dharma, my anger against them is neither justified nor appropriate because all the Awakened are just not touched by it – they are beyond all harm.

Chapter VI – verse 65

Even with those who attack or harm my Spiritual Teachers, my family, my loved ones, my friends or anyone else I know, each of these instances happen according to already-determined causes and conditions, as already shown before [VI, 25], therefore I should understand that this is how it happens and hold-back my anger.

Chapter VI – verse 66

Given that it is through both conscious beings and mindless forces and objects that we sentient beings receive all the harm, pain and distress in our lives, let alone, evidently, that it is only a mind-in-a-body that can feel any pain or suffering (… objects don’t), why, therefore, feel anger only for the sentient?   This blame merely prolongs the suffering; rather we should endure and bear with all of our harm because we are sentient and can chose to do so.

Chapter VI – verse 67

Someone acts badly influenced by delusion, naïveté, infatuation, and another gets angry at them also out of ignorance, infatuation, blindness; of these two, which can we say acts without fault, and which is at fault?

Chapter VI – verse 68

Indeed, because of having carelessly committed these acts in the past (that caused hurt to others), I will subsequently receive all this harm, oppression and trouble from all these others (in the same way).   As all of this suffering is the product of my ancient actions, I should just take it (‘wear it’).   Why try to get out of it?   Why take against all these poor enemies?

Chapter VI – verse 69

So, in this way-realised and clearly understood that this is how it is, I will so set myself to work hard and diligently, by all means and in all actions that are positive and good, in accord with this realisation.   In doing this, I generate love for all beings and all beings will be moved to develop a loving spirit one to the other.

Chapter VI – verses 70 – 71

[70] For example, in the event that a fire can easily advance from one house to another, it becomes necessary to get anything flammable, such as straw and the like out of the house and move it right out of the way to avoid it spreading further.   [71] Similarly, when the fire of anger ignites within my mind and I am lost, likewise I should drop and abandon whatever I am attached to that is stirring me up, and do it right now, immediately, sur le champ, for fear that my body of merit goes up in smoke as well.

Chapter VI – verses 72 – 75

But, it brings me down when I have to give up what I am attached to.   [72] If someone sentenced to death is reprieved, instead, by having a hand cut off, is this such a terrible thing, isn’t it actually good?   So, if I, through enduring some minor sorrows in this life, can be spared the agonies of hell, is this such a terrible thing, is there not everything to be gained from it?   But I cannot bear the pain of relinquishing attachments.   [73] And yet, if I am unable, now, to endure even this slight amount of suffering, why aren’t I restraining myself from; from all this rage and anger which places me in the misery of the hell realms so that I become inured from it?   [74] In the past, due only to my rage and compulsive desires, I have languished, roasted, in the torments and trials of hell, for so many times, and all these actions done by me have achieved no benefit, either for myself or or for others.   Why don’t I get this?   [75] If, through the cost of just these comparatively slight harms and discomforts that I experience today, I can both loosen the threads of my own confusion and build my accomplishment of the benefit of all, surely I can but feel happy about these hardships that dissipate the suffering of the world!

Chapter VI – verses 76 – 77

[76] If someone is attuned enough to spiritual things to find delight and joy in recognising the appearance of excellent qualities and worth in another and praising them as a good person, and if this makes them happy and draws people close together, why then, oh (sulky) mind, don’t you join in with the recognition as well; why are you not rejoicing too and taking the same delight too?   [77] (But isn’t feeling joy and delight an attachment, and therefore bad?)   But this pleasure, this delight cultivated through praise of another’s virtue, is an entirely virtuous activity, a spring, a fountain, of joy, which is not prohibited, but, even, a precept, taught by those of Ultimate Quality and Worth, an excellent way to bring people together of which one should take full advantage.

Chapter VI – verse 78

[“It’s not that I am jealous of the merit of the person being praised, but it’s their happiness, not mine; their happiness has nothing to do with me.”]   But again, in this way, if you, [O insular mind], allow yourself to be unconcerned or unhappy with others’ experience of happiness, then, logically, you had better give up paying wages or your bills, or giving any reward or benefit since it makes others happy.   However, you should realise that this will amount to loss and adversity for you, both seen, in this life, and unseen, in future lives.

Chapter VI – verse 79

When my good qualities and worth are praised, or even just mentioned, I want everyone to know about it, to rejoice, to celebrate the discovery as well; but then, when the good qualities and worth of others are praised and lauded, you, O mind, don’t want anyone to have any knowledge or happiness about it, let alone feeling any happiness yourself.

Chapter VI – verse 80

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?

Chapter VI – verses 81-83

[81] Certainly, I wish and Vow that all sentient beings attain Buddhahood, venerated and honoured throughout the entire three-world system; so, why am I burnt up inside with resentment and jealousy when I see them graced with just a little fleeting and ordinary respect and honour?   [82] If there is someone for whom I provide food (like giving a chicken) and for whom I otherwise hold responsibility, manages, either by themselves or through someone else, to find their own provisions or to make their own living, isn’t this a big favour to you, doesn’t his relieve your responsibility?   And yet, am I delighted with this, or is it that, yet again, I become annoyed and upset?   Why am I not happy with this if I am concerned for others’ welfare?   [83] What that is good is not wished for others, one who wishes for their Enlightenment?   How could I begrudge anything for them?   How could I wish for them to attain Awakening?   Where is the Bodhichitta in them who feel perturbed and angry when others find any good fortune?

Chapter VI – verse 84

If something is given to someone or stays with the benefactor and not given to anyone, what is the big deal?   Whether it is given or not, either way I won’t get anything, that’s the way it is, why be concerned?

Chapter VI – verses 85-86

[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?

Chapter VI – verse 87

And, even if your enemy should, at any point, encounter adversity and be harmed or made unhappy, what is there of benefit in it for you?   It’s not as if your joy and satisfaction over it can make it happen again, or more-so, and your just wishing harm does not directly cause it in the first place: your wishes cannot come about despite the laws of causality.

Chapter VI – verses 88-89

[88] Also, even if you yourself did bring about the occasion of another’s suffering as you wished, what is there in that for you to be happy about?   And if you said, “in this way, then, I shall be satisfied”, then you will definitely have created detriment and downfall for yourself for long into the future: oh, what could be more fallen and wretched than that!   [89] These viciously sharp hooks cast by the kleśa-fishermen – these turbulent thoughts, these hateful emotions – and you, o pitiful mind, have been snagged on them again and again – net-loads of you – where you will inevitably be turned over to the guards of hell as raw ingredient, to be cooked-alive in the cauldrons there over and over again.

Chapter VI – verses 90-93

[90] And as for praise and fame and status, these will not necessarily affect my life at all; they will not bring me virtue or recognition, they will not extend my life-span or give me strength or free me from sickness or even make me feel good.   [91] If I truly knew what was of benefit and import to my life, what value would I hold in pursuing such things?   If all I want is some nominal, transient mental entertainment, perhaps I should just indulgently devote myself to gaming and getting high and such.   [92] And yet if, in pursuit of fame, I squander everything I have or even get myself killed for some point of honour, of what use would be the mere sound of words to anyone?   Once I am dead, to whom, of all the people I knew, would they bring satisfaction?   Can you eat words as if they were flesh?   When I am dead, what comes of my honour?   [93] When their mud-houses (and sand-castles) collapse, children spontaneously burst out crying in despair and anguish; and, likewise, when my approbation and renown dry up, my own mind reacts just like a silly child.

Chapter VI – verses 94-97

[94] [Moreover], since these words – these puffs of noise – are not themselves sentient, they can have no intention of complimenting or flattering me.   But then, when praises are uttered and shared, whether of me or others, it makes people happy, so me being praised is a source of happiness for others.   [95] But, then, whether it is directed at me or toward someone else, why, in either case, would I feel any benefit or use from the happiness of those who bestow it?   That happiness is theirs alone, entirely in their own minds.   I certainly don’t get even the slightest part of it.   [96] [But shouldn’t I be rejoicing in others’ happiness when praising me?].   And yet, if I do find delight in others happiness (in me), then surely I should feel the same about all others in all cases of rejoicing?   And if this were so, then how is it that I am irritated and resentful when others find something to admire in someone else?   [97] And so, really, that happiness I feel when hearing of my praise, is just the vanity of self-satisfaction, it remains bonded in self-centeredness, it is somewhat unacceptable [for someone who has taken the Vow], and is really nothing more than the behaviour of a child.

Chapter VI – verses 98-101

[98] Anyway, receiving praise and recognition and such make me complacent, they disrupt my equanimity, and then undermine any fear and weariness I have with cyclic existence and any sense of urgency to escape it, they engender jealousy towards those who have developed good qualities, ending up with anger and rivalry towards them so that all that has been built up and achieved has been defiled and wasted.   [99] Therefore can it not be said that those same people who are so closely involved in undoing my reputation and cutting me down to size and such, are really rendering me the service of holding me back from falling into lower rebirth and hell?   [100] These ties of getting and status I do not need and are unfitting for me who strives for Liberation.   How is it that I would be angry with those very persons who accordingly liberate me from those same ties?   In what way are they my enemies?   [101] And, how is it that I can be angry with those who cause me pain, who have become, as if blessings from the Buddha, a closed door, preventing me from entry as I stumble headlong and blindly to enter a world of overwhelming suffering?   In what way are they my enemies?

Chapter VI – verses 102-103

[102] But what about when they get in the way of my practising good works?   Still, even then, holding anger and resentment against them just doesn’t make sense: there is no other trial or austerity greater than being patient, so surely, then, this is the occasion, so conveniently presented to me by my enemies, when I should take it – live in it – and start being patient.   [103] So, if, through my own shortcomings, fail to hold my nerve practising patience here, then it is only me, it would seem, creating the obstacles and wasting the opportunities when occasions for virtue have come my way, and I don’t practise the virtue of abiding in patience.

Chapter VI – verses 104-105

[104] Generally, if something doesn’t happen because something else isn’t there, and does happen when it is, then, really, that other thing would be the cause of it, like the enemy, of patience.   How could it be thought an obstacle?   [105] For, whenever you encounter someone in need, they are not a hindrance to your act of giving, whatever it may be; any more than a preceptor could be considered an obstacle to taking vows.

Chapter VI – verses 106-108

[106] Indeed, those who are in need and those who beg and are easy to find in this ever-shifting world of people, whereas those who cause me harm are less easy to encounter since it is said that if I have not wronged or injured others in the past, there are none who would offend me back at all – I would be untouchable!   [107] Hence, just like coming across a treasure in my own house without any effort on my part – as if it had been stored there all along – since my adversary, in effect, furthers my progress on the Path to Awakening, I should be happy and appreciative of them.   [108] Thereby, since both he and I have occasioned my accomplishment of being patient, it is only right that the first fruit of this should be dedicated to my adversary for in this way they were the cause of it.

Chapter VI – verses 109-111

[109] Suppose you were to object that since, in crossing me, an adversary has no intention for me to abide in patience that they merit no respect, then how is it right to offer worship to the Sacred Dharma?   It, likewise, has no intention to benefit but is the affective cause for the accomplishment of virtue.   [110] And suppose you then object that my adversary is not to be respected because the intention behind their actions is to hurt me; but then, how else could I exercise, let alone develop, patience if others, like doctors and nurses, were absorbed in my benefit and well-being with their actions?   [111] Consequently, since patience comes about because of the enemy’s intent, and is dependent upon one with an abusive and hostile mind, in reality it is actually only my adversary that is the true cause of my forbearance, and therefore merits my respect and gratitude as equally as does the Sacred Dharma.

Chapter VI – verse 112…

For this reason the Skilful One has specifically talked about both the field (of endeavour) of sentient beings as well as the field (of merit) of the Conquerors, …

Chapter VI – verses …112-113

[S112b; T112cd] … and there are plenty who thereby journey towards, or have landed, the further shore of Supreme Perfection both by working for the happiness of the one and by honouring and relying on the other.   [113] And so, since the attributes of the Buddha-Dharma are found and realised both by virtue of all sentient beings and in reliance on the Conquerors, how is it that I would not have the same respect towards sentient beings as I do towards the Conquerors?

Chapter VI – verse 114

But note, that stock – that field – of greatness of sentient beings is not an innate quality in and of itself, but only equal in the karmic fruits that it achieves, so it is in this respect that the quality of greatness of sentient beings as a whole is thereby alike (to the Conquerors).

Chapter VI – verse 115

It is the greatness of beings that someone who builds-up and develops care and love for them is so worthy of honour and worship; furthermore, it is the greatness of the Buddhas that so much merit accrues from someone who esteems and worships them.

Chapter VI – verse 116

Thereby in the establishing and realisation of (albeit) just a fraction of the qualities of the Buddha Dharma, ordinary beings are asserted to be equal to the Conquerors, but none of them are the equals of the Buddhas who are unbounded repositories of unlimited realisations of every good quality like an Ocean.

Chapter VI – verse 117

Out of that Whole Repository of Realisation of the Essence of All Virtue, even if the merest fragment of a virtue were to be found in any being, then actually offering the three worlds and all of their worship over and again would be insufficient in recognition of such a person.

Chapter VI – verse 118

And, since a factor in the generation of these best of Buddha Qualities is readily found within all sentient beings, surely it is clearly understood that all sentient beings should be given due recognition and honour in accordance with just that.

Chapter VI – verse 119

And furthermore, given that (the Buddhas) have become so closely and precisely related to the needs of beings, and that they manifest such immeasurable benefit for the world, and I, having previously given up and abandoned such conciliation with beings, how otherwise might I better recompense their kindness than by giving service to beings and making them happy?

Chapter VI – verse 120

How else might I recompense their benevolence, they so closely bonded to the benefit of beings, who would do anything that is good for them, who would dismember their own body and give it away, who would enter right into the deepest avīci hell, all for their sake; how, other than behaving towards all beings in the best possible way in all my actions, even when they might have inflicted the greatest harm on me.

Chapter VI – verse 121

And these ones, my own guides and masters, who all along, have given of themselves, who give up, even, their very bodies freely and without reserve, for the sake of all these beings; then, how can I, confused and self-deluded as I am, go about acting with such hubris and conceit among these same beings?   Rather, why do I not make of myself the ground of their lives like a servant and give devotion to them like a slave?   This, I will do.

Chapter VI – verse 122

Whenever happiness is found amid the field of beings, the Munis, the All-Knowing Compassionate Ones, instantly know and are happy themselves of it, when they are pained, the Munis are likewise instantly immersed in pain.   And so, as I cultivate happiness in that field, the Munis themselves partake in that very happiness, and as I bring pain to beings, likewise do I bring pain to the Munis.

Chapter VI – verse 123

Just as there could be no joy, no alleviation in their mind, for someone being offered whatever sort of exquisite delicacy when their body was completely engulfed in fire, likewise, when beings are in torment, whether I directly perpetrate it or not, there is no joy to be found for the Compassionate Ones.

Chapter VI – verse 124

And so, given the pain I bring to these wandering beings, and all the pain that this has brought to the Compassionate Ones, all this I openly declare and lay bare, here and now, each and every instance of these un-virtuous acts I have done.   I am truly sorry for the harm I have brought you, my Lord Buddhas and pray your forbearance with me.

Chapter VI – verse 125

From now on, as means of delighting all Tathāgatas, I shall make of myself the loyal and life-devoted servant to all beings of the world.   Let these beings walk all over me, let them kick me in the head, but even at the risk of dying – may the Guardians of the World rejoice – I shall not retaliate!

Chapter VI – verse 126

For all of these beings who transmigrate throughout worlds, those whose very self-nature is Great Compassion, see them all and have taken them completely as their self – of this there can be no doubt; truly, then, the very identity and essence of these Protectors is to be seen in the form of these very beings themselves; how could I not be humble with them, how could my respect for them be lacking?

Chapter VI – verse 127

It is just this that both honours and delights the Tathāgatas, it is just this that also wins fulfilment of my own true purpose, it is just this that ends the suffering in the world, therefore it is just this which is my life-long Vow and practice.

Chapter VI – verse 128

For example, acting completely alone, a king’s officer could intimidate and persecute a whole crowd of people, but those in the crowd who are clear-headed would not react even if they had the opportunity.

Chapter VI – verse 129

This is because they know that the officer does not act alone but with the power of the king.   Likewise, I should not make light of or react to even the slightest of these beings who do me even the slightest wrong …

Chapter VI – verse 130

… for they are backed by the power of both the guardians of hell and the Compassionate Ones.   So I should respect and please each of these beings as I would the officer of that fiery king.