ONE OF THE TEN PAARAMITAAS, PERFECTIONS OF A BODHISATTVA1
I am constantly experimenting with upaaya-kaushala paaramitaa, one of the ten perfections required of an aspiring-to-be Bodhisattva. The perfection in the means and methods for liberating oneself and others.
All my teaching, organizational efforts, communications are part of that constant self-experimentation.
As part of that series of life-long experimentation I have reached these conclusions on the basis of which all my ‘policies’ (what a horrible word, better to say ‘approaches’) are developed. Some, only some of many, of the conclusions are:
- There is no difference between teaching on one hand and running a family or organization or any relationships or communications even ‘business’ communications on the other. The latter becomes a part of the teaching. This must always reflect the level of realizations one has arrived at with regard to the principles of ahimsa, maitri 2, and so forth.
On the basis of that
- I began the difficult task of de-conditioning myself. This required sifting through all formative impressions, samskaras, gathered from the day I can remember myself. De-value and discard those that were not conducive only (a) to the perennial goals and (b) to the principles like ahimsa and maitri and so forth.
Thus, in inter-relationships within the organizational family, fully aware of each participant’s shortcomings – as they (just like me) have not yet reached perfection – I must
- use the best of each person’s qualities, as far as they have reached the desired steps on the path to perfection;
- not keep looking at their shortcomings;
- continue to ‘make use’ of their strengths and valuing and appreciating the services they CAN perform; not judging them negatively;
- waiting for them to perfect themselves in the areas that still need improvement, and patiently wait, wait , wait, even into many future incarnations as my Master has so patiently waited on my perfection (not yet achieved, alas) for so many incarnations;
- keeping on trying to design and redesign the organizational family to help achieve these goals, and
- I must (we also must) continue the self-experiments in upaaya-kaushala paaramitaa.
This is the approach on which my decision making process is based.
As to a successor, the one I am looking for needs to have these qualifications:
- Love and loyalty for the Master(s) and his/their teachings - feeling direct connection with and reverence for the Rishis
- Deep meditation and a record of guided intensive sadhana
- Universal love
- (a) beyond castes, status, country, culture, gender and language
- (b) each person is [all women are] mother-sister-daughter, [all men are] father-brother-son, entitled to that purity of love that one gives to one's own
- (a) loving, everyone should feel loved at the first greeting
- (b) open, sharing information
- (c) consulting widely to arrive at a decision
- (d) yet effective in liberating oneself, librating others, and getting the Mission to be successful
- No unilateral decisions and declarations of any sort
- Following the principles I have written about in this document and in SADHANA OF APPLIED SPIRITUALITY document.
- Access to shastras, the ancient texts.
I admit that I may have to settle for less -- if Gurudeva so desires.
I ask all my family to examine if these principles and ways seem (a) aligned to our spiritual goals, (b) conducive to our aspirations for perennial values and thereby (c) help and serve the Tradition and the Mission.
I ask all my family to examine if the (i) principles (ii) ways (iii) approaches they choose seem (a) aligned to our spiritual goals, (b) conducive to our aspirations for perennial values and thereby (c) help and serve the Tradition and the Mission.
Do spend some time contemplating on this.
Many have succeeded but only to a certain extent, each according to his/her capacity, that is, the ability to free themselves of the force of samskaras and the consequent habits of emotion and temperament.
Do continue (making no separation between living personal life, teaching or running administration or organization) conquering and proceeding well on the path of becoming a jina 3.
Swami Veda Bharati
1 Future Buddha, one who has taken the vow : I shall not desist. I shall not step back. I shall not fear. Not till all living beings from a blade of grass to a Brahma ( soul of a universe) are liberate, shall I enter nirvana. That is my vow. One bodhisattva, by the name Kshiti-garbha (Earth Womb) has taken the vow of dwelling in hell till all beings cease entering hell.
2 Buddhist metta in Pali language; universal amity.
3Jina, term common as an epithet of the Buddha and even more common for the founders of the Jaina religion. Conqueror, in a spiritual sense.
4I like two ways of signing; these are very common among Sanskrit-speakers. A-kinchana, one who is a nothing. Daasaanudaasa, servant of the servants (of the Guru or the Lord). The ‘h’ at the end as in a-kinchanah or daasaanudaasah is a mark of nominative singular.