Friday, 16 November 2012

The 5th Verse.

Whenever others, because of their jealousy, treat me badly with abuse, insult, slander, or in other unjust ways, may I accept this defeat myself and offer the victory to others.

Geshe Chekhawa was a Kadampa Buddhist meditation master who really got excited by this verse. He was so shocked by it that it changed his whole life and triggered a spiritual search for Langri Tangpa. Unfortunately Langri Tangpa had died but Geshe Chekawa did find one of his disciples: Geshe Sharawa. With Geshe Sharawa Geshe Chekawa studied for 12 years and trained his mind, he eventually went onto be a miraculous healer of people suffering with leprosy. So really it was on the back of this verse that one man became a great master and healer.

This verse is so powerful. If you really take this to heart and practice it sincerely for a few weeks you will definitely start having some profound life changing experiences. If you can apply this idea it is like a cure all for every kind of social problem.

The truth is that this verse can be so difficult, however if you practice it just once in the right situation you can practically destroy your ego. Let’s imagine a difficult situation:

“Let’s say a work colleague wants to climb the ladder in the office where you work. This colleague is in competition with you for a promotion. One day you are called into the boss’s office where he tells you that you are under a disciplinary warning for breaking company rules. In complete confusion you ask your boss what rules you have broken. The boss tells you that you have been sending personal emails on company time from a company computer and that this is against company policy. He then shows you evidence to back up his claim. Later on in the day it becomes clear to you that you have been set up by your work colleague and he has engineered the whole thing to make it look like you have broken company rules. As a result of his actions he gets the promotion and you miss out.”

In a situation like this one you might feel absolute fury and outrage. However there is nothing you can do. You try to protest but there is nothing to prove you are innocent. The best thing to do in this situation is offer the victory and accept defeat. This might seem so difficult and unjust but if you can do it the reward will be well worth it. The immediate reward is peace of mind.

If you can employ this verse in such a situation it will seriously shock your subconscious mind and totally undermine your ego. By accepting defeat and offering the victory in this case you will accumulate the equivalent of many years of psychotherapy or spiritual practise. It is the equivalent of a professional runner adding an extra mile to his normal routine; the effect will be that the runner will have more stamina and will be forever stronger. If you can use this verse in such a way you will grow in your mental strength and you will have really accomplished something. It is the epitome of self-control.

The ego is like a wall between your pure awareness and nirvana. To practice this verse is like smashing at the wall with a sledge hammer. If you keep on applying it there is no doubt you will break the wall down.

Let’s imagine another situation where a wife is arguing with her husband. She is unfairly berating him for not cleaning the dishes, putting the seat down, or generally cleaning up after himself. Now in this situation the husband could argue back and create a revenge loop of hate filled bickering. If the husband could apply the verse to the situation the benefits would be great. Even if he knows he is in the right, if he can accept defeat it will stop the argument. The only downside is that the ego will be crushed. If the husband could remain mindful of his crushed ego he could take the opportunity to recognise that the negative reactionary feelings of the ego are separate from his awareness. Although it may be painful if you can make this separation between the pain of the ego and your inner Buddha nature you will slowly experience a turning around in consciousness. To achieve this is a giant leap in personal evolution.

Let’s imagine that a mothers son has been killed by a rival family, in retaliation her other son kills another son of the rival family. Let’s imagine that this feud goes on for generations, one member of the family gets killed and then a revenge killing soon follows. This is an endless rage fuelled vengeance loop. Such negative loops can start to happen between communities and even countries, this is how wars can start. Instead of war this verse is the only real solution to such a situation. 

What if the majority of humanity could embrace the idea of ‘accepting defeat and offering the victory’? If humanity could grasp this idea the world would be a lot more stable. This idea, although it may be devastating for the ego, ultimately brings peace. To really get this verse is to realise that peace is more precious than winning an argument. Peace is more valuable than any amount of gold; and peace is certainly more treasurable than maintaining a sense of one-upmanship, blamelessness, or pride.

This verse is the key to letting go and letting go is like unfurling the wings of enlightenment. It is only when the wings are spread out fully that we can begin to fly.

Having said all of that please be aware that there is a danger here. I have seen many people apply this teaching and others like it and become doormats. You must use your wisdom when applying this verse. You should definatley stick up for yourself and defend yourself if you can. One example of when not to apply this teaching is when dealing with children and especially children's education, if a student verbally attacks you or argues a serious point with you it is your duty to try to discipline and correct their folly. Another example of when not to use it would be when other people are involved: if say a terrorist is holding a group of people hostage and you can rescue them by not accepting defeat, then in my mind you should help them.

You must be confident when using the dharma, use your own inner wisdom and intuition and dont be a sheep.
Fundamentals of Buddhism

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