Get Even, Score Points or Wish Enlightenment?

I have been reading Shantideva’s bodhisattva vows on and off for well over a decade. It demonstrates his compassion for beings who are suffering and his deep heartfelt wish to be of assistance to them in their times of trouble. It shows his self-less-ness.

For whatever reason it resonates in my core.

I was fortunate enough over a period of several years to act as something of a sanctuary for others amidst the turbulence and stresses of modern life. It is amazing how much difference a willing ear can make. I helped people, even those who were trying to play the system and I got a few out of some tight self-inflicted corners. All of this with confidentiality. I got through quite a few boxes of tissues mopping up the tears. It was not just students I saw, once word got around.

If someone gives him, Shantideva, an imagined slight, does he seek to get even, pursue revenge or score points?

No, he hopes that in time they will learn from their folly and move away from grasping and suffering. He hopes in his being an instrument of their learning, to have served.

He knows that people gossip about those who are different. He wishes that this obsession with trivia and pettiness will pass, and some wisdom is gained, some loosening of binding.

Someone who has started on the path of the bodhisattva, has no interest in scoring points, being better than and finds the entire notion of revenge a primitive anathema. When attacked they may not defend unless that attack is intended to be fatal. People on the bodhisattva path have much less to defend than your common or garden human. They understand impermanence.

What people say is not real, it is impermanent. It might be motivated by a whole bunch of unwholesome motives, but who cares?

Everybody has to learn and sometimes it is only by seeing the damage wrought by our actions that we do learn. Learning can cause suffering for others as well as ourselves.

On this scale, where are you?

Do you seek to score points and get even, or do you wish people a nice journey towards enlightenment?

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