June 27th, 2010

Dhammapada (25) - The Seeker

Dhammapada (25) - The Seeker

I did not highlight part of the text, because the whole of it is so good
that i should read it all whenever i read part of it.

But one verse did jump out of me.
When people read sacred texts they often find just what they needed at that particular moment,

You are a seeker.
Hold your tongue,
Do not exalt yourself,
But lighten the way,
For your words are sweet.

Yesterday i posted something that was not sweet.  It was not intended to be sweet, it was intended to be critical of my fellow citizrens, calling them to task for making a mockery of our values in their efforts to defend them.  I also put some anger into that post that i did not realize that i had. reginaterrae  called my attention to it, and only then could i see it.  It was not a helpful post ( though some did perhaps appreciate it), because people who did not already agree with it could not benefit from it.  The words did not "lighten the way" for anybody.

"Lighten" has at least two different but related meanings.  It means to make the path easier by relieving  the burdens of the travelers; and it also means to shed light on the path (which also makes it easier to follow).  "Sweet" words should function for both tasks.  They are enlightening and they lighten the burden.  Elsewhere Buddhism teaches that words should be true, positive, useful, and pleasant.
If my words cannot meet all the criteria, i should hold my tongue.

Anger and opinions are among the attachments and baggage that should be put down and left behind on the path.
Without them my words would be sweeter  If i am a seeker, i should not pretend that i have already found truth.

May my words be sweet.