No One Is Perfect, Nor Can They Be

In a conversation with an aged Brahmin, the Buddha once explained concisely what a Buddha, an enlightened one, means:

What has to be known, that I have known (the five aggregates);

What has to be abandoned, that I have abandoned; (the defilements)

What has to be developed, that I have developed (concentrations & wisdom);

Therefore, O Brahmin, I am a Buddha.

These are not only three characteristics of a Buddha; they are also the three objectives we aim at in following the Buddha’s teaching. We follow the Dhamma to fully know what should be known; to abandon what should be abandoned; and to develop what should be developed. These are the goals of the Buddhist path and the three accomplishments that mark the attainment of enlightenment.

For most of us we can change the Buddha’s statement slightly and we will be adequately described.

What has to be known, that I have learning;

What has to be abandoned, that I am abandoning;

What has to be developed, that I am developing;

Therefore I am on a journey to Buddha.

There is never a demand that one on the journey be perfect. The Buddha did not demand anyone they had to be perfect in their living of life, although others placed that demand on the Buddha and on you and on me as well. It is impossible for anyone to be perfect by anyone else’s standards. No one is perfect, nor can they be, nor should they be. The Sanskrit word samatha means “equality”. We are all equal in that each of us is a uniquely individual manifestation of tatha, “suchness” or tattva, “thatness”.  Therein lies a kind of perfection in and of itself.

Absolutely no one is beyond praise and blame. We can only be on a journey through life and do the best way we possibly can, depending for our karma.

About Sensei Mui

Sensei Mui is a Buddhist monk who took formal refuge and bhikkhu ordination as a Theravada monk in Thailand during the early 1970s. Since those days he has both studied and was ordained in multiple Mahayana lineages. Today the main focus of his practice and teaching is from the Pure Land perspective. He currently acts as the Director and Administrator for Hongaku Jodo, an educational and practice oriented organization of Buddhist teachers of Dharma, pure and simple.
This entry was posted in Core Teaching of the Buddha, Hongaku Jodo, Pure Land Buddhism, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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