giving

Illustration: Green Tara making a gesture of giving, holding a lotus.  The historical Buddha is seated on the left at Visali with a begging bowl filled with honey given to him by the monkeys.

The welfare of others is much more relevant to the perfection of wisdom than self-examination.  The perfection of wisdom cannot be apprehended through the senses.  It cannot be revealed by the analysis of the components of the illusory self.  This is why a bodhisattva teaches, helping others towards enlightenment.  A bodhisattva’s compassion is practiced and developed primarily by giving.  Giving the teachings, explaining the inconceivable, is of central importance.

The Perfection of Wisdom by R.C. Jamieson (p. 53)

2 thoughts on “giving

  1. another great picture. wondering about that monkey bringing honey to the Buddha??? we could go a lot of ways with that one.

    thanks for the reminder about the “welfare of others” I needed to hear that, this morning!

    • It’s from the story about the time the Buddha sought refuge in the forest because the monks were arguing among themselves. When he tried to intervene, one of the monks basically told him to “get lost!” As the story goes, he wandered for a year and at one point the monkeys brought him honey for food. I like the idea that even the Buddha got fed up of his sangha. 😉

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