Home » Letters » How To Humble The Proud To Better Learn The Dharma?

Question: I know a stubborn and arrogant person, who keeps claiming she is right, that she already knows enough about the Buddha’s teachings. How can I let her know she has much more to learn and practise?

Answer: The litmus tests for adequacy of study and practice can be offered by asking these questions –

[1] If you are suddenly dying with great pain, which indeed can be the case, what Dharma practice will you do to ensure peace of mind, a better rebirth, or even liberation?

[2] If a loved one is suddenly dying with great pain, which indeed can be the case, what Dharma practice will you advocate to help ensure peace of mind, a better rebirth, or even liberation?

Her inability to confidently offer a swift, clear and good answer should let her realise she has more of the (essence of the) compasion and wisdom of the Dharma to internalise!

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5 Responses to “How To Humble The Proud To Better Learn The Dharma?”

  1. My opinion it is very important that we ourself cultivated well and with wisdom they person you are going to help will see virtue in you and convince of his shotcoming. if you have already tried youe best and she is still insisted on his right. maybe this is his karma.leave her to her decision, all things are impermanence, whose know maybe one day she will get enlightening.
    Dont because of this issue you cannot let go and you stress yourself and have many unwholesome thoughts.

  2. Ignorant April 14, 2014

    I agreed with Gohts. We cleanse ourselves before trying to cleanse others. When we are clean and shinny, others will see the glow 🙂

    I have a friend and someone at home who is always clinging on to the fact that they know a lot of the Dharma and yet without knowing how little they know. It is hard to tell them as they are as stubborn as their own nature.

    One of them has a degree in Buddhism, teaching in a temple but clinging on to his own ‘righteousness’. The other one is always claiming to what he reads from books and what he knows are the best, without exercising his wisdom.

    Well, if one understands the Dharma well, his/her behavior will be the mirror to all. 🙂

  3. clarifier April 14, 2014

    Here is related advice to share:
    https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2011/02/can-self-help-help-others/

    😉

    Amituofo

  4. This is a comment from Venerable:A spiritually enlightened person to be more tolerant than others,A tolerant person does not interfere with another’s freedom of thoughts and they never force their views on others. They are patience,sincerity,swiftness in understanding and tenderness.
    My understanding they are also very humble.

  5. clarifier April 15, 2014

    The Buddha also uses skilful means to humble the proud effectively:
    https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2011/06/when-are-miracles-appropriate

    The difference is he does so without impatience or pride, but compassion and wisdom.

    (See the last para:

    ‘Miracles by themselves might amaze, while not necessarily leading the amazed to realise the Dharma. They might distract their witnesses from the Dharma instead, who might be attracted only to learn how to perform such miracles. One of the most famous of miracles that only the Buddha could do, was the Twin Miracle. He would levitate into the air and sprout the opposing elements of fire and water from his upper and lower body simultaneously (followed by from his left and right), and in reversed directions. This he did on two occasions – once, to humble his proud clansmen, so as to open their minds to listen to the Dharma with reverence, and once, when some other teachers sought to promote their ‘superiority’ by showing off their miracles. As many other incidents would attest, the Twin Miracle is really just the tip of the iceberg of the extraordinary feats the Buddha was capable of!’

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