​Two inferior characteristics of a novice

One should understand that seekers [may] have two [inferior] characteristics. What are these two? The first is the fondness for miscellaneous phrases (quotes) and literary embellishment. The second is their lack of fear of penetrating deeply into the actualities of profound meanings. One should understand that it is novice seekers who are fond of miscellaneous phrases and literary embellishment. Those who lack the fear of entering into profound scriptures that are without defilement and without attachment, and who upon hearing them become pure in mind and accept and maintain, read and recite, and practice them as explained—you should understand that these [bodhisattvas] have been cultivating the path for a long time.

There are two other characteristics regarding how those who are called novices are unable to be definite about the extremely profound Dharma. What are these two?

i) The first is that when they hear profound wisdom for the first time, they become fearful, generate doubts, and are unable to follow [those teachings]. Reviling them and lacking faith in them, they say ‘I have not heard this before. Where did it come from?’

ii) The second is that, when there are those who defend, maintain, and explain profound teachings such as these, [the novices] are unable to associate with [those teachers], make offerings to them, and revere them. Or, at times they talk about [the teachers’] transgressions and errors. It’s funny that the mere contempt for an enlightened master is enough to bar one’s own awakening. 

2 thoughts on “​Two inferior characteristics of a novice

  1. “What, asks the shallow mind, is the behavior of the Sufis, which marks them out for us as Masters? What are the forms of Exercises of which we may boast? What Path will make a suitable Path for me? What are the places which give birth to Teachers? What are the habits and assurances which bring man to Truth? Desist you fools! Before it is too late, decide: do you want to study appearance, or Reality?” Nawab Jan-Fishan Khan (d. 1864)

    Liked by 1 person

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