Energy as a Path to Success (Iddhipada)

Energy as a Path to Success (Iddhipāda)

Mae Chi Meditating at Wat Nong Pah Pong

Ener­gy (viriya): courage, brav­ery, per­se­ver­ance, press­ing for­ward, fight­ing spir­it; not get­ting dis­cour­aged or intim­i­dat­ed by obsta­cles and dif­fi­cul­ties. When a per­son rec­og­nizes some­thing as valu­able and wor­thy of attain­ment, if ener­gy has been roused, even if he hears that this thing can only be achieved with extreme dif­fi­cul­ty, the path to its ful­fil­ment is fraught with obsta­cles, or it will require months or years to real­ize, he is not dis­heart­ened; rather, he sees vic­to­ry and suc­cess in this task as a chal­lenge. There are many sto­ries in the scrip­tures of renun­ciants in the Buddha’s time who belonged to oth­er sects and who asked for ordi­na­tion as a bhikkhu after gain­ing faith in the Buddha’s teach­ings. When they dis­cov­ered that a can­di­date who has pre­vi­ous­ly been ordained in anoth­er reli­gious tra­di­tion must under­go a form of ini­ti­a­tion or test (to live under ‘pro­ba­tion’—tit­thiya-parivāsa) for four months, they were not dis­cour­aged. On the con­trary, some of them valiant­ly sub­mit­ted them­selves to this exam­i­na­tion for four years! Peo­ple who lack ener­gy also want to achieve suc­cess, but when they hear that such suc­cess may take years to achieve, they are already exhaust­ed and retreat; it is dif­fi­cult for their spir­i­tu­al prac­tice to bear fruit and they tend to be rest­less and agi­tat­ed. Ener­getic peo­ple pos­sess a spe­cial force; whether they are work­ing or engaged in Dham­ma prac­tice, their mind is uni­fied and sta­ble, intent upon the goal. There is con­cen­tra­tion aris­ing from ener­gy (viriya-samād­hi), accom­pa­nied by sup­port­ive effort.

(An excerpt from Chap­ter 16 of Ven­er­a­ble Phra Payut­to’s book Bud­dhad­ham­ma)

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