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Conditions for Winning

     Winning-what an attractive term! After the Chinese victoriously ended eight years of resisting the Japanese invasion, the whole country was jubilant. When the Allies successfully landed in Normandy and laid the foundation for ultimate victory in World War II, the whole world focused on the event.

     Most of the world's nations pursue freedom and democracy through an election process. In every election, the winner of the most votes rejoices while the loser is dejected. The stark contrast is often moving.Many have tasted the sweet fruits of victory. The medals and trophies of distinction received are the glorious results of winning.

     Many buy victory with money, power, physical strength, and even beautiful speech. Some win by deceit and crafty means while others gain victory by applying social pressure and influencing public opinion.However, there are some who ultimately win with the strength of their compassion, wisdom, morals, righteousness, and tolerance.

     In Buddhism, to be tolerant is not to be passive, stagnant, or retreating. It is strength; it is being responsible and progressive. It is the motivation of the most benevolent and courageous. So, we must clearly understand the meaning of tolerance. Most associate tolerance with putting up with pain and suffering, or insult and defamation, but the spirit of tolerance also means sacrificing oneself for righteousness and giving up one's life for benevolence. Tolerance is sacrificing oneself to help others succeed; it is readiness to suffer for all sentient beings in exchange for their peace and well-being.

     When Sakyamuni Buddha was Dighayu in one of his previous lives,he practiced tolerance under insult and won the battle for his country in the end. As stated in the Diamond Sutra, when the Buddha was being dismembered by King Kaliraja, he did not bear any hatred or anger. He could only think this way because of his selflessness, and he ultimately triumphed.

     Tolerance is not giving up completely in a passive manner. It is active sacrifice as a matter of course in gaining victory. Some live with insult so that they can win the final battle. In being tolerant, we gain great strength and are able to shoulder great responsibility. The Buddha once said, "Those who cannot bear insults, harsh words, slander, and defamation and take them as sweet dew are not deemed truly strong."

     Tolerance brings success in the end, but it takes a long time. The world is different now, so in addition to the most powerful strength of tolerance we also need compassion and morals for the final victory. This is especially so in the age of democracy, when winning the support of the voters is the way to triumph. When we are humble and praise others for their work, and when we help others with their problems and work for their benefit, we can gain victory. When we are tolerant and filled with courage, diligence, wisdom, and a sense of responsibility, we create the conditions for winning.

  • Conditions for Winning    4:40
      Recorded by Steven Chan   Toronto Radiant Subchapter