Freedom and Responsibility

images (10)To be free, in the worldly and the spiritual sense, it is essential to accept full responsibility for our thoughts, words, and deeds; recognize that it is impossible to avoid the consequences of our previous acts; and establish the necessary causes for our happiness.

Subordination to others —no matter how good and saintly they may appear at the moment— is highly  detrimental, because it allows us to avoid responsibility and turns us into willing victims of external powers.

By oneself is evil done;
by oneself is one defiled.
By oneself is evil left undone;
by oneself is one made pure.
Purity and impurity depend on oneself;
no one can purify another.

—Buda Sakyamuni

Without freedom, there is no responsibility. Without responsibility, happiness is impossible.

About Tashi Nyima

I am a Dharma student, and aspire to be a companion on the path. I trust that these texts can offer a general approach and basic tools for practicing the Buddha's way to enlightenment. ||| Soy un estudiante del Dharma, y aspiro a ser un compañero en el sendero. Espero que estos textos ofrezcan a algunos un mapa general y herramientas básicas para la práctica del sendero a la iluminación que nos ofrece el Buda.
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6 Responses to Freedom and Responsibility

  1. Pingback: Buddhism and The Dharma: Freedom and Responsibility — Great Middle Way | GoodnightNina.

  2. Steve Legge says:

    I don’t quite understand the 2nd paragraph beginning with “Subordination to others…”. I understood one should be subordinate to everyone and everything. What have I missed? Thank you Tashi for all you do…

    • Tashi Nyima says:

      If we expect some eternal power –be it a god, the universe, or even a teacher– to save us, we will not assume responsibility for our own thoughts, words, and deeds. Serving others, which is what we must do, is not subordination.

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