“Omission is the bane of prayers: Of houses, laziness the bane; The bane of beauty, indolence; And carelessness the watchman’s bane. Ill conduct is a woman’s bane, A giver’s bane is avarice; A bane are all bad doctrines, in this world and the next. Thence, more baneful than the rest, Is Ignorance, the bane supreme. This bane renouncing, baneless be, O monks! Easy is life to live for a shameless man, Impudent as a crow, and backbiting, Aggressive, bold, depraved. Hard is life for a modest man, Ever in quest of what is pure, Disinterested, retiring, clean-lived, clear-sighted. He who destroyeth life and speaketh lies, Who taketh in the world what is not given, And goeth to another’s wife. And the man who is addicted to strong drink, E’en in this world doth his own root dig up. O mortal, know thou this: Evil is the state of the intemperate; Let not impiety and greed Reduce thee long to pain.” ~The Dhammapada
Omission and Laziness
What the Dhammapada is calling omission would be called procrastination today. Putting off until some future time things which should be done now. Procrastination is the bane of many things.
With prayer, I don’t think omission is the greatest bane. The main problem with the way most people pray today is that they do it all wrong. It isn’t that they leave things out, it’s that they use prayer like a form of begging. Or they act like God is some genie ready to grant their wildest wishes. The proper way to pray is to ask God to give you what He knows you need to grow and learn. Also ask for the strength and wisdom to deal with the dark ones who would lead you away from the path.
I can agree that laziness remains the bane of houses, or at least orderly homes. If we don’t clean our houses, and make repairs when necessary, they cease to be places of comfort and beauty. Of course, there are other things that can be a bane to a happy home.
The Great bane of Ignorance
Many disagree with the idea that ignorance is the greatest bane. They will tell you there are many good, kind people who lack education. On the other hand, there are well-educated despots, thieves, and greedy businessmen.
But ignorance is not a lack of formal education. To spiritual people, ignorance is more specific. It is lack of knowledge of truth. It is not knowing God in and true sense. They may have been taught about God, but that is not the same as knowing God from one’s own experience. Those who do know God cannot help but want to sever God’s Great Plan. Those ignorant of God and truth think they follow their own path, but are probably following one under the guidance of Satan and his minions.
The Easy Life
As the quote says, it is easy for a shameless person to live an easy life. Such people can buy whatever appeals to them without regard for the fact that the money is supporting a dictator. They can buy a warm coat without concern that animals were brutally killed to provide the fur. They can overeat on expensive food while children lay in the streets starving a few miles away. This is not a life for a real person. It cannot be the life of a truly spiritual person. A spiritual person is part of the one and is always concerned with others and with how his behavior affects the world.
The Hard Life
“Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.” ~Albus Dumbledore (J. K. Rowling)
Rowling had it correct, just as the Dhammapada does. We often have to choose between what is right and what is easy because what is right is rarely easy. Sadly, many who are found in spiritual groups on social media thing the opposite is true. They think spiritual development is all about being happy, full of joy, having not a care in the world. While the spiritual person may lose interest in the more materialistic ears and concerns, they have others and do not live in bliss. At least not in the early stages of spiritual growth.
A major reason for this is that most spiritual people are empathic to some degree. This is so they will understand that they need to help others, not just themselves. When you feel other’s pain or grief, you are more understanding and tolerant as well. This is a good thing for a spiritual person, but it is not an easy thing.