28. To engage in dharma with diligence
If lis-ten-ers and solitary buddhas, / in striving just for their own benefit,
Are seen to focus with the same resolve / as putting out a fi-re on their head,
Since my aim is to benefit all be-ings, / and effort is the source of all good traits,
I must engage with joyful perseverance: / this is the way a bodhisattva trains.
Verse 28 audio above
The sixth paramita, tson.dru in Tibetan, has so many translations. There is no one word in English that fully conveys the meaning. The early favorite translation was joyful enthusiasm, which sort of bypassed the hard work aspect (well, it was the ’70s!). Mingyur Rinpoche currently calls it joyful effort. Ken McLeod calls it energy. Both the Padmakara Translation Committee (Dilgo Khyentse’s translators) and Ken Holmes (Ornament of Precious Liberation) call it diligence, which is my personal favorite.
In its current definition, diligence is “earnest and persistent application to an undertaking; steady effort; assiduity,” which makes it no different from perseverance or steady effort, which can suggest a slog. Tson.dru is far from a slog!
However, if we combine the current meaning of diligence with its original Latin derivation from diligere, to love or delight in someone or something, diligence does the job perfectly, so we will go with that for present purposes. Of course, what it’s called is less important than understanding its full meaning, which we will unwrap with the help of our commentaries, so you are free to call it by whichever name resonates best with you.
The point of diligence is …Share on Facebook