SIXTH PRE-REQUISITE FOR BUDDHA-HOOD
"Khanti" is the sixth of the Ten Pre-requisite for Buddha-hood. "Khanti" literally means "patience". This patience is not the patience of the weak or that prompted by weakness. It is the perfect control of temper by proper cultivation of mind based on great kind compassion on all living beings.
Our Bodhisatva who strictly adhered to this Pre-requisite did not become angry with anybody for anything at any time, but controlled his temper everywhere. Khanti, therefore, may be better explained as the voluntary control of temper by proper training of the mind.
The virtuous person who becomes very fortunate in the attainment of supramundane happiness does not crave for worldly luxury. He who treads the path that leads to his own freedom commences his course from the first step of practicing charity. When this door is open access to all other departments is easy. In a sense, therefore, the Ten Pre-requisites are inter-dependent, and the acquirement of the one will automatically bring about a development of the other and so on, if only the person does not lack in true spirit, devotion, and proper application.
As patience of this description can only be exercised by the person who has Viriya in him, Khanti is placed next to Viriya in order of the Pre-requisites.
Patience is undoubtedly a very noble achievement, especially in monks. We have often heard of the saying "Patience and perseverance will overcome mountains. It acts as the foundation for nobility, recognition and greatness."
Any thought that gives rise to malice or ill-will against the well-being or prosperity of another, or the ill-being of the self tends to make Khanti impure.
Again Khanti paramita depends on equanimity. He who practices khanti views pleasure and pain or good and bad in the same train. He is not pleased by the one and displeased by the other. Therefore, for the acquirement of this Pre-requisite it is necessary to have a properly trained mind.
Our Bodhisatva, after continual practice throughout a number of births, got himself instated in Khanti Paramita to such a strength that he did not even look hard at them who cut and removed his limbs. The more cruelty was done to him, the more patience did he radiate, like the sandal wood tree that spreads more and more fragrance the more it is cut.
He who practices Khanti will be liked and respected by the wise; he overcomes anger and thereby he is freed from its resultant disasters. He enjoys peace of mind, peaceful sleep, peaceful death, and eternal happiness thereafter.
All Buddhas, Pacceka Buddhas and Arahats practiced this Khanti as a pre-requisite for the attainment of their end - the freedom of Nibbana. They have all spoken in a very high praise of it as an essential acquirement for the attainment of each man's freedom. Of all the wealth that is being could boast of, or of all the qualities acquired for his supermundane upliftment there is nothing to equal patience. So the Lord has said "AVERA NACA SAMMANTI" or patience will overcome all difficulties, and bring eternal happiness.
"Just as a beautiful flower full of color but without fragrance is, even so fruitless is his fair word who does not practice it."
Dhammapada, Panditavagga Verse 8