Padmasambhava on Goodness
The word ‘goodness’ can remain either as a philosophical idea, or be a practical expression of compassionate wisdom.
“Master Padmasambhava said: When you persevere in Dharma practice, it is essential to trail always in turning any virtuous root of action through body, speech or mind, to be for the benefit of others.
“First, train gradually in this with the smallest deed. From time to time, check to see whether or not you are tainted by the defilement of self interest. You will not be successful if you retain even the tiniest taint of selfishness. Make sure not to be tainted by the defilement of self interest.
“The difference between the greater and lesser vehicles is the arousing of bodhicitta. The difference is created not by the view, but by compassion. Therefore, keeping the view of the natural state, train yourself in great compassion.
“For the benefit of self and others, abandon the suffering of samsara forever. Train repeatedly in feeling renunciation for samsara. Train to take upon yourself the burden of suffering of others. First train in regarding all sentient beings as being like yourself.
“Train in feeling that the suffering of others is your own suffering. Then train in cherishing sentient beings as being more important than yourself. Train in the great compassion that involuntarily acts for the welfare of others.
“The word ‘Mahayana’ implies simply to cherish others as being superior to oneself. Mahayana never implies the pursuit of happiness solely for oneself with no thought for the suffering of others, regarding oneself as more important.”
One may assume here that one has to be meek and mild, and take a subservient position. This is not accurate. I once heard an instruction, “The strong serve the weak”, so you can see by this that caring for others more than oneself is truly dynamic; a diamond quality that cut through anything. Merely offering someone a cup of tea is doing something that perhaps they can’t do for themselves. Or washing someone’s feet, as Christ did.
‘The strong serve the weak’ reveals joyous confidence, and therefore compassion. This transforms ordinary pride into divine pride, where the lineage of the transmissions one has received is upheld: this comes with much responsibility.