The 3 defects of a Vessel
“Inattentive, you are like a vessel overturned.
Forgetful, you are like a ruptured vessel.
Stained by the afflictions, you are like a poisoned vessel.”
When u are listening to teachings, u shouldn’t let your ear consciousness
stray to some other object. For if u don’t actually focus on the words of
the explanation, but allow yourself to chatter or look around, the
situation is like someone trying to pour nectar into a pot that has been
overturned. U may be physically present in the teaching assembly but u are
not listening to a single word. This is a defect.
Again u may hear the Dharma, but it’s only on hearing level & superficial
understanding & do not hold it to memory. Then it’s like pouring nectar
into a pot filled with holes, nothing remains. However many teachings u
hear, you retain nothing & are still completely ignorant of how to put
them into practice. This too is a defect.
If the reason for listening to teachings is to improve your situations in
life, to become famous, wealthy, to attract adulation of others & if while
still receiving teachings, your mind is mingled with the 5 poisons
( craving, anger, ignorance, pride , jealousy) , it is like pouring a
wholesome substance into a poisoned vessel. Far from bringing benefit to
your mind, the Dharma itself will transform into its antithesis. This
again is a defect.
Extracted from The Nectar of Manjushri’s Speech
A detailed commentary on Shantideva’s way of the Bodhisattva