You need to train to bring forth an attitude of gentleness and humbleness. The words “gentle” and “humble” are about our good conduct as Sangha members – something that we need to practise by ourselves and develop in ourselves. With these qualities, the Sangha is well accepted by society.
Anyone who behaves gently and humbly will always be well respected, even by the devas. The devas praise gentle and humble demeanour. Whatever it is, our prostrations, or the way we raise our hands to greet, all these expressions of good manners that all of us in our Sangha should practice.
This practice and training is one of the embellishments of a Samana. It makes him beautiful and enriches him. When a Samana relates to society, he will never provoke feelings of aversion, irrespective of the social status of the people he meets. A Samana is well accepted by society. It is worth noticing that those leaders of society who take seriously the ten Dhamma qualities for a ruler also need to develop the quality of gentleness and humbleness. The same was true for the Buddha himself. He gave these qualities importance because they bring up beauty in oneself and cause others to appreciate one.
We should understand that gentleness and humbleness are very important qualities for a Samana. The expression “adikalyanam” (beautiful in the beginning) points to this: one becomes beautiful to look at right from the start.
It is normal that raw materials need to undergo processes of change and alteration until the outcome is a useful product that pleases people. With no changes and corrections the result would be displeasing. Similarly, if human beings don’t undergo training, exercise or practice, they are like raw products and other people won’t see them as useful.
So we should train in being gentle and humble.
This reflection by Luang Por Liem is from the book, The Ways of the Peaceful, (pdf) pp. 54-55 (frames 61-62).