Clarification on MN101 - fruitful exertion and striving

After the Buddha considers the doctrine of the Jains, he talks about the situations when exertion and striving are fruitful, in sec 23.1 of MN101.

The sutta itself is somewhat light on when exactly one should strive actively. It says:

‘When I actively strive I become dispassionate towards this source of suffering. But when I develop equanimity I become dispassionate towards this other source of suffering.’

Looking further, I found Ajahn Brahmali has a lecture on this sutta and has addressed this point here at 48:31 onwards. Bhante indicates that striving with determination may apply for ill-will or sensual desire, while equanimity can apply to situations of bodily pain, hearing unpleasant words or other unpleasant situations.

In another lecture, Bhikkhu Bodhi also talks about this sutta but this specific point about when to use determination vs equanimity was not touched upon. The video is here from 40:26 onwards.

The first thing that came to mind regarding striving was how exactly to do that - and I went back to my favourites MN20 augmented with MN19.

Broadly, there are two aspects here - the when and the how. Specifically, when to apply determination vs equanimity. Are there other teachings that go deeper into the specifics of when exactly to use striving vs equanimity, to support this passage (sec 23.4 from MN101)?

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MN 2 is my go-to sutta for this. It doesn’t just divide into striving vs equanimity but divides it further into seeing, restraining, using, enduring, avoiding, removing, and developing. To me that’s much more helpful as it also gives some idea of how to strive. Hope it helps you too!

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Just the reminder I needed, thank you Bhante.

Further edited for my own clarity: Specifically, Ajahn Brahmali’s points explicitly come up in section (6) Defilements Given Up by Dispelling. In 20.2 the sutta explicitly covers sensual, malicious or cruel thoughts, or other bad or unskillful qualities. It says to get rid of them, eliminate and obliterate them, and section (4) instructs us on enduring bodily pain, unpleasant words or situations.

Couldn’t be clearer! Sadhu :pray:.

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