The Buddha has said:
If the one who does no wrong
Follows one who is evil,
He himself will be suspected of evil
And his reputation will decline.
According to the friends one makes,
According to who one follows,
So does one become.
Like one's associates one becomes.
Follower and following,
Toucher and touched alike,
An arrow smeared with poison
Infects those arrows that are not poisoned,
So that all are fouled.
The upright person not wishing to be soiled
Should not keep company with the fool.
If one strings a piece of putrid fish
On a blade of kusa grass,
The grass will smell putrid too;
The same with one who follows the fool.
If one wraps frankincense
In an ordinary kind of leaf,
The leaf will soon smell sweet too;
The same with one who follows the wise.
Remembering the example of the leaf wrapping
And understanding the results,
One should seek companionship with the wise,
Never with the fool.
OK, so I think I have had the bad fortune of associating with a fool. I mistook him for a happy person because I was fooled by his smile. But indeed, he was a fool, and I only realized it later.
It's too late. I can't return to the past and undo this. I have been smeared, poisoned, and spoilt.
So my question is, is that the end of my goodness. Have I damaged my virtue beyond repair? Have I deprived myself of the possibility of enlightement???
Looking forward to your replies,
P.S.: frankly, I have been thinking and pondering this for quite a while now, almost all day long, every day, all I do is regret and remorse.