Aug 3, 2020
The Buddhist canon contains many methods to calm the fires of anger and increase our patience. In this episode we look at a method for averting anger by understanding that harm is created by the power of our own karma. The suffering generated by harm is the effect of previous bad karma; by experiencing it, we exhaust this karma. We can even view them as kind because it is as though they are engaged in actions for the sake of clearing away our own bad karma.
“The experience of suffering produced by those who harm occurs from concordant causes; that is to say, from non-virtuous actions we have done in the past.” —Je Tsongkhapa
Engaging in the Bodhisattva Deeds states:
“I, at a former time, inflicted Harm such as this on living beings.”
“If, blinded by craving, I have obtained This abscess with a human form, So painful that it cannot bear to be touched, With whom should I be angry when it is hurt?” —Shantideva
If one speaks the truth,
Is not angry,
And gives when asked, even when one has little,
Then one comes into the presence of the gods.
Sages who do no harm,
Constantly restrained in body,
Go to the immovable state
Where they do not grieve. (225)*
—Buddha, The Dhammapada
Links and References
Buddha.The Dhammapada. Translated by Gil Fronsdale. Shambala, Boston and London, 2011, pp.60.
Je Tsongkhapa. Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, by Je Tsongkhapa, Volume 2. Translated by the Lamrim Chenmo Translation Committee. Joshua Cutler, Editor-in-Chief, and Guy Newlan, Editor, pp 163-164..