Posted by: Upāsaka | 12/28/2019

Another’s Anger

I’ve been trying to be more heedful of my mental states, not to mention my words and actions, and have come to realize something I should have understood long ago: I don’t have to respond in kind when someone is angry or upset with me. It almost seems silly when I write it out but it’s such a natural reaction that I have been constantly surprised by it in the last two days.

Leaving aside whether someone’s anger with me is “justified” it stands to reason that there’s never a justification for me to be angry in return. Anger burns the hand of the one who holds it and can set fire to untold amounts of merit in an instant. To me, my past bouts of anger really do seem like psychotic episodes. When angry I’m willing to throw away almost anything, to sacrifice almost anyone if I let it completely take control. So, why respond to the one who wishes to hurt me in a way that only accomplishes their goal?

An angry person is ugly & sleeps poorly.
Gaining a profit, he turns it into a loss,
having done g with word & deed.
A person overwhelmed with anger
destroys his wealth.
Maddened with anger,
he destroys his status.
Relatives, friends, & colleagues avoid him.
Anger brings loss.
Anger inflames the mind.
He doesn’t realize
that his danger is born from within.
An angry person doesn’t know his own benefit.
An angry person doesn’t see the Dhamma.
A man conquered by anger is in a mass of darkness.
He takes pleasure in bad deeds as if they were good,
but later, when his anger is gone,
he suffers as if burned with fire.
He is spoiled, blotted out,
like fire enveloped in smoke.

When anger spreads,
when a man becomes angry,
he has no shame, no fear of evil,
is not respectful in speech.
For a person overcome with anger,
nothing gives light.

I’ll list the deeds that bring remorse,
that are far from the teachings.
Listen!
An angry person kills his father,
kills his mother,
kills Brahmans
& people run-of-the-mill.
It’s because of a mother’s devotion
that one sees the world,
yet an angry run-of-the-mill person
can kill this giver of life.
Like oneself, all beings hold themselves most dear,
yet an angry person, deranged,
can kill himself in many ways:
with a sword, taking poison,
hanging himself by a rope in a mountain glen.

Doing these deeds
that kill beings and do violence to himself,
the angry person doesn’t realize that he’s ruined.

This snare of Mara, in the form of anger,
dwelling in the cave of the heart:
cut it out with self-control,
discernment, persistence, right view.
The wise man would cut out
each & every form of unskillfulness.
Train yourselves:
‘May we not be blotted out.’

Free from anger & untroubled,
free from greed, without longing,
tamed, your anger abandoned,
free from fermentation,
you will be unbound.

Kodhana Sutta: An Angry Person


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