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Anger management

india Updated: Jul 07, 2010 00:50 IST

A Brahman asked the Buddha, “master is there anything you would agree to kill?” And Buddha answered, “Yes, anger. Killing anger removes suffering and brings peace and happiness. Anger is the single enemy that all the wise ones agree to kill.” Buddha’s response impressed him, and he became a monk in Buddha’s Sangha. When the man’s cousin learned that he became a monk, he cursed the Buddha to his face. Buddha only smiled. The man became even more incensed and asked, “Why don’t you respond?” Buddha replied, “If someone refuses a gift, it must be taken back by the one who offered it.” Angry words and actions hurt, first of all, oneself.

After that, the Buddha recited this verse: For those with no anger how can anger arise?

When you practice deep looking and master yourself, you dwell in peace, freedom, and safety. The one who offends another after being offended by him, harms himself and harms the other.

When you feel hurt but do not hurt the other, you are truly victorious.

Your practice and your victory benefit both of you. When you understand the roots of anger in yourself and in the other, your mind will enjoy true peace, joy, and lightness.

You become the doctor who heals himself and heals the other. If you don't understand, you will think not getting angry to be the act of a fool.

“Those with no anger” means people who have no seeds of anger in their store consciousness. We get angry, first of all, because of the seeds of anger we carry within, seeds that may have been transmitted by our parents and our society. Even a small irritation can bring that anger to the surface. A person without seeds of anger can smile no matter what is said to him.

Extract taken from Chapter 3, Self love, Teachings On Love by Thich Nhat Hanh.