Lord buddha on anger management by jayadeva de silva
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Lord buddha on anger management by jayadeva de silva

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An Interesting article on Anger Management by Jayadeva de Silva,author of the book Humantalents Management

An Interesting article on Anger Management by Jayadeva de Silva,author of the book Humantalents Management

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Lord buddha on anger management by jayadeva de silva Lord buddha on anger management by jayadeva de silva Document Transcript

  • Lord Buddha on Anger Management.ByJayadeva de SilvaThis paper is written for the benefit of managers, counselors and trainers who are interested inanger management . One finds Lord Buddha’s teaching in the Āghāta Paṭ ivinaya Sutta ofAnguttara nikaya which teaches the technique of wise attention( yoniso manasikāra.) The Sutta mentions five kinds of people whom we are likely to resent or feel hatred towards,that is, to say:(1) Someone impure in deed but pure in speechThe first method of overcoming resentment deals with someone impure in deed but pure inspeech We are advised to wisely attend only to the person’s pure speech, the parable given isthat of the dust heap monkInstead of harping on the person‟ s negative quality—here it is that of impure bodily conductwhich would only pollute our own minds; it is better to attend to his wholesome quality, that ofpure verbal conduct. Just as the dust Heap monk, finding a piece of discarded cloth, carefullytears off only its good portion, we should only consider a person’s wholesome conduct(2) Someone impure in speech but pure in deedThe second method of overcoming resentment deals with someone impure inspeech but pure in deed. We are advised to wisely attend only to the person’s pure deed,and the parable given is that of the overgrown lotus lake. This parable is about a person, allscorched up, overcome by the heat, and were to come along, tired, parched and thirsty who, finding a lotus lake overgrown with sevala and water plants would plunge intothe lotus lake, with both hands, push aside the sevala and water plants this wayand that way, and filling his cupped hands with water, drink it, and then depart.Here, the person perceived as expressing negative speech probably in terms of wrongspeech—lying, slandering, speaking harshly,(3) Someone impure both in deed and in speech. .The third method of overcoming resentment deals withSomeone impure both in deed and in speech .Such a person must surely be difficult to tolerate,as both his speech and actions are negative. However, he apparently benefits from hismeditation, and shows some peace and faith. We are advised to wisely attend only to hisappearance of faith, and the parable given is that of the hoof - print puddle. The parable saysthat a tired and thirsty traveller on a hot day comes across a tiny puddle in a hoof print. Thewater is so little that it is easily dirtied if we put even our fingers into it. The thirsty traveller hasto go down on all fours and gingerly sip up the water like a cow does. This parable exhorts us tobe humble before such difficult people. This is wise because we do not really know the truereasons for the person’s unwholesome conduct. 1
  • (4)Someone impure both ways, and shows no faith or good thoughtsThe fourth method of overcoming resentment deals with someone impure both ways, andshows no faith or good thoughts[This is clearly the most difficult person of the five given here: all his three karmic doorsbody, speech and mind are unwholesome. While we are exhorted to show our loving kindness ,our unconditional acceptance, of the first three people, here we are exhorted to show ourcompassion , to be kind to this person even if he does not deserve it.The reason for this is clear, says the Sutta, such a morally negative person would be reborn in avery low and painful realm. Indeed, in psychological terms, if we are angry, or break any of theprecepts, we are at once in some kind of subhuman state of mind. If we persist in such aconduct so that it becomes habitual and we are caught in such a bad rut without any remorse,then surely we are only gathering karmic momentum heading for a painful subhuman plane forthe long run.(5)Someone pure both ways and shows faith through timely reflections.The fifth method of overcoming resentment deals with someone pure both ways and shows faithand has good thoughts The Sutta advises that we should reflect compassionately on his karmicfruit, and the parable given is that of the pleasant lotus lake, so that “having gone into the water,bathed and drunk, he would emerge and sit or lie down right there in the shade of the trees [.This case is different from the other four listed here, since the person is actually quitewholesome. Yet, we are likely to feel negative to such a person perhaps because we perceivethat he seems strict in practice, or appears arrogant, or perhaps we don’t seem to like him forsome unapparent reasons. The Sutta advises that we should reflect compassionately on hiskarmic fruit, and the parable given is that of the pleasant lotus lake so that “having gone intothe water, bathed and drunk, he would emerge and sit or lie down right there in the shade ofthe trees We are then advised to at times reflect on the purity of his bodily conduct, at timesthe purity of his verbal conduct, and at times on his bright faith and thoughts In other words,there is always something positive that we could direct our minds to, so that we are not troubledby negative perceptions.It is understandable, in the first three cases, that we are likely to resent thosewho are imperfect in either deed or speech, or in both, especially if we know the Dharma welland feel that such lapses are unwholesome but feel helpless about changing the situation. Thelast two cases are different. The fourth person, despite his unwholesome conduct of body andspeech, shows some wholesome mental attitude— which is, of course, like a silver lining arounda dark cloud. The fifth case is somewhat strange, that is, to resent someone who is wholesomein body, speech and mind. Here, the resentment arises probably on account of jealousydisagreement, misunderstanding or prejudice. 2