"Others are cruel, we shall not be cruel"

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: "Others are cruel, we shall not be cruel"

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:50 am

This Dhammapada verse (22.1/306) is in the Udana sutta 4.8 I mentioned above:
http://www.metta.lk/english/Narada/22-N ... 0Vagga.htm
LIARS SUFFER

1. The speaker of untruth goes to a woeful state, and also he who, having done aught, says, "I did not". Both after death become equal, men of base actions in the other world. 306.

Story

In order to disparage the Buddha a woman was killed by some villains hired by a heretical sect and the corpse was concealed in a rubbish heap near the Buddha's Perfumed Chamber. Later, the murderers confessed their guilt implicating the heretics. Discoursing on the evil of false accusation, the Buddha uttered this verse.

:anjali:
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Re: "Others are cruel, we shall not be cruel"

Postby starter » Thu Jun 06, 2013 3:12 am

Why haven't the abuses automatically ceased?

-- Your old karma/debt hasn't been fully paid yet?
-- You din't restrain yourself and created new karma by defending yourself? Is defending ourselves also a form of fighting back? Can we defend ourselves when facing unjust treatments/abuses? Can we seek worldly means of help such as legal assistance?
-- You got lost in the worldly affairs, and didn't investigate internally but instead sought externally, so you still need such "opportunities" to growth and make progress in the path?

Metta to all!
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Re: "Others are cruel, we shall not be cruel"

Postby binocular » Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:06 pm

alan wrote:Bhikku Pesala: I see that Sutta not just about cruelty, or the removal of defilements--a subject that has been expounded on at length elsewhere. It seems to be more about the attitude you take when confronted with the problems of the world. Maybe that's why there is a long and repetitive list of all the benefits of "effacement" in so many different situations. The PTS definition strikes me as harsh and unwise. Austere penance? No thanks.

In one sense, it is indeed austere penance to have goodwill (and compassion and sympathetic joy) for violent people (and other beings). Not countering violence and anger with violence and anger can feel very demeaning. Having goodwill in the face of violence and anger can feel like complete personal defeat.

For example: I am very much afraid of dogs, and have had many bad encounters with dogs, and their owners. As I would get badly riled up (I was useless for hours, shaking and trembling) after having been barked or charged at, I realized I had to do something about it. The very thought of having goodwill for aggressive dogs seemed utterly demeaning to me, and it felt like the most unjust, cruel penance that I should have goodwill for aggressive dogs, just so that I wouldn't be all riled up when they bark at me or worse.
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Re: "Others are cruel, we shall not be cruel"

Postby BlackBird » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:55 am

I was just reading this sutta from the Majjhima the other day. Very good Sutta.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: "Others are cruel, we shall not be cruel"

Postby floating_abu » Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:17 am

Great thread, starter. Having been subject to baseless lies, accusation and hypocrisy recently, it is a good reminder.
Merci.
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Re: "Others are cruel, we shall not be cruel"

Postby starter » Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:45 pm

Hello friends,

Thanks for all your input and encouragement.

I'd like to share with you my recent practice on this topic. While maintaining the faith on the Buddha's teaching and trying to reflect upon and search inside to discover/remove my own defilements and practice metta, the abuses "cease" in a way that they don't disturb the peace of the heart anymore. Even though some others are even more cruel (probably as the result of the previous mistake of fighting back with anger, resentment, and greed for gain), the heart has become independent of the environment and most of the time remained peaceful (with liberative joy), without anger, hatred, or ill will.

I remember that the Buddha taught it's OK to defend ourselves when necessary, but it should be done without hate or other defilements (sorry I forgot in which sutta he taught so). We can defend ourselves with as little defilements as possible, and improve ourselves while responding to abuses, by taking these as opportunities for our Dhamma practice.

Hope it can be of help to some other friends in similar situation. May abuses also "cease" within your heart.

Metta to all!

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Re: "Others are cruel, we shall not be cruel"

Postby cooran » Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:55 pm

Hello starter,

i'm not sure the Buddha gave a Sutta directly about self-defence. Here is a previous thread:
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=7537

With metta,
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---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: "Others are cruel, we shall not be cruel"

Postby starter » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:35 pm

Hello Chris,

Thanks for your help. The thread seems to be about physical defense. I'm talking about defending against lies, false accusations, and unjust treatment.

I might have mixed up the reading of a translator's note with an actual sutta teaching. I somehow remember that the Buddha taught some bhikkhus certain strategy (by saying something to villagers) to defend against false accusations. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Metta to all!

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Re: "Others are cruel, we shall not be cruel"

Postby starter » Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:05 pm

Greetings!

When painful thoughts and feelings due to abuse or memory of abuse arise, it could be difficult to stop such thoughts and feelings. We should immediately turn our attention to the Dhamma, and recite or read the Buddha's teaching as summarized in the first post of this thread (so it's very helpful to be able to memorize them, which are the best medicine).

Ask: "What is the source of sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair? How do they arise?'' (SN 22.43)

Recognize: I'm having painful feelings/thoughts (and perceptions/volitions), but they are only feelings/thoughts (and perceptions/volitions); they are anicca, dukkha, and anatta -- they are not you, not yours; let them go.

After such hurtful feelings/thoughts stop, then recite/read the metta sutta (Sn 1.8), and radiate metta to ourselves, to the abusers, and to all.

Realize that we could turn the abuses we suffer to great progress in our Dhamma practice, by cultivating all the 10 paramis (and even beyond):

Dāna pāramī : generosity/forgiveness

Sīla pāramī : proper conduct

Nekkhamma pāramī: non-ill will/non-hatred/non-hostility, non-cruelty/non-harming

Paññā pāramī : insight of the five aggregates' anicca, dukkha, anatta

Viriya (also spelled vīriya) pāramī : diligent effort to avoid/stop the unwholesome, and arouse/develop the wholesome

Khanti pāramī : patience, tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, endurance (& humility, contentment)

Sacca pāramī : truthfulness, honesty (by acknowledging our own mistakes and wrong doings)
Adhiṭṭhāna (adhitthana) pāramī : determination (to stop the unwholesome and to develop the wholesome)

Mettā pāramī : loving-kindness

Upekkhā (also spelled upekhā) pāramī : equanimity, serenity

"Though touched by worldly circumstances,
Never his mind is wavering,
Sorrowless, stainless and secure:
This, the Highest Blessing."
(-- the Mangala sutta)

Writing such a post certainly helps as well. May we all overcome whatever pain, and enjoy the highest blessing. Metta to all!
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Re: "Others are cruel, we shall not be cruel"

Postby starter » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:36 pm

Anguttara Nikaya 5.161
Aghatapativinaya Sutta: How to Remove Grudges
translated from the Pali
by Nyanaponika Thera and Bhikkhu Bodhi

"There are, O monks, five ways of getting rid of a grudge, by means of which a monk can remove all grudges that have arisen within him. What five?

If a grudge arises towards any person, then one should cultivate loving-kindness towards him ... or compassion ... or equanimity. In that way one can remove the grudge towards that person.

Or one should pay no attention to him and give no thought to him. In that way one can remove the grudge.

Or one may apply to that person the fact of ownership of kamma: "This person should be* the owner of his actions, the heir of his actions; his actions are the womb (from which he has sprung), his relations, and his protection. Whatever he does, good or bad, he will be heir to that."
[‘kammassakokamma ayamāyasmā kammadāyādo kammayoni kammabandhu kammapaṭisaraṇo"]

These are the five ways of getting rid of a grudge, by means of which a monk can remove all grudges that have arisen within him."
http://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh208-p.html# ... oveGrudges

* I changed "This worthy (BT: Venerable; BN: good) person" into "This person should be", since "worthy", "venerable", or "good" doesn't seem to fit here. In MN 69, "yo ayamāyasmā sabrahmacārīsu agāravo hoti appatisso’ti" is translated as "he should be respectful and not rebellious towards a fellow monk", so I think in AN 5.161 "ayamāyasmā" probably also means "should be" instead "Venerable".

Would the 5th method, the application of the fact of ownership of kamma contains a tiny little bit of ill wish by thinking about that person's reward of bad karma for his bad action?

Your input would be appreciated.
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Re: "Others are cruel, we shall not be cruel"

Postby santa100 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:15 am

starter wrote:Would the 5th method, the application of the fact of ownership of kamma contains a tiny little bit of ill wish by thinking about that person's reward of bad karma for his bad action?

From the highlighted parts, no sign of ill will could be found..
AN 5.161 wrote:(Ven. Thanissaro):"When one gives birth to hatred for an individual, one should direct one's thoughts to the fact of his being the product of his actions: 'This venerable one is the doer of his actions, heir to his actions, born of his actions, related by his actions, and has his actions as his arbitrator. Whatever action he does, for good or for evil, to that will he fall heir.' Thus the hatred for that individual should be subdued.

(Ven. Nanamoli):"Ownership of deeds in a person with whom you are annoyed can be concentrated upon thus: 'This good person is owner of his deeds, heir to his deeds, his deeds are the womb from which he is born, his deeds are his kin for whom he is responsible, his deeds are his refuge, he is heir to his deeds, be they good or bad.'

(Ven. Bodhi):"One should apply the idea of the ownership of kamma to the person one resents, thus: ‘This venerable one is the owner of his kamma,
the heir of his kamma; he has kamma as his origin, kamma as his relative, kamma as his resort; he will be the heir of any kamma he does, good or bad.’
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Re: "Others are cruel, we shall not be cruel"

Postby starter » Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:45 pm

Greetings!

Just to add a little more illustration of "his being the product of his actions":

“When my concentrated mind was thus purified, bright, unblemished, rid of imperfection, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, I directed it to knowledge of the passing away and reappearance of beings. With the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, I saw beings passing away and reappearing, inferior and superior, fair and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate. I understood how beings pass on according to their actions thus: ‘These worthy beings who were ill conducted in body, speech, and mind, [color=#000080]revilers of noble ones (the noble disciples, or the wise in general?), wrong in their views, giving effect to wrong view in their actions, on the dissolution of the body, after death, have reappeared in a state of deprivation, in a bad destination, in perdition, even in hell;[/color] but these worthy beings who were well conducted in body, speech, and mind, not revilers of noble ones, right in their views, giving effect to right view in their actions, on the dissolution of the body, after death, have reappeared in a good destination, even in the heavenly world.’ Thus with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, I saw beings passing away and reappearing, inferior and superior, fair and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate, and I understood how beings pass on according to their actions." (MN 19)

Metta to all!
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Re: "Others are cruel, we shall not be cruel"

Postby starter » Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:02 pm

SN 7.2 Akkosa Sutta: Abuse

"Once the Blessed One was staying at Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove near the Squirrels' Feeding Place. Now the brahman Akkosa Bharadvaja heard this: "The brahman Bharadvaja, it seems, has become a monk under the Great Monk Gotama." Angry and unhappy, he went to where the Blessed One was. Having approached the Blessed One, he abused and criticized the Blessed One in foul and harsh words. Thus reviled, the Blessed One spoke to the brahman Akkosa Bharadvaja: 'Well, brahman, do friends, colleagues, relatives, and kinsmen and guests visit you?"

"Yes, Gotama, sometimes friends, colleagues, relatives, kinsmen and guests do visit me."

"Well, brahman, do you not offer them snacks or food or meals?"

"Yes, Gotama, sometimes I do offer them snacks or food or meals."

"But if, brahman, they do not accept your offer, who gets them?"

"If Gotama, they do not accept them, they are still mine."


"In the same way, brahman, you are abusing us who do not abuse, you are angry with us who do not get angry, you are quarreling with us who do not quarrel. All these of yours we don't accept. They are still yours, brahman. They are still yours."

"When, brahman, one abuses back when abused, repays anger in kind, and quarrels back when quarreled with, he is said, brahman, to partake the meal and enter upon an exchange. But we do not partake your meal. We do not enter upon an exchange. Therefore, they still belong to you, brahman; they still belong to you."

"The king and his retinue know this of Master Gotama: 'The Monk Gotama is an arahant' — and yet still Master Gotama gets angry."

Said the Buddha:

"Where is anger for one freed from anger,
Who is subdued and lives perfectly equanimous,
Who truly knowing is wholly freed,
Supremely tranquil and equipoised?

He who repays an angry man with anger,
makes things worse;
Who does not repay anger in kind,
he alone wins the battle hard to win [Walshe: "Celebrates a double victory."]

He practices for the welfare of both,
his own, as well as of the other.
Knowing that the other man is angry,
he mindfully maintains his peace.


When he works the cure of both,
his own and the other's,
The people consider him a fool,
are unskilled in the Dhamma."
...
"And the brahman Akkosa Bharadvaja received at the hands of the Blessed One the initial monastic ordination and he also received the higher ordination of a bhikkhu...
The Venerable Akkosa Bharadvaja, indeed, became one of the Arahats."

[The "translation" is synthesized from various available translations.]
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Re: "Others are cruel, we shall not be cruel"

Postby LXNDR » Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:24 pm

there's an educative and dramatic poem in Theragatha


16.1 Adhimutta: Adhimutta and the Bandits

[The bandit chief:]

Those who
for the sake of sacrifice
for the sake of wealth
we have killed in the past,
against their will
have trembled & babbled
from fear.
But you —
you show no fear;
your complexion brightens.
Why don't you lament
in the face of what's greatly to be feared

[Ven. Adhimutta:]

There are no painful mental states, chieftain,
in one without longing.
In one whose fetters are ended,
all fears are overcome.
With the ending of [craving]
the guide to becoming,
when phenomena are seen
for what they are,
then just as in the laying down of a burden,
there's no fear in death.

I've lived well the holy life,
well-developed the path.
Death holds no fear for me.
It's like the end of a disease.

I've lived well the holy life,
well-developed the path,
seen states of becoming
as devoid of allure,
like poison spit out
after it's drunk.

One gone to the far shore
without clinging
without effluent
his task completed,
welcomes the ending of life,
as if freed from a place of execution.
Having attained the supreme Rightness,
unconcerned with all the world,
as if released from a burning house,
he doesn't sorrow at death.

Whatever's compounded,
wherever a state of becoming's obtained,
all that has no one in charge:
so says the Great Seer.
Whoever discerns this,
as taught by the Awakened One,
would no more grasp hold of any state of becoming
than he would a hot iron ball.
I have no 'I was,'
no 'I will be.'
Fabrications will simply go out of existence.
What's to lament there in that?
For one who sees, as it actually is,
the pure arising of phenomena,
the pure seriality of fabrications,
there's no fear.
When seeing the world with discernment
as on a par with grass & twigs,
finding no 'mine-ness,'
thinking, 'There's nothing of mine,'
he feels no sorrow.
Dissatisfied with this carcass,
I'm unconcerned with becoming.
This body will break up
and there will not be another.
Do as you like with this carcass.
From that I will feel
neither hatred nor love.
Hearing these awesome, hair-raising words, the young men threw down their weapons & said:

What have you done, sir,
or who have you taken as mentor?
Because of whose teachings
is this lack of sorrow acquired?

[Ven. Adhimutta:]

The all-knowing,
all-seeing conqueror:
He is my mentor.
Greatly compassionate teacher,
all the world's healer,
this doctrine is his,
unexcelled, leading to ending.
Because of his teachings
is this lack of sorrow acquired.

The bandits, hearing the good words of the seer,
threw down their swords & their weapons.
Some relinquished their life of crime,
some chose the Going Forth.
Having gone forth in the teachings
of the one well-gone,
developing the powers & factors for Awakening,
wise, happy,
exultant in mind,
their faculties ripened,
they touched uncompounded Unbinding.

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Re: "Others are cruel, we shall not be cruel"

Postby starter » Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:45 am

Hi LXNDR and other friends,

Thanks for your input.

I'd like to add a comment to the SN 7.2 Akkosa sutta:

"In the same way, brahman, you are abusing us who do not abuse, you are angry with us who do not get angry, you are quarreling with us who do not quarrel. All these of yours we don't accept. They are still yours, brahman. They are still yours."

"When, brahman, one abuses back when abused, repays anger in kind, and quarrels back when quarreled with, he is said, brahman, to partake the meal and enter upon an exchange. But we do not partake your meal. We do not enter upon an exchange. Therefore, they still belong to you, brahman; they still belong to you."

When being offered "poison" (the abuse/"the meal"), it's up to us to accept / partake it or not.

May all of us always remember the above-cited teaching, and realize that we should by all means refuse to accept/partake any such poison when offered to us.

Metta to all!

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Re: "Others are cruel, we shall not be cruel"

Postby starter » Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:28 pm

After listening to MN 2 again, I now understand that the Buddha taught us to forbear/tolerate cruel treatments to abandon the asavas (I personally would interpret asavas here as defilements, instead of only the 3 -- desire for sensual pleasures, desire for continued existence, and ignorance; abandon asavas = effacement):

MN 2:

"And what are the asavas to be abandoned by tolerating? There is the case where a monk, reflecting appropriately, endures. He tolerates cold, heat, hunger, & thirst; the touch of flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun, & reptiles; ill-spoken, unwelcome words & bodily feelings that, when they arise, are painful, racking, sharp, piercing, disagreeable, displeasing, & menacing to life. The asavas, vexation, or fever that would arise if he were not to tolerate these things do not arise for him when he tolerates them. These are called the asavas to be abandoned by tolerating."

The Buddha exemplified for us how to practice forbearance when He was severely criticized, abused, and attacked. We should follow his example, and always keep our noble task (effacement) in mind without getting lost in the mundane pursuits.

Metta to all!
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Re: "Others are cruel, we shall not be cruel"

Postby LXNDR » Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:17 pm

starter wrote:the Buddha taught us to forbear/tolerate cruel treatments to abandon the asavas (I personally would interpret asavas here as defilements, instead of only the 3 -- desire for sensual pleasures, desire for continued existence, and ignorance; abandon asavas = effacement):

The Buddha exemplified for us how to practice forbearance when He was severely criticized, abused, and attacked. We should follow his example, and always keep our noble task (effacement) in mind without getting lost in the mundane pursuits.


he surely did

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=19759&start=20#p297157

and in the Dhammapada too

'He insulted me,
hit me,
beat me,
robbed me'
— for those who brood on this,
hostility isn't stilled.

'He insulted me,
hit me,
beat me,
robbed me' —
for those who don't brood on this,
hostility is stilled.

Hostilities aren't stilled
through hostility,
regardless.
Hostilities are stilled
through non-hostility:
this, an unending truth.

Unlike those who don't realize
that we're here on the verge
of perishing,
those who do:
their quarrels are stilled.
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Re: "Others are cruel, we shall not be cruel"

Postby robpiso » Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:53 am

starter wrote:May all of us lots of peace and progress in our practice, while facing whatever cruel and unjust treatments.
Starter


We all know how asuras can be cruel with us; particularly in these times of power & money.
The only way to deal with them is to give them back what they are laying upon you.
"This is not mine; this is not me - have it back!*"

* And maybe what your friends have laid upon me as well. And maybe what you have laid upon all of us (although it's always good to keep some reserve on hand ;)
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