SN 7.2 Akkosa Sutta. Insult.

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SN 7.2 Akkosa Sutta. Insult.

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Jun 27, 2015 10:42 pm

SN 7.2 PTS: S i 161 CDB i 255 Akkosa Sutta: Insult
translated from the Pali by Acharya Buddharakkhita


What is your best response when someone is angry with you? Hint: if you offer some food to a guest, but the guest declines the offer, to whom does the food belong?

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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, confidants, relatives, kinsmen and guests visit you?"

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

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

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

"But if, brahman, they do not accept it, who gets it?"

"If Gotama, they do not accept it, I get it back."

"Even so, 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 this of yours we don't accept. You alone, brahman, get it back; all this, brahman, belongs to you.

"When, brahman, one abuses back when abused, repays anger in kind, and quarrels back when quarreled with, this is called, brahman, associating with each other and exchanging mutually. This association and mutual exchange we do not engage in. Therefore you alone, brahman, get it back; all this, brahman, belongs to you."

"People, including the king, know the Venerable Gotama thus: 'The Monk Gotama is the Worthy One.' When does the Venerable Gotama become 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 in kind
    Is worse than the angry man;
    Who does not repay anger in kind,
    He alone wins the battle hard to win.
    He promotes the weal of both,
    His own, as well as of the other.
    Knowing that the other man is angry,
    He mindfully maintains his peace
    And endures the anger of both,
    His own, as well as of the other,
    Even if the people ignorant of true wisdom
    Consider him a fool thereby."
When the Lord proclaimed this, the brahman Akkosa Bharadvaja said this to the Blessed One: "Wonderful, indeed, O Venerable Gotama! Herewith I go to the Venerable Gotama for refuge, to his Teaching and to his Holy Order of Monks. Most venerable sir, may I have the privilege to receive at the hands of the revered Lord Gotama the initial monastic ordination and also the higher ordination of a bhikkhu."

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. And within a short time of his ordination, the Venerable Akkosa Bharadvaja, living alone, secluded, diligent, zealous and unrelenting, reached that incomparable consummation of holiness for which sons of noble families, having totally abandoned the household life, take to the life of homelessness. With direct knowledge he realized the ultimate, then and there, and lived having access to it. He saw with his supernormal vision: "Ceased is rebirth, lived is the holy life, completed is the spiritual task and henceforth there is nothing higher to be achieved."

The Venerable Akkosa Bharadvaja, indeed, became one of the Arahats.

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Re: SN 7.2 Akkosa Sutta. Insult.

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Jun 27, 2015 10:43 pm

SN 7.2 PTS: S i 161 CDB i 255 Akkosa Sutta: Insult
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


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I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Sanctuary. Then the brahman Akkosaka[1] Bharadvaja heard that a brahman of the Bharadvaja clan had gone forth from the home life into homelessness in the presence of the Blessed One. Angered & displeased, he went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, insulted & cursed him with rude, harsh words.

When this was said, the Blessed One said to him: "What do you think, brahman: Do friends & colleagues, relatives & kinsmen come to you as guests?"

"Yes, Master Gotama, sometimes friends & colleagues, relatives & kinsmen come to me as guests."

"And what do you think: Do you serve them with staple & non-staple foods & delicacies?"

"Yes, sometimes I serve them with staple & non-staple foods & delicacies."

"And if they don't accept them, to whom do those foods belong?"

"If they don't accept them, Master Gotama, those foods are all mine."

"In the same way, brahman, that with which you have insulted me, who is not insulting; that with which you have taunted me, who is not taunting; that with which you have berated me, who is not berating: that I don't accept from you. It's all yours, brahman. It's all yours.

"Whoever returns insult to one who is insulting, returns taunts to one who is taunting, returns a berating to one who is berating, is said to be eating together, sharing company, with that person. But I am neither eating together nor sharing your company, brahman. It's all yours. It's all yours."

"The king together with his court know this of Master Gotama — 'Gotama the contemplative is an arahant' — and yet still Master Gotama gets angry."[2]
  • [The Buddha:]
    Whence is there anger
    for one free from anger,
    tamed,
    living in tune —
    one released through right knowing,
    calmed
    & Such.

    You make things worse
    when you flare up
    at someone who's angry.
    Whoever doesn't flare up
    at someone who's angry
    wins a battle
    hard to win.

    You live for the good of both
    — your own, the other's —
    when, knowing the other's provoked,
    you mindfully grow calm.

    When you work the cure of both
    — your own, the other's —
    those who think you a fool
    know nothing of Dhamma.
When this was said, the brahman Akkosaka Bharadvaja said to the Blessed One, "Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has Master Gotama — through many lines of reasoning — made the Dhamma clear. I go to the Blessed One for refuge, to the Dhamma, & to the community of monks. Let me obtain the going forth in Master Gotama's presence, let me obtain admission."

Then the brahman Akkosaka Bharadvaja received the going forth & the admission in the Blessed One's presence. And not long after his admission — dwelling alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, & resolute — he in no long time reached & remained in the supreme goal of the holy life, for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now. He knew: "Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world." And so Ven. Bharadvaja became another one of the arahants.

Note

1. = "Insulter."

2. Akkosaka thinks that the Buddha is cursing him — and thus angry — when actually the Buddha is simply stating a fact in line with the law of kamma.

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Re: SN 7.2 Akkosa Sutta. Insult.

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Jun 27, 2015 10:46 pm

SN 7.2 PTS: S i 161 CDB i 255 Akkoso Sutta: Abuse
translated from the Pali by Maurice O'Connell Walshe


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... Now Akkosaka[1] of the Bhaaradvaaja Brahmans heard [of this.][2] Angry and displeased, he went to see the Blessed One, overwhelming him with abuse and reproaches. At these words the Blessed One said: "What do you think, brahman? Do you receive visits from friends and colleagues, blood-relations and others?"

"Yes, good Gotama, sometimes such people come."

"What do you think? Do you serve them with solid food, soft food and savories?"

"Yes, good Gotama, sometimes."

"But supposing, brahman, they do not accept what you offer, whose is it?"

"If they do not accept, good Gotama, then it belongs to us."

"So it is here, brahman. The abuse, the scolding, the reviling you hurl at us who do not abuse or scold or revile, we do not accept from you. It all belongs to you, brahman, it all belongs to you! If a man replies to abuse with abuse, to scolding with scolding, to reviling with reviling, brahman, that is like you joining your guests for dinner. But we are not joining you for dinner. It is all yours, brahman, it is all yours!"

"The king and his court believe that Gotama the recluse is an Arahant. And yet the good Gotama can get angry!"[3]


[The Blessed One said in verse:]
How could anger rise in him who's free,
Wrathless, all his passions tamed, at peace,
Freed by highest insight, by himself,
So abiding, perfectly serene?
If a man's abused and answers back,
Of the two he shows himself the worse.
He who does not answer back in kind,
Celebrates a double victory.
From his action both sides benefit,
He himself and his reviler too:
Understanding that man's angry mood,
He can help him clear it and find peace.[4]
He's the healer of them both, because
He and the other benefit thereby.
People think a man like that's a fool,
For they cannot understand the Truth.
[Akkosaka responds exactly as in SN 7.1]

And another Venerable Bhaaradvaaja became an Arahant.

Notes

1. Really a nickname: "The Reviler."

2.[Transcriber's note: Elided text refers to an incident in which a clansman of Akkosaka becomes a monk under the Buddha. See SN 7.1.]

3. A perfect example of projection on Akkosaka's part!

4. Upasammati, "he (the other) becomes calm," i.e., as a result of the first ones understanding. Here, as elsewhere, we see the Buddha's profound understanding of psychological processes. Cf. Dhp 4.

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Re: SN 7.2 Akkosa Sutta. Insult.

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Jun 27, 2015 10:54 pm

Notes from Bhikkhu Bodhi.

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Rājagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrel Sanctuary. The brahmin Akkosaka Bhāradvāja, Bhāradvāja the Abusive, heard:...
  • I give the sobriquet both in Pāli and in English. Spk, which identifies him as the younger brother of the first Bhāradvāja brahmin, says that the epithet was added by the redactors of the canon because he came abusing (akkosanto) the Tathagata with five hundred verses.
“The king and his retinue understand the ascetic Gotama to be an arahant, yet Master Gotama still gets angry.”
  • Spk: He had heard that seers (isi) inflict a curse when they become angry, so when the Buddha said, “It still belongs to you, brahmin!” he was frightened, thinking, “The ascetic Gotama, it seems, is putting a curse on me.” Therefore he spoke thus.
“How can anger arise in one who is angerless,
In the tamed one of righteous living,
In one liberated by perfect knowledge,
In the Stable One who abides in peace?
  • I have translated tādī as “the Stable One” in accordance with the commentarial gloss, tādilakkhaṇaṃ pattassa, which alludes to the explanation of tādī at Nidd I 114-16: “The arahant is tādī because he is ‘stable’ (tādī) in the face of gain and loss, etc.; he is tādī because he has given up all defilements, etc.; he is tādī because he has crossed the four floods, etc.; he is tādī because his mind is free from all defilements; and he is tādī as a description of him in terms of his qualities” (condensed). A similar but slightly different definition of tādī in relation to the Buddha occurs at Nidd I 459-61.
“When he achieves the cure of both—
His own and the other’s—
The people who consider him a fool
Are unskilled in the Dhamma.”
  • Be and Ee1 & 2 read pāda a: ubhinnaṃ tikicchantānaṃ, which Spk (Be) includes in the lemma and glosses ubhinnaṃ tikicchantaṃ, adding: “Or the latter is itself the reading.” In Se and Spk (Se) the readings are exactly the reverse. As the sense requires an accusative singular, the reading ubhinnaṃ tikicchantaṃ taṃ, found at Th 444a Thag 6.12, offends against neither grammar nor metre. Ee2 has adopted this reading for the exact parallel v. 882 below SN 11.4, but strangely reverts to ubhinnaṃ tikicchantānaṃ in the third parallel, v. 891 SN 11.5.

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Re: SN 7.2 Akkosa Sutta. Insult.

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Jun 27, 2015 11:20 pm


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Re: SN 7.2 Akkosa Sutta. Insult.

Post by Gintoki » Tue Jul 07, 2015 1:49 pm

“When he achieves the cure of both—
His own and the other’s—
The people who consider him a fool
Are unskilled in the Dhamma.”

I'm interested in other's interpretation of this, especially achieving the cure.

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Re: SN 7.2 Akkosa Sutta. Insult.

Post by perkele » Tue Jul 07, 2015 3:58 pm

“When he achieves the cure of both—
His own and the other’s—
The people who consider him a fool
Are unskilled in the Dhamma.”

Gintoki wrote:I'm interested in other's interpretation of this, especially achieving the cure.
Not flaring up in turn in face of the anger of another, one provides the opportunity for the other to calm down as well. Thus the possibility of the "cure" - from anger, at least momentarily.

I think there's no deeper meaning to it than just this.

The people who consider him a fool
Are unskilled in the Dhamma.”


I think that's more or less just a filler to complete the verse. Of course there may be others who regard someone a fool who turns the other cheek. Not to mention, such people are stupid.
It can be quite difficult sometimes. And of course one might look stupid, still shivering with anger, but making every effort to calm down and let it go.

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Re: SN 7.2 Akkosa Sutta. Insult.

Post by cooran » Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:48 am

Thanks for this Sutta Mike. :anjali: It is one of those suttas which had a significant impact on my everyday life and reactions.

With metta,
Chris
---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: SN 7.2 Akkosa Sutta. Insult.

Post by Gintoki » Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:20 am

I'm veering toward the cure being the inner stilling of yourself and the angry other, because (as far as I see) inner stillness is the only absolute cure to all akusala. I was particularly stuck on the permanence of cures. Resolve to behave a certain way or restrain behavior is fleeting and requires effort that can never last and is thus incapable of being a cure. Although stillness in our experience may not be consistently realized or expressed. Stillness may not be the right term, but I'm referring to that which doesn't have substance and is source.

I just remembered a past friend who came to me absolutely furious with an issue and for unknown reason I was in a super still and kind state of mind and had nothing but kind words to say that shown I was clearly unaffected by his malicious aggression. This put his mood and intention upside down and he made a humorous point of how I wasn't supposed to react that way and he lost all resolve to stick with his endeavor like it never had any real substance and we were completely cool there on. That was a one time experience for me though.

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