When one loses compassion
at one’s so-called enemy,
one has become that person’s true enemy.
Dalai Lama: In a Buddhist text called the Four Hundred Verses by Aryadeva, an Indian pandit, there is a verse which says that the Buddha sees the afflictive emotions as the faults, not the person who possesses them. It’s more or less the case that there’s no such thing as justified anger directed toward the person. There are no authentic grounds for being angry toward a person.
Yearley: Could one’s anger toward a quality one thought had to be eliminated lead one to destroy the quality if it might involve destroying the person? For example, as I saw the concentration camp guard in Nazi Germany whose furious hatred was leading him to kill a person, I also realized he was a good father and a person who deserved to live. However I understood that the only way his hatred could be destroyed was to destroy the person.
Dalai Lama: This is justified in the following case: You recognize this evil propensity, or vice; you know it must be dispelled because of the ensuing harm that it would bring about; and – this is an extremely important point – out of great compassion arising from the wish to avert the great harm, you see that you must dispel the vice. Recognizing that there is no way to dispel that vice other than through an act of violence, then you may take the life of the person who bears that vice, without ever losing compassion for that person, and while being willing to take that act yourself.
Healing Emotions: Conversations with the Dalai Lama on Mindfulness, Emotions and Health
Edited by Daniel Goleman