How A Grudging Man Sought Deadly Revenge

Be quicker in mindfulness
of your temper than
the rise of your temper
to dissolve it in time.

– Stonepeace | Books

Once a man was consumed with anger at another man. Day and night, he was agitated by his anger, which left him constantly unhappy. One day, a friend came to see him, and when he saw the state he was in, the friend asked, ‘Why are you so bothered all the time? What made you grow so thin?’ The man answered, ‘ There is a man in this village who spoke ill of me and I have not been able to get back at him. I want to repay him for injuring me, and it is driving me crazy trying to think of a way to do it.’

His friend thought this over and then said, ‘Only a demon’s curse can kill this man. I can teach it to you but, before you can kill him, you must be killed.’ When the first man heard this, he was not disturbed at all. In fact, he was rather glad. ‘I beg you,’ he said, ‘teach me the curse. Even if it causes my death, at least it will kill him, too.’

People are often like this. Because of their anger, they seek to cause harm to others. Yet, before they can hurt anyone else, their anger causes them great harm. Then they fall into hell, or into the world of animals or the realm of hungry ghosts. There is really no difference between them and this angry fool.

TDEditor: Four more lessons to share: [1] The angry man was already cursed by his inner demon of anger before his friend came. Being consumed by vengeful anger is already ‘hellish’ self-punishment, even if the anger is not expressed yet. Not only does it cause loss of peace of mind, it causes loss of health too. [2] The real cure for relieving suffering from anger is to dissolve it, not to express it. [3] The very angry are ‘mad’, as they lose their sanity in the moment enough to agree to do the truly foolish, that harms themselves and others. [4] Even with vengeance ‘exacted’, it might not work in causing another to suffer, while the vengeful will further suffer for having created negative karma by attempting to cause suffering.

A Flock Of Fools:
Ancient Buddhist Tales Of Wisdom And Laughter
From The One Hundred Parable Sutra
Translated And Retold By Kazuaki Tanahashi And Peter Levitt

Related Article:
Can Buddhists Seek Revenge?

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