Never Retaliate The Harmful With Anger

Do not be angry when others do harm,
but realise that it is [the effect of] previous karma.
Without causing any more suffering,
eliminate your own faults.

– Precious Garland Of Advice To A King (Verse 271)
Arya Nagarjuna

When others harm you, your body, or your possessions, avoid exploding in anger. Instead consider that this is a result of your own previous actions. Giving in the anger will result in more suffering in future lives. Speaking or acting out of anger usually exacerbates the present situation by making communication more contentious. 

Train in four virtuous practices: (a) when insulted, do not retaliate by insulting the other person; (b) when hit, do not hit the other person in return; (c) when others are angry at you, do not respond with anger; (d) when others observe your faults, do not react by commenting on theirs. These are the four ‘austerities’ that Bodhisattvas practise. They are more effective for transforming the mind that physical austerities that harm the body, and in many ways they are more difficult.

Though you may receive harm from all directions, recall the reasons not to retaliate. Remember that is situation is the result of your own destructive karma, and that if you want to avoid similar suffering in the future, you must stop creating its causes now. Also reflect that much suffering comes as a result of anger, whereas if you practise fortitude, many benefits will accrue.

Practising fortitude does not mean capitulating to the other person or allowing him to continue his harmful behavior. Rather, after calming your mind, think clearly about a constructive way to communicate and then act to resolve the conflict.

Practical Ethics And Profound Emptiness:
A Commentary On Nagarjuna’s Precious Garland
Khensur Jampa Tegchok (Edited By Thubten Chodron)  

Please Be Mindful Of Your Speech, Namo Amituofo!

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