[5] How To Handle Those Who Abuse Us

When, out of envy, others mistreat me with abuse, insults, or the like, I shall accept defeat, and offer the victory to others.

– Geshe Langri Tangpa

Reflections On ‘The Eight Verses Of Thought Transformation’ (Part 5 of 8):



– 朗日塘巴尊者

The Fifth Verse: Personally Receive Losses 

[When] others, out of jealous minds,
without reason abuse, insult, slander me [and] others,
[of] losses [and] defeats, I [will] take [and] receive,
may [I] let victories [be] dedicated [to] them.

– Venerable Langri Tangpa
(Eight Verses [For] Cultivation [Of The] Mind)

Notes: Envy, similar to jealousy, and most other defilements expressed, is a mix of delusional greed and hatred, with all three poisons mixed together. With these poisons, unenlightened beings, including ourselves, cause and condition one another’s suffering.

Realising this, we should never retaliate to abusive words and deeds arising from the three poisons, with more abusive words and deeds from the same causes, as this is to add fuel to the fire, which continues to feed the fire of suffering that burns everyone.

In this way, silently accept defeat and offer victory, by not having vengeful last words or deeds, since they arise from self-centred greed for victory, hatred of defeat, and delusion that vengefulness leads to true victory, when it fortifies attachment to self instead. Being the fundamental cause of suffering, this results in spiritual defeat.

However, as part of the Bodhisattva path to not harm any and to help all, if not clarifying causes suffering of more, there should be calm and clear clarification, without the three poisons, to lessen the three poisons instead, thus lessening suffering for all involved.

If adequate clarifications were made but not accepted, accept defeat graciously, seeing this as expression of negative karma. This is actually spiritual victory for us, as it defeats our three poisons and undermines attachment to self. It also sets an example to the abusive, on how they too should defeat their three poisons, instead of being defeated by them, while deludedly thinking they have ‘victory’.

See the Sixth Verse next week

Related Articles:
The Eight Verses Of Thought Transformation
Commentary On The Eight Verses Of Thought Transformation

Mind-training (Lojong) root text by Kadampa Geshe Langri Tangpa (1054–1123)
Translated (in prose form) by Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche (1980)
Lightly edited by Ven. Constance Miller (1997)
Retranslated (in verse form from Chinese) with basic notes by editor (2018)

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