When someone whom I have benefited, and in whom I have great hopes gives me terrible harm, I shall regard that person as my holy guru.
– Geshe Langri Tangpa
Reflections On ‘The Eight Verses Of Thought Transformation’ (Part 6 of 8):
The Sixth Verse: See [The] Harmful As Teachers
[In] my past, [of] certain persons greatly benefited [and] helped,
moreover once [with] deep sincerity entrusted [with] great hopes,
[when] they, although without reason, foolishly harm [me],
may [I] see them as good-knowing friends.
– Venerable Langri Tangpa
(Eight Verses [For] Cultivation [Of The] Mind)
Notes: When those we have benefited harm us greatly instead, thus disappointing us just as greatly, it should be realised that such harm was due to our own deluded and greedy attachment, that expected being benefited in return, while we had negative karma that made being harmed possible in the first place.
While the benefits we have offered others might not be unwholesome, to karmically deserve being harmed, we must have done something else unwholesome in the past to deserve such harm. Thus, we are responsible for our own suffering, as we had created its karmic causes, even if the suffering ripened through others as karmic conditions.
We can lessen our suffering by letting being harmed remind us of the workings of our karma and delusion, to urge us to be more mindful in conduct and clear-minded in thinking. To graciously let our negative karma and delusion be cleared transforms them to be ‘positive’ karma and wisdom instead. Thus, even those who harm us deliberately can be deliberately perceived as great teachers testing our patience, which we have to learn to perfect on the Bodhisattva path.
See the Seventh Verse next week
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)