[6] How To See Those Who Have Betrayed Us

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):



– 朗日塘巴尊者

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

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)


  • Thank you,I was glad to came to this site. I was hurt after knowing a good friend had accused me by not confronting me. I’m always open to be corrected but guess it happened for a good reason…
    With much appreciated!!

  • Thank you – I was betrayed by an employer to whom I was very loyal, and I am finding it difficult to come to terms with their behaviour. I will endeavour to follow this teaching.

  • Re: Most are familiar with the idea of forgiving those who have betrayed us.

    Each such experience offers a lesson, and as education is provided by Teachers, it does make logical sense to view the betrayers as teachers.

    Yet these forgiven betrayer-teachers, can they, after being forgiven and so recognised as teachers, thereafter ethically be avoided to protect one “self” from further suffering at their hands?

    In pursuit of peace, it would appear wise to avoid those who cause disharmony.

    Is there a related teaching?

    Reply: Answer to first question is yes. See https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2019/05/manjusri-samantabhadra-maitreya-bodhisattvas-song-of-patience/

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