Five Sections On Patience In The ‘Sūtra Of Forty-Two Sections’《四十二章经》之忍辱五章

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— 释迦牟尼佛

To be insulted yet not angry is difficult.

— Śākyamuni Buddha
(Sūtra Of Forty-Two Sections:
Twelfth Section: Raising Of Difficulties For Diligent Cultivation: Eighth Difficulty)  

In ‘The Sixth Section On Patience With Evil Without Anger’ (第六章:忍恶无瞋), the Buddha taught, ‘If evil persons who hear of good, with those thus coming to disturb, if you are personally restrained and calm, you will be without angry blaming. Those evil persons who have come, are then personally being evil to themselves.‘「恶人闻善,故来挠乱者,汝自禁息,当无瞋责。彼来恶者,而自恶之。」

As explained by the Pure Land Tradition’s Ninth Patriarch Great Master Ǒuyì’s (净土宗九祖蕅益大师) in his ‘Explanation For The Sūtra Of Forty-Two Sections’《四十二章经解》,’This Sixth Section declares that good is able to conquer evil, and that evil is not able to destroy good… Fearing there are those foolish, who fear being by those evil persons disturbed, thereupon not daring to practise [good], thus admonishing to be with cautiousness, to not angrily blame evil persons. With evil only with those persons, with me not involved thus. Like a bright mirror within appearing with ugly appearances, as those appearances are by themselves ugly, how is the mirror ugly? If once giving rise to angry blame, thus instead grasps evil of those persons, to become evil of mine.「此第六章申明善能胜恶,而恶不能破善也。… 恐有愚者,畏彼恶人挠乱,遂不敢行[善],故诫以慎勿瞋责恶人。以恶乃在彼,于我无涉故也。如明镜中现于丑容,彼容自丑,镜何丑哉?倘一生瞋责,则反揽彼之恶,成我之恶矣。」

In ‘The Seventh Section On ‘Evil Returns To Oneself’ (第七章:恶还本身), the Buddha taught, ‘There was a person who heard of my guarding of the path, and practice of great benevolence, thus coming to scold the Buddha. The Buddha was silent and did not reply. When the scolding stopped, he asked, “If you are with a gift to give a person, but that person does not accept it, does the gift return to you?” He replied, “It returns.” The Buddha said, “Now, of your scolding of me, I now do not accept it, with you naturally holding on to its misfortune, with it returning to yourself. Like an echo replying a sound, a shadow that follows form, in the end not sparing and leaving you, be cautious not to do evil.”‘「有人闻吾守道,行大仁慈,故致骂佛。佛默不对。骂止,问曰:『子以礼从人,其人不纳,礼归子乎?』对曰:『归矣。』佛言:『今子骂我,我今不纳,子自持祸,归子身矣。犹响应声,影之随形,终无免离,慎勿为恶。』」

As explained by the Great Master, ‘This Seventh Section, is then on the above section, as clear proof that those who come to disturb, are then personally being evil to themselves. Nowadays, of people who hear scoldings, there are few who do not give rise to anger. They are very similar to those “thankfully” accepting invitation letters, to precisely fall into the traps of those scolding. Contemplate this, contemplate this. Perhaps asking, “The Buddha since with great loving-kindness, why does he not enable that scolding person to be without misfortune?” In reply, “How can it be that the Buddha desires to enable that person to attain misfortune? It cannot be helped if that that person personally attracts misfortune’s suffering. Now admonishing to be with cautiousness, to not do evil, as this is the same as to eradicate that misfortune’s source, this is with loving-kindness and compassion extreme.”‘「此第七章,即上章彼来者而自恶之之明证也。今人闻骂,鲜不发瞋。大似领谢帖子,正中骂者之计耳。思之思之。或问:『佛既大慈。何不令骂者无祸耶?』答曰:『佛岂欲令其得祸?无奈彼人自招祸患。今诫以慎勿为恶。即是除其祸源。慈悲甚矣。』」

In ‘The Eighth Section On With Dust And Spittle Self-Defiling’ (第八章:尘唾自污), the Buddha taught, ‘When evil persons harm those virtuous, it is like looking up to the sky and spitting. Their spittle does not reach the sky, returning to follow, on themselves falling. Against the wind tossing dust, the dust does not reach others, returning as dust on their own bodies. The virtuous cannot be destroyed, while misfortune will definitely destroy themselves.‘「恶人害贤者,犹仰天而唾。唾不至天,还从己堕。逆风扬尘,尘不至彼,还坌己身。贤不可毀,祸必灭己。」

As explained by the Great Master, ‘This Eighth Section, profoundly admonishes evil persons, to enable them to not harm the virtuous, and is simultaneously with exhorting of virtuous persons [to continue practising good]. People if with the fruits of the virtuous, thus are like the sky, likewise like higher winds. How can it be that they receive spittle and dust? If able to receive slander [by feeling harmed], then are they not virtuous ones [yet].’「此第八章,深诫恶人令勿害贤。而兼以勗贤人也。人若果贤,则如天亦如上风。岂受唾尘?倘可受毁,便非贤矣。」


— 释迦牟尼佛

Patience [with insults] has much power,
not thinking of evil [retaliation] thus,
simultaneously with added peace and strength.
Those patient without evil,
will definitely by people be honoured.  

— Śākyamuni Buddha
(Sūtra Of Forty-Two Sections:
Fifteenth Section: Asking About Power And Brightness)  

Related Articles:

The Sūtra Of Forty-Two Sections (with full explanations of above)

Akkosa Sutta

Does Being Angry Break Any Buddhist Precept?

Please Be Mindful Of Your Speech, Namo Amituofo!

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