17- Kodha Vagga

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Chapter 17


Anger
(Text and Translation by Ven. Nàrada)

 

1. Kodha§ jahe vippajaheyya màna§ Þ
sa¤¤ojana§ sabbam atikkameyya
Ta§ nàmaråpasmi§ asajjamàna§ Þ
aki¤cana§ nànupatanti dukkhà. 221.

 

GIVE UP ANGER

1. One should give up anger. One should abandon pride. One should overcome all fetters. Ills never befall him who clings not to mind and body and is passionless. 221.

Story

    The Venerable Moggallàna’s sister, who was suffering from a skin disease, on her brother’s advice erected an Assembly Hall. Soon she recovered. The Buddha attributed her skin disease to anger and uttered this verse.


 

2. Yo ve uppatita§ kodha§ Þ
ratha§ bhanta§’ va dhàraye
Tam aha§ sàrathi§ bråmi Þ
rasmiggàho itaro jano. 222.

 

CONTROL YOUR ANGER

2. Whoso checks his uprisen anger as though it were a rolling chariot, him I call a true charioteer. Other charioteers are mere rein-holders. 222.

Story

    A monk, while cutting down a tree to make a lodging for himself, accidentally injured the offspring of a tree spirit. She grew angry and wanted to kill him, but on later reflection controlled her uprisen anger. She reported the matter to the Buddha, who praised her and uttered this verse.


 

3. Akkodhena jine kodha§ Þ
asàdhu§ sàdhunà jine
Jine kadariya§ dànena Þ
saccena alikavàdina§. 223.

 

OVERCOME ANGER BY LOVE

3. Conquer anger by love. Conquer evil by good. Conquer the stingy by giving. Conquer the liar by truth. 223.

Story

    The junior mistress of a husband grew jealous of the senior mistress and did a great wrong to her, but the latter did not get angry. Later, the former repented and sought pardon from the latter. She replied that she would pardon her if she would implore pardon from the Buddha. This she did, and the Buddha admonished them.


 

4. Sacca§ bhaõe na kujjheyya Þ
dajjà’ ppasmim pi yàcito
Etehi tãhi ñhànehi Þ
gacche devàna santike. 224.

 

BE TRUTHFUL, PATIENT AND GENEROUS

4. One should utter the truth. One should not be angry. One should give even from a scanty store to him who asks. Along these three paths one may go to the presence of the gods. 224.

Story

The Venerable Moggallàna inquired of the devas what meritorious acts had led to their rebirth in such a celestial realm. They mentioned the trifling acts done by them involving such virtues as truthfulness, patience, generosity. etc. When the Venerable Moggallàna wished to know from the Buddha whether trifling good acts could produce rebirth in a heaven the Buddha uttered this verse in explanation.


 

5. Ahi§sakà ye munayo Þ
nicca§ kàyena sa§vutà
Te yanti accuta§ ñhàna§ Þ
yattha gantvà na socare. 225.

 

THE HARMLESS ATTAIN THE DEATHLESS

5. Those sages who are harmless, and are ever restrained in body, 1 go to the deathless state (Nibbàna), whither gone they never grieve. 225.

Story

    A brahmin and his wife greeted the Buddha as their son. The Buddha attributed this intimacy to past association. Hearing the Dhamma, they attained Arahantship. After their death the monks wished to know in what state they would be reborn. As they passed into Nibbàna the Buddha uttered this verse.


 

6. Sadà jàgaramànàna§ Þ
ahorattànusikkhina§
Nibbàna§ adhimuttàna§ Þ
attha§ gacchanti àsavà. 226.

 

THE EVER VIGILANT GIVE UP DEFILEMENTS

6. The defilements 2 of those who are ever vigilant, who discipline themselves day and night, who are wholly intent on Nibbàna, are destroyed. 226.

Story

    A servant maid, having worked hard until late at night, stepped out of the house and noticed some monks moving about on a neighbouring mountain. She thought to herself “I cannot sleep as I am too tired, but why can’t the monks sleep?” Later, the Buddha met her and explained to her the reason why monks keep awake at night.


 

7. Poràõam eta§ atula Þ
n’eta§ ajjatanàm iva
Nindanti tuõhim ƒsãna§ Þ
nindanti bahubhàõina§
Mitabhàõinam pi nindanti Þ
natthi loke anindito. 227.
8. Na cƒhu na ca bhavissati Þ
na c’etarahi vijjati
Ekanta§ nindito poso Þ
ekanta§ và pasa§sito. 228.
9. Ya¤ ce vi¤¤å pasa§santi Þ
anuvicca suve suve
Acchiddavutti§ medhàvi§ Þ
pa¤¤àsãlasamàhita§ 229.
10. Nekkha§ jambonadass’ eva Þ
ko ta§ ninditum arahati
Devà’pi na§ pasa§santi Þ
brahmunà’pi pasa§sito. 230.

THERE IS NONE WHO IS BLAMELESS IN THIS WORLD

7. This, O Atula, 3 is an old saying; it is not one of today only: they blame those who sit silent, they blame those who speak too much. Those speaking little too they blame. There is no one who is not blamed in this world. 227.

THERE IS NONE WHO IS WHOLLY BLAMED OR PRAISED

8. There never was, there never will be, nor does there exist now, a person who is wholly blamed or wholly praised. 228.

THE BLAMELESS ARE PRAISED

9. Examining day by day, the wise praise him who is of flawless life, intelligent, endowed with knowledge and virtue. 229.

WHO DARE BLAME THE PURE?

10. Who deigns to blame him who is like a piece of refined gold? Even the gods praise him; by Brahma too he is praised. 230.

Story

    A lay leader of a group named Atula wished to hear the Dhamma from the Venerable Revata. He remained silent as he was bent on solitude. Displeased, he went to the Venerable Sàriputta who discoursed at length on Abhidhamma. Displeased again he went to the Venerable Ananda, who delivered a brief discourse. Displeased with him too, he finally approached the Buddha, who thereupon uttered these verses and remarked that even a Buddha is not free from blame.


 

11. Kàyappakopa§ rakkheyya Þ
kàyena sa§vuto siyà
Kàyaduccarita§ hitvà Þ
kàyena sucarita§ care. 231.
12. Vacãpakopa§ rakkheyya Þ
vàcàya sa§vuto siyà
Vacãduccarita§ hitvà Þ
vàcàya sucarita§ care. 232.
13. Manopakopa§ rakkheyya Þ
manasà sa§vuto siyà
Manoduccarita§ hitvà Þ
manasà sucarita§ care. 233.
14. Kàyena sa§vutà dhãrà Þ
atho vàcàya sa§vutà
Manasà sa§vutà dhãrà Þ
te ve suparisa§vutà. 234.

 

BE PURE IN DEED, WORD AND THOUGHT

11. One should guard against misdeeds (caused by) the body, and one should be restrained in body. Giving up evil conduct in body, one should be of good bodily conduct. 231.

12. One should guard against misdeeds (caused by) speech, and one should be restrained in speech. Giving up evil conduct in speech, one should be of good conduct in speech. 232.

13. One should guard against misdeeds (caused by) the mind, and one should be restrained in mind. Giving up evil conduct in mind, one should be of good conduct in mind. 233.

14. The wise are restrained in deed; in speech, too, they are restrained. The wise, restrained in mind, are indeed those who are perfectly restrained. 234.

Story

    Some monks moved about wearing wooden sandals, thus creating a great noise. Advising them to be controlled in thought, word and, deed, the Buddha uttered these verses.


End Notes

1 Speech and thoughts are also herein implied.

2 There are four kinds of defilements or corruptions (âsavas), namely: sensual pleasures (kàma), becoming (bhava), false views (diññhi), and ignorance (avijjà). The first àsava is attachment to Sense Sphere, the second is attachment to the Realms of Form and the Formless Realms.

3 Atula is the name of a person.

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