Buddhist Wisdom Verses

22: Kodhavaggo

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Burning Away Anger

SN 1.7.1 Dhanañjānīsuttaṁ

When the wife of a brāhman slips she calls out praise of the Buddha, which angers her husband. He sets out to question and refute the Buddha, but he converts, ordains and soon becomes a Worthy One.

419. Kodhaṁ jhatvā sukhaṁ seti, kodhaṁ jhatvā na socati,
Kodhassa visamūlassa madhuraggassa, brāhmaṇa,
Vadhaṁ Ariyā pasaṁsanti, taṁ hi jhatvā na socati.

Having destroyed anger one lives at peace,
Having destroyed anger one does not grieve,
The complete destruction of all anger
From its root to tip, the Noble Ones praise,
Having burnt it away one does not grieve.

Anger Burns

Jā 443 Cullabodhijātakaṁ

A King takes away an ascetic’s former wife, but the ascetic, the Bodhisatta, doesn’t get angry, and the wife refuses the King’s advances. The King enquires as to why the ascetic doesn’t get angry.

420. Kaṭṭhasmiṁ matthamānasmiṁ pāvako nāma jāyati,
Tam-eva kaṭṭhaṁ ḍahati yasmā so jāyate gini.

Fire surely arises
In firewood when kindled,
Because of the firewood
There arises a fire.

421. Evaṁ mandassa posassa bālassa avijānato,
Sārambhā jāyate kodho, so pi teneva ḍayhati.

Even so the foolish
Have anger arising
From reckless behaviour,
And by that they are burnt.

422. Aggīva tiṇakaṭṭhasmiṁ kodho yassa pavaḍḍhati,
Nihīyati tassa yaso, kāḷapakkhe va candimā.

When anger increases
Like fire in leaves and wood,
Their repute diminishes,
Like the moon on the wane.

423. Anijjho dhūmaketūva, kodho yassūpasammati,
Āpūrati tassa yaso, sukkapakkhe va candimā.

When anger decreases
Like fire that is dampened,
Their repute increases,
Like the moon when waxing.

The Dangers of Anger

AN 7.64 Kodhanasuttaṁ

The Buddha explains the things that foes wish upon each other, and then speaks some verses about the dangers of getting angry.

424. Kodhasammadasammatto, āyasakyaṁ nigacchati,
Ñātimittā suhajjā ca parivajjenti kodhanaṁ.

Drunk with pride and anger,
They will gain disrepute.
Relatives, also friends,
Shun one who is angry.

425. Anatthajanano kodho, kodho cittappakopano,
Bhayam-antarato jātaṁ taṁ jano nāvabujjhati.

Anger is the cause of loss,
Anger troubles the mind,
They do not understand
It arises from fear.

426. Kuddho atthaṁ na jānāti, kuddho Dhammaṁ na passati,
Andhantamaṁ tadā hoti, yaṁ kodho sahate naraṁ.

When angry, they know not
Goodness or the Dhamma,
Then, blinded by darkness,
They are soon overcome.

Quarreling leads to Loss

Jā 400 Dabbhapupphajātakaṁ

Two otters catch a huge carp but can’t decide how to divide it. They ask a jackal to arbitrate. He gives the tail to one, the head to another and runs off with the rest.

427. Vivādena kisā honti, vivādena dhanakkhayā,
Jīnā uddā vivādena – bhuñja Māyāvi rohitaṁ.

Through quarrels people become lean,
Through quarrels their wealth wastes away,
The otters lost out through quarrels
You should eat the carp, you jackal.

428. Evam-eva manussesu vivādo yattha jāyati
Dhammaṭṭhaṁ paṭidhāvanti, so hi nesaṁ vināyako,
Dhanā pi tattha jīyanti, Rājakoso pavaḍḍhati.

Just so when men start to quarrel
They find a judge, who takes over,
Their wealth will decay on the spot,
And the King’s storeroom will increase.

The Truly Happy One

Dhp 201 Kosalarañño Parājayavatthu

The King of Kosala is defeated three times by his nephew Ajātasattu, the King of Magadha, and takes to his bed in sorrow and despair.

429. Jayaṁ veraṁ pasavati, dukkhaṁ seti parājito,
Upasanto sukhaṁ seti, hitvā jayaparājayaṁ.

The victor generates hatred,
The defeated one finds suff’ring,
The one at peace lives happily,
Without victory and defeat.

The Benefits of Friendliness

Jā 451 Cakkavākajātakaṁ

A crow sees a ruddy goose, the Bodhisatta, and wonders why he is so handsome, thinking it must be because of his food. The goose explains it is because of good deeds that he is beautiful and the crow is ugly.

430. Yo na hanti na ghāteti, na jināti na jāpaye,
Mettaṁ so sabbabhūtesu, veraṁ tassa na kenaci.

He who neither kills or has kill,
Conquers or makes others conquer,
Having friendliness towards all,
There is no enemy for him.

Hatred overcome by Love

Dhp 5 Kāḷayakkhinīvatthu

A barren woman brings home a young woman for her husband, but everytime the young wife conceives the barren wife contrives an abortion. Through life after life they consume each other’s children, until brought to the Buddha.

431. Na hi verena verāni sammantīdha kudācanaṁ,
Averena ca sammanti, esa Dhammo sanantano.

For not by hatred do hatreds
Cease at any time in this place,
They only cease with non-hatred,
This truth is surely eternal.

No Happiness through Hatred

Dhp 291 Kukkuṭa-aṇḍakhādikāvatthu

A young girl steals a hen’s eggs, and thereafter through 500 existences they destroy each other’s offspring.

432. Paradukkhūpadānena attano sukham-icchati,
Verasaṁsaggasaṁsaṭṭho, verā so na parimuccati.

One who desires happiness for oneself
By causing suffering for another,
Being associated thus with hatred,
Is not fully released from that hatred.

Comparing Oneself with Others

Dhp 130 Chabbaggiyabhikkhuvatthu

The group of six monks chase off and attack the group of seventeen monks and take their rooms, which left the latter screaming.

433. Sabbe tasanti daṇḍassa, sabbesaṁ jīvitaṁ piyaṁ,
Attānaṁ upamaṁ katvā, na haneyya na ghātaye.

Everyone trembles at the stick,
For all of them their life is dear,
Comparing oneself with others,
One should not hurt or have them hurt.

The Results of Unity and Division

Jā 33 Sammodamānajātakaṁ

Quails, led by the Bodhisatta, manage to foil a hunter by flying off together with their heads in the net, until one day they argue and the hunter catches them all.

434. Sammodamānā gacchanti jālam-ādāya pakkhino,
Yadā te vivadissanti tadā ehinti me vasaṁ.

Joyously the birds fly away
Carrying the net together,
But when they begin to quarrel
They will come into my power.