a collection of
Buddhist Wisdom Verses

22: Kodhavaggo

SN 1.7.1 Dhanañjānīsuttaṁ
The Brāhmaṇī Dhanañjānī

Burning Away Anger

When the wife of a brahmin 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 ChS: chetvā; having cut off [anger], throughout; Thai ghatvā; having destroyed [anger], throughout. sukhaṁ seti, kodhaṁ jhatvā na socati,
Having burnt away anger one sleeps happily, having burnt away anger one does not grieve,

Kodhassa visamūlassa madhuraggassa, brāhmaṇa, ChS, Thai: devate; divine one.
* The slaughter of anger with its poisoned root and sweet tip, brāhmaṇa,

Vadhaṁ Ariyā pasaṁsanti, taṁ hi jhatvā na socati.
The Noble Ones praise, having burnt it one does not grieve.

Jā 443 Cullabodhijātakaṁ
Bodhisatta Cullabodhi

Anger Burns

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,
Fire surely arises in firewood when kindled,

Tam-eva kaṭṭhaṁ ḍahati yasmā so jāyate gini.
Because of the firewood there arises a fire.

421. Evaṁ mandassa posassa bālassa avijānato,
Even so for the foolish, dull person without understanding,

Sārambhā jāyate kodho, so pi teneva ḍayhati.
Anger arises from reckless behaviour, and by that he is burnt.

422. Aggīva tiṇakaṭṭhasmiṁ kodho yassa pavaḍḍhati,
For whomever anger increases like fire in leaves and firewood,

Nihīyati tassa yaso, kāḷapakkhe va candimā.
His fame diminishes, like the moon in the dark fortnight.

423. Anijjho ChS: Anedho; [Just as a fire] without fuel. dhūmaketūva, kodho yassūpasammati,
For whomever anger is appeased like fire that is dampened,

Āpūrati tassa yaso, sukkapakkhe va candimā.
His fame increases, like the moon in the bright fortnight.

AN 7.64 Kodhanasuttaṁ
The Angry One

The Dangers of Anger

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 Thai: āyasakkhaṁ; Comm. paraphrases with āyasabhāvaṁ. nigacchati,
Drunk with pride and anger, he will gain disrepute.

Ñātimittā suhajjā ca parivajjenti kodhanaṁ.
Relatives, friends and companions shun one who is angry.

425. Anatthajanano kodho, kodho cittappakopano,
Anger is the cause of loss, anger troubles the mind,

Bhayam-antarato jātaṁ taṁ jano nāvabujjhati.
That person doesn't understand it rises from fear within.

426. Kuddho atthaṁ na jānāti, kuddho Dhammaṁ na passati,
Angry, he does not know what is good, angry he does not see the Dhamma,

Andhantamaṁ tadā hoti, yaṁ kodho sahate naraṁ.
Then, blinded by darkness, that angry one will be overcome by (another) person.

Jā 400 Dabbhapupphajātakaṁ

Quarreling leads to Loss

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,
Through quarrels they become lean, through quarrels their wealth wastes away,

Jīnā Text, Thai: Jinā; [Through quarrels otters were] subdued. uddā vivādena – bhuñja Māyāvi rohitaṁ.
The otters lost out through quarrels – eat the carp, Māyāvi.

428. Evam-eva manussesu vivādo yattha jāyati
Just so when quarrels arise amongst men

Dhammaṭṭhaṁ paṭidhāvanti, so hi nesaṁ vināyako,
They run after a judge, This meaning not given in PED, but see SED: Dhármastha, m. ‘abiding in the law’, a judge. he is then their leader,

Dhanā pi tattha jīyanti, Rājakoso pavaḍḍhati.
Their wealth will decay on the spot, and the King’s storeroom will increase.

Dhp 201 Kosalarañño Parājayavatthu
The King of Kosala’s Defeat

The Truly Happy One

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,
The victor generates an enemy, the defeated finds suffering,

Upasanto sukhaṁ seti, hitvā jayaparājayaṁ.
The one at peace finds happiness, having abandoned victory and defeat.

Jā 451 Cakkavākajātakaṁ
The Ruddy Goose

The Benefits of Friendliness

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,
The one who neither kills or has (others) kill, I am taking it that ghāteti here is meant for the causative ghātāpeti, parallel to the next line, otherwise we have a simple repetition: He who neither kills nor kills. The verb is used with the same meaning just 3 verses below (433). conquers or makes others conquer,

Mettaṁ so sabbabhūtesu, veraṁ tassa na kenaci.
Having friendliness towards (all) living beings, there is no enemy for him.

Dhp 5 Kāḷayakkhinīvatthu
The Black Ogress

Hatred overcome by Love

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,
Not by hatred does hatred cease at any time here,

Averena ca sammanti, esa Dhammo sanantano.
It (only) ceases through kindness, Comm: khantimettodakena, through the waters of patience and friendliness. this (good) Dhamma is eternal.

Dhp 291 Kukkuṭa-aṇḍakhādikāvatthu
The Woman who Ate a Hen’s Eggs

No Happiness through Hatred

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

432. Paradukkhūpadānena attano sukham-icchati,
She who seeks happiness for herself by causing suffering for another,

Verasaṁsaggasaṁsaṭṭho, verā so na parimuccati. We might have expected the last line to read: dukkhaṁ so na parimuccati; she is not free from suffering, as in parallel versions of the verse.
Being closely associated with hatred, she is not free from hatred.

Dhp 130 Chabbaggiyabhikkhuvatthu
The Group of Six Monks

Comparing Oneself with Others

The group of six monks chase off and attack the group of seventeen monks and take their rooms, which left the latter screaming. The story is the same as 98 above.

433. Sabbe tasanti daṇḍassa, sabbesaṁ jīvitaṁ piyaṁ,
All tremble at punishment, all love their life,

Attānaṁ upamaṁ katvā, na haneyya na ghātaye.
Having compared oneself (with others), one should not kill or have killed.

Jā 33 Sammodamānajātakaṁ

The Results of Unity and Division

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,
Joyously the birds fly away having carried the net off (together),

Yadā te vivadissanti tadā ehinti me vasaṁ.
But when they begin to quarrel they will come into my power.