Two monks argue. The Buddha reminds them of how Sakka deals with anger
Translation of BZA 037. First version published in Buddhist Studies
Review vol. 23-1 (2006).
Thus have I heard, once, the Buddha was staying at Sāvatthī at the Jeta Grove in
the Anāthapiṇḍika Park.
At that time one early morning the World-honored One took his robes and the
begging bowl and entered the town to beg for food. Having eaten he washed his
feet, gathered his seat [for meditation] and went to the Andhavana forest [to
meditate]. Having looked around probing [for a good spot], he sat down
cross-legged beneath a tree in a secluded place, and abided in meditation.
At that time in the Jeta Vihāra there were two monks who got into an argument
during a meeting. One endured in silence, the other was incensed with anger.
When the one who had become incensed, saw that he had transgressed, he went to
the monk who had stayed silent and wanted to confess. The monk who had endured
in silence [however] did not accept the confession. When this transpired there
ensued a noisy discussion among the monks. The Tathāgata was at that time
abiding in meditation, and heard [the clamor] clearly with his deva-like
hearing, which surpasses human hearing and can discern sounds from far away. He
rose from his seat, and went among the monk, took place on the seat prepared in
front of them. The Buddha said to the monks: “This morning I took my robes and
begging bowl and entered the town to beg for food. (…etc…) went into the forest,
and sitting silently, I heard the monks shouting and clamoring. What is the
There the monks told the Buddha: “World-honored One, in the Jeta Vihāra there are
two monks, who got into an argument during a meeting. One monk endured?? in
silence, the other monk was incensed and said a lot. The incensed monk knew that
he had transgressed and went [to offer a] honest confession. The monk that had
endured silently did not accept the others confession, so it became a public
issue and everybody started shouting.”
The Buddha told the monks: “Why be so stupid and not accept someone’s confession?
Oh monks, know that [once] in ancient days Sakka the ruler of the gods was among
the gods in the Sudhammā Hall and spoke this verse:
If for instance one uses a cup of dried gourd // fills it with butter to have
The fire burning, consuming // will burn the gourd as well
The angry mind is like this // it turns on itself and burns one’s good roots
I am never furious // if anger arises I quickly disperse it
No more like drawn into a maelstrom // endlessly circling around
Though there is anger I do not speak harshly // do not mention what others
do not want to speak about
deeply respect what others do not want to speak about // I am always without
Taking control over my body // has been of great advantage to me
Those without anger, without violence // those are nobles
And the disciples of nobles // those one always should befriend
Those with anger and hatred // face an obstacle heavy as a mountain
If one at a time of anger and hate // can control oneself even a little
This I call well-done // like the taming of a wicked horse
Buddha said to the monks: “Sakka the ruler of the gods, reigns over the gods. At
ease among them, still he can practice patience and praise those with patience.
How could you, oh monk, who went forth, disfigured [by cutting of your hair] ,
not be patient and praise patience.”
When the Buddha had finished, the monks, having listened to what he had said,
were happy and practised accordingly.
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