Jul 18, 2020

Posted by in BUDDHISM IN OTHER LANGUAGES | 12 Comments

WHAT ARE HATRED AND ANGER, WRATH AND WRATHFUL METHOD? ( Sân hận, nộ pháp, nộ khí là gì?)

On the occasion of an incident in Cao Linh temple, Hai Phong City:

WHAT ARE HATRED AND ANGER, WRATH AND WRATHFUL METHOD?

Although the incident in which Monk Thich Giac Nghien was accused falsely has been solved by Hai Phong Police, the abbot of Cao Linh pagoda somehow suffered a bad reputation. In this situation, we should bear some questions in mind:

  1. According to the Buddha’s teaching that said “There is no need to claim for the injustice because that is an illustration of cowardice and resent which could not be solved”, then why did a monk submit a denouncement for an “emergent call for help”?
  2. The abbot pointed out the truth about some individuals in the Buddhist Sangha in Hai Phong who aimed to cause harm. Thanks to his act, the police came to discover the criminals and their schemes; therefore they were judged and placed in prison under the Law. Could it be that Monk Thich Giac Nghien did not practice compassion to sentient beings who planned to harm him which follows the great example from the Buddha?
  3. Getting to know that he submitted a denouncement, many Buddhist practitioners wondered that as a Buddhist monk, why did Monk Thich Giac Nghien hold so much hatred and anger, while he was meant to stay away from “lawsuit” according to  Buddhist discipline for monks.

After three years of suffering, was Monk Thich Giac Nghien’s act just an expression of mundane mind which originated from hatred and anger; accordingly it motivated him to submit a report to the police? He is the only one who knows the exact answer. However, the situation in which one is fighting for the purpose of protecting Dharma is explained by Tantric Buddhism commandments as following: the Bodhicitta vow No. 15/46, one of supplementary mistakes among 94 commandments is NOT STAY AWAY FROM DISREPUTATION. It means the Buddhist practitioners must avoid disreputation by not sowing the seeds; however, if the incident already happened then it is a must for both the practitioners and Bodhimanda to reflect on the consequences to find a proper solution (ultimate truth or earthy truth). Besides, the Bodhicitta vow number 45/46, one of supplementary mistakes among 94 commandments is  NOT USING WRATHFUL METHOD WHEN IT IS NECESSARY.

Therefore, Monk Thich Giac Nghien’s act of fighting did not fall out of the right Dharma orbit. With regard to this perspective, Tsongkhapa, the founder of Gelug lineage, a school of Tibetan Buddhism once taught in “The basic path to Awakening, The complete Bodhisattva” that “Making other beings suffer afflictions for the purpose of their own enlightenment is a right thing to do, and we should not do the opposite”. Furthermore, compassion comes along with wisdom, fighting against wrong views and spreading right views are two aspects of Bodhisattva’s cultivation, why should one suffer an insult and keep enduring in such cases? On the contrary, the criminal would keep creating evil karmas and  accumulating their guilt. Therefore, as an act of compassion, the Buddhist practitioner should cope up with them directly. Otherwise, endurance has the same meaning with evil doings. Every submission Song Nguyen Tantra House has done with mass media agencies, or the authorities which were even presented with strong arguments accordingly did not fall out of the right track of Dharma.

Hatred and Anger are psychological features of human beings and animals, even inhuman beings (demons, asuras); and those features remain permanently until one achieves enlightenment (Srotapanna or Pramudita). Anyone that keeps nurturing hatred and anger carries a wrathful spirit in mind which results in a fierce face even if they try to act gently. It is illustrated through their surrounding light and impossible to hide to Buddhist practitioners who have divine eyes (Divyavaksus) or beings with profound wisdom. Wrathful spirit usually brings disadvantages to human beings and inhuman beings because it is more difficult for them to control their body, mind and speech motives.  Therefore, Lao Tzu once taught “It is best for the talent not to be revealed. It is best for the mind not to be narrow-minded. It is best for the temperament not to be aggressive”.

It not only takes a long time, but an extraordinarily long time if one waits until attaining enlightenment for a proper elimination of greed, hatred and anger; especially in the Dharma Ending Age! Fortunately, Tantric Buddhism has a method in which transferring five kysaya periods of turbidity into five kinds of wisdom. Among them, the hatred and anger are transformed into the wisdom of “investigative awareness”. Of course, the operation of body mind and speech must follow the right orbit of Dharma. I happened to recall two verses written by Nguyen Dinh Chieu which represented patriotism and being admired by the descendants.

“The boat of morality can carry as many knights as possible without being full

The pen of fighting can thrust as many evildoers as possible without being dull”

If there is someone foolish enough to conclude that Nguyen Dinh Chieu was just a person full of hatred, that person had better think about the contradiction between the guilty of killing which is considered the ultimate evil karma and the mighty acts of those brave soldiers who killed the enemies in the battle. Is it right to underestimate those soldiers’ act of hatred? The police fired the gun at a dangerous criminal, is it wrong? The commandos gunned a terrorist who kidnapped many hostages, who said he did it because of hatred?

The precursor of Gautama Buddha who is a captain used to kill one bandit in order to capture many others’ lives. Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism, used to kill  evil Bon practitioners, won over Rakshas (a terrifying demon with black body, red hair and green eyes), could it be he was full of hatred and anger? Those are the means to teach and convert beings which are generally called WRATHFUL METHOD. Their behaviors are illustrated as part of the wisdom of investigative awareness. Similarly, we all know that Milarepa used to be beaten, verbally abused and tortured mercilessly by Marpa Lotsawa; if Marpa was just a master overwhelmed with hatred and anger, how could he educate such a brilliant disciple who lived as a fully realized enlightenment in just one life?

People who shared the same mindset with Long may wonder whether it is reasonable for someone who is not a Buddhist ancestor, holy saints, or enlightened ones can do the same? It is not the right logic. The Buddhist practitioners should keep in mind that paying hatred and anger in those events that are worthy is actually a chance to accumulate merits, because the purpose is FIGHTING AGAINST WRONG VIEWS. Paying hatred to the evil monks who are about to harm sentient beings by revealing their wrongdoings which went against the Buddha’s teachings, in order to stop many victims from being captured in their traps and fell into lower realms. Is it worthy? Paying hatred to the evil monks who are hypocrisies, to those who took advantage of their positions for making their own benefits (Bodhicitta vow number 45/46 about supplementary mistake), worthy or not? In that case, the Buddhist practitioners’ hatred and anger illustrate the right Dharma courage. It is opposite to those who flattered their students, disciples and almsgivers as a means to satisfy their own purpose, to make their own livings.

Recently Mat Tue Thanh confided that he unexpectedly listened to one lecture from an abbot who paid sarcastic comments about another abbot who used abusive speech to the disciple. He criticized that it was definitely not the right behavior in terms of Buddhist’s virtue. According to him, a Buddhist practitioner, especially a monk, must behave gently and speak softly with loving speech, act humbly, etc. However, we must consider the root of mind which may originate from the compassion (Dharma mind) or from the grudge, egoistic, or narrow-minded ones (mortal mind) before jumping into conclusion about a Buddhist practitioner’s virtue. Padmasambhava once taught that “The wise ones are presented themselves in uncertain appearance (gentle or wrathful), on the contrary, those low-minded ones who are experts in cheating are hypocrisies, under the cloak of Buddhist practitioners. Do not mistake trash with gold”. One of the views that Wanko Yeshe Norbu mentioned in “128 evil and erroneous views” was “The view that using the Vajra voice to expound Dharma and eliminate karmic hindrances is not compassionate”. I know some monks whose speeches are as sweet as sugar cane, but they used that sweetness to lure female disciples, those scandals were published in both online and paper magazines.

Back to the discussion of hatred and anger, wrathful and wrathful method which were sneered and criticized by the mentioned abbot, if he himself engaged in a conflict of interest, how would he behave? He could have behaved fiercer, however, when he was in a calm situation and did not put himself in others’ shoes, he lectured others shamelessly. Moreover, such judgement was untrustworthy as it derived from a sort of person who had not had experience, or those so-called “the frog under the coconut shell”. They did not have a clue about the nature of things and phenomena, meanwhile they fell into one of the fourteen grievous mistakes of a Buddhist practitioner that Gampopa had advised. Dear Abbot, it is not important whether the cats are black or white, as long as they are able to catch the mice. Likewise to the Dharma teachers, abbots, masters, it is not important whether they behave softly or roughly, less or much hatred and anger, as long as they are leading their disciples in the right path of Dharma, in order to help the disciples achieve the Buddhahood, attain the Pure Land and prevent the disciples keep implementing wrong practices such as sundry practices, charities, casting statues, building temples just to satisfy the abbot’s ego and fame. Dear Abbot, the hatred and anger that are against the disciples’ laziness (in practicing Dharma), their disrespect and disobey to the Buddha, Buddhist holy saints’ teachings, etc is totally different to the hatred and anger towards students, disciples and almsgivers because they did not offer more money, or they did not make a bank transfer as early as expected to build the temples or proceed “Dharma works”, or the struggle over not being invited to intone sutras in their personal events but others were indeed…

Those hatred and anger, which will be led to wrathful method are made to help the sentient beings purify their karmic hindrances, force them to stop the evil karma. It is called “MAKING THOROUGH ATTENTION IN THE MIND” (yoniso manasikāra), otherwise, it is called “MAKING IRRATIONAL ATTENTION IN THE MIND”. On the other hand, a Buddhist practitioner’s virtue cannot be decided based on subtle elements which belong to human beings’ psychological features because the fake monks could easily make imitations. It should be based on the quintessential elements including Bodhicitta, Renunciation and Emptiness which are represented through body, mind and speech. In conclusion, I would like to affirm that “The boat of morality can carry as many knights as possible without being full. The pen of fighting can thrust as many evildoers as possible without being dull”. That is my spirit of hatred and anger! I accepted to be judged as a mundane, however, my ultimate purpose is to fight against the wrong views and spread the right views. I pray for all the hatred and angry thoughts of sentient beings to be transferred into the wisdom of “investigative awareness”!

Phuoc Thanh Village, 21 December 2015.

Thinley Nguyen Thanh.

Translated by Mat Tu

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Vietnamese version: SÂN HẬN, NỘ KHÍ, NỘ PHÁP LÀ GÌ? (Bài mở)

  1. Mật Tấn Sơn (Đỗ Trường Giang) says:

    Dear Guru,
    I read this article.
    I understood that anyone that keeps nurturing hatred anc anger carries a wrathful spirit in mind which results in fierce face even if they try to act gentful.
    Thank you so much.
    May Guru have good health and live long for the sake of all sentient beings.
    May all sentient beings attain the happiness of Buddha’s nature.
    May Covid-19 pandemic soon be over.
    Om mani padme hum.

  2. Mật Chánh Hưng says:

    Dear Guru!
    I read the article.
    I joyful to thank Guru teaching me how to be hatred and anger. I understand that the moral boat can add as many knights as possible, the fighting pen can push as many evildoers asppossible without stupid.
    May Guru has good health and live long for the sake of all sentient beings.
    May the covid 19 pandemic will soon over.
    Om Mani padme Hum.

  3. Mật Chánh Tấn says:

    Dear holy Guru,
    I have read this article. I would like to express my gratitude for your wisdom in this article as it helps me to understand more about the true meaning of hatred and anger, wrath and wrathful method.
    As the holy Guru has mentioned that according to “The basic path to Awakening, The complete Bodhisattva”, Tsongkhapa, the founder of Gelug lineage taught: “Making other beings suffer afflictions for the purpose of their own enlightenment is a right thing to do, and we should not do the opposite”. I understand that the key word here would be the “purpose”. If the purpose of an action (even gentle or wrathful) is to help other beings, especially in Buddhism is to help others have the right view, lead them to the right orbit of Dharma, then we should focus on doing that action. But if that action is made with the purpose of fulfilling our own selfish mind (or just to satisfy our ego, hatred or anger), then we should stop because it would only lead us to the big hole of suffering. The example of the precursor of Gautama Buddha who is a captain used to kill one bandit in order to save many other’s lives could be seen as proof for emphasizing the above mindset. I understand that the lesson in this article would help me to remind myself, look back at myself to question what is the purpose of my own action ?! It is for helping other people to the right orbit of Dharma or just to fulfill my own ego.
    Thank you holy Guru for this important lesson. May Guru have good health and live long for the sake of all sentient beings.
    May the epidemic of Covid-19 come to end soon.
    May all sentient beings attain the happiness of Buddha’s nature.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  4. Mật Phước says:

    Dear Guru,
    I have read this article.
    Throughly here, I understand that, spirituality practitioners do solve the problems accoring commandments from the Buddha. Hence, the activity of mind and speech are must follow the Dharma orbit. So, the hatred and anger start from the Dharma Buddha (Dharma mind), it accumulate many merites, as the paying hatred to the evil monks , who are about to harm senteint beings. Opposite,the hatred and anger of the mundance bring to disadvantages for human.
    May Guru have good health and longevity for the sake of all senteint beings.
    May the Covicd 19 pandemic be soon over.
    May all senteint beings achive the happiness of Buddha’s nature.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  5. Tantra Midhita says:

    Dear Guru, wise and compassionate you are, I understand. There is a time to turn the cheek, so they may hit the other after the first, and their is a time to stand for true injustice. Intentional and demonstrable wrath to those whom do no wrong is surely wrong itself. Likewise, was I to defend a frail person from an attack, I’d be practicing righteously?

    Thank you dear Guru
    May you have good health
    May the world achieve good health.
    Om mani padme hum.

  6. tantra mahavita says:

    Dear Guru: Deep thanks for publishing this article. Wishing it to be of benefit to all sentient being .May the Guru be in good health and have a long life .May all being find the Buddha Nature .May the pandemic end soon .OM MANI PADME HUM

  7. Mật Tuấn Nguyên says:

    Dear Guru,
    I am delighted to read .this article.
    May Guru have good health and live long for the sake of all beings .
    May all sentient beings attain the Happiness of Buddha’s nature.
    May be covid.19 pandemic will be soon over.
    Om mani padme hum.

  8. Mật Thiền Đức (Nguyễn Vân Linh) says:

    Dear Guru,
    I have finished reading this article.
    I learned that hatred and anger are psychological features of human beings. Hatred and anger, if used for the purpose of enlightening and fighting evil karma is not wrong. Also, enduring evil karma without trying to stop is the same as evil doings.
    Thank you for your lesson
    May Guru live long for the sake of all sentient beings.
    May the Covid 19 pandemic soon ends.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  9. Mật Tuyết Hoa says:

    Dear Guru,
    I am delighted to read this article.
    I am thankful for your meaningful article. Through it, I understand that what is hatred and anger wrath and wrathful method in Dharma. In the normal life, the wrathful brings disadvantages to human beings and inhuman beings because it is more difficult for them to control their body, mind and speech motives. However, on the Tantric perspective, Buddhism has a method in which transferring five kysaya periods of turbidity in to five kinds of wisdom. Among them, the hatred and anger are transformed into the wisdom of “investigative awareness” with the condition is the operation of body mind and speech must follow the right orbit of Dharma. It is like the teaching of Master Tsongkhapa in “the basic path of Awakening, the complete Bodhisattva” is Making other beings suffer afflictions for the purpose of their own enlightenment is a right thing to do, and we should not do the opposite. Likewise, the Bodhicitta of Guru toward beings on the way to fight against the wrong views and spread the right view, He affirms that “The boat of morality can carry as many knights as possible without being full. The pen of fighting can thrust as many evildoers as a possible without being dull”, because of “Respectful Masters have practiced like that. Those who wish to liberate should follow their path” (Tsongkhapa). I am grateful Guru.
    May Guru live long and have a good health for the sake of all sentient beings.
    May all sentient beings attain the happiness of Buddha nature.
    May the Covid 19 will end soon.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  10. Mật Huệ Pháp says:

    Dear Guru
    Thank your for explaining to us on what is hatred and anger, wrath and wrathful method. The Buddha taught that in this Dharma degeneration age, the number of evil monks or teachers is as innumerable as the sand of Gang river. Surely they will never let anyone, who brings the light of right view, stand on their way and break their means of earning money from naive followers. Therefore, if the authentic practitioner just keeps silent and does not know how to use the fire of hatred and wrath to fight against wrong view and evil force, this Saha world will remain in the darkness of ignorance without any ray of hope for liberation.

    I totally agree with you that compassion must go with wisdom, because the fighting against wrong view and evil force and the protection and propagation of Buddha Dharma are two facets of merit and virtue of a Bodhisattva. So is it right to keep patience for the raging of wrong view? In many cases, patience means a compromise with evil. Come back to the counter-argument activities of Song Nguyen Tantra House under the guidance of Guru, I feel delighted that you are not patient with wrong view and always know how to use skillful means to bring the sentient beings back to the right orbit of Dharma. This is truly the practice of Bodhisattva as Master Tongskhapa once taught.

    Come back to the cases of two monks in the article, I agree that it doesn’t matter if a spiritual teacher is gentle or wrathful, the main point is that he gives you right practice to gain enlightenment and liberation. A master feels wrathful because his disciples are lazy in practicing Dharma, going against Buddha’s teaching and falling into five worldly poisons are totally different from a master who feels wrathful because his disciples do not flatter or make abundant of offerings to him to satisfy his personal ego and interest.

    I feel admirable to your bravery and compassion in the non-stop fight against wrong view and evil force for the sake of Buddha Dharma and the sentient beings. I am so grateful for your benevolence in using wrathful methods to wash over all defilements from our mind.

    May Guru live long for the benefits of the sentient beings
    May the sentient beings drink the essence of Dharma nectar

    Thank you Mat Tu for this wonderful translation. May you have health and soon achieve righteous wishes.

    May Covid 19 pandemic end soon
    Om Ah Hum

  11. Mật Thuận Nguyên says:

    Dear Guru
    I read this article
    I thank the Guru for giving us useful Dharma so that we can understand what anger, indignation and anger are. Through this, I understand that small, cruel, ignorant people will arouse worldly anger and only wise people will turn that anger into the wisdom of ” investigative awareness” to repel bad people who benefit sentient beings.
    May Guru have good health live long for the sake of all sentient beings. May all sentient beings achieve the happiness of Buddha’s nature.
    May the Corona will end soon.
    Om mani padme hum

  12. Mật Huệ Minh says:

    Dear Guru.
    I’am happy to read this article already.
    I thank Guru for giving us a very useful and valuable article, which is also a lot of benefits. Through this article also helps me understand that anger, hatred, indignation for a monk does not Guru. The main problem is that we always know how to practice the dharma with bodhicitta, renunciation and emptiness, which is the way to Buddhism’s enlightenment and enlightenment.
    I thank Guru for this very significant article.
    May Guru have good health live long for the sake of humans beings.
    May all sentient beings attain the happiness of Buddha nature.
    May the Covid 19 pandemic end soon.
    Om Mani Padme Hum!

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