Shantideva August 8, 2009

Is anger ever justified? Explain your answer and follow your logic to its conclusion including a discussion of the karmic consequences. Use quotes from Shantideva to support your arguments.

Review verses 24 – 27 where Shantideva notes that anger arises by itself, it arises from causes and conditions. People don’t try to become angry, they don’t make an effort to become angry, it just happens naturally. Do you agree with Shantideva? Do you think individuals are personally responsible for their anger? If so, why? What about for controlling their anger? How does this perspective on anger give rise to love and compassion?


2 thoughts on “Shantideva August 8, 2009

  1. Shantideva states “Not even in suffering should a wise person disrupt his mental serenity, for the battle is with the mental afflictions; and in battle pain is easily obtained.””Just as this illness occurs even though it is unwanted, so do mental afflictions insistently arise even though they are unwanted.” “In brief there is nothing that can make an angry person happy.” Shantideva is telling us that anger is poison! We are responsible for how we react to this emotion or situation of anger when it arises. We must not respond or get caught up in anger when it arises or we create further negative karmic results in the future and bring unrest to all beings around us. Knowing this we should refrain from anger and contemplate its disadvantages whole heartedly. By reducing negative actions of body, speech and mind and watching our mental attitudes we become more skillful and mindful. Understanding that anger has arrived in our lives at this time due to past negative karmic seeds which have ripened, we ourselves are responsible for this situation, and must bear the responsibility and react with wisdom, compassion and understanding. “Therefore, may I make my mind stable, disregard harms that happen to me, and be unaffected by suffering.” Feeling compassion for others is a product of understanding the suffering that occurs as we sentient beings cycle in samsara, through ignorant attachment.

  2. A quote from the blog in another section which Ven. Tendrol posted. A direct complete answer to the above questions re: anger

    “From a Buddhist perspective, we learn to control our anger. Also, through deeply exploring the true nature of our minds, we learn how to prevent anger from arising in the first place. As a result, we avoid creating negative karma — scars that mar both us and our friends in this and countless future lives. To take this a step further, we develop bodhicitta (love and compassion) not just for our friends and family but for strangers and enemies by learning to see all beings as our mothers. As Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Losang Jampa explained, once we realize that we experience difficulties due to our own negative karma, it is impossible to become angry with others”.

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